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What Do Garden Gnomes and Nell Have in Common?

You may know that we were “adopted” by our neighbors, and their daughter calls us Grand Neighbor. My husband and I have fun with this.

Last year she (for this I’ll call her Nell) noticed a garden gnome door I had made and asked about it. Nell wondered how we got it and how she could get one. Well we told her that gnomes are shy around people, but we’d talk with our gnomes and see what happens.

Nats gnome doorSo, of course for her birthday (in December) a gnome door appeared in their yard. Mom video taped Nell’s reaction so we could see. Grand Neighborette told Daddy that they had to show Grand Neighbors!! Yes, we’ve been having fun.

Shortly after the gnomes “arrived” it happened that someone threw trash out a car window – a pizza box. We told her that the gnomes must have had a fun house warming party.

Now it’s Summer (well according to the calendar), Nell and Mommy have been doing yard work and clearing some of the foliage around the gnome door. She put out chairs and a Welcome sign. She also sent a note saying she was glad to have a garden for them and explained what she planned for the garden. And added “Love you Gnomes.”

Of course the gnomes HAD to write back. Blue Jay and Bearfoot thanked her for the chairs and the sign and told her she’s doing a fine job.

Today’s note? Nell wants to know other gnome names (presuming Grand Neighbor’s gnomes – those will be Periwinkle and Buckhorn), wants a playdate, said it’s OK for her gnomes to add things. (Bearfoot is thinking about a picnic table…). Then added “PS please don’t leave your trash outside.” Hmm, it seems those young gnomes have to clean up their act! Oh and I understand that there’s another note, she wants the little mesh bag and ribbon (used to tie the note) returned.

It seems that Bearfoot also has to find a mailbox. Hmm, maybe Blue Jay can do that one.

Now about that play date thing. I’ll have to remind Nell that gnomes (being very shy) are night creatures and that when they’re around people at any time they “freeze” in to statues. Being a statue makes it very hard to play. Oh, have to tell her that sometimes gnomes travel to help wild creatures, so there may be some times when you won’t see an answer to your notes right away.

Now to answer that question: What Do Garden Gnomes and Nell Have in Common? Grand Neighbors!

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Don’t Let Bad Rule You. Life Can Be A Party

Hello!!

I know it’s been such an incredibly looooooooong time since I last wrote a blog. I was guilty of letting that shocker to my health get in my way.

As a refresher, I had been seven years seizure-free until December 16, 2014. What made my system whacky? Well I had some shoulder pain and the family doctor (without checking for possible side-effects) prescribed prednisone. This was a higher dose than what you get when treating for a cold and/or sinus infection (like a minimum of 10x higher). After a couple of days the prednisone counter-acted my seizure meds. It was as if I suddenly stopped taking them. Well, when one suddenly stops taking some meds, it causes the very thing the drug is preventing. So for me, three seizures that day.

7-9-15 not rejecting helpI was blessed during my six months of restricted driving. A neighbor (stay at home Mom with an adorable 5 year old daughter) took me to work and on my short days picked me up. She and I even went to a couple of garage sales – doing fun stuff. The folks at work (part-time job in retail) handled all the bank runs, even another department on the days when I would have been the only person to go.

But you see, I lost my independence – Boo Hoo. It wasn’t as if I did a lot of traveling – I don’t really. It’s just the issue of having to depend on others and feeling like a burden, whether they told me I wasn’t or not. It didn’t matter, because I felt that I was a burden and/or pain in the…

I’ve been back to driving for a month now. Would you believe that it’s still taken a bit for me to get over myself? I think what really helped was having an emergency at work and my boss (regional supervisor) calling me at home asking me to go back to the store – and be able to count on me to actually do this.

I have always had a hang up – I can and am willing to help others, happy to do so and don’t expect anything in return. But (now there’s a big word), when it comes to me asking for help…

7-9-15 Asking-for-helpSo, what is the lesson I’m trying to impart?

Well for one thing understanding that the quote is true and for me and other like-minded people to remember and hold in our hearts.

Don’t let health set backs ruin your outlook on life in general. Stuff happens – good and bad. Don’t get so wrapped up in what you perceive as “what should be” that you bog yourself down with nonsense (feeling you can’t ask for help). Basically, get over it, move on. This is not to say that you don’t have the right to be frustrated over the set back. You do. Just don’t let it run your life.

Notice my tagline up there at the top: The Party’s on – Seizures Saved my Life! Why do I say that? Well anyone can let the bad stuff in life run them down and ruin their outlook on life. Why not say that something adverse turned out positive? It’s working on perspective and how one views life that’s important.

A Lack of Serenity?

Does my current mood come from “general overall depression”? From frustration? Or am I lacking in Serenity?

We know the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

SerenityI am having issues with that accepting the things I cannot change thing.

I’ve sorta come to accept that I cannot drive until June 15. I’m sorta willing to accept help and knowing that I can ask for help with getting from point A to point B and back again. I know that I have to have the co-workers handle the bank run (for the store) even though I should – on the days I’ve opened the store.

But…

Yes, that word, that thought, just hangs around and adds to my issues.

There are people in my life with issues of their own. I have a bad habit of letting their situation effect me, even though I know darn good and well it shouldn’t. I guess empathy is just kicking in – too strongly. Why is that?

I am frustrated and discouraged over my own situation (definitely not feeling any Serenity). Then I go and let others’ anger and frustration over their situation get to me. I try to find ways (at work) to help them not feel stressed. But in doing this, I get overly stressed.

I’m guessing that this is the point where I have to have the Courage to change MY perceptions of what to do in these situations. I have to have the Courage to understand that I can be a Lead Clerk (basically a “junior” manager), run the store – do my job – and not let the emotions of others effect my judgement. I have to understand that they are venting and that it does not effect me directly.

But (there’s that word again), I do worry about others. Well actually for others. I have to learn that I have to know that I need to take care of ME. I have to understand that I do not have any control (and really don’t want to) over others’ emotions/anger/frustration. All I can/should do is simply listen, then let it roll off my back.

My health – physical and mental – would be much better served if I can actually do what I just said.

Although, it would be easier if people (me included) would NOT bring home to work and work home. That’s one of those easier said than done things. On the plus side, June 15 is getting closer.

Only 2538 Days to Go

It’s been a while since I wrote anything in my blog (no I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth), many changes and just hadn’t gotten in to a new rhythm yet.

Well, I had found my rhythm and was (actually) feeling pretty confident. Then WHAM! A doctor (we’ll be getting a new family doctor), didn’t pay attention to my epilepsy and the medications I take. He only looked at my allergies – well that is a plus. The strength of prednisone he prescribed basically counteracted my seizure medications. It was as if I suddenly stopped taking them. Four days of taking the prednisone I had THREE seizures (in a 12 hour period) and spent two days in the hospital. I really don’t remember much of the week of December 15th.

1-2-15 resetAfter being seizure-free for SEVEN YEARS (2555 DAYS), this development is heart-breaking. It’s safe to say that my confidence level isn’t what it used to be; especially since I’ve never been big on having to ask for help. Someone needs my help – I’m there, what’s needed. I guess that right now I’m too busy being depressed and trying to find a way out of this pit.

I don’t understand some of the changes I seem to be going thru – they seem worse than before (not in any particular order):

  • I feel more tired and a lack of focus
  • It seems strange, but I seem to need my glasses more (I used to wear them all the time – but the last seven years I didn’t need them)
  • My emotions seem off – I don’t really seem to feel much of anything (although I am still furious with the family doctor for putting me in this situation)
  • I feel I have to fight to make my thoughts coherent – and explain myself clearly
  • In 2006 when I had sooooooooooooooooo many seizures I felt like crying each time – this time I just feel drained

1-2-15 acceptI know this sounds like an oh woe is me kind of thing. I guess the point I’m trying to get across – life isn’t always what you expect. It’s that “stuff happens” thing and you can’t always have things go your way. So, I’ve got to get my groove back, and not let things get me down.

Hey, it’s only 2,538 days till I start a NEW record!

Life in Different Directions

At various times in each person’s life, directions change. This can be good.

medicalWhen I started working (after school), I planned on the medical field. I was there for quite some time and in various forms. I was a medical assistant, hospital staff phlebotomist, customer service in a medical lab, secretary/receptionist in a durable medical equipment company, then secretary in a peer review organization. I learned much from each position.

 

food serviceThen things changed and I worked in a corporate office of a food service management company as an administrative assistant (secretary). I had a lot of fun with this job – yes it was hard work and some stress – but I loved that job.

 

 

dentalThings changed again, I worked as an education coordinator for a dental company. I had fun here too – but a lot more stress.

 

 

virtual-assistantThen WHAM! Things changed again. Since my seizures got worse and stress is one of my triggers I was advised to not work in an office for a while. Well that’s been seven years, I do wish that edict would lift (I’ve been looking for a full-time job for quite some time now). That change caused me to start my own business. What I can do in my business is very good – as a virtual assistant I’m dedicated to helping my clients. When things got to a point where I knew I wasn’t the help I could/should be, I gracefully stepped away from my client.

 

 

retailWell you guessed it, life has changed again. I’ve been working part-time in retail for a few years now. It’s OK, but not exactly what I was/am looking to do. Now, the company I work for has offered me (I accepted) the position of Manager. The last time I was in charge was waaaaaaaaaaay back there in that medical assistant career! YES, I am nervous. YES, I do worry as to whether or not I will be good at this part of my career.

 

YES, my husband and I both worry about my seizures. I have been seizure-free since August 2007, I plan on continuing this wonderful aspect of my life. I do have to find a safe and perfect way to manage my stress because the last thing I want would be for my seizures to start again. YES, I do know that worrying is a form of stress and just that alone could be a cause of concern. My personality is that of a Type A, work like crazy has to be perfect kind of person. (No, I’m not like this at home) It is a challenge finding a diplomatic course – I’m usually blunt, I have found that in customer service blunt isn’t always a good thing. But that being diplomatic thing is stressful sometimes!

So, yes I am looking forward to this new adventure. Yes, as I tell others, it is important to keep an open mind and a positive attitude. That positive attitude is what will get me to where I need to be, and how best to handle situations. Just have to remember that one!!

Does anyone have any stress relieving/preventing techniques you could share? I would really appreciate that information! (Oh, and think good thoughts for me!)

Memories, Seizure Induced Dimness

You have heard the song Memories from the movie The Way We Were and that they “light the corners of my mind” well, I’m finding that my memories aren’t so bright. Some of the light has dimmed. Sure I can “remember” events that people have told me about or traumatic enough (like the night my Mom was killed by a drunk driver), but actually remembering things on my own, seriously challenging.

memories-2Part of the memory issues are chemically induced results of the anti-seizure medication, some of it is a result of where the seizures “fire” from in the brain. After a certain amount of seizures or strength of seizures, they do damage parts of a brain.

The other night we were with friends celebrating a birthday. Everyone was reminiscing about their childhood: the I did this, Mom/Dad did that as a result to what I did. Mom would… Dad would… my brother did… and remembering some fun times. What did I do? I sat and listened to what they were saying. I was wishing I could remember specific things. The friends could remember specifics of what a parent/sibling/friends did. From what they were relating, I would have been happy just to remember a generalization. Once in a while I can flash on something that happened, but I can’t “remember” it to call it up when I want to share that moment.

I’ve gotten very good at playing down my concerns about my memory. However, it is getting to a point that folks have started saying things like well you know, you are getting older and your mind is slipping anyway… That comment I don’t laugh off, my memory issue does stem (a lot) from my medication – so says my neurologist.

Periodically I check things that are suppose to be an “all natural” way to boost memory/brain function. The latest thing I’m thinking of trying is coconut oil. When I read this in an article, I feel I should check it out for myself:

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), the primary type of fat found within coconut oil, have been found to boost cognitive performance in older adults suffering from memory disorders as serious as Alzheimer’s — and not after months or even days of treatment, but after a single 40 ml dose!

I really want to know how this works, and will it work for other adults with other forms of memory disorders. I’m willing to try. The article does go on to state that it’s a good idea to use the coconut oil/fat in cooking or to even use coconut milk. I went to Amazon and found virgin coconut oil from Viva Labs and have ordered the 16oz size. I want to see how well it works before I go whole hog and order a 54oz size.

At this point I’m thinking, what could it hurt? Hopefully it really does taste good. 🙂

Mission: Possible – What Makes You Giddy?

What is your Mission in your life?

What is your Passion – what drives you? (no I don’t mean your vehicle)

contrary-2I’ve come to the conclusion, looking back on my life, my Mission seems to be: being contrary. I mean really??!! We’re always told to find our passion, our bliss, the thing that makes us tick and pursue that as a career. While this works GREAT for most people, it seems to backfire for me and I’m not completely sure why. Being contrary may not be a blessing in disguise.

One time I was told to follow my love of art/photography and somehow make that in to a career – there are so many possibilities. Except it turned out that the more I did with my artistic side to make a career, the more I hated what I was doing and doubted my abilities. Oh sure, I’m still creative I can see things others can’t, I can improve on the layout of a picture. But be enough to make a career out of this skill – apparently not so much. I either lose interest and/or faith in myself.

I am very good at what I do as a virtual assistant. However, I have found that I am happiest when I’m a “worker bee” and not a “queen bee.” I flat out do not like the “business” end of owning/running a business. Sure, I can assist others for their businesses, but I can turn off that worry at the end of the day. Run my own business? O M G!!!!! Then to throw in the idea of selling myself (most people call this marketing) – GULP!

I enjoy working with others, and helping them look good. Truly I do! It seems that even though (in some situations) I don’t mind being somewhat assertive; I like having a set thing to do and not have to worry about how the financial end of the business is doing, how is so and so doing with getting more business. So while I’m still working at a reduced level with my business and working at a part-time job, I’m still looking for the full-time job – I want to get back in to working in an office with people around.

So, have you found your answer to my first two questions? What is your Mission in life? What is your Passion – what drives you? I sure would love to read your answers!!!