Sunday, August 30, 2015

Growing even in hard times

The following is a status my husband posted on Facebook a year ago today:

August 30, 2014
Day 50 back at University of Kentucky's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with Bobbi. She's getting IV meds for her low blood pressure and they need to start her back on short length hemodialysis. The Critical Decision Unit ICU didn't have a bed available for dialysis (requires a water hookup) so she's back where she started.
Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers for improvements in her condition.
Thanks again for everything.

Yes, I am very thankful to be alive today. I had a rough 117 day in hell (my length of time in the hospital), but it is all in my past. I no longer need dialysis because my kidneys are working on their own. My diabetes and hypertension medications have been decreased due to unforeseen weight loss.

I am still weak and I still need oxygen, but I can see tiny improvements every day. I was told it may be a year before I regain all the strength and stamina I lost while I was in the hospital, so I still have a ways to go, but I'll get there.

Thank you to all my family and friends for the prayers, wishes and warm thoughts sent my way. I know this helped my recovery and I will never be able to repay everyone.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

And so it goes .....

There's a sad sort of clanging
from the clock in the hall
and the bells in the steeple,
and up in the nursery
an absurd little bird
is popping out to say coo-coo
(coo-coo, coo-coo)

Friday, August 28, 2015

The sun is shining again

The past few refreshing mornings have been wonderful! It is noticeably cooler with little to no humidity, reminding me that summer is quickly fading and autumn is fast approaching. I love having the windows open so the curtains blow in the breeze. I love the fresh, crisp smells of the air, ruffling the pages of the manuscript I am working on. It has felt good to be writing this week because it has taken my mind off my illness

Some days will when I am fine, days where I do not cry or have an uncontrollable urge to huddle in a little heap and snarl at someone, days where I smile at the world and feel comfortable. Then everything will suddenly change and the burning hole in my chest will burst open, erupting and I suffocate, no matter how hard and how deep I try to breathe. No matter how hard I try to protect myself against this feeling, it never gets easier.

Life is not always warm and fuzzy, but I have developed different coping mechanisms to get me through those moments and carry on, carry on as if nothing is wrong….just carry on. There are days when it really feels as if Lady Luck turned her back on me, where I cannot feel her warm smile beam down on me. There are days where I battle with each step I take and each breath I breathe, where I battle to remind myself that the sun will shine again. It is times like these where I feel defeated, where it feels as if all I do is in vain, where all I want to do is have a “pity me” party.

My mind is a babbling mess of uncontrollable chaos. I wish there was just a small fraction of a moment where I could escape the inner dialogue racing through my brain, to just leave everything behind, forget about things that need to be done, forget about responsibilities, just sit by myself and wallow in self-pity.

But I have so much to be thankful for, so many reasons to rejoice. I am so lucky to be alive today, and even though I know I still have a long way to go, I have to give myself some slack and not get frustrated with my slow progress. Things could be a lot worse for me, so I will take my rehab one step at a time, with grace and gratitude.

And the sun will shine again tomorrow.


Hiding Again


Hiding from the world,
sealed away by choice;
fearful of what?
Heart palpitations, cold clammy sweat,
feeling the world is out to get me,
irrational thoughts won't go away.
There's a safety in cloister
with comfort items around
in every pile of books you'll see,
offering a calm serene.
Many call it nesting,
having treasured items within easy reach,
but when this behavior continues on
and interrupts your life,
this nesting syndrome has gone too far
and a solution must be found,
only ...

rapid breathing takes over again,
and the tightness in the chest returns,
these aren't only mental ailments,
but physical manifestations,
so I hid from the world again.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lost Childhood


Just when I should have been
having the time of my life,
I thought I wasn't complete
unless I had
that one perfect someone to call my own.
Instead of hanging out with my friends,
I was caught in the loop
of pleasing my man.
My heart would beat faster as each class bell rang,
knowing we could steal brief moments
for kissing out in the hall.
Scheduling our after school time
so we were always together,
in hindsight was probably not the thing to do,
but the excitement and joy
and tummy butterflies
were a high we both sought to obtain.

Did the good outweigh the bad?
Obviously it did because we ended up together,
at least for a short time.
The problem is, it wasn't enough
to satisfy that need we had deep down inside,
the need for something more,
something special to fulfill an aching need.
So, we crashed and burned,
down in flames in a magnificent bonfire
of heated words,
angry acquisitions,
finger pointing and
Two lives torn apart, two souls ripped asunder,
but the fallout damage affected much more
and it would be years before the collateral was known.

Looking back, the path is quiet clear,
even a child could see the course;
so why was I too blind at the time
to not see the outcome
when it was right before my eyes?
I guess love really is blind
and it has the ability to swoop in
and steal our childhoods,
give us tunnel vision,
like the quest for the Holy Grail,
tempt us with a happily ever after,
yes, love is very easy to find,
but much harder work to keep.

Learned behavior from childhood

Learned Behavior

skinned knees - chocolate chip cookies
runny nose - chicken soup
feelings hurt - rocky road ice cream
broken heart - everything but kitchen sink
wonderful news – chinese food
disappointment - snicker bar
anxiety - lays sour cream chips
stressful day - m&ms
unending grief - box of ho-hos
long hard week - supreme pizza
self-pity – any form of potato
still in love – want to do better

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Keys

The Keys

the keys have locked away my heart
inside a special wrapping
it waits alone
for the one I love
to keep it everlasting

Taking notes ....

I am a notorious note taker when it comes to reading books, but it's because I want to remember so many things. Although I always read for pleasure, almost all the books I read end up being reviewed. I have a separate notebook I keep all the notes from books I'm reviewing. I also am a huge fan of "sticky notes" so my books are usually crammed full of them. This helps me when I'm looking for a specific passage I want to use in a review.

When I started doing book reviews over 8 years ago, it was mainly going to be a way for me to keep track of the 100s of books I read every year. Before my illness, I was receiving review books in the mail, especially from Kentucky Monthly Magazine. You don't know what a rush it is for a "book whore" like me to find a box of books on my doorstep!

For many years, I accepted any and all offers to read and review books, but I learned this was not going to work for me. I was getting such a wide variety of books I was overwhelmed. Although I occasionally enjoy a self-help book on certain topics, many of the books I received were just that. I was also receiving many self-published books - which there is nothing wrong with - but many of these books could do with a good editor.

I finally realized I had bitten off more than I could chew - or read - so I quit requesting every new book that came down the pipeway. Now I only review books I think I will truly be interested in and my life is much happier and not as hectic.

I  have a  great appetite for Kentucky authors and I try to read all I can get my hands on. I just finished reading and reviewing Next Door to the Dead by Kathleen Driskell and Love & Ordinary Creatures by Gwyn Hyan Rubio. I am currently reading Kentucky's Everyday Heroes Vol. 4 by Steve Flairty and Haunt Couture and Ghost Galore by Rose Pressey.



(Photo by Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixel Narratives)


There is a stillness in the darkness
enveloping the world,
fear stalks the living.

A pale, peaceful moon illuminates
the great expanse of lawn,
but the barn upon it will know no peace
because of disappointment leading to terror;
a welcoming touch that can cause death or destruction.

It is dusk and faint rays of light come down
to creep across the silent meadows and fields;
secrets, secrets that could cost a life.

The sun has gone down and the night seems
lonelier than before
and we live with the fear.

Momma loved Elvis Presley

I missed the 38th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death.  The “King of Rock and Roll’s” died on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42. Since he was my mother's favorite singer, I thought it was worthwhile to post about him today.

Elvis began his career in Memphis, Tennessee in 1954 when Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records, wanted to bring “rockabilly” music to a  wider audition. Rockabilly was a mixture of country, rhythm and blues with an upbeat tempo. In 1955, RCA Victor bought out Elvis’ contract in a deal made by Colonel Tom Parker, who would go on to manage Elvis’ career for over 20 years.

Elvis’ first RCA single, “Heartbreak Hotel”, was released in January 1956 and was a number one hit. He soon became the face of rock and roll, appearing in a series of network television appearances and more chart-topping records. He made his first movie, “Love Me Tender” was released in November 1956.

In 1958, Elvis was inducted into the U.S. Army at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. The Army was not prepared for the onslaught of people descending upon Elvis as he stepped off the bus at the Army base. He was soon sent to Fort Hood, Texas to begin his basic training. In August, Elvis received word his mother had been diagnosed with hepatitis, and he was granted an emergency leave to visit her. She died on August 14 from heart failure – she was only 46 years old. Elvis took her passing very hard because he had always been close to his mother.

In October 1958, Elvis joined the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany. It was here that he first met 14-year old Priscilla Beaulieu. After a seven and a half year romance, they finally married.

Elvis returned to the United States in March, 1960, and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. Once back in Memphis, Elvis jumped right into the recording studio. Sessions in March and April produced two of his best-selling singles, the ballads “It’s Now or Never” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”

From 1960 to 1967, Colonel Parker pushed Elvis more in the direction of movie making than producing albums. “G.I. Blues” was the first movie Elvis made after leaving the Army and the soundtrack album went to number one. Of Elvis’ movies in the 1960s, 15 were accompanied by bestselling soundtrack albums.

Elvis’ only child, Lisa Marie, was born in February, 1968. This was during a period of his life when he was very depressed and unhappy with his career. Singles released between January 1967 and May 1968 never made it past 40 on the top chart lists and his album “Speedway” never made it past number 82.

Elvis and his young wife were having increasing martial problems and eventually separated in February, 1972. In January 1973, Elvis performed the groundbreaking TV special, Aloha From Hawaii. This special was the first global concert satellite broadcast, reaching approximately 1.5 billion viewers live and on tape delay. His elaborate concert costumers were so elaborate, that Kentucky author Bobbie Ann Mason is quoted as saying, “At the end of the show, when he spreads out his American Eagle cape, with the full stretched wings of the eagle studded on the back, he becomes a god figure.” The accompanying double album was released the next month and went straight to number one, eventually selling over 5 million copies in the United States.

After his divorce, Elvis became heavily dependent on barbiturates, resulting in several hospital admissions. He began missing concerts and many times when he did appear on stage, he was incoherent and kept his performances short.

Elvis was scheduled to fly out of Memphis on the evening of August 16, 1977, to start another tour, but that afternoon he was discovered unresponsive on his bathroom floor. All attempts to revive him failed, and he was officially pronounced dead at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial Hospital. President Jimmy Carter issued a statement that credited Presley with having "permanently changed the face of American popular culture".

During his recording career, Elvis made a total of 20 number one albums and 37 number one singles. As my Momma’s favorite singer, she loved collecting anything that had to do with Elvis, from dolls to figurines to plates.

This Super 70s is dedicated to you, Momma.