Monthly Archives: October 2011

Air purifiers?

Well, I went for allergy testing last week and it turns out that I have severe allergies to lots of things that go hand-in-hand with living out in the country!

  • dogs
  • cats
  • dust
  • mold
  • weeds

Ugh! We’re trying to do a thorough cleaning of the house and buying those allergy protection mattress & pillow covers, but I’m wondering if any of you have good recommendations for air purifiers? We have one that we bought at Wal-Mart that we keep in our bedroom, but I wonder if any of you with allergies have ones that you think work REALLY well.

Allergy fighters, UNITE! Let me know what air purifiers or other allergy related products you love.


I ALMOST got an alpaca once

As I was catching up on some bloggy reading the other day, I was absolutely touched and amazed by this entry on Smockity Frocks: And Then There Was the Time We Surprised Our Neighbor With an Alpaca for Her 80th Birthday.

I just love how her daughter knew exactly what her neighbor would want, and was persistent about finding not just one, but TWO alpacas, with the money she had been saving. Alpacas can cost many thousands of dollars, but God provided and a very generous and caring alpaca breeder, sold her the alpacas for only $150 and threw in some hay and food to get them off to a good start.

I love the pictures of the alpacas riding in the van and then the big smile on her neighbor’s face when she saw her birthday surprise. Such bliss!

Suri AlpacaIt all reminded me of the time 5 years ago, when I went to a Rare Breed Expo and ALMOST came home with a bargain-basement priced alpaca named Juan.

He kind of looked like this one. It was love at first sight. I was just sure he loved me too.  Suri alpacas look like they’ve got dreadlocks or something! I knew they were offering me a very special opportunity, but the practicalities of getting that thing home and making sure he’d stay in our fence gave me cause for pause.

The owners told me that he could ride home with me in the minivan. They were going to hook him up with a halter and everything for me. (Can you imagine that? A 30-something year old woman driving an hour and a half home with an alpaca she’s just met in the back of the minivan?!) And they never mentioned how lonely that a single alpaca would be. Smockity’s 16 year old daughter knew more than I did. Ha!

I called Tony and he couldn’t believe that I was actually considering bringing an alpaca home in the minivan all by myself. He kept reminding me of that scene in Tommy Boy where they’ve run over a deer, thinking that they killed it, only to have it “wake up” and begin demolishing their car as it tries to escape.

Needless to say, we knew that we didn’t need to make a snap decision like that. Even if it was a great deal. You just never know . . . , but I sure am glad that things worked out for Smockity Frock’s daughter and her neighbor!

And don’t miss this funny about “ahem” foundation garments while you’re over at Smockity Frocks blog. Oh, how we can be so tempted by those items which promise to smooth and slenderize, while forgetting that we somehow need to breathe, stand, use the bathroom, etc… Be sure to read the funny stories in the comments. I was laughing so hard, I had tears in my eyes.

Hope you’re all having a great week. I’m investigating a new route tomorrow afternoon healthwise. I’m going to the Vanderbilt Allergy, Sinus, & Asthma Program in hopes of discovering some environmental or food allergies that might be playing a role in my pain, fatigue, digestive issues, & depression. I really hope that the tests will reveal anything which might be contributing to my health issues.

How about you all? Are any of you trying new things this week? Or have you ever considered getting a new animal, car, etc . . . only to later think, “What was I thinking?”


Seasons Change

Years ago, when we hadn’t lived on the farm very long, we’d go for walks down to the creek quite often. Just to see how high or low the water was, skip some stones, and check out the changing scenery.

My boys - 2006

Walking to the Creek – 2006

On one of those walks, I snapped a picture of the boys walking in front of us. I have always loved that picture. Or maybe it’s more correct to say “that moment”.  I’ve had the idea over the years to try and recreate that picture again with the boys as they are getting older.

Jon was probably 5 in this picture and I loved how his big brothers kept him in the middle so one of them could keep him away from the creek, and the other could help get him out of the road in case a car was coming. It wasn’t intentional. We didn’t tell them to do it, it was just natural to them.

So yesterday the weather was pretty and we decided to try and take a few pictures. As the boys are getting older, it’s harder to find times when we’re all home together. The funny thing is that even though I had a memory of the 2006 photo in my head, once we got down to the creek, I couldn’t remember the details of how they were standing, what spot in the road we were at, etc…

My boys

Walking to the Creek 2011

We didn’t get the details right, but yet this picture speaks to me as much as the other. The boys are all 5 years older now and are walking confidently. Really instead of seeing boys, now I’m seeing “young men”. No need to protect that youngest brother, instead he’s actually in front with all of his energy now. But yet they’re all still close by if one needs help. There is so much strength in these sons of ours.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. Psalms 127: 3-5

Looking back, we took the 2006 picture just as it was starting to get dark. And, as my oldest son tried to tell me yesterday, they were actually walking towards home. In the 2011 picture, it’s mid-afternoon on a beautiful sunny fall afternoon with the leaves signaling the change of seasons, and the boys are walking away from the house this time.

I didn’t remember all of those splotches on the 2006 picture or all of the details of it, but as I compare the two pictures, I’m reminded that seasons change and that those changes have a beauty of their own.

Life: Unmasked

Life: UnmaskedMy journey with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and depression has been tough. It’s like a roller coaster sometimes. At certain times, I’ll feel like I’ve found something that’s helping and that I may be on the road to finding the key to unlock my health again. But then, WHAM! Without rhyme or reason, I’m back to square one.

It makes me mad. It frustrates me to no end. It exhausts me. It makes me feel weak. It leaves me begging for relief and for help.

The other day I found myself reading a post by Elizabeth Esther on What Depression Feels Like. I can so relate to how she describes the depression as a sinking/drowning type feeling. And for me, it takes on a different form. As I’m drowning and I’m fighting and reaching up to people to try and help me, I feel like they just keep telling me that I just need to swim! Yes, I know that I used to swim, but for heaven’s sake, if I could swim right now, I wouldn’t be drowning!! Can’t  you just help me without judging me? Elizabeth Esther mentioned how sometimes when things were at their worst for her, she’d  cut herself to try and wake herself up out of the depression.

The sad thing is . . . I found myself wondering, “Does that really work?” But for her the pain chases away numbness. I already have pain. I’ve got mental numbness, but bodily pain, I have plenty already without trying to inflict more.

Then I read an article by Joy on A Deeper Story, Never Out of Weapons: When the Darkness Comes Anyway. It reminded me that I’m not alone. That sometimes the darkness just comes anyway, even when you’re doing all that you can do.

She had worked so hard to make the dark stay away. She did all those things they said would help. Cut back on sugar. Lost weight. Attended coordinated exercise classes (persisting even though she tripped on her own feet at least once every class). Read her Bible cover to cover.

But it was back anyway, despite her denial. The exhaustion,the  heaviness, the just-a-breath-away tears. She knew this darkness all too well.

She talked about how she thought of just driving into an overpass, and was only able to fight off those thoughts by remembering God’s special words to her.

I find myself often feeling like life is passing me by while I fight out this pain and depression. I keep trying to look forward even if my new normal is not what I’d choose.

Joy said it like this:

A life and a family are too precious to waste time pretending you’re not falling apart.

And so I keep working the plan I have right now, while still looking for answers for this crazy pain. There is so much confusing information out there. Sometimes I can’t even understand what I’m reading, but I know a sales pitch when I see one. At times, I just want to throw my laptop across the room, throw out the medicines and supplements and just escape until I feel better again.

Yet I try to listen to the still small voice of the One who created me and loves me most. Maybe I am falling apart, but He uses broken people, and my family needs me.

I just need some relief from the unrelenting pain right now. There has to be something.

I really liked this verse I saw in Joy’s header:

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

Linked to life: unmasked, a blog link-up encouraging us to take off our masks and show how we are finding God in our mess. Will you join us?


I saw this graphic making the rounds on Facebook and thought I’d share it with you all.