My favorite love story & I sure hope I get some chocolate for Valentine’s Day

love biblet

Valentine’s Day is just right around the corner.  Do you have plans?  I know lots of people celebrate their love this time of the year. I think that’s great.  However, showing your love for someone should be all about how you live every day.  Because you never know when the other person may be gone.  Which brings me to one of my most favorite love stories of all.  The one about my Mama & Daddy.  I will try my best to not let this be drawn out.  I will also ask your patience as I squall like a baby the whole time I am telling this.

As most of you know, my mother passed away in 2002 from complications of Multiple Sclerosis.  Leading up to that, I have to tell you, she was so sick.  My Daddy had some choices to make.  He could either stay around & try to take care of her the best he could or he could tuck tail & run as fast as he could.  Well, he hung around.

Up until her sickness, they had been that couple.  You know the ones.  The ones that had it all together.  The ones that people went to for help.  The ones that were always there to support others.  The ones that loved everybody.  They were “the preacher & his wife”.  Don’t get me wrong.  Just like any couple, they had their problems.  But in the end, they were right there for each other.

My Daddy got the job as caregiver far too early.  When Mama was hurting & sick & tired of it all & she would call him to her bedside to pray for her, she would say,

“Just pray.  Pray for me to go.”  Well, good grief.  Most people would have fell apart right there at such a request.

My Daddy has always been the positive one.  He would say,

“You shouldn’t say that.  Just think of all the treasures you are laying up in heaven.”

Confused at where he was going with this, she replied,

“What in the world are you talking about?”

“Well, “ Daddy explained. “you being sick, has been a blessing to others.  Just look at all the good deeds people have done because of you.  Our friends & family are here all the time, bringing food, paying visits, calling to see if you need anything.  You are helping people to store up treasures in heaven.”

With that, she said, “Then store you up some treasures in heaven & go get me a bowl of ice cream.”

Daddy would get her ready for church, pick her up, put her in the van, & push her in sitting in a wheelchair.  Some Sundays when Daddy finally made it to church with Mama, he would be exhausted.  But he never complained.  He worked 3 jobs so that he could make enough to pay for Mama’s medical expenses.

He got up every morning & made her breakfast before he set out on his 1st job.  Not something frozen, warmed up.  Homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, sawmill gravy, bacon, country ham, or sausage & fresh brewed coffee.

BREAKFAST

Daddy learned, from Mama, how to make the best biscuits in the world.  He would be in the kitchen hollerin’ how much of what needed to go in the bowl. And she would be telling him, from the bedroom, how to make a well out of the flour & put the liquid ingredients in the middle of the bowl.  That’s how my Daddy learned how to make the buttermilk biscuits, I would put them up against any granny’s out there.  They. Are. That. Good.

how-to-make-homemade-biscuits-7When she finally had to go in the nursing home, he went to see her EVERY day.  She had fresh flowers in her room, from him, at all times.  On Daddy’s request, the manager at the local Hardee’s would make sure Mama had a smoked sausage & biscuit, day or night.  If anything was wrong or amiss, it was my Daddy’s name my Mama was calling.  When you ask Daddy how he did it all, he will kindly tell you he didn’t have to do it.  He got to do it.  Mama & Daddy loved each other before she got sick.  But their real love story came after she got sick.  That’s when the rubber met the road, so to speak.  When the cream rose to the top.  That’s when it really counted.  It was a true, Godly love they had.

man

The one God said was between a man & woman.

My Daddy stepped up, out of love & honor, for my Mama.  And she let him.  That’s my favorite love story.

Lord have mercy, I am an emotional wreck after all that.  But it’s ok.  I wanted to share it with you all.  Now that I’ve bawled my eyes out, I should feel better.  I hope you have a beautiful Valentine’s Day.  One with chocolate & the like.  I should be getting some chocolate.  When I say should be, I mean hope someone gets me some because, if I don’t receive any, I will be purchasing some.  Just for the comradery of it all.  Here’s wishing you chocolate kisses & Russell Stover heart shaped candy boxes filled with chocolates this Valentine’s Day.  Until I get my own Valentine’s candy, I will be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: http://www.mydiaryyourstory.blogspot.com,www.raleigh.corpcaterers.com, http://www.diyready.com

 

Advertisements

Reba sings & the storms of life

reba

I was driving along in my car, listening to my radio.  A song by Reba McEntire came on.  The longer I listened to it, the more I liked the message.  It just spoke to me.  You know things just do that sometime.  You can read about how sometimes cooking shows speak to me here.  Anywhoo, this song was called “Walk on”.  Here are some of the lyrics:

Oh ain’t life wonderful

When everything is right

But sometimes wonderful

Can fall apart sometimes

When your troubles knock you down

Pick yourself up off the ground

And walk on, walk on

Nothing ever stays wrong that long

Walk on

Oh don’t, don’t just stand there in the storm

Walk toward the light till you find the sun

You’ll be better off in the long run

And walk on…..

Have you ever been in a storm in your life?  Mama always told me this about life,

“Life is a battle.  You are goin’ into one, in the middle of one, or comin’ out of one.  If things are good right this minute, get ready because something’s bound to happen.”

I know she was relating to this verse.

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Many times problems come our way, that are just out of our control. We have to go through a storm that we never created. We need to realize, like the song says, “Nothing ever stays wrong that long.” Oh, I mean, you can have a bad day, week, month, or year, but it all go away at some point. I have learned I am going to have problems. It’s all in how I handle them. How I act. How I treat others, that will make me grow in a positive direction.

storm

Something else the song mentions is “don’t just stand there in the storm.” When troubles come our way, we have got to keep moving toward the positive. Finally, we will reach the other side. That’s where we will get some rest & be able to better help someone else through a trial. Ain’t that all it’s about? Serving others & being a light- even when your light may get dim. We have to keep going, so that we can continue to live for the Lord. Jesus will always be our security & He will always be there for us.

Psalm 9:9

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble. (NKJV)

What is your struggle today? Whatever it is, please don’t let it get you down. Keep on moving through the hard time. Before you know it, you will be on the other side of it, with a brand spankin’ new perspective.   Pray for the ones who are having a hard time. There are a couple of people, that I will never get over passing away.  I miss them everyday.   So, take time out to remember in prayer, those who miss their loved ones.  And a totally random note about Reba- when Miss Neenee was about 4 years old we would watch the t.v. show “Reba”. reba cast

One day, Miss Neenee yelled from the living room,

“Mama come here!” 

With a tone of urgency in her voice I went quickly.  When I got there, she was watching a video of Reba McEntire.  She said in her most surprised southern voice,

“Mama, Reaba sangs!” 

Funny, it never occurred to me she knew Reba as an actress & not a singer.

Thank you for stopping by to visit with me today.  I have enjoyed having you here.  As for me, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: pinterest, http://www.hollywoodallstarz.blogspot.com,www.famousbase.com,www.fanpop.com

 

 

The best gift you can give to your kids & how it’s never too late

Santa & Neely

When I think of Christmas, I think of kids.  I don’t know about you, but Christmas was always a special time at our house.  Homemade cookies, candy, parties, toys, & family were the best memories I have.  As a child growing up, I always had the security of a good family.  I never knew what it was like to go to bed hungry or not know I was loved beyond belief.  I was very blessed.  It humbles me to know what a wonderful childhood I had.  It could have very easily been another way.  You don’t pick who you are born to.  Thankfully, I was born to two precious people, who had a way with a feisty little girl.

snowment

At this time of year, I get to thinking about what would be the best presents, for my kids, at Christmas. What special memory can I give them about this time of year?  I came across this article & wanted to share it with you.  It is the best gift you can possibly give your children all year long.

We should conduct our homes so that children will remember:

  • Daddy & Mama were kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32).
  • Home was a happy place, governed by the law of love (Psalm 119:165).
  • Each child was treated fairly and required to obey his or her parents (Ephesians 6:1-4).
  • Sunday was a day of worship (Acts 20:7).
  • The Bible, God’s law, settled everything (Psalm 33:4).
  • Home was a place where friendships were dear, but truth was dearer (Proverbs 18:24, 23:23).
  • Although mama & daddy worked hard, they took time to read the Bible daily & pray (Hebrews 10:22).

There is still time for many of us to create good memories for our children & grandchildren.  One of the best things I remember growing up, was how special church was to my family.  At the church we went to, my Daddy was the preacher, my Mama a Sunday School teacher, my Papaw a song leader, who they also called on to pray & serve the Lord’s table, my Mamaw cooked for those in need, was at every service (with the rest of us), & loved our church family dearly.  I had aunts, uncles, & cousins that were also serving the congregation.  It’s funny, I never really thought of this being one of my Daddy’s jobs.  It was just my life & I have been so blessed to have lived it.  Me & my brother did have some requirements.  (Some of which were perhaps a smidge challenging to an active/high spirited/could not keep her mouth shut/curious type child).

We were to be attentive. 

We were to be dressed properly (hair combed, teeth brushed, & in our Sunday best). 

We were to be cordial & kind to others. 

And never, ever, ever were we allowed to go to the bathroom close to the end of Daddy’s sermon. 

Doing this would possibly create a need to walk back to our seat while the invitation song was being sung.  That was Daddy’s moment to help those that needed prayer, baptizing, or other spiritual assistance.  My Mama was not going to interfere with one of her kids walking up through there, appearing to come forward. (We sat on the front bench.)  So, she made sure we went to the restroom & got a brief drink from the water fountain in between Sunday School & Worship Service.  I haven’t had to have therapy or counseling due to this, so I’m sure it was just an inconvenience we lived through.  As a matter of fact, it taught us to watch what was going on & be aware of other people’s feelings.  Not just a great memory, but good upbringing.  Sometimes at church, I see kids & adults walking around during the invitation song.  I’m like, “Wow, my Mama would have never had that.”

We may not have had the very best of everything life had to offer.  But we had a stable, loving family.    That’s what I strive to provide for my own kids & grandkids.  Is it perfect?  No, but they know they are loved & we are here to support them in all the ups & downs of life.  That’s more memorable than any Ipad, Dr. Dre’s Beats, or 4 wheeler.***

 

I do hope you were raised with wonderful memories at Christmas.  If not, it’s not too late to be the person who makes special memories for others.  Children are a blessing from God.  We should always treat them as such.  That means not letting them by with everything in the book, teaching them to be respectful, & honest.  However, that starts with us, first.  My prayer today is that you will have the courage & braveness of heart to do right & good.  Not just for others sake, but for your own, as well. I know of some adults, who as children, did not have a regal upbringing.  However, now their parents have come around & taken care of their own problems.  They have become wonderful grandparents & not to mention a great support to their kids.  It’s never too late.

Wall Paper by Thomas Kinkade

 

I hope you are having a wonderful & magical holiday season.  We are ramping up for a big couple of days at our house.  There will be family visiting, kids squealing in delight, & we will be cooking.  A lot.  It goes without saying, my usual New Year’s resolution of losing weight will be on my list.  As for now, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

Mr. Sweetie Pants having his cake batter & banana, too- in his undies, nonetheless.

Mr. Sweetie Pants having his cake batter & banana, too- in his undies, no less.  That’s how we roll.

 

photo credits: pinterest, Thomas Kincaid collection, & my trusty Iphone

Parts of this was taken from a House to House, Heart to Heart bulletin.

***On a side note, I am not trying to be disrespectful to those who buy expensive gifts for their kids.  I am just saying all those things can break, be stolen, or wear out.  The things you instill in your kids can never be taken away from them.  Just a thought.

 

How I had my faith strengthened & it’s ok to pick up your dirty socks

faith

You know, I never get tired of having my faith strengthened. God is such a working God.  He is on time, every time.  This past week, a sweet friend shared with me a beautiful story of God being hard at work in her life.

A friend of mine has been going through some trials. She has had her fair share of ups & downs here of late.  Sometimes, during the week, we may just get a minute to share what we have going on.  At times, it’s just a shaking of our heads in passing, saying- “Pray for me.”  And we do.  That’s why when she sent me a quick message, this week, I knew our prayers were being heard.  My friend’s mother has been in poor health.  She is older & is having quite a time.  My friend & her sister have been wearing themselves to a frazzle trying to take care of her.  Her doctor had discussed with my friend & her family about moving her to an assisted living center.  Of course, there goes more sleepless nights for my friend.  She knew in her head this was what was best for her mama.  But her heart kept tugging at her to keep her at home. When the day finally came to talk to her mama about staying in an assisted living home, her mama was just fine with it.  The doctor talked to her mama & explained to her this was what she needed right now.  She was all in.  No kicking, screaming, spittin’, cussin’ or anything, from my friend or her mama.  My friend was so thankful to the Lord & relieved.  She knew it was the prayers of hers & her family & friends that made it all work out.

faith I

Change is hard. Sickness & getting older is hard.  There comes a time that we have to make decisions we don’t want to.  We have responsibilities to others.  And sometimes those hard decisions may have to do with our parents.  I know for me, when my mama got so sick, it was awful.  It was especially heartbreaking to have to move her to a place with 24 hour nurse care.   Nobody wants to have to move a loved one from their own home, to somewhere strange & unknown- even for their own good.  But with a lot of prayer, we did what we had to do.  We put our heart to the side & went with what our head told us to do.  Our main goal was to take care of her needs.  That’s what I told my friend, the last time we talked about her sweet mama.  “Remember, this is something to work out in your head, not your heart.”  She did the right thing.  She asked the Lord for help.  I think sometimes we don’t receive because we don’t ask.

Sadly very true....

Sadly very true….

James 1:6 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Just like anything, our asking has conditions. We must ask for things that are Godly & for the glory of the Lord.  Not for our own selfish benefit.

James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

I think it was wonderful that my friend took all of this to our Lord. He was the One that made the difference.  We must rely on God’s divine will.  Not ours.

I am so glad you stopped by to visit with me today. Have I told you lately that I’m happy you are here?  I appreciate the time you give to coming by this little blog.  I also wanted to take this time to apologize to the cable man that came to fix our internet this week.  I am sorry you had to see my husband’s dirty socks on my bedroom floor.  I had fully intended on being home to pick them up before you got there.  Don’t worry.  I gave him a good scolding.  Since he was the one that let you back there anyway.  Trust me.  I know the talking to I gave him did a lot of good.  Because his dirty socks, he took off last night, were perhaps in the exact same area this morning.  I do love that man.  Even though he is a non-dirty sock picker upper.    I hope everyone has a blessed weekend.  As for me, I will be doing a little sewing for my granddaughter.  She’s got to have some new things for fall & Christmas.  I will share some of it with you, soon.  Until then, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

 

Oh & p.s. Happy 3rd birthday today to Mr. Sweetie Pants!!

KADE SUNGLASSES

 

 

 

photo credits: http://www.abetterdream.com, http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com

World MS Day – May 28, 2014

world ms day

Yesterday was World MS Day- so I pretty much messed that up.  Because I am telling you about it today.  A day late.  Oh well, such as my life.

As many of you may be aware, MS is a disease that took my family by surprise, about 30 years ago.  In the mid 80s, my Mama started having all kinds of crazy things happen to her.  She was losing feeling in her legs & hands.  Her memory was failing her.  She had chronic UTIs.  She was having back problems & other assortments of painful ailments.  And she was only in her early 40s!  After many doctor visits, much worry, lots of praying, & a plethora of medical tests that we had never heard of in our lives, Mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Thus, began her journey & ours with her, as the long road home.  It was not pretty, convenient, or anything that she ever imagined doing.  However, we learned, out of all the things in life you can really do something about, sometimes, your health is not one of them.  We learned we loved her & each other more than we could ever know.  We stuck together & supported one another.  My Mama, Daddy, brother, grandmother, & I had people come out of the woodwork to help us.  People that were right there with us, until she passed away May 24, 2002.  For that, we will be forever grateful.  You just can’t handle all of this by yourself, ya know?  It was a humbling, painful, heart wrenching, exhausting, loving, heartbreaking, beautiful something you never want even your worst enemy to go through kind of experience.  And I did not know the World MS Day of recognition- for all these wonderful people was yesterday.  Serves me right.  I am just awesome like that.  Anyway, I got on the website, which you can go to here.

I did give my One Wish.ms day i

 

 

 

Maybe you might go over there & honor these folks, too.  May I just say may God bless the people with this disease & their care givers.  I love all y’all.

Thank you for taking time to stop by today.  I am always glad to see you!  I hope you have a good rest of the holiday week (this is Friday, right?) No wait.  I’m not sure.  I have to be going now, I will be much better off washing clothes!

How to make it in a hard time

Bible-Verses-On-Faith-Romans-4-20-22-Waterfall-Landscape-HD-Christian-Wallpaper

Sometimes when I have a problem, I let it take me over.  It’s all I think about.  I just can’t get it off my mind.  I want to talk about it, whine about it, be a bit dramatic about it, contemplate “why me”, &  so forth & so on.  I walk around with a cloud over my head, tensed up, perhaps not very friendly, & then inside the pit of my stomach, it starts to burn.  I begin to feel bad all over.  I get to thinking nobody has had this bad of a situation EVER! Then, I hear a voice in the back of my head, (which is my mama, God rest her soul).  She always would tell me,

“Get ahold of yourself.” 

Now, what does that mean, you may ask?  Well, my sweet southern mama had her fair share of problems.  At what most of us call mid-life, she found out she had Multiple Sclerosis.  For years, she fought this disease with such grace.  She never relented or let on that she had given in to what life had set before her.  She “got ahold” of herself & the life changing event & did not let it overtake her, as a person.  It’s so funny.  We respected her & loved her so much, that even being bedfast, she still told us all what to do.  And we did it, because even though her body was weak, the fire the Lord put down in her was not.  She showed us that even though you are right in the middle of a bad situation, it does not have to take ahold of you.  Morals & character surface when troubles make themselves present.  Let me tell you, my mama had strong Christian convictions & proved to us that living it was the only way to survive.  She never held a pity party for long.  She encouraged us to follow suit.  No matter how out of sorts things got, with the MS, she showed us the Lord had a plan.  She strongly believed He was the healer.  She did what the doctors said, but in the end, she showed us God has the last say.  The message was when you live for the Lord, no problem you have is too big for Him.  There is nothing that you & Him can’t handle.  No matter what happens it’s for the greater good.  We may not see it right then.  However, it’s God’s time, not ours.

There were some people in the Bible that thought they had problems.  One that comes right to mind is Peter.

Peter denied Christ. 

Jesus told him by the time the rooster crowed, he would deny Him three times.  (Matthew 26:34) Peter thought that was crazy talk.  Until it happened.  Historically, it is said, the 3rd time Peter denied Jesus, Peter looked across the way & locked eyes with the Lord.  If that is true, can you imagine what a rush of shame must have come over him?  After that he went out & wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:75)  Not just a silent, tearful, moment, but bawlin’ his eyes out.   Don’t you reckon Peter thought he had created himself a big problem?  Poor Peter, I’m glad the story did not end there.  Peter got through that awful experience & went on to serve the Lord with great eagerness.  He did not let a tragedy paralyze him in the work Jesus needed him to do.  He repented, “got ahold of himself” & went on.   Thank goodness there is life after problems.

When Mama was sick, we thought we had problems.  Big, huge, frightening problems that we did not know how to handle.  But you know what happened?  Every time we turned around, there was someone there willing to help.  Sometimes it was someone sharing their story to let us know they had also been through a similar trial, so we would not feel like we were in this by ourselves.  Sometimes it was a homemade cake or meal cooked.  Sometimes it was a wonderful helper to relieve us & sit with Mama while we tended to other things.  Sometimes it was a friend with a listening ear.  In the whole ordeal with her, I never remember feeling like we were alone.  It gave us a greater thankfulness & faith in humanity & how God works through people.  It strengthened our faith in the Lord, as well.  Would we have learned & appreciated all of this, had we not been through this experience?  I’m going to say probably not.  Was it a wonderful & beautiful thing?  Well, if you would have asked me that back in the middle of all of it, I would have absolutely said no.  Now, though, I see so many blessings that came out of it, I just can’t keep it to myself!  In this storm of life that came our way, I want everyone to know how good God was to us.

Today, I hope you know if you are struggling with a problem, you are not alone.  I am here to tell you everybody on the face of this Earth has a struggle.  If someone says they don’t, don’t you believe them!  We are here to help each other.  If you stretch out your hand to help someone, you will be blessed for it, as well.  Sometimes it can be hard to admit we have things in our lives that are not so great.  However, when we open up, we find a whole lot of support from people, that we never would have imagined.  As Christians, we are not told we won’t have problems.  We are just given the tools to know how to handle them.  What can you do to help someone?  Start by smiling at someone today.  That may just be all it takes to melt their heart & make their day more bearable.

I have so enjoyed you stopping by today.  I hope you are getting that menu ready for your Thanksgiving dinner.  We will be hosting another breakfast & dinner at our house, for our family & friends.  There are 13 of us now (that just includes my husband, kids & their families)   I just can’t put that off on somebody else to try & feed us!  My brother & his family will be coming from a faraway land, 200 miles south of us, as well.  Miss Neenee has only asked 241 times when her cousins will be getting here.  I hope each & every one of you have a happy & healthy Thanksgiving holiday.  As for me, I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.

 

Introducing a new resource for Multiple Sclerosis-Healthline

Healthy Life

Not everyone is blessed with good health.

There, saying that, I will say, at this moment, I am very fortunate to have good health.  However, my mother was not so lucky.  Somewhere around the age of 43, my Mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  When she found out, it was like a closet was open & all of this stuff came tumbling out.  The variety of sicknesses she had throughout the past 20 years, finally made sense.  She had bouts with chronic kidney infections, back problems, fatigue, tingling sensations, & weakness.  Sometimes these things would put her in the hospital.  Once she was diagnosed, it’s like a light went off.  That’s what all those things were, over the years….. MS.  Sadly, back in the 70s & 80s, there was not a lot known about MS.  The day the neurologist told her she had MS, is seared in my mind.  I was 15 years old & in the waiting room, with my grandmother, when Mama & Daddy came out the door of the doctor’s office.  She was crying, which she did not normally do in front of people.  Daddy was helping her along, because she was having an episode of this stuff & could not walk very well.  She had some pamphlets & said the doctor told her she had MS.  Good Lord, we didn’t know what that was or how to find out what it was.  We had a medical book of sorts, that had symptoms in the front & diseases in the back.  She found a short one page explanation about Multiple Sclerosis in it.  Other than things in newspapers & magazines, that was all the information we had (and there wasn’t a whole lot of that.)  Remember, this was long before the internet.

Thank the Lord for people like Maggie & her bunch at Healthline.  Healthline is a wonderful resource to check symptoms, find information about specific illnesses, and share with others your journey of afflictions.  This has a team of REAL doctors that “reviews every original article that contains medical information for accuracy, appropriateness of medical language, and proper characterization of the findings. An editor then edits the article for style, flow, punctuation, and readability. Finally, the story moves from editing to publishing, where it is converted to HTML and published to the site.”  If I have a question, in the middle of the night, when I can’t talk to my doctor, this is the kind of place I would like to be.  Healthline has a lot of different resources to offer folks.  The website is not just for sicknesses, but also how to stay well.  Most importantly, it has a wonderful section covering Multiple Sclerosis.  My Mama lived 15 years, after she was diagnosed.  I would have loved to have had access to this, when she was living.  However, it is a terrific tool for us to use now.  Early detection of Multiple Sclerosis is a great thing.  It gives you so many more opportunities for treatment.  Maggie contacted me & asked if I would be interested in adding Healthline as a resource on my blog.  “Well, thank you, Maggie, I would be tickled to death.” I am going to put a link to this website to my side bar.  That way, if you forget what the name of the awesome website is, you can always come to visit my blog & find it on my page.

I appreciate you stopping by today to hear about this newfound resource of mine.  I believe we should take care of each other.  If we can’t do that what good are we?? Jesus said Love thy neighbor as thyself (Mark 12:31) & I love ya’ll!  That’s why I could not wait to pass this on to you.  Hope you are having a good day.  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

National Multiple Sclerosis Day – It’s today!

National MS Day

I had no idea there was an actual Multiple Sclerosis Day! I have the deepest respect for those who have MS.   My Mama had MS, so I am a first hand cheerleader for anyone with this disease.  I know MS normally shows up in people in their 20s & 30s. I did read a story about a girl who found out she had MS at the age of 19. She is such a brave person.  Please take time to read her story of courage & hope here.

So thankful for the people who have come up with this idea to honor these precious folks with MS.  I am so glad you came by to visit with me today. I have to be going now because I should be washing clothes.

MS connect

 

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness week March 11-17

ms monthMarch is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month.  March 11-17th is MS Awareness week.  My Mama had MS & died at the age of 55.  There have been many developments & break-throughs with MS, since she was diagnosed.  Here are some questions & answers, that you may find interesting,  about MS:

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord). It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. This means the immune system incorrectly attacks the person’s healthy tissue.

MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may be permanent or may come and go.

Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it. MS is not considered a fatal disease as the vast majority of people with it live a normal life-span. But they may struggle to live as productively as they desire, often facing increasing limitations.

Who gets MS?

Anyone may develop MS but there are some patterns. More than twice as many women as men have MS. Studies suggest that genetic factors make certain individuals more susceptible than others, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited. MS occurs in most ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics/Latinos, but is more common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry.

How many people have MS?

More than 2.1 million people are affected by MS worldwide. Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not require U.S. physicians to report new cases, and because symptoms can be completely invisible, the prevalence of MS in the U.S. can only be estimated. The Society continues to advocate for the establishment of a national registry that will track the number of people living with MS and has made a commitment to re-evaluate the current prevalence estimate and investigate the process by which an updated estimate can be identified.

What are the typical symptoms of MS?

Symptoms of MS are unpredictable, vary from person to person, and from time to time in the same person. For example: One person may experience abnormal fatigue and episodes of numbness and tingling. Another could have loss of balance and muscle coordination making walking difficult. Still another could have slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, and bladder problems.

Sometimes major symptoms disappear completely, and the person regains lost functions. In severe MS, people have symptoms on a permanent basis including partial or complete paralysis, and difficulties with vision, cognition, speech, and elimination.

What causes the symptoms?

MS symptoms result when an immune-system attack affects myelin, the protective insulation surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Myelin is destroyed and replaced by scars of hardened “sclerotic” tissue. Some underlying nerve fibers are permanently severed. The damage appears in multiple places within the central nervous system.

Myelin is often compared to insulating material around an electrical wire; loss of myelin interferes with the transmission of nerve signals.

Is MS fatal?

In rare cases MS is so malignantly progressive it is terminal, but most people with MS have a normal or near-normal life expectancy. Severe MS can shorten life.

Does MS always cause paralysis?

No. Moreover, the majority of people with MS do not become severely disabled. Two-thirds of people who have MS remain able to walk, though many will need an aid, such as a cane or crutches, and some will use a scooter or wheelchair because of fatigue, weakness, balance problems, or to assist with conserving energy.

Is MS contagious or inherited?

No. MS is not contagious and is not directly inherited. Studies do indicate that genetic factors may make certain individuals susceptible to the disease.

Can MS be cured?

Not yet. There are now FDA-approved medications that have been shown to “modify” or slow down the underlying course of MS. In addition, many therapeutic and technological advances are helping people manage symptoms. Advances in treating and understanding MS are made every year, and progress in research to find a cure is very encouraging.

What medications and treatments are available?

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends that a person consider treatment with one of the FDA-approved “disease-modifying” drugs as soon as possible following a definite diagnosis of MS with active or relapsing disease. These drugs help to lessen the frequency and severity of MS attacks, reduce the accumulation of lesions (areas of damage) in the brain, and may slow the progression of disability.

In addition to drugs that address the basic disease, there are many therapies for MS symptoms such as spasticity, pain, bladder problems, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, weakness, and cognitive problems. People should consult a knowledgeable physician to develop a comprehensive approach to managing their MS

Why is MS so difficult to diagnose?

In early MS, symptoms that might indicate any number of possible disorders come and go. Some people have symptoms that are very difficult for physicians to interpret, and these people must “wait and see.” While no single laboratory test is yet available to prove or rule out MS, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a great help in reaching a definitive diagnosis.

Read more on diagnosing MS at www.nationalmssociety.org

miss my mom

 

Confessions of a Math despising mama

In light of Notre Dame’s linebacker Manti Te’o that got duped & the Lance Armstrong thingy, I have something I would like to come clean about, myself. This has to do with my youngest daughter. It’s something I have been trying to avoid, sweep under the rug, just kind ignore it & hope it goes away. However, I really don’t think it is. So, I thought now would be a good time to just come out & let everybody know. She likes math. There, I said it. I am feeling some sense of relief, but maybe should tell you that I really think she LOVES math. Which now, all of this is just leavin’ a bitter taste in my mouth.

I know ya’ll are thinking, what is the big ol’ deal with that? Really? Well, let me just explain a few things to you. I do not like math. I actually refuse, as an adult, to do simple addition & subtraction in my head. Mostly subtraction, but it’s just because it doesn’t make sense to me or come easy. You see, I was tramatized by math at an early age. Back in 3rd grade we had this awful thing we had to learn, called times tables. Does anyone here know what multiplication did to me?? The good intentioned teacher would pass out these tests, with a bunch of multiplication problems on them. Then, we were timed. (Much the same way, Miss Neenee is this year, in which she has LOVED.) Only, I would work a few problems, then just start bawlin’ my eyes out. I did not have these things memorized. They did not make a bit of sense to me. Why did my math world have to change? I was perfectly content with addition. Now, this junk? My teacher would ask me if I needed to go to the bathroom. And of course I did. It pretty much went that way every day, until times tables were over.

So, when Miss Neenee came home all excited about the multiplication speed tests, I was like, “Whoa, there, missy, you just hold on. Multiplication is hard, I mean crying everyday hard. You just don’t worry about this. We will take care of it. Mama will study with you & you will learn these ol’ dumb math facts….” In which she interupts me in mid- “blessing her heart it’s going to be alright talk”, to say, “It’s not hard.” Then proceeds to whip out a timed multiplication sheet, that she had made a 100 on. I just stood there speechless. My precious little girl, in which we have all things common, is going to like math. I did what any good mama would do. I cried a little to myself, just thinking, this is not going to last. She’s just like me. I hate math, she will hate math…. just give it some time. It will tear her apart, as it did me. Then, I would make sure no one knew about it, because heck, I did not want to embarrass my child, by everyone knowing she was no good at math. Why, she’s my baby. I think she’s great at everything. This will all pass & I will be there for her- dialing up a math tutor, just in time, to get her on the right path. She will be like me, loving to write, tell stories, you know things you love English for. Only, that’s not happening. And I did not want to admit it to myself. But I think it’s time.

I think about her family & don’t know why this has not dawned on me. My Daddy – for double digit years was a cost accountant (who must love math). My Mama worked in finance (evidently dealing with math, a lot). My father in law & mother in law, her grandparents, owned businesses all their lives(somebody was doing math). My mother in law was especially smart when it came to numbers(thus another reason she was awesome). My older girls, both understand & enjoy math(is this genetic?). Just this week, looking through her weekly sent home papers, I don’t think this is going away anytime soon. (She had a 96 & 99 in there, on Math).

Proof that loving math is real- unlike Manti Te'o's girlfriend

Proof that loving math is real- unlike Manti Te’o’s girlfriend

More real math love

More real math love

Why I did not see this coming, I don’t know. But here it is & there’s nothing I can do about it. I am just sorry you had to hear it this way. If you see me out at the store, or church, please don’t mention this to me. Because I am still having a bit of pain, upsetness, trying to digest & understand what’s going on here, with it.

So, with all of that, I guess I need to say thank you to her teacher, this year for making Math so fun. (Where were you when I was in 3rd grade???) Thank you to my family for passing this (mutant) math gene along to my daughter (in which I missed out on). Hopefully, her world will make far more sense to her, since she is not mathmatically challenged as her mother. And, too, I forgive you, Miss Neenee, for loving the math that I hate.  It’s alright.  I will get through this.

Oh, and one more thing, those Math Awards, that she’s been getting for the past few years, well, I guess I owe them an apology, too. I am sorry for not acknowledging you all sooner. It takes a lot for me to admit me & my sweet Miss Neenee might have one teeny weeny thing not in common. Which is ok. Maybe. I don’t know. I will get back with you on that one. Furthermore, I guess my life could be worse. She could like bananas. I hate bananas. They feel so squishy & nasty in my mouth. Oh wait. She does like bananas…..You know what, I am going to be going now because I should be washing clothes.