Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All you need for a Georgia summer

While Tom and I were following this truck it occurred to us that it contained all you need for this time of year.  Soil mix to play in the dirt then a way to chill out afterwards.

i-phone apps

For those of you who have i-phone and like to take creative photos with it.  I have found a post on one of my favorite blogs with examples of fantastic creative photos you can take using your i-phone and it's apps.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer storm aftermath

Big old oak tree- no more

These photos are of the aftermath of the summer storm from my last post.  Even though this was a more typical summer storm than we have had lately, it still left some damage of it's own including 3 people who died because of trees falling on them.  Most storms are not this bad as far as damage goes, but with the tornado weather a couple of weeks ago the trees have been weakened.  By now most of the clean-up is done and things are back to normal.  I have noticed that a lot of people have done a lot of clean-up and tarring  down of old buildings.  I'm sure at least some of the reason is to keep the damage down when the next tornado type storm comes by but it has really made an improvement on the way some parts of town look.
House among the trees

Downed old power lines (you have to look hard)

Traveling down I-75

No more sound barrier

Stopping to get gas

Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer storms

We had a sudden summer storm pass over our house tonight. I went outside on the porch to try to capture the essence of the storm.  I don't know if succeeded, but shooting through the rain and having the leaves tossed by the wind and the low light presented some unique problems.  I tried several different settings and shutter speeds. Any comments or tips would be very much appreciated.
☺☺☺Johnina ☺☺☺

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shining moon

Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon, come out
from behind the clouds!


Lifestyle changes

Eggs Dijon
The seizures that I have been having have cause multiple drastic lifestyle changes.  I can not drive so I am basically housebound.  I carry my cell phone on my person constantly so I can call for help because even if there is someone else in the house once a seizure starts even with being conscience; I can not talk well enough to shout for help or walk well enough to go for help so I call our land line to get someone to help.  I now have to have someone in the house just in case. Hopefully this is only temporary, only until the seizures are under control.
Since the doctors tend to agree that at least in part this is due to all the medications I take, I am coming off some meds and changing others.  The doctors and I are working on using less toxic meds even if they do not work  as well and using supplements instead or to enhance the effectiveness of the less toxic meds.
This was causing havoc with my system until recently as I am now adjusting to the new medications.  In fact now I am starting to feel better than I have in quite awhile.
However I'm about to embark on a drastic lifestyle change; changing the way I eat.  All my research has mentioned that adults with seizures have been helped by a low carb diet.  After I check this out with a couple of my doctors and learn how to manage my insulin shots to control my diabetes I going to give it a try.  Of all the suggestions on meds and supplements this seems to be the safest alternative and beneficial in other ways too.  I want to make this diet as healthy as possible and if this may be a permanent lifestyle change I want to enjoy it.  To this end I have pulled out my cookbooks and am looking through them for new recipes and I hit up the library for low carb cookbooks.  I am having a delightful time looking for new and exciting ways to cook and recipes I might not have tried before.  I discovered that I can make this change and truly enjoy the process.  I think I had gotten into a rut with the way I was eating and instead of trying to adapt my old recipes I am going to find a new and delicious way to eat.  I love learning and am going to make this an exciting new voyage of discovery by trying a new recipe every day.    If I can figure out how to put my new recipes from my cookbook program to my blog; I will share them with you.  Even if you are not on a low carb diet you might enjoy the dishes anyway.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday afternoon snooze

Hope you're having a great, relaxing day
PS: This is my son Jeremy and his girlfriend Emily Graves, the daughter of my heart. 

Friday, May 20, 2011



I was watching the movie "Field of Dreams"; I haven't seen it in quite a while and had forgotten all the little life philosophies that it contains besides the obvious one of following the inner voice.  There are a lot of metaphors for lost chances, events that change your life and set you on a different path.  As I was watching and contemplating my own life; tears started to roll down my face, not tears of sorrow but tears because my spirit was touched.  With all the changes and different paths that I have taken, sometimes of my own choice and sometimes placed upon me by my health; this movie at this time of one more path change gave me pause to think and feel.  Hence the tears.  Especially when Ray asks 'What's in it for me?'.  Perhaps our lives shouldn't always be about 'What's in it for me?' perhaps it is only after we have risked everything and everything we do seems to bless others while our circumstances continue to go downhill that we need to let go of ourselves and our needs to have what we, ourselves REALLY need for our peace and healing just like in the movie.  After all isn't that what  Christ meant when he said when lose ourselves in service that we find ourselves.  I think sometimes stories can give us pause for thought and that's a good thing.  Christ taught in parables for a reason, sometimes we are moved more by stories then by being lectured.
As the movie was ending good 'ole Rascal stuck his nose over the arm of the chair with his sad eyes and even sadder whine; trying his best to let me know that he had to go out NOW.  Big Sigh! I really didn't want to get up much less go for a walk.  But up I got and as I opened the door Serendipity stepped in and I got to witness the miracle of two adult Robins with 5 little ones gathered round them.  I say miracle because this is something I had never seen before and I found witnessing this awe inspiring.  This circle of life- this new life.  Surprise, surprise I was so entranced I forgot to grab my camera.  Knowing that as soon as I opened the door they would fly away, I just stood there peacefully watching despite an occasional nudge on my legs from my faithful companion.  I did eventually pull myself together, grabbed my camera and monopod and headed out the door.  I did manage to snap a shot of one of the babies in the neighbors yard before they all flew away.  I then saw a different kind of baby bird and clicked his pic.  Apparently since we have bird feeders on our front porch the birds are now enjoying life in my yard instead of the woods where I can't see them as often.  I didn't know such a small thing would make such a difference.  As Rascal and I continued our walk with me much more peaceful; I took notice of the afternoon sunshine on the woods and captured that also.

☺☺☺Johnina ☺☺☺

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Must see blog I found

I was just visiting some of my friends out there in blogland and came across an inspiring tour of an old gothic cathedral.  It would be well worth your time to take a peek.

Good Morning Sunshine

Have a wonderful day!!!
The sunlight was just beautiful this morning, just thought I would share it with you.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm not going to stay down and out

After the last post I ended up going to the ER in adrenal crisis from a seizure from earlier that day, they stabilized me and sent my home telling me to make an appt. with my primary care doc in the next couple of days.  So the next day I called explained what happened in the ER and they made an appt for that afternoon and this is a doc who usually has a long wait even if you are sick.  Tom drove me there and while waiting for the appt I had a seizure.  It's amazing how you can upset people even in a doctor's office when you display symptoms in front of them, the receptionist got this deer in the headlights look and had a hard time collecting herself to get the nurse, who then came out saw me shaking, got a wheelchair and rush me into the back and got the doctor; who by the way came immediately; they accessed my condition as best as possible; some vital signs were not able to be taken due to the tremendous tremors and sent  me directly to the hospital across the street.  Now I'd been seen in this office many times since the tremors started last fall and had complained numerous times about the tremors and seizures and he knew that I was going to a neurologist so he wasn't to awfully concerned and he knows I do seek help when I need it, but I really don't think he believed me when I tried to explain how bad the tremors and seizure had become until he actually saw one.  But as everyone knows seeing is believing and guess what? doctors are people too, so sometimes it holds true for them too.
Then on to the second most horrid hospital visit I have made and I spend a lot of time in hospitals (one year I was that hospital off and on for six months of that year) so I have many experiences with which to judge it by; First they left me in the waiting room for over an hour, even though the doctor had called ahead for a direct admit and I was still having tremendous tremors. If my doctor had known they didn't have a room he would have sent me to the ER to receive treatment as he has done in the past.  Finally in the hospital I saw two other specialists with two different ideas of how I should be treated; one wanted to keep me on the same meds and just adjust the dosage, the other wanted to take me off some meds and replace others.The second major communications error started here with the first not writing down to leave me on the same meds, but the second writing new orders.  Then the pharmacy there decided that some of the new meds were to dangerous for me to take and refused to send the meds up.  The nurses were informed but not any of the doctor, gee they had three to choose from, but they didn't choose to inform any of them so I got to go through withdrawal and return or worsening of symptoms.  Then at midnight they switched to a completely different computer system for which they had  been poorly trained for- they had only been shown how to use it not taught to use it.  I heard more swearing out of the nurses over the next couple of days.  It really slowed down the patient care as they tried to figure out the system got frustrated and finally doing what needed to be done and writing it down to be input later.  Not a good thing to have happen.
Because I had been sent directly to the hospital I did not have time to go home and pack so I had none of my comfort items with me except my computer, but when we tried to hook up to the hospital Internet we got an unsafe warning notice.  We tried a couple of different ways to hook into the system, we kept getting different ways to hook up when we asked and finally gave up.  So I tried to do other things with my computer and couldn't get it to work right and I thought it was because I wasn't thinking straight so I sent it home(Jeremy could not get it to work right  at home so it was not really my fault).  Now I had nothing; not even my stuffed lion who goes with me every time or my music (more on how I cope with hospitals later as this getting long).  I was put in isolation due to past MRSA infections (don't they know that isolation is a form of punishment they use in jails for naughty inmates) and on top of that while I slept the they put an alarm that went off if I even sat up too much.  It scared me to death well almost cause I'm still alive. I was just miserable the whole time with one problem after another.
However now that I am home and I have ranted and raved and told the world how horrible things have been for me and am once again gaining strength and am lucid enough to think and I may have to use my husbands computer and some of my older pics because my computer  ( my main contact with the outside world especially now- no driving and basically housebound) is down and out for awhile  I can now stick out my tongue at all my troubles

and once again see the BEAUTY ALL AROUND ME.  I have picked out a few of my favorite older pics that were on my husbands computer or on backups and I hope that you will enjoy the beauty that I have seen.

ENJOY ☺☺☺Johnina☺☺☺

PS Sorry about the spelling&grammar I'm still not thinking good enough to go back and edit my errors.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My personal storm

Now to why I have not been posting recently.  It seems I have had something of a manic-depressive month.  I have have had the joys of my sons wedding, with 5 of 6 kids and 5 of 10 grandchildren at home.  I can't think of anything better than that; to the lows of being tentatively diagnosed with a brain tumor. (MRI has since ruled that out) And just like the leaves in this picture I have been tossed to and fro.
Add like with our spring storms I have cried me plenty of tears of both joy and sorrow.  Sometimes the spring rain is gentle and made you feel like dancing in the puddles and sometimes it is rough and stings and makes you want to go inside.  My son has been happier since he met his wife than I had seen him in years and at the wedding he glowed.  I know usually people talk about how the bride glows on her wedding day but this was a time when the groom glowed equally as bright.  Great tears of joy and if I had been able I'd have been up dancing with my girls, bride included.  Pictures to follow on a post in a few days to explain that one.  I have cried a river of tears for my health, and like a heavy rain I retreated inside.  A bad move on my part as it kept me from sources of comfort and compassion.  My family knowing of my troubles broke through as best they could but I did tend to cut them off too and then I cut myself out of other sources like this blog, my photography and the friends I have made through these sources.  Why is it that at the worst of times we often do the worst for ourselves?  On top of all the medical problems I have; last fall I started having neurological problems and I had them checked out and they weren't too bad so I just dealt with them.  Then the two month migraine and sinus infection which cleared up but then I started sleeping 16-20 hrs. per day; having severe problems with memory and concentration, having severe tremors several times a day, seizures every couple of days, walking into walls or falling if a wall was not handy, constant headache, total lack of control of my blood sugar both high and low, and I can't keep myself hydrated. All this came on quickly and I felt like the Unicorn from the 'Last Unicorn' when she was turned into a human and was therefore mortal when she said 'I can feel this body dying all around me.'  I certainly felt my body falling apart all around me.  To the doctors I went; where the first tests showed that I should have a pituitary tumor.  Okay so this is bad news but most of these tumors are benign are fairly simple to remove, they go up through your mouth behind your sinus, and then my problems could go away, maybe even problems I've been plagued with for years.  I still cried a lot because of the what ifs and then the neurologist starts talking about me having a brain tumor, which is a lot more iffy.  Anyway an MRI was ordered and good news- bad news 'no tumor' the biggest bad news with this is the doctor said that basically I would just have to learn to live with it.  The results were sent to my primary care doctor and he agreed with the neurologist.  I have simply been sick for so long and on so many medications that my brain has basically been fried.  All this took place in amongst and just after the wedding festivities.  I'm in the process of finding another neurologist for a second opinion and trying to come off some of my meds but if I didn't need them I wouldn't be taking them. I can tell you every medicine I take and how it helps me so we'll see how this goes.
I don't want to leave you on such a sad note so I will show you I still have not lost my sense of humor. During one dark and stormy night our lights went out and living in the boonies it gets real dark, but I was hungry and so I felt around for the flashlight (I have recently found phones work well till you can find your flashlight) got me a yogurt and figuring I could eat it in the dark sat in the recliner, turned off the flashlight, and on the first bite- plop- the yogurt went right down the front of my shirt. Flashlight came back on and I balanced it in the arm of the chair and noticed the shadow puppets my feet were making on the wall. My wolf howling at the moon. Hope you get a chuckle out of it like I did.