The Missing Needle Nose Pliers

 flat nose pliers, jewelry making, o ring, jump ring, making jewelry

Husband asks:   Where are my needle nose pliers?

Wife answers after a long pause:  I might have sent them to Minnesota . . .

And then another looooooong pause follows with:  silence!

Sometimes the logic of the moment doesn’t make sense to anyone else but oneself.  Know what I mean?  Hey, I was selling my jewelry business this past Fall and wanted to send along all of the tools that the new owner would need.  I noted that there was a nicer pair of pliers in the tool cabinet so surely hubby-dear would agree that I should make my customer happy to have both pairs needed to successfully open and close jump rings?  Besides, I did ask him about it didn’t I?  He did not remember me asking him.  I did not remember it exactly either.  Well DeeAnn in Minnesota is happily making jewelry and that’s all that counts, right?

Well maybe not.  Within a day I made sure that we picked up for my beloved, a nicer Stanley-branded pair with ergonomic, non-slip grips at Walmart.  Win!  Win?

We employed a similar rationale four years ago when I never really recovered from acute hepatitis.  For more on that story, see the About Julie page here.  It seemed the right thing to do to use an alternative technology to treat Lyme disease when a trial of antibiotics left me wretchedly ill.  Sadly, the Beam Ray Rife machine hurt me, sending me into a tailspin.  There would be no easy solution(s) to this complication.  I developed seizure attack episodes within 3 weeks of running very short programs on the unit which exposed me to various frequencies of light and sound waves.  A dozen or more local folks using their own machines noted benefits.  I did not.  I sold it about 1 1/2 years later with a net loss of $1500 and what has become 4 years of daily convulsive episodes.  This weekend there have been 3 major and several minor wretched episodes within the last 24 hours.  Lord have mercy!

Beam Ray, Rife, sound, light, wavelength, alternative medicine, Ray Rife, Lyme disease
Beam Ray Rife machine

 

As you can read in the link noted above, we have tried many different kinds of valid treatments coached by skilled practitioners.  I have benefitted from taking down mold exposures and illness, mercury toxicity, Candida, parasites, and the extraction of 2 root-canaled teeth.  Even so I feel like a beaten puppy!  But now we know that they very likely are related to Chronic Lyme Disease requiring the use of powerful doses of IV antibiotics for many months.  Seven weeks into the treatment I can tell you that there are some positive changes.  Unfortunately I am having complications from the weekly IV infusions so later this week I will have a port surgically placed in my chest wall.  This becomes a direct-access site without the need for sterile dressings that irritate my skin or superficial phlebitis that has plagued my forearms for about 3 weeks.  (Thank the Lord that I discovered horse chestnut gel when the warm compresses did not help.)  I am also hoping there won’t be any more violent episodes with the treatments. Even intramuscular injections have been exceedingly difficult.  Whew!

So there ya go.  A funny story, an update, and a little hope beyond the saga of late.  Lord willing, I am going to get well!  And when I do I might just get out my own tools here in Indiana, not Minnesota, for digging in the garden.  By the way, Spring weather is forecasted for this week .  Since I won’t be tethered to an IV line I can safely get a little dirt underneath my fingernails if I am up to it before the surgical procedure on Thursday.  The garden pup is ready.  You could say that I’ve traded the needle nosed pliers for an aluminum shovel!  So let’s get to it . . .

I wonder how those carrots are doing that got left in the ground last fall?  Having a little extra time in the soil should make them as sweet as candy by now dontcha know?  :JJ

life began in a garden

The County Sheriff and a mobile compost pile

Sometimes the dirt in your life follows you around for awhile . . . literally!

The weather was unusually warm here in the Midwest of the United States this past December.  By “warm” I mean that it was still in the 50’s and that was all I needed to do a little gardening project still left undone from the prior season.  Factor in the heartache of having been too sick to do it earlier, you can see why I jumped at the chance to get some dirt under my fingernails before the snow was set to fly!

And so I did.  The borders around the flower beds and tree in our front yard were re-cut and tidied up for the wintry freeze to follow. A Master Gardener simply cannot have her front yard unkempt when visitors were set to come for Christmas celebrations . . . even if they are not into landscaping!  Afterwards I felt a little better about the whole thingy.  The cuttings went into the bed of my truck like they always do with the intent of making a quick trip to dump it at the town compost pile.  That never happened.  Such a bummer being sick virtually all of the time . . .

Flash forward two months.  I was headed in my truck to my doctor’s office, hoping that they would see me on time.  Usually we patients can call ahead to see how far he is running behind and to leave our phone number for a call when they have an exam room available for us.  The phone lines were either turned off or unanswered when I had tried to call so I hurried to get on my way, lest I lose my appointment altogether!  This arrangement is a minor inconvenience for most folks but a major undertaking for me these days.  I had a more severe seizure attack waking up that morning and barely had enough time to get ready, grab some of my special food for the day (these appointments require 3+ hours plus I had an IV treatment at the hospital next door for another 4 hours later on), and focus enough to get myself out the door.  Maybe I should have had Steve drive me to the appointment?

Clearly I was a little distracted.  The purpose of the appointment was to re-evaluate the first month of IV treatments for Lyme disease.  I had first treated Lyme disease 4 years ago and it was a disaster; the next 4 years were spent taking down other infections and toxicities to get ready for intense treatment of Lyme that likely had been underlying ongoing health issues for a very long time.  The process has been most difficult.  I would learn in this appointment that the burning in my forearms that occurred during the past 5 infusions of the antibiotic (Rocephin) had caused superficial phlebitis!  All I knew is that they hurt.  More treatment recommendations would follow to add to my already complex treatment regime.  Everything came clearly into focus when I saw that beige-n-brown Dodge Charger sitting alongside Auburn Road.

As soon as I saw him I knew that I was in trouble.  That’s the color of the County Sheriff vehicles and I was traveling 14 miles per hour over the speed limit!  I thought I was only 9 MPH but unfortunately I did not see the traffic sign until my trip home!  He followed me for a block or so before turning on his flashing lights.  I sat stunned by the side of the road.  The Sheriff turned out to be friendly young lad, albeit dressed in his intimidating finery.  He recognized my last name and asked if I knew someone that he did by that name in another town?  Nope.  I could hardly speak.  “May I call my Doctor’s office?  I am running late for an appointment,” I asked.  “Sure,” he replied as he took my ID cards and walked back to his beast on wheels.  If he was friendly did that mean that he would have mercy on my story and not give me a ticket?

Nope again.  The “icy” conditions warranted a citation.  He spouted off more instructions than I could understand then left me with a cheap ticker-tape style TICKET.  All I could do was pull over onto a local street to gather myself to figure out what to do next.  The Doctor’s office finally answered their phone, apologized for not picking up earlier as they were short-staffed and stated that the Doc was running 1 1/2 hours behind schedule (as usual!).  “Would I like to leave my phone number for a call when they were ready?”  Sure, no problem I thought to myself . . .

Somehow I managed to contact my hubby at work and return home.  The struggle to leave the house earlier that morning resulted in a very expensive speeding ticket with funds earmarked for adjunct treatments not the county coffers.  I was upset at myself and upset at this wretched illness.  I was guilty of speeding.  I had not even looked down to see how fast I was travelling.  Driving a truck makes you a little over-confident in inclement weather and that false sense of security had caught up with me.  Gee, did he also notice that I still have a quarter of the bed of my truck filled with dirt, plants, and sod pieces in the middle of winter?  Perhaps not.  The pile has already begun composting into a fertile loam on sunny days!  They should make a nice, top-dressing the vegetable bed by Spring!  Maybe I’ll just leave it in there?

Sigh.  Life goes on and sometimes the State trooper is the one to remind me of this.  Regardless, if it really does get to 57 degrees tomorrow (on February 19th!) I will be digging some, Lord willing.  There’s much to do and the IV treatments are helping me feel some better.  Besides, I have a lot more room in the bed of my truck that needs to be filled dontcha know?  You can never have too much of that “black gold” stuff anyways.  :JJ

compost, gardening, truck, Nissan Frontier, garden, load, dirt,
How the professionals load compost!

 

Anatomy of a Garden Bed: Luke 7

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.

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Nothing going on here at the nursery: barren ground and a dead stump provide a perch for this lone feline.

Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.

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In the absence of compost and amendments, nothing would grow in this soil!

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

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Compost, Canadian peat moss, hardwood mulch and fertilizer should give these newbies and transplants a head start in their new home.

When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

When we do not heed the Word of God all our efforts waste away, crumbling back to the earth like the dead plants in this compost pile.  How better to thrive in the Word of wisdom!
This passage provides important lessons for our lives.  When we do not heed the Word of God all our efforts ultimately waste away, crumbling back to the earth like the dead plants in this compost pile.

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.

Without the counsel of the words of Jesus Christ our lives are like chasing the wind.
Striving in our own strength, is like blindly chasing after the wind.

11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

Barren ground shall not awaken without the light of our Lord and Savior.
Barren ground shall not awaken to the truth without the light, the Words of our Lord and Savior.

13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

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Plants weaken and become subject to pests and diseases when choked together.  Perennials that mature properly require care, division, replanting, water, sunlight, fertilization, and time to grow in due season.

15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

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The newly pruned and divided stella d’oro daylilies will flourish next year, finishing this season well and providing plants for the new garden bed too.

 

Resting in God's creation
How glorious it is to rest in God’s creation and plan for our lives!
Finished well.  Thank you Lord!
Finished well. Thank you Lord!

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P.S.  I’m thinking of putting together a group Skype devotional and prayer time once per week with others who are largely isolated for whatever reason.  The focus would be open and based upon belief in God through the person of Jesus Christ of the Bible.  Please leave me a comment below if you might be interested.  I’ll do a separate blog on this soon!  Take care, JJ

You bring me joy

How about playing a little tune while enjoying the view that encourages me these days: my beloved and my garden.  Enjoy!

Song to play:

Pictures from my heart of gratitude.  Thank you Jesus.  You are so good to me.  JJ

My beloved and me at Lakeside Rose Garden, Fort Wayne, Indiana
My beloved and me at Lakeside Rose Garden, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Garden pup:  Elle
Garden pup: Elle

 

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Our first compost pile in what used to be the dog pen.  Sorry Elle!  You'll have to share!
Our first compost pile in what used to be the dog pen. Sorry Elle! You’ll have to share!

 

Lavender in the veggie garden bringing on the bumblebees.  Yes!
Lavender in the veggie garden bringing on the bumblebees. Yes!
Looks like the Knock Out Rose bush is going to make it after all!
Looks like the Knock Out Rose bush is going to make it after all!

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Spring and Fall

DSCF8784My body will tell you tonight:  it’s quite an accomplishment to finish our Spring and Fall yard clean up projects all within 24 hours!  Whaaat?  Such is life these days.  All completed just in time for the long soaking rain storm outside my window as Winter approaches . . . the maiden tulip bulbs are going to be real happy in their new home!

I am exceedingly grateful to be functioning somewhat better despite the ongoing noxious episodes that occur most days.  Then there were two noxious-free “holidays” within the past four days.  THIS IS HUGE GUYS AND GALS!  I haven’t had more than a one-day break per week since living in the hotel at the beginning of the year when we were remediating our home for mold.  Looks like the IV magnesium treatments (counted #20 today) and sugar/sweetener-free cholestyramine are beginning to work a wonder inside of me.  I am grateful and humbled.

Despite all of this good news for some reason I needed to cry a bit today.  This year has been especially traumatic.  When I’m in one of those hour-long to several-hour-long episodes my ability to think and reflect is gone.  My mind is blank.  No processing occurs of what is happening to me.  I have heard patients with dementia describe his or her mind this way.  There just aren’t any thoughts.  Gratefully I do not have dementia.  I often wonder, however, if there will be synaptic damage from the almost 2 years of seizure attacks.  Then again, maybe the neurons just needed a little Spring cleaning, resetting, and the like.  Anyways, I believe that to grieve the loss of my health is, well, healthy.  Perhaps it will pave a comprehensive path to healing?

The end of Psalm 139 reads:

23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I have heard an application of this passage that it can describe the need to reflect upon and grieve a past trauma as part of a God-honoring healing process.  The Lord knows me and my circumstances in addition to the outcome.  By opening my mind and heart to His merciful grace under the shadow of His wings, I will find rest.   I have prayed many times to “get” the purpose of all of this suffering and wondered if I was “there yet.”  I asked my husband Steve, my God-honoring spiritual leader, if he thought there was anything I was not seeing.  Was there some sin or character flaw that required repentance?  Steve was gracious when asked these questions.  We both saw the little lessons and unexpected blessings that were the “silver lining” to this illness.  We have not become embittered.  We have drawn even closer together and to Christ.  Whew.  Thankfully.

Blogging started as online journaling and has become so much more. I do hope that my writing will be used for God’s glory and point people who are going through serious trials, to the person of Jesus Christ.   To the Gentle Reader out there, you have also helped me find a plan and a purpose for this time in my life.  The process has become as meaningful as the lessons learned.  One lesson learned yesterday:  don’t leave a wheelbarrow full of mulch out in the yard!  Put it under the covered porch.  Six times it got rained on and rained in.  Geez that was one heavy wheelbarrow!

A little humor helps fer shur.  And my Stevers is a great model of the value of silliness in the middle of the crap-o-la-ski.  (You were missing my Polish, I know, so here ya go!)  Thanks for hanging in there with me.  Wish I could hug ya, eh?  :J