Monday, August 27, 2007

Reflecting on "The Secret"


I've always been a firm believer in the whole "everything happens for a reason" way of thinking.  That what happens to us is meant to be and strategically planned out for us by God ahead of time. 

Now, I'm starting to wonder...

How much of our lives is truly in our own hands?  How much is actually within our control?  Are we simply destined to walk the path which is laid out before us with little or no say in the matter? 

Of course, there ARE things that happen to us that we have no control over..  Innocent children are abused for being children.  A careless individual negligently causes a devastating accident.  An illness or disease invades a body, no matter how diligently that person maintains a healthy lifestyle.  War rages on...

And yet, I do believe, wholeheartedly, that it is how we face our circumstances which defines who we are. 

Someone recently mentioned the book, "The Secret" to me.  It wasn't the first time I had been made aware of it, but I did, for the first time, look into it.  The idea behind "The Secret" greatly reflects what I am feeling now and how I so wish to continue living my life.

I'll share this piece of what I've read with you:

"The law of attraction (which is what the book itself is based on) means that everything that happens to you—good or bad—you attract to yourself.  It is as if you're placing an order. If you were at a restaurant and you ordered something, you fully expect it to come served that way. That's how the universe is. You're putting out orders—consciously and unconsciously. So if you say, 'I'll never have a great relationship,' or 'I'll never find happiness,' you just placed an order."

Most of what has been on my plate lately has been overcooked, chewy and downright unhealthy...

It's time to move on.


"When you wake up in the morning, try to see the big picture in your life.  Moments are what we have, and they should be treasured.  Lessons don't always come easy, but they open our eyes and with any luck put what is important, into perspective.  Chase the dream.  Know there's hope. Believe in miracles.  Even when "it" feels bad.  Life is oh so good."  

Thank you, Irene for sharing these words and for allowing me to share them!

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunshine On My Shoulders...

Two entries in one day is a rarity for me.

But this has been a rare day, so here I am once again...

It's a beautiful day here...  Very cool, but the sun has shined through for the most part and the chill in the air has an autumn feel to it that I kind of like, quite honestly.

The girls were out of town most of the day.  Their dad took them back to school shopping.  Mailee had never been to the Holyoke Mall in Massachusetts, so that's where he agreed to take them.  Unfortunately, the stores they visited mostly had clothes meant for a child my older daughter's age, and they didn't have a Limited Too, so she came home with just two shirts, one pair of jeans and jean capris.  Well, I say 'just' but that is more than she left with this morning.  And I can't forget the bathing suit she bought for her Build A Bear....  At least she didn't buy another bear.  Of course, their dad would willingly walk the circumference of the earth on a rainy day for both of them, so he's offered to take them BACK out tomorrow for another day of out-of-town shopping.

Yeah, he's not sooo bad.  ;o)

I enjoyed the day, quietly here, not so quietly there...  Went to lunch with my mom, which was a very nice treat.  I hadn't been out to eat at all since my face froze (::rolling eyes::), and I was so giddy with the aspect of having a meal prepared for me!  I had french onion soup, and I didn't even wear it home when I was through.  

We had a nice dinner with mom AND dad (another rarity) last evening... did I share that already?  After last night's dinner and fireside chat (yummy sa'mores) mom and I sifted through some of her yard sale items that have been hanging out in the garage for too long.  She had a partial chinaware set - absolutely beautiful - that she was willing to part with so that I might try to sell all or part of it on Ebay.  It's Royal Doulton China,  The Chatham Collection.  I've searched for it online, but haven't had any luck.  I figure, if someone has a partial set already and is trying to complete it... Well, it's a long shot, I know.  It's very pretty, so I wouldn't be broken up to keep it myself.  This is what it looks like, if you or anyone you know is interested:

It's really very unique...  Each "set" of plates, cups, bowls and saucers seem to have their own story to tell.  No design is exactly alike.  Very pretty.

I also found a set of stoneware plates, bowls, mugs and cups and saucers that I'm keeping all to myself!  I cleaned out a couple of my kitchen cupboards and made the quick change.  Still using Grammy's china, though...  I've been using it ever since I first unwrapped it from the attic when I moved out on my own in 1988.  More sentimental value than anything else that I own.

So it's been a busy day!  I enjoyed the online chat in the Journals Cafe' with a few others.  That was so much fun!  Would have been even nicer if more could have made it, but I was thrilled to see some familiar faces as well as meet a few new journaling friends.  ::wink::

The girls were swiftly whisked away by my friend Angela for the evening...  She begged and begged me to come, but I'm just not feeling up to it.  She and her girls went blueberry picking and are making blueberry pancakes for dinner...  I know, what the bleep is wrong with me?  I'm just too tired for visiting tonight. 

Holy crap...  (sorry Nancy! hehe)  My mom just emailed me a page from ebay that has my chinaware listed for  $2,400!!  I don't know much about chinaware, but that's a lot of money in my book!I don't have the whole set, but I hope someone who WANTS the whole set but doesn't have it yet will see my listing...  Good heavens!

Okay, I'm starting to ramble here...  Sorry folks.  I think I'll be visiting here more often as time goes on.  Finding a need for a better outlet in my life these days.  This is a place I feel comfortable, and a lot of emotion comes pouring out of me here at times, but it's all good.  Feeling is good.  Life ~ is good.

Hope you all enjoy a relaxing Sunday evening!


After The Storm

Last week's storm brought some devastation to many folks in neighboring towns...  These photos were taken yesterday afternoon along the road to my parents house.  Thankfully, they themselves were spared the worst of it, and no one was injured, which was a miracle in itself.  Many homes were destroyed, as well as the camper in one of the images below.  Hundreds of trees were snapped in half or completely uprooted, power lines covered the roads and many were or are still without power.  It was a pretty emotional drive, and sure does bring to mind what many have to endure in the wake of a major storm.  This, my friends, is minor compared to some...





I've spent the last few days trying to clear my head and be free from the demons that lurk there..  There are issues that weigh heavily on my heart that are simply not for these pages, but I am finding my way, sifting through the fog and following instinct and trusting that I will be led to a more peaceful existence.  Looking back, I see how silly my "From The Mirror" entry was, and if I am to be completely honest with myself, my physical appearance really has very little to do with how I perceive myself.  I know that there is just so much more for me...  More than I have been allowing in, which just continues to eat away at me day after day after long and drawn out day.

I know I'll feel better, once I am back to work and feeling productive and purpose driven once again.  The Bell's continues it's journey through me, but I AM feeling some changes, and those changes have given me hope.  Perhaps that in itself is the message....

Change, hope, renewal...  and faith. 

I know God will bring me through this and all things... And that makes my heart smile.

Thank you for listening and for sharing this journey with me.  Thank you for bringing me along on yours.

Wishing you warmth and beauty ~ this day and always.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Storm

Going out on a limb here again, and attempting to post something new...  Right around 7pm this evening, an unexpected storm blew through.  The winds were crazy and rain so heavy the lights flicked on and off throughout.  We even had a TORNADO warning, which is ALMOST unheard of here...

After the storm, sunset filled my livingroom with rays of gold through the open window and back door, and as night set slowly set in the sky became a vision of beauty to behold...  Probably my most treasured gifts from nature's hand:

I didn't even dare touch this image in editing...  I would've surely ruined it.

Just another reminder, at how beautiful life is, how beautiful WE are, and how many blessings can follow even the most treacherous of storms.

And thank you all... For your words of support and for your kindnesses.  For your friendships and for your hugs.  Seen and unseen, I truly do feel you all by my side.  It helps, more than you'll ever know.  ::smile::

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From The Mirror

Sometimes, it feels as though my face is melting...  This has physical ramifications of course...  The constant "pull" from my "good side", weighing heavily on my skin, neck and shoulders, causes an almost ceaseless ache in my neck and head.  It's certainly not unbearable..  I am fully aware at how much real pain I could be in, had it been a stroke or God forbid, even worse.  I take Tylenol nightly to help me sleep, and the lubricant that I was prescribed to help soothe and protect my restless eye in the night has enabled me to forego tapping it shut, which was more of a nuisance than anything else. 

I'm finding, as the days go by and I am becoming used to this change in my physical appearance, that it's becoming easier for me to do the every day things, such as eat, drink, speak and so forth.  This helps me to keep the focus on the hope, that slowly but surely, I will return to normal.  I cannot allow myself to think that I might not.

It's the emotional ramifications of such an ordeal that are lasting in my mind...  The thoughts that spring forth that have no business invading my space.  If I didn't already have self esteem issues (which I did ~ many...)  I most definitely have them now. 

Feeling ugly on the outside is very damaging on the inside.  I have never felt attractive physically, especially growing up a chubby, four-eyed, brace-faced kid.  I was always the one not picked to dance and never had more than one or two boyfriends.  I always loved from afar, knowing that if I made an attempt at it, I would be flat out rejected as always.  These thoughts and self doubts followed me, and while I am pretty happy with myself on the inside ~ I do know that I am a good person and on my better days a good mom to my beautiful girls and I pride myself on those things ~ I am an utter wreck on the inside... And this just doesn't help matters any.

It's just hard to go out, you know?  I might not look so completely dreadful, when I'm not talking or smiling, but that's just not me!  When I meet someone on the street, I always smile and say hello.  I am usually very outgoing and eager to chat with the lady behind the cash register, or the waiter who might candidly take our dinner order at Applebee's...  But now, as soon as I open my mouth, I am immediately reminded of how awful I look by my reflection in their eyes.  They smile, and try to be polite, but I can see and feel their thoughts washing over their faces, and I just want to go home and hide in my room until this is all over.

I feel unlovable.  Untouchable.  Unkissable.  Unreachable.


And then I sigh... That long, drawn out sigh, releasing those thoughts and doubts, and allow myself to look far beyond what I feel and what I see at this very moment.  My hopes for the future high and alive, and I vow not to let this bring me down. 

Thank you for allowing me to vent my aches and pains here today.  It is hard for me, to allow myself such a release.  I'm going to bury myself back in my newest read and fly away for a while. 

Wishing you all a peaceful day ~ free from worry, doubts and fears.



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Floral Touch

Good afternoon, everyone!  I hope you're all enjoying your Tuesday.  I had attempted to upload photos of my flowers earlier using SMILEBOX without success.  I really enjoy the program, and hope that eventually I will be able to figure out how to share the layouts I've created in my journal.  Till then, I will continue to use the AOL layout, which does allow for a bit of variety.

It's a beautiful day here..  The sun is bright, the sky blue and the breeze gentle and refreshing.  The last couple nights have really cooled down ~ low in the 50s ~ a sure sign that summer has once again flown by with the wind and that fall is just around the corner. 

We spent over an hour out in the yard last evening watching the continuing shower of meteors in the night sky.  The girls had never seen such a wonderous sight ~ so many streaks in short amount of time.  Mailee had never even seen a shooting star, so she was absolutely THRILLED, screeching with delight at each stream of fire across the star-filled sky.  She'd shout, "There's one!" and grab my arm with one hand while pointing with the other..  then snuggle up close to await the next, whispering, "I love you, mommy..."  in my ear.  It was one of the nicest things we've done this summer.

In close, I will share a not so great pic of our blanketed spot in the yard ~ much too dark, but I like the photo's reminder of how sometimes the most beautiful of things in life that seem so out of reach can truly be much closer than we realize, if we only choose to see.




Friday, August 10, 2007

Under My Skin..

Ahhh... To be strolling along the ocean shore right about NOW.....

So the last week and a half has been challenging at times.  Dealing with this Bell's Palsy crap on top of all the other stresses in my life that probably LEAD to the disorder to begin with (unless you ask my acupuncturist, who insists the WIND is the culprit!) just wasn't how I envisioned my summer coming to a close.  I won't get into sharing all the worries and the fears and the tears that overcame me in my weaker moments.  I'll move on with the latest news and choose to keep this particular outlook for as long as possible!

There is no change in the paralysis.  Although each day, I do feel something a little different and even that varies...  Whether it's my ability to relax my face when I am still, or eat without biting my lip off.  The "bum" side feels bruised in some areas, and I would almost contribute this to the acupuncture treatments (which I LOVE btw...), but won't due to the fact that my "good" side is fine minus the black eye (not uncommon or unwelcome, WHATEVER WORKS!!)  I am still unable to smile, blink or twitch even the slightest.  It's very frustrating at times, to stare into the mirror and put all possible concentration into making those muscles move... and nothing happens. 

TODAY, the change that I have felt is something I am told is a good thing.  I feel like bugs are crawling under my skin.  Yeah.  That's right.  Every few minutes it's as if a million little creepy crawlies are invading my otherwise unmoving face!  This, I was told, is a sign that things are moving around from going under the needles...  That it's doing its thing and helping in some way.  That's all I needed to know.  Bugs or no bugs ~ I wanna spit out my toothpaste like a normal person!  I'm also finding speech a little easier ~ a little less tiring perhaps.  Just getting used to it, I guess.

My Doctor also called me today, which was very encouraging because she basically said at my appt. last week that there's nothing really to do but wait and see.  She said that after we met, she had done some research of a past case she had a few years ago, where the woman used electrical stimulation of the nerves (::winking at Nance::) along with physical therapy of the facial muscles.  She is going to call and refer me to a specialist in Neurology at Dartmouth Hitchcock Memorial and hopefully squeeze me in as early as next week.  My insurance will cover this, unlike the acupuncture which I have had to borrow money to pay for.

Last night, I went to a get together with some friends from work.  It was EXACTLY what I needed right now.  Reassurances that I am okay, that I will continue to be okay and that I am cared for by so many.  We laughed and joked until my face hurt and then ate a lot and drank wine as we watched Catch and Release.  After having dreaded going back to work like this, I am actually looking very forward to it now.  I'm looking forward to the warmth and the love that I receive as I walk through those doors each day.  These kids know me.  I will use this as a learning tool...  Life throws curves sometimes.  Sometimes you hit, and sometimes you miss.  This is so minor, so manageable in comparison to the pain and struggles so many others deal with each day.  How dare I look to the stars and complain, when I am so incredibly blessed in so many countless and wonderful ways?

May your blessings be many and your troubles few...  Today and always.

(thank you Donna, for the tag!)


Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Story

As she runs wild and free into the open meadow, wildflowers dance and bloom with the rush of her movements...  She feels the wind...  Oh, the lure of the powerful wind...  Pulling her this way ~ urging her that way.  Her heart races with anticipation. Her hair, long and wild, whips at her face as she springs forth to the open water...  Breathless, she cries out as she falls to the surface...  Time and again, she has come to this place.  Her heart filled with sorrow... Thirsting for hope.  Time and again, her hopes lingered on, as she searched in vain the vacant, murky waters for her heart's one desire.

She is still.  Her dark eyes aching with the need to see what is never there.... What will never be there...  She claws at the glassy surface, shattering her reflection, anger rising within her as she once again accepts all that cannot be.

As tears burn her eyes shut tight, she rests her head against the soft, damp moss along the water's edge.  She feels the warmth of a setting sun, gentle and consoling on her skin.  She allows her hopes to remain, as her fingers dance upon the watery stage...

Opening her eyes and rising up to peer one last time into the shadowy depths of the water, a single tear drop glistens as it slides off her cheek into her reflection below. 

Her eyes... Do they deceive her?  She croutches low, searching... hoping... and finally believing as the water mirrors the truth she has so longed to see.

Peace washes over her as she gazes with wonder at this beautiful sight...  The miracle she has waited a thousand lifetimes for... 

And with her wings, she flies free...


(Thank you, to Nancy, for the beautiful gift... and to Donna, for creating it)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Cemeteries

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Cemeteries

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of, or in, a cemetery. Your local cemetery is good, but if you've been to, say, Paris, to see Jim Morrison's grave, or took some arty shots of an ornate headstone elsewhere, something like that works, too.

(side note:  I will be updating soon, but wanted to just take a moment to post my entry for today's shoot.  I'm also trying to catch up on all your wonderful words, as accessing journals has truly become a timely matter, with the recent DRAWL...  (NO, not mine, AOLs!  ;o) )

Meet the neighbors...  ::smile::   This picturesque dwelling place sits alongside the condominium complex where I live.  Many of the names are familiar to me, some more so than others.  While I won't say that it is my most favorite part of living where I do, I must admit that I never hesitate to allow my eyes to wander over it's beauty as I pass each day.

There is a small wooded area that shields the view of the cemetery from my front door, as well as a fence running alongside the boundaries.  When the girls were young, we spent a lot of time up in the woods there at that fence.  We built fairy houses out of twigs, leaves and rocks (or anything else we could find), and we even created our own "secret" spot for some memorable friends...  Purdy the Cockatiel, Pepper the Guinea Pig, and a poor, innocent newborn chickadee that fell from his nest prematurely. 

The girls seem to be too old for such games now.  We rarely go up there anymore.  But there were many memorable moments shared with our peaceful neighbors once upon a time.  Just ask the fairies...  ::smiling::

This is the entrance to the woods ~ our own little enchanted place:




Friday, August 3, 2007

Sincere Thanks and Appreciation

First and foremost, I wish to sincerely thank each and every one of you ~ known and unknown ~ who have visited, commented, emailed, thought of and prayed for me with regard to my previous post and unsettling news.  This whole thing really has thrown me for a loop, but it is certainly nothing to wrap my entire being around.  I'm trying to relax and rejoice in the fact that it isn't anything worse and will more likely than not, find it's way out of my system in due time.

My symptoms are fullfledged at this point.  I am unable to pronounce words properly, which really messes up and cancels out the job I was to start on Monday.  I can't very well assist a nonverbal child with his communication challenges when I have one of my own!  Eating and drinking are major chores ~ which may be a good thing by the time this blows over!  I may reach my weight loss goal yet!  I am taping my eye shut at night, and keeping it protected with my trusty pirate's patch.  It becomes very irritated at times and vision becomes blurry, but I use drops with is very soothing.  My hearing is hypersensitive...  a sudden drop of a spoon or a closed door is absolutely piercing!   I have a constant dull ache in my neck and cheek on the affected side, but NOTHING that is keeping me from going through my days with ease ~ and hopes for a speedy recovery are neverending. 

I have an appointment this afternoon to meet with an acupuncturist, which I've been hearing is very beneficial.  He was very excited when I told him what my ailment was!  Excited to treat me, he so kindly corrected himself, as he has helped many Bell's sufferers in the past.  I've always been intrigued by acupuncture...  Hopefully it will be a treat rather than a bother. 

My follow up appointment with my Doc is set for Monday, and we will obviously go from there.  There isn't much else to share, as this has been the primary focus of my life the last few days...  Amanda DID have a most wonderful time at camp, and is on her way to Soul Fest in Gilford as we speak, with the same group of friends and youth leaders.  Mailee and I will be spending the day together and will visit my mom later this evening for dinner.  My whole family is surrounding me with love and care and concern...  The most wonderful gifts a person could ever be given. 

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, for all your support and well wishes!!