What Doesn’t Kill Me?


I saw this on Facebook today. It seems to fit the theme of the day.

I am thankful for encouraging people.

There are many people who could use some encouragement but as someone watching a struggle from the sidelines, it’s important to watch and weigh out what is the issues that brings a person to a certain place in their life. It doesn’t mean that as a person on the sidelines you are standing over someone saying , “You made wrong choices and you put yourself in this place so you have to dig yourself out.”  How can you love someone who is suffering and in trouble and yet not enable them to continue making poor choices. Every troubling instance in our lives should be the impetus for analyzing a situation and looking for the right choice.  None of us are entitled. We all need to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and have great discernment in the decisions we must make. I am in trouble at any given moment and so this applies to me. I have been in trouble, made bad choices, and been on the other side watching a friend or neighbor trying to survive through a situation. I do a lot of praying, no matter which side I am on, for wisdom to know what is best to do. God is always there for you and it is important to constantly look and listen for what He is telling you.

Psalms 119:104-106

104 Through Thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

106 I have sworn an oath, and I will perform it, that I will keep Thy righteous judgments.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

I’m very thankful for good friends and encouraging people in my life including my dearest friend, the Lord Jesus that is always there and never fails me.

I hope you all have the good things in your life that helps you wade through the debris and obstacles.

Talk to me about what things that bring you strength in the time of trouble. Talking about it is ,in itself, an encouragement to those in trouble. I salute you all who are in the battle for your life… physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually.

Stop by any time as you are on your journey. I love your visits and I hope you find encouragement here.

Thanks,    Jan

 

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Economy Battles On


The Propaganda Machine is doing its job. They are painting the unemployment picture whatever hue benefits them best. The news is so hard to listen to because you can never seem to know what is the truth on any matter.

I think some old timers have a saying that covers it all. “My weatherman is a rock. If it’s dry and hot, it’s good weather. If the rock is wet, it’s raining. If you can’t find the rock, then it must be snowing or someone stole my rock!”

All I know is that there are tons of people struggling. The ones that are working are not having an easy time and the ones that are out of work are really having a hard time.

I have done many resumes along the garden path and I’m like a bloodhound when I search for jobs. I can squeeze a penny till it squeals for mercy. Using what comes my way to the best advantage is my forte. Not that it is easy or that the food I eat is always “tastee” but survival is a necessary skill these days. Being spoiled needs to be put behind you and your willingness factor needs to be pushed up a few notches. I do that when I have to and usually have several others dragged behind me kicking a squalling.  I’m sorry, that isn’t a pretty picture, is it!

There are several things that seem to be important for these kinds of days when you are searching for a job. When an employer posts an ad for a job, there are huge numbers applying for that one job.

Here are a few tips:

1. In just a few lines into your resume, grab that employers attention! Get right to the point so they can see what your skills are that will benefit the company. They are usually looking at so many resumes that all the flowery hogwash needs to go. Just the facts, mam, just the facts!

2. When you read the ad, highlight the key words describing the job and focus on your skills that match those key words. Present those skills immediately and use bold print to draw that into their sight.

3. Every Resume needs to be tailored to the job instead of using a “one fits all” philosophy.

4. Once you have compiled all relevant information on your resume and cover letter, each time you apply for a job, cut and paste what’s specifically needed onto a new document and save it like this; 2012.10.6 Lakeside Dental Supply. Cut and paste the ad and do research about the company and save it along with the ad. Save it as: 2012.10.6 Lakeside Dental Supply ad.research. Place all in a folder named: 2012 Job Search.

5. Two other documents you need in your Job Search file are: 2012 References, and 2012 Cover letter.

6. Refer to your Job Search Folder often and decide on a call back strategy. Anytime you have contact with this company, open your ad.research file and put the date, who you talked to, and the response.

7. This isn’t a complete list but there are many sites online that are more trouble than they are worth.  Even with a strict no 3rd party security setting, I have found many complications when searching. The sites that I like so far in Michigan are:

Summary

Create a file and save in Documents

1. Documents   (Here is how mine looks)

1. 2012 Job Search

2012 Jan Lance Resume

2012 Jan Lance CLetter

2012 Jan Lance Ref.

2. 2012 Jan Lance Jobs Applied for

2012.10.6 Lakeside Dental Supply

2012.10.6 Lakeshide Dental Supply ad.research

Good Organization is Key!

Dont Ever Give UP!  Hope you all have what you need!

I hope I can encourage you as I “Journey Along the Garden Path”

What things are you doing to Survive?  Have you recently got a job and found something helpful in the search? please share what was helpful… it may help someone else

Thanks for stopping by to visit. Come again,    Jan

What’s Up


Excuses for not writing:

1. I’m telling you, I have been in “Neverland” and don’t want to return.  Not!

2. I’ve been in a coma. Not!

3. I’ve had a lot going on in my life. This is true.

4. My family has had a lot going on. This is true

5. I’m depressed. Yes sometimes. Fearful. Yes sometimes….

OK. Now that the excuses are over… it’s time to revive myself.

I’ve been gathering seeds, giving computer lessons, doing resumes, helping others get jobs I can’t do anymore and jumping up and down because my grandson is home from Afghanistan!!  I have to do all this at my own pace … a little bit at a time. Work a little ….rest a little. These last few months have been overwhelming and that’s the real reason. It makes me exhausted in a way I can’t explain.

August brought a new challenge to one of the most painful things I’ve experienced. Something I never expected in a million years. One of my 6 children went to prison 32 months ago and was released in August so he came home to stay here for his re-entry program. I was so excited and so relieved to have him out and to have him here. The process of having him here is not easy .. mostly financially but not only financially since you need to adapt to another personality in the house.  It is hard to watch him conquering the things he must conquer The whole re-entry into “society”, you wouldn’t think it would be hard but it is. I see the struggle in his face. I know his mind is thinking about every little thing that he must remember and do. I know he must feel happiness, hope, but also fear. He seems determined and has a good attitude but he has some rough mountain terrain that he must climb. He is determined to not do anything that would place him back inside.

I know this is crazy….but it weighs on me. He hates our food. We eat so different and we don’t have the money to change it nor did we want to except that we want him to be eating healthy. We had what I call a free meal tonight. Friends gave us a large fish filet so we cooked that steamed in the oven with yummy seasoning on it and Darnell, my husband brought in small baby carrots from the garden and green beans so I steamed them. We live off the land as much as possible. I know there is nothing wrong with what I fixed but he didn’t eat and I’m not upset with him but it still pains me. We have what we have and no room to do something else. Darnell made popcorn later so he had a bowl of cereal and some popcorn so he isn’t starving. I just had to get that off my chest. What a little thing! This is the smallest of our problems. When I was growing up there was a saying: Life has a way of throwing a monkey wrench in the works! I’m glad that tomorrow is a new day………. onward and upward. Don’t sweat the small stuff. (it’s a MOM thing)

It is exciting he is here and I’m glad. We will deal with whatever come and cross the hurdles and make it to the goal.  I have faith…it just wavers every once in a while. 🙂

I know there are tons of families out there that have dealt with this. That’s why I want to share this very private part of my life with you.

Please tell me what you have experienced. I am fearful of the unknown. That’s normal… right? I know that right choices have to be the priority for him and there is no room for mistakes. I’ve heard how many end up back in because of a lapse in judgement. I pray that he will have a clear thought process and will not find himself in a bad position because of an impulse or wrong perspective or whatever makes us do the things we do. He is a man and I hope he has his feet firmly planted toward the future. I hope he will lean on God to give him the strength he needs for every day.

I have been in the valley and on the mountain. Up and down I go at any given moment right now. I’m usually not fragile and I need not to be right now. I pray and meditate on the things that keep me on an even keel. I know it will get easier. I have this thing I do when I’m struggling… I think about what I know for sure and focus on that. Do you do this when you are struggling with something?  The things I know for sure are:

I know that God is always with me.

I know that I’m not the only one who has experienced this.

I know that in God’s Word it says:

God has not given you the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a strong mind.

II Timothy 2:17

He brought me also up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon the rock, and established my goings. And He had put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God: many shall see it and  fear and trust in the Lord

Psalms 40:2,3

I know that I am human so I have to put the fears behind me and trust in God who stays by my side every day. I am taking one breath at a time. That is all I can do and I’m glad I’m not walking alone.

Hope this is of help to someone out there who may be feeling something similar to what I’m feeling. Feel free to stop by any time and leave a comment. I’m praying for God’s help for us all.            Jan

August 1st to September 1st… and Beyond


Email is filled with various things…. I almost always go through and delete a large amount of things I feel are not worth my time or effort to read. Time is a valuable commodity and I don’t like to waste it. The other day, though, I received this bit of email wisdom and I would like to pass it on to you. I have talked in previous posts about unemployment in the USA and what we can do to support our fellow Americans. Read this and tell me what you think.

AUGUST 1st to SEPTEMBER 1st

Well over 50 yrs. ago I knew a lady who would not buy Christmas gifts if they were made in China. Her daughter will recognize her as follows:Did y’all see Diane Sawyer’s special report? They removed ALL items from a typical, middle class family’s home that were not made in the USA .There was hardly anything left besides the kitchen sink. Literally. During the special they showed truckloads of items – USA made – being brought in to replace everything and talked about how to find these items and the difference in price etc..It was interesting that Diane said if every American spent just $64 more than normal on USA made items this year, it would create something like 200,000 new jobs!I WAS BUYING FOOD THE OTHER DAY AT WAL-MART and ON THE LABEL OF SOME PRODUCTS IT SAID ‘FROM CHINA ‘

FOR EXAMPLE THE “OUR FAMILY” BRAND OF THE MANDARIN ORANGES SAYS RIGHT ON THE CAN ‘FROM CHINA ‘
I WAS SHOCKED SO FOR A FEW MORE CENTS I BOUGHT THE LIBERTY GOLD BRAND OR THE DOLE SINCE IT’S FROM CALIF.

Are we Americans as dumb as we appear — or — is it that we just do not think. The Chinese, knowingly and intentionally, export inferior and even toxic products and dangerous toys and goods to be sold in American markets.

70% of Americans believe that the trading privileges afforded to the Chinese should be suspended.

Why do you need the government to suspend trading privileges? DO IT YOURSELF, AMERICA !

Simply look on the bottom of every product you buy, and if it says ‘Made in China ‘ or ‘PRC’ (and that now includes Hong Kong ), simply choose another product, or none at all. You will be amazed at how dependent you are on Chinese products, and you will be equally amazed at what you can do without.

Who needs plastic eggs to celebrate Easter? If you must have eggs, use real ones and benefit some American farmer. Easter is just an example. The point is do not wait for the government to act. Just go ahead and assume control on your own.

THINK ABOUT THIS: If 200 million Americans each refuse to buy just $20 of Chinese goods, that’s a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor…fast!!

Most of the people who have been reading about this matter are planning on implementing this on Aug. 1st and continue it until Sept. 1st. That is only one month of trading losses, but it will hit the Chinese for 1/12th of the total, or 8%, of their American exports. Then they might have to ask themselves if the benefits of their arrogance and lawlessness were worth it.

Remember, August 1st to Sept. 1st !!!!!! START NOW

 As I was searching for information for this article. Here is the link to the report Diane Sawyer made with an option to comment:  http://abcnews.go.com/WN/MadeInAmerica/mailform?id=12912252 

The following link will help you find products made in the USA:

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/MadeInAmerica/page/map-find-made-america-goods-13917383

A fellow blogger also advocates buying products MADE IN THE USA!

http://vintagegent.com/category/made-in-the-usa/

It is my hope to gather support for this to aid our fellow Americans in a productive way.

Join me as I “Journey Along the Garden Path.”

Thanks for viisting and come again.

Jan

Live and Survive Within 25 Miles of Home


 

Please Shop Local

You  know, I spent the last couple days shopping within 25 milesof home. We have been only buying what we absolutely have to purchase and for sometime we have bought meat when it’s on sale and purchasing extra to freeze so that we don’t have to buy meat every week. I also have Vegetarian Meals also. We have friends that bring us things from time to time which helps a great deal. Our garden and the church garden has supplied much for our table. The local farms and farm markets supply the rest. I love giving my money to the local farmer and not to CA, WA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and China or some other foreign country when it’s in season here. I see these states or countries constantly at the grocery store. It isn’t that I don’t want other countries to have my money.The reason I feel this strongly about this is the jobless rates here in the US. As a loyalty to my fellow countrymen, I want my money to benefit my local community. If things were better, I would have no thought about spending money for the benefit of any another country.

Soaker Hose for the Garden

During the summer months, there are so many things available to us locally. Fish from the lake is one thing that we are able to do to stretch our food budget. It provides a tasty choice for us and is restful, stress relieving, and enjoyable. I have not tried it yet but I have thought about frog legs and turtle as a food source that we could try in the meat area. As for vegetables and fruits, as different crops come to harvest, if I buy locally, it keeps our local economy going and provides food for us all year-long by freezing and canning. I bought corn on the cob and was able to put some in the freezer. The drought has been hard on our farming community. We were having trouble getting our garden to produce. My husband went to a yard sale and bought 2 soaker hoses for $4.10 and we laid them up and down the rows in the garden. Our beets and carrots went crazy and they grew to amazing sizes. I just love what comes from the garden. Very healthy and so good too.

Our grand-daughter went with us to the farm markets.

Watermelon with yellow flesh

Watermelon with yellow flesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They had a melon cut open on display. it was a small size watermelon with a yellow insides. We gathered corn and a regular sugar baby watermelon. We were at the checkout when she came carrying the yellow watermelon that was cut in half up to the check out wanting to buy it. I said to her, “I don’t think they want to sell that one. That’s so people can see what it looks like inside.” Then I turned to the woman who was helping us with our purchase and said, “I think my grand-daughter wants this and a spoon!” She just laughed with us. We did bring home one of the yellow fleshed watermelons and it was delicious.

We went to another farm market and bought eggplant which we don’t have in either garden that we get our veggies from and blueberries along with a few other garden goodies. In the summer, I need two refrigerators to keep up with the vegetation that comes through our house. Again, I am so thankful.

There is a potato farmer that lives about 8 miles from us. We like to buy our potatoes and onions there. When fruit comes in season, Darnell will help me can some for the winter. Tomatoes are something we use a lot of all year-long, so we need to can some of them.

Food and Farmguide

I was looking on the internet, and saw that if you search for “food and farm guide” and put your zip code, town, state or county, almost always, you can find a guide to find local resources. I looked under my county name here in Michigan and found this site: http://vanburencd.org/farmguide. Here is the actual print download for this guide: http://vanburencd.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/FOOD-GUIDE-2012_1.pdf

I even found Food and Farm information available for the UK at this site: http://www.bigbarn.co.uk/ and I imagine many countries have those resources available online. Please support your local community by purchasing what is needed for your family from resources within 25 miles of your home.

I hope this is helpful to each of you.

Come and visit me again as I journey along the garden path.      Jan

 

What To Do When You Are Sick and Tired


William the Conqueror fell off his horse at Ma...

William the Conqueror fell off his horse at Mantes, suffering mortal injuries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 2:30am and I’m up. My body is aching all over and I feel total exhaustion. I feel sad because I want to fill the needs of my family and do my part and I just don’t have the strength or endurance to do that the way it should be done.

My grand-children are so precious to me and I feel like I fail them over and over. It makes me sad. You need energy for children and I just don’t have any.

I am sick and tired. I guess I’ve given in to a little pity party. I know there are plenty of you out there that are in the same boat and understand completely. I don’t have pity parties very often and I need to pick myself up, brush of the dust, and keep movin’! I have a friend who says, “You have to cowboy-up!”  That’s what I need to do, in a plan B kind of way.

The fact is that I am sick. With God‘s help, I’m still here long after everyone thought I would be gone. That’s good! With a focus on that’s good, I don’t feel equal to the tasks that have always been my responsibility. I wish it were different but it’s not. That doesn’t mean I give in or give up, but I have to allow myself to care for myself and do as much as I can and know when to stop. Have you heard that a good barber knows when to stop? It’s kinda like that at a much slower pace.

I always liked to hurdle myself into what lay in my path. It’s hard to slow down. I draw my strength from God everyday and He is faithful.

So. what do you do when you are sick and tired?

Female Horse Rider

Female Horse Rider by Mike Baird

  1. Thank God for every day and every breath you take.
  2. Keep you focus on what is good and positive.
  3. As much as is possible, give yourself the nutrition to keep your body as strong as possible.
  4. Listen to your body and rest as much as it tells you it needs.
  5. When you fall off the horse, pick yourself up and get back in the saddle. Even William the Conqueror fell off his horse.
  6. Love everyday you are given.
  7. Do the best you can and don’t berate yourself for what you can’t do.
  8. Live so you have no regrets.
  9. Count your blessings.
  10. Be thankful for God, your family and friends because without those three things, you would really have a bad day!

OK! I’m back in the saddle. I need to remind myself from time to time of what my attitude needs to be. Hope what I’m experiencing helps someone else out there. We have to encourage one another.

I feel strangely calm after writing this. I think I’m ready to try again. How about you?

I love it when you visit so come again,          Jan

What a Day!


Kalamazoo Airport

Kalamazoo Airport (Photo credit: Friscocali)

Today was a Day unexpected! Left the house at 8am to take my daughter to the airport after a stop at the bank. We were right on the mark. Busy, busy morning from the moment my feet hit the floor. It reminded me of days from my past when all six kids were exploding in 6 different directions. It was my job to clear the landing pads of each one so their days got off to a good start. I don’t remember how I did that. 🙂

Michigan's Adventure 010

Michigan’s Adventure (credit: Roller Coaster Philosophy)

 

 

 

 

Dropped off my grand-daughter with her Uncle to go to Michigan Adventure.

We arrived at the airport an hour and a half before her flight and was called back to pick her up because there was something wrong with the plane and they cancelled the flight. Her next boarding time was  four hours later. Left at 8am and really don’t have the strength for this. Lord, I will need you to shore me up and carry me through. I am amazed and thankful that He makes me equal to what is ahead. I never know humanly how I make it and know that it is God carrying me through.

English: Logo of TJ Maxx

TJ Maxx (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We went to one of my favorite stores, T.J. Maxx. I have a mobility chair. Thank Heavens! I don’t get out much and I don’t shop much either. We shopped and looked and the hours flowed by. I had needed to go to town and find a birthday present for one of my grand-children. Check! I needed to replace some tattered rugs in the bathroom. Check! My daughter doesn’t get much time to herself without her daughter so she was in shopping heaven. She looked with unrestricted abandon without any distractions. She is the typical mother and is usually taking care of her child’s needs. Her mind probably was in shock. She has only had one real vacation in probably 10 years so I am delighted that she will have a chance to recharge her batteries. I wish for her relief. Most and even this time has been mostly a working vacation just because she is in a different location but doing her work there.

My mobility chair started blinking and I knew I was in trouble so we headed to the front of the store. That is a first …using all the energy available, both me and the chair.  I am so thankful …I would not have made it through the day without it.

We checked out and brought the van to the front of the store and loaded it and our purchases up and had something to eat before she boarded the plane. It was a hard day but a treasure of spending time with a special child. Love her so much.

We went to a bakery and I had some chicken salad

A chicken salad made from chicken used for sou...

A chicken salad (Looks very much like the one I had)made from chicken used for soup stock, celery, cucumber, apples, fresh dill, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and a crispy roll and tea and she had a pasta salad with a roll and water. Then we headed to the airport once more. It is always hard to let them go. I prayed for her safety physically, emotionally, and spiritually and let her go once again.

I again waited for her plane to take off before leaving to go home since I live out-of-town. My children used to ask me why I lived out in the boon docks and I would say because that is where I want to be.   I’m happy and at peace out in the boon docks. 🙂

It was a long 7 hours that I had thought would only be maybe 3 hours. I arrived home exhausted and breathed in the quiet and laid down to rest. There was nothing left but it had been just enough. I was so glad to be home. Thank God for the strength He provided.

Waiting...

Well that is my saga! Come and visit and we will share our stories again. Love it when you visit!    Jan

Grammie is happy!


Yes…absolutely! Grammie is happy! My daughter and grand-daughter came to visit from out-of-state and I am so happy. I wish I had more strength… I feel rather exhausted but I am happy. Several other grand children have been here to visit so my cup is full and running over.

First Big Fish at Age Seven

Grampie is in the kitchen making Smore Cupcakes. There is more chocolate on their faces than in the bowl. Here is the recipe from Bakingdom (http://bakingdom.com/2011/08/smore-cupcakes.html). There is not long to wait. The smell is tantalizing. Yummy!

There has been lots of swimming, drawing, movies and playing angry birds. What a bunch. Love them all. Wish all  9 could be here all at once.

Bugs Bunny

Our grand-daughter went with Grampie and they picked beets, carrots, and swiss chard out of the garden. I got it all cooked and in the refrigerator this morning ready to eat.  One other grand-daughter looked just like Bugs Bunny with the carrot with all the greens still on it. She ate it all gone. I showed them how you cut the greens off the beets, boil them in salted water till they are tender. Set them off the stove to cool and then you can just squeeze it and the skin pops off and is ready to eat. I want all my grand-children to love veggies.

I hope you all are having good summers and if you have family any distance away, I hope you are able to get together for a visit.

The Pastor and his family brought us green beans out of the church garden. I fixed enough to go with supper. Thanks so much for that.

Our whole supper was free. Everything was out of the garden and the fish was out of the Lake. I love that.

Come visit when you can. I will always enjoy it.    Jan

Homesick!


A Little Bit of West Virginia Heaven
Near Stattes Mills in Jackson County                   By James Easter 2012

I’ve been in Michigan since 1971 but the air, mountains, rock,  and water from West Virginia are ingrained in my heart and soul. I utterly miss everything about WV. The mountains are majestic and I have great memories of wandering around the woods up on the mountain. I have always loved nature. Some of my best memories were when we lived out in the country when I was five or six. We lived on the side of a mountain so the land was terraced. Where the house was there was a flat terrace, then it dropped down about ten to fifteen feet to a flat area that was our yard and then down another ten feet to where the road was. The drive up to the house cut into the hill and was a pretty steep incline. At the back of the house where the flat part stopped there was a concrete block wall that held the hill back. At one end that was fourteen feet tall and became lower as it progressed to the right when you were facing it. At the other end it was only two feet tall. My sister and I would play on the wall and take chances we shouldn’t have but we did it anyway. Above the wall was one more plateau after you climbed a bit and on it was a hand-built cabin that my Dad built. We loved that cabin which was full size but a small one room cabin. It was a great place to play. It was beautiful on the mountain with blooming rhododendron, birds and wildlife. This is where my love of God’s creation began. The one thing that I didn’t like in nature at that age was snakes. They gave me the heebie-geebies! One day I was up on the mountain and saw a harmless garter snake which spurred my flight response. I started running down the mountain as fast as I could. I was probably screaming my head off but all I remember is running faster than I had ever run. This is not especially a good idea when you live on a mountain. I made it to the wall and started running down the wall toward the shorter end so I could get off. About two or three steps down the wall, I lost my footing and fell down the side of the wall staying in contact with it all the way down. My Mom heard the commotion and knew that something bad had happened. She came out and found me in a crying heap at the bottom of the wall with scrapes all the way down my body. Boy did I look like a mess. All of my memories were good there except for that one.

I learned to ride a bicycle there. My Dad was so frugal. He bought me a brand new, full-sized bike. I was six and short! Luckily that didn’t deter me.  The first part of the drive down the hill was at a right angle to the rest of the down-hill plunge. It was also not so steep as the rest of the drive. I would straddle the bike at the beginning of the drive, carefully step on the first pedal, start rolling and step up on the second pedal and ride down the incline standing on the pedals. In the beginning I almost always crashed at the bottom of the hill till I got the gist of pedal brakes. I would stop it then jump down with both feet at the same time. It was a long time before I could sit on the seat.

I was always the youngest and my sister that was three and a half years older, would have friends over and when they played outside I would try to keep up but invariably would bring up the end of the group. They called me “The Little Red Caboose”. My hair was a little reddish long, long ago.

My Life was good as I grew up and I loved my family. My Dad loved to eat and loved good food so that is where I got my love for food and my adventurous spirit for trying new things. What I didn’t get was good eating habits which brings me to my goal now; to have healthy food that at the same time tastes good cause I love good tasting food. It should be enjoyed.

Well, I didn’t tell you much about my past in West Virginia but I will tell you that no matter how many years I live here nor how much I love Michigan with all its Lakes, I will always miss West Virginia. That is where my heart will stay. My Mother and Dad have both passed away but I have my older sister. After my Mom died my Dad met my Step-Mother and they married and they adopted a little baby boy after I was grown and had moved away. I completely got to know my brother on the phone, computer, and Skype. We have visited a few times through the years but it’s mostly been through technology. I long to see my Step-Mother, Brother and Sister. I don’t get to travel much and haven’t been home in a long time. I am so thankful for Phones and Skype. They make the distance a little shorter! Ahhh technology, I love it!

The picture at the top of the post is taken by James Easter. He lives in Saint Albans, WV and he takes beautiful pictures. The picture that I renamed, “A Little Bit of West Virginia Heaven”, is not the most beautiful scene from WV that he has taken. It is one that I connect with even more than the gorgeous mountains, valleys, bridges, rivers or creeks you would find on tourist postcards. The reason I connect with this picture is that we traveled on many country road and this was a scene I saw repeatedly along those road. Some of these streams would be fed by tiny streams coming down the mountain or would come, like a miniature waterfall, cascading down the face of the jagged rocks that lined the roads. I loved this sight most of all. I loved many other pictures taken by James Easter but like I said this one connected to me the most. Because of things I lived with in West Virginia, I love the

Description: Photograph of a rock fence taken ...

Photograph in Vermont that is like rock fences in WV
(from Wikipedia)

sound of water and amazing rocks both large massive ones or small ones with colored designs running through them. These things have affected the things I do now. I have lots of plants. My affinity for rocks and rock walls has me planting in rock walled beds and living by the water. Every big rock with colorful veins running through it I see along the way, I’ll say to my husband, “Can I have that?” and he will say, “When you can lift it and put it in the trunk, then you can have it.” It’s a standing joke! I would have big boulders around my house if I could. When I die, I would like a boulder with a plaque attached for my grave marker. That’s all, I don’t want much!

Well that’s my story or a little bit of it. Glad I could share it with you. Come and visit again, anytime. I love company!

Tell me about the things that you make you homesick. What things have you taken from your past and brought into the future with you. I would love to hear about it.

Thanks again and See you soon.   Jan

Faith and the Egg


Eggs have become such a prevalent part of Easter. What do you think it stands for?

Easter eggs

Easter Eggs ~ Symbol of New Life

One of my recent posts was about how we develop our philosophy in life. I told you one of the ways I developed my philosophy was through reading the bible. I was raised in church and it was the “normal” thing to do in my life. I embraced that life until I left home. When I left home, I started spreading my wings and thinking, “I can choose whether I make that my life or not.” I tried and tried to choose a different way. My family was always pretty straight-laced. I thought it would be awesome if I flew by the seat of my pants so to speak. I wanted to be like some other people I knew that didn’t follow so close to the line. I experimented with the feel of making choices opposite of what I had always made during my life so far.

From a young age I learned about God and His son, Jesus Christ.  I  tried just cruising along when I reached this time in my life but I found out the price was too big.  No matter how I tried to brush it away, I found that the way my life had played out up to the time of being on my own, was the true belief of my heart and not just a rote display of tradition. It was then that it transformed from tradition to the fabric of who I am. I knew then what I believed for myself and not because of how I had been raised.

Jesus with the Children

I believe that the bible is the inspired word of God. And the Bible says that God send His son to earth as God/man to tell us about God and to become the payment for the shortcomings of humans on earth. He died on the cross and was raised from the dead and then ascended up into heaven.

This is the essence of the spiritual celebration of Easter. This is a very important time of year for me. I am so grateful for what God has done for us. By paying the debt for our sins, if we believe then we have been promised a place in heaven. That is only the tip of the iceberg.  For me the promise of heaven is what comes later but what is so much more important is the comfort and guidance He provided for us post assention through the Holy Spirit. He is with us constantly and we can turn to Him at any time for direction.

These are things I rarely speak out loud so I am just wondering what every readers response will be. I know it sounds strange but I’m as sure of this as life itself. God is real and He is miraculous in every way and it is a source of great joy and peace for me.

The eggs that are used in the celebration of Easter are symbolic of the “New Life” that

Jesus with the Soldiers

is available through believing in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. The way you accept Jesus and the gift He provides is to realize that all humans make choices that are wrong. In any justice system there is a price for wrong and Jesus paid the debt and offered to cover our imperfections. We only have to realize what the gift is, why you need it and accept it from Him. I did and it has made an amazing difference in my life. I’m glad to have Him be a part of my life. I appreciate everything He has ever done for me. This is the only thing in my life that doesn’t change. All other things that make up my life, can and do change. I have had some very good things in my life but there is very few things that are secure or guaranteed. My faith that God gave me is the rock I stand on.

Easter is a very private, important part of my life. It is a time of extreme worship. I know that many people go to church on Easter but I actually like to be alone with God on that day. The most awesome Easter for me was when I was up early on a beach in Florida. I

God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit

was there with one other person. We didn’t talk. It was a time of worship for me. The sun was almost representative of the Glory of God and I just talked to Him and expressed my thanks for His presence in my life. I hope you will find peace this Easter. This peace fills my life every day and it is the greatest gift ever given.

May you find the blessings of this Easter Season,

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

Please talk to me… leave your comments.

Philosophy in a Cap


philosophy in a cap

I was recently reading blogs and ran across the picture above. The blog was titled something like… “What I would tell me if I were a teen? I am so upset that I can’t remember how to find it because I didn’t get to finish reading it. I stopped in the middle to harvest this picture because it was important to me. This picture grabbed me though and it’s all about perspective. After you read it you say to yourself…  I know that but I haven’t thought of it lately~~~

Well I didn’t find the blog I was looking for but I did find this picture at this link:http://www.soifound.com/2011/06/do-not-regret-growing-older.html  I will continue my quest to find the half-read blog out there in blog land. 🙂

Where do we get our philosophy’s  for life? Many are from reading, tv, radio, conversations, organizations, bible, church, school, and an endless number of other places. It’s like seeds in the air planting continuously in our brains. Some philosophy comes from experiences. I’ve heard people say, “I’ll never do that again.” From the experiences sprouts a mental quote in our heads that states the philosophy we have developed from that experience. We all have basic human needs and our philosophies come from our experiences and information resources as we absorb everything around us. According to psychology, Maslow described our basic human needs in the following illustration:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs

We all need these needs met and as we strive to fill them we develop our thoughts about life and how to live it. I got mine from associations with people I love like my husband and children, from my mother and father, from reading the bible, from friends and from reading everything I can get my hands on for years.  Most of the changes in philosophy have come at moments when I was in great crisis. You can change your philosophy at the drop of a hat if you need to do it to survive. Most are deeply embedded and not so easy to change. They are the fabric of who you are. All of our needs take a position on a balance beam that rests on a fulcrum. I have always taught my children that balance in our lives is very important. We each find the fulcrum that will be the balancing point of our lives. Mine is my relationship with God. The reason for this is that a foundation needs to be stable. The only thing in my life that doesn’t change is God. Hebrews 13:8 says: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes and is dependable. He doesn’t change His mind. I may move away from him but He will always be right where I left Him when I return. He loves me and gives me direction that is in my best interest. I am thankful for this stable rock in my journey through a chaotic, changing, swirl of life. It is good to rest on a Rock. In the bible is says in Psalms 40:1-3:

I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth~Praise to our God. Many will see it and fear and will put there trust in Him.

I am so glad to have a foundation that when a builders lever is put to it, measures true and square and stands the furor of the storm.

Talk to me about where your philosophy for life comes from. It is awesome to share what makes us who we are. Thanks for stopping by.

Talk to you again soon,

                        Jan

Hindsight and Forward Thinking


Hindsight is 20/20 is it not?

About 11 years ago my life changed drastically. I went through a horrendous corporate downsizing event. I lost the job that I truly loved. No I wasn’t a Brain Surgeon! It did not require that level of intelligence but I loved providing a service. To do that in a way that brings pleasure and enjoyment to others and are treated with respect, brought me joy. I did my job well and I found the chance connections in life are meant to produce something of value in each exchange. It wasn’t just a job to me. I believe  that the experiences we have. good and bad. are there for a reason  and that is as others pass that way, that you may somehow help them find their way and bring them comfort. If we all live our life that way then none of us are alone. Because of the value I put on this resource of connection, I felt great sorrow when I lost my job especially when I had trouble finding another job. I loved working.

Have you heard the statement that 90% of all illness is stress related? In looking back at this time, I came to believe it is true. The two to three years of downsizing process is very stressful, humiliating, and you are in anxious limbo. I was eliminated on in the last sweep on my birthday…isn’t that funny? I didn’t think so …I thought it was cruel and thoughtless.

I began not feeling so well. I started feeling tired beyond the normal and felt weak. I had several episodes where it was like my one leg didn’t get the message from the brain about what it was to do. Not realizing at the time that what was happening. I was having mini strokes. I was telling my Dr. what was going on and he said it wasn’t anything to worry about. I believed him at least for a while.

I did finally get a job in a factory. It was a little out of my realm of experiences but it was good.  I was so glad. I continued to not feel well and it progressed. I rode my bike to work and one day I rode in and when I was to stop my legs wouldn’t come off the peddles to the ground so I could stop. I ran into the wall and crashed. That was a bit unsettling but I picked myself up and brushed myself off and kept going. The days that followed, I picked a softer landing spot. 🙂 I lost the job though which had never happened in this way. I was fired. I put something into a mold backwards and it cracked the mold. I felt bad but I went and found another job. I went back to my comfort zone working in medical records in a large Doctor’s Office. I had never gotten a bad review in my life up to the point when I got fired but after trying for 3 months, I didn’t pass the probationary period and I was let go. I’m a persistent little cuss so I went to another hospital and got a job as a registration specialist. The same thing happened and they let me go. Now I was crushed. I could see that there was something terribly wrong. I still tried again. I worked as a cashier in a gas station . I tackled that with the same gusto as always and  I enjoyed it.  I was taking things in stride but things were catching up with me.

Right Carotid Artery

I could see I was not my normal self. My brain just was not functioning like it had in the past. I went back to the Doctor and he

still said it was nothing. I was just aging. I was mad now so I  went and found another Doctor. I had been documenting things for a long time and showed him the same list I had shown the other Doctor and he right away sent me for certain tests. He thought I might have MS.  It ended up my carotid arteries were blocked on one side and all but 1% on the other. Making a long story short, after seeing a specialist, I was told there was nothing they could do. By this time I was having trouble climbing stairs My exhaustion level was extreme. The very tactless Doctor said I could drop over at any time. I don’t mind truth but it didn’t need to be so graphic. I worked at the gas station till I couldn’t anymore.

This Doctor  had my whole family in an uproar when he worded it that was, that I could drop over any time. I didn’t have the strength to deal with it. My family started hovering and figuring out what I should and shouldn’t do. I had to tell them to back off and that I was not going to crawl into a hole and get ready to die but was planning to live life in a good  way till it was time to go.  Here I am 11 years later …still weak and exhausted but living life in a way that is productive and satisfying. God has shored me up and I’m still paddling. (I know, the West Virginia dialect in me just has to come out from time to time. ) May of last year I saw signs that the disease was progressing as my eyes  developed hemorrhages caused by pressure as the blockage moved  north toward the brain. I can still see some of out of the left eye…so I’m still paddling!!  I’m thankful for what I have.

This is where hindsight comes into the picture. If I could rewind time, I would have listened to my gut feelings. Doctors are not infallible and they can have an off day as well just like you or me. I had too much confidence in them and thought they were always right. It is only by a blessing from God that I haven’t lost my life way too young. I was not used to bucking the system or trusting my own intuition. Who knows what’s normal in your body better than you? If you feel like something is wrong then you need to persist and search for an answer until you are satisfied and at peace that you have found the right answer about what you are experiencing.

God was a part of my life long before all of this happened. He is my mainstay and gives me strength, encouragement, and comfort through it all. He is constant and unchanging. It makes it all a little easier.

Remember, you can tell if something is not normal so trust your instinct and act sooner than later so that things can be taken care of in a timely manner. Send me your comments or questions anytime and come walk with me down my garden path.

Thanks for Stopping by,

Jan

What? I’m a Pit Bull?…


I have been called Savvy Grammie and sometimes Pollyanna.  One day when I was surfing the internet, there it was; What DogWhat? I'm a Pit Bull? Are You? It is like the great vortex that sucks you in and before you know it you are taking the test! When I completed it, my jaw dropped to the floor and as I reached to pick it up, I read, “You most resemble a Pitt Bull” I was horrified! I kind of think of myself as a gentle soul, a bit of an introvert, and I could in no way see how they could set me in line with these powerful, active dogs. I am such a klutz and when it comes to excelling at extreme sports….NOT!!  Once I calmed down and began looking at the character of the dog, I could see some slight similarities. The Pit Bull is loyal, competitive, protective and if they must fight then they bite down till they get to the other side. Yes, I can see I am all those things when it’s needed. I just hate it when I get sucked in like that.

The Savvy Grammie moniker was hung around my neck because anywhere I worked seemed like they would all come to me for answers. I am the mother of 6 children and now have 9 grand children. I am the encyclopedia, dictionary, and tutorial program all mixed up in one. Besides that I am the best darn researcher around.  Pollyanna on the other hand is there because I believe that if you do what you can things will work out in the end. Yes there are occasions when they don’t. That’s where I say, “The tree that doesn’t bend breaks.”

I have a patio out front of my house. Almost every morning, I make a pot of coffee and go out and sit and read and drink coffee till the first neighbor drops by.  I either do that or I have a basket I load up with cups, coffee in a thermos, and some goodies and go see a friend who can’t come to my patio. Ar either place we discuss all the ills of the world and the challenges we face each day. They have definitely increased in number and see if together we can figure out some solutions. Never hurts. They say “Two heads are better than one.”

I do a variety of things. I’m a foodie that’s loosing weight. Inch by Inch life is a cinch! I thought if what I’m doing helps our household then surely there are others out there this would help.

I learned how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. Yumm!! My grand-daughter says it’s better than any in the store. I make yogurt and cottage cheese in my crock pot. I do other things that have nothing to do with skills in the home also. I just waded through the medicare Forrest of horror. Whatever things I need to face, I just dig till I find an answer. Next thing I know they will be calling me Digg Dug!! We just joined a medication mail order group and I’m still questioning that. I feel a little singed around the edges.  I have some thoughts about politics. I have a list a mile long.

I’m going to lay out the welcome mat and just see who comes to my door and what kind of solutions we can provide. I hate to let experience go to waste.  Hope you will come so we can talk.

Hope to visit again soon.

Jan

Aside

What It’s All About….


Hi, This is Savvy Grammie.

I decided I wanted to blog. I’ve had so many experiences and I want to share with others in my ever enlarging community. The core of the blog will be about Health, Diabetes, Losing weight or maintaining it, Insurance, Medicine, Doctors, Cures, … the things that come up everyday as you try to preserve your health.

I’m a normal woman and as I am doing this blog, I’m living my life. Doing things with my family, 6 children and 9 grandchildren, and all the things that it entails. I’m a foodie but I’m also diabetic and trying to manage my health. I’ve lost 60 lbs in the last year and a quarter. I’m maintaining that at this time and looking forward to continuing the challenge as a lifestyle change not a diet. My husband and I both like to cook and not just cook. It’s an adventure and we are constantly trying something new. In fact, my oldest son and I just tried making sugar-free ice cream. We are on batch 3 and have plans for the 4th. Things are looking up. Comparing regular french vanilla ice cream with our ice cream, we reduced the carbohydrates by two-thirds! That’s huge! Jeff, my oldest son and I can not live without ice cream. The last batch was amazing and with just a few tweaks, I think we will have something that will allow us to reasonably indulge. When we get done we will share our recipe with all of you. you should have seen us. like a couple of foodie chemists! It’s pretty comical. I’m 5’2″ and he is 6’3″. We look like “mut and jeff”!

It’s called, “A Walk Down the Garden Path” because I love gardening. I know I will share some of that. We have a postage stamp size garden in the summer and it is amazing what we get from growing it and what we are able to do with the produce. I also love flowers of every kind.

I deal with Social Security and Medicare so we will talk about that. I’m sure I will learn from you and I can give you some tips from the things I’ve experienced. As we travel down the garden path together we can share and learn from each other. I am looking forward to it.

Please tell me what you are thinking. I know we will enjoy our visits. See you again soon.

Savvy Grammie,

Jan

Journey Along the Garden Path

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