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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Sale at the Church

You don't have to go far in this little town to find someone re-enacting someone.  Ben Franklin finished his graveyard tour and stopped by to purchase a pumpkin.  We must have had the best price around - "A penny saved is a penny earned...".

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Snips and Snails

Life is so good right now...waiting impatiently for my second baby grandson to arrive.  I know his mother is uncomfortable and can't wait to welcome our newest addition.  The shower is over, the nursery ready.  The baby will come when he's ready.  In the meantime his cousin is keeping us constantly charmed.  He won't be 2 until January but he's already full of questions and answers.  Our love for this little one and the two that are on the way fills our hearts to bursting...

Sunday, October 9, 2011


A few years after I was diagnosed, I attended a support group for people with MS and our significant others.  It had been established by two men in their forties and their wives and was scheduled to meet monthly in the recreation room of a local church.

At this time, I nobly (and mistakenly) believed that although I was doing fairly well, I could be of some support to others who were not. Of course, this was ridiculous.  I needed support at least as well as anyone else.  However, I found out rather quickly, that this was not the group for me.  The broad spectrum of displayed symptoms and petty bickering over who was going to buy a missing member a get-well card, eventually sent me heading for the hills.  The following are my personal recommendations when it comes to seeking support in living with the ups and downs of MS.

If you would like to try a support group, find one that has a qualified, professional leader with experience facilitating groups of individuals with serious illness or disability.

Find a group that specifically focuses on newly diagnosed patients if you are newly diagnosed.  If you're numb and tingly, the sight of men and women with advanced cases of MS will scare you half to death. And...

    when you complain about feeling fatigued, others with more serious disabilities may roll their eyes and rev the engines on their scooters.

Attend free seminars/dinners put on by the pharma's.  You may end up in a conversation with someone with whom you can identify, with similar symptoms, situations and experiences.  Consider meeting in a public environment for coffee and informal casual support.  You may be able to share information comfortably, without feeling like you're constantly unloading on your family and friends.  You may even develop a meaningful friendship.  If your new acquaintance turns out to be an emotional vampire, change your cell phone number.

If you attend religious services, try to continue even when you're not feeling your best.  However, don't allow any well-meaning person try to make you feel guilty because you're dealing with a disease.  You did not bring this on yourself because of a "lack of faithfulness" nor is God "testing" you.

If you don't participate in any religion, it's not a bad idea to explore spirituality at this time.  Remember the mind/body connection.  It's there.  And when we're feeling our weakest and most down-trodden may be when we receive our clearest revelations and greatest gifts.

Last, and most important - if a friend offers help, try not to refuse.  Don't be too proud and independent to ask for and take assistance.  You may be able to give back simply by allowing another individual to feel helpful.

Where do you receive your greatest source of support?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

But you look so good...

So, I was diagnosed in 1986.  I had a 2 year old baby and a nine year old child.  I felt awful.  I had suffered with a sinus infection that came out of nowhere, followed up by a strep throat 2 months later.  The MS had been relapsing and remitting for a couple of years but returned with a vengeance in August of 1988. 
We were invited to attend my husband's brother's out of state wedding  to be held in October.  I could barely hobble.  I was numb in one leg up to my hip and the other up to my armpit.  Cute pumps to go with the dress I had searched the mall for were not in the picture.   I could barely pick my feet up and walked stiff-legged like Frankenstein's monster.  I dragged myself to the local library and checked out a book called The MS Diet.
Now, I had just finished losing 30 pounds on Weight Watchers and was pretty much on a low fat diet anyway.  So I decided that taking cod liver oil sounded like an idea worth trying.  I also read some basic information about the neurological system and added Inositol to my daily regimen.  I couldn't even pronounce it properly.  I read that Inositol was required for the repair and restoration of myelin.  I was self-treating.
My neurologist never recommended any vitamins or supplements, nor had he even mentioned physical therapy.  But I got on my exercise bike when I didn't feel too sick and popped a few supplements.  It was all I had.  That and a little plaque with a bible verse from Philippians that my daughter had carefully crafted with glued-on alphabet macaroni...."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".  I kept taking my vitamins and looking at that little plaque which I placed on the shelf above the kitchen sink.
And guess what? A couple of months later  I wore patent leather pumps with my new dress to the wedding in October and I walked like a queen. I looked just fine so there was absolutely no appreciation of the trouble I went to just to be able to attend that event.  My sister-in-law (now deceased) told me I didn't get a corsage since I wasn't an immediate family member (as she pinned one on my daughter and a boutonniere on my son and on my late husband).  I was left out of a family group photo while I was taking my 5 year old to the ladies room.  When that picture came in the mail,  I threw it away. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Italian Chocolate Truffles

I really like this recipe for truffles as it doesn't include eggs as some other truffle recipes do.  I made them for my daughter-in-law's baby shower. They kept in the fridge in an air-tight container for over a week and the recipe was requested several times, so here it is:
                                                          Italian Chocolate Truffles

              6 oz. dark chocolate                                        3 Tbsp. sweet butter
              1/2 cup ground almonds                                  1/2 cup confectioners sugar    
              2 Tbsp. orange flavored liqueur                       1 3/4 oz. grated chocolate

Melt the dark chocolate with the liqueur in a double boiler, stirring until well-combined.
Add the butter and stir until melted.  Stir in the confectioner's sugar and ground almonds
Leave the mixture to cool until firm enough to roll into 24 balls.
Roll in grated chocolate to coat.
Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  You may substitute Amaretto for the orange liqueur.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Construction Themed Baby Shower

My daughter and I hosted a baby shower for my daughter-in-law on Saturday.  We started with a construction theme based on the decor of the nursery and ran with it.  My son is an equipment operator so it was also with him in mind.  I arranged buckets with mostly yellow roses and white, green and tan mums.  Large bows of yellow caution tape we tucked in on picks.  Little backhoes dug mounds of chocolate rocks.  There was even a dump truck with pale blue and yellow rock candy.  The mommy-to-be was radiant and received many nice gifts.  A beautiful day for a beautiful girl.

I Promise...you will grow up to be beautiful!

And so will you...

Eat your vegetables and be patient...