Archive for November, 2009

Thankful Saturday

I am thankful:

 

1.     I have been reading so many excellent books.

2.    My Mom got her storage building.

3.    My Mom was able to get great shelves to go in the building because I called and found them and I negotiated a 10% discount on them from Lowes.

4.    I found so many pair of jeans and pants in storage at my present size that I will not have to buy more.

5.    Hope and I have been walking most days.

6.    I got a haircut at Fantastic Sam’s last week.

7.    The dental clinic called and I got part of my cleaning done and will get the rest done before the end of December.

8.    I have been sleeping well with no nightmares.

9.    Alex is doing well and still thinking he may come home soon.

10.  We have heat for the cold days and nights.

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Thankful Thursday

I am thankful…

 

1.     I had Hope groomed yesterday.

2.    Mom has been home this week.

3.    I bought Under The Dome by Stephen King.

4.    One of the ladies in Journal Writing told me about GoodReads. I am keeping a list of what I am reading on the site.

5.    We ate at Zaxby’s Monday night and it was very good.

6.    Mom is going to get her storage building.

7.    I am reading some very good books.

8.    I am able to wear smaller clothes again.

9.    I am keeping my food journal up to date.

10.  Alex emailed me Tuesday night.

11.  Ko-Ko is healing well.

12.  It was beautiful today and Hope and I walked.

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Wednesday’s Midweek Reflection

Thursday, we took Ko-Ko to be spayed early in the morning. We ate breakfast at IHOP. Then we went by Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart. We went home and then came back to town to get Ko-Ko. She was whiney all evening. Jeremy called and Mom told him about the storage building. Alex emailed me. I watched The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural.

 

Friday, Mom blew some leaves and I measured possible locations for the storage building. Ko-Ko was feeling much better. I read and computed a good bit. Mom watched wrestling.

 

Saturday, I blew leaves and cleaned my bathroom. Jeremy came by and looked at the locations we were considering for the storage building. Mom spent the night with June at her new apartment. I stayed up late reading and computing.

 

Sunday, Mom came home at about 11:00 in the morning. My sister-in-law, Linda visited. I read and computed.

 

Monday, we took three pair of Mom’s pants to be hemmed. Both Mom and I are short enough we either have to have a lot of things hemmed or roll up the legs. I read and computed. I watched Heroes and Trauma.

 

Tuesday, I washed four loads of clothes. It rained all day so Hope and I were not able to walk. I read and computed.

 

Today, we took Hope to Pet Set to have her groomed. We went to the chiropractor and were adjusted. We went by the Post Office and dropped off two bills to go on to their destinations. We stopped by Pet Co, I went in, bought Potty Mouth for all the dogs so that Ko-Ko does not eat their poop, and Joint Support III for Hope and Penny. We went to Texaco and I pumped gas into the Explorer. We went to the place that has storage buildings; I went in and put down Mom’s $100.00 deposit on the building she wants. We stopped at the Flowers Bakery Store and picked up some treats. We went by the library, but they were closed for the holiday. We stopped by Wal-Mart and they did not have what I wanted for the price I wanted. We went to Sam’s Club and I bought Under The Dome by Stephen King and Mom bought a gallon of milk. We went back and picked Hope up minus all her body hair. When we got home we ate treats for lunch. Hope and I walked even though it was damp outside. I read and computed. I watched Mercy.

 

That about does it for now.

 

Always,

Jo Ann

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Siblings

Creative Journal – Entry Thirty – Siblings
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

 

My siblings were both so much older than I that we were not really ever close. My Mom tells me that I was close to my brother, James, when I was very young. I do not remember much of that time. James was fourteen and Melvin was twelve when I was born. By the time I really remember much about my brothers they were married and living on their own. I became an aunt at five years old. My nephews and nieces were more like siblings than were my brothers. I grew up with them and they were often around. When my oldest nephew, Jim, was killed in January of 1996, I was devastated because we were best friends. Jim had many problems, but his attitude toward me was always loving. My niece, Leigh, and I are very close even today. My nephew, Jeremy, is charged with caring for Mom and me now that James is gone. He and I have very good communication, though he stays so busy we rarely see one another.

 

Now that my brother, James, is dead and my brother, Melvin, has alienated himself from the family for years, I feel I have no siblings. I am glad that James seemed to accept me before he died. He would be proud of me for losing the weight I have since his death. He encouraged me to try to lose the weight. I promised James that I would take care of Mom and I feel close to him at times when I am doing things for her.

 

I do remember while I was young the family went to Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier together during the summers. James always had a boat and I would water-ski while he drove or we would ski together while Dad drove. Mom and Dad bought a boat from James and we would have more than one boat at the lake.

 

My family was very poor before I was born and James encouraged my parents to become more successful. He was always trying to do better than he had before and his success helped spur my Dad to try harder. James helped me whenever I had a bad time, but he was often verbally abusive of me. He always thought I could accomplish more than I did. He could not abide stupidity and would chide me when I made mistakes.

 

My brother, James, was always my hero. He took care of the family and was always strong in difficult situations. I miss him so much now. I sometimes wish I could turn to my brother, Melvin, but he is no longer family by his own choice. I could get in touch with him, but if he will have nothing to do with my Mom, I cannot be close to him. My Mom has done nothing to deserve his desertion.

 

I am so glad James was my brother. He was a wonderful sibling, always doing what an older brother should. We did not have sibling rivalry. We accepted that he was the oldest and depended on and I was the youngest and the baby of the family. Although I disappointed James often over the years, I finally made him proud before he died.

 

Always,
Jo Ann

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Health

Creative Journal – Entry Twenty-nine – Health

Monday, November 09, 2009

 

My health is relatively good. Of course having Schizoaffective Disorder disqualifies me from excellent health, but some people do not count mental health as part of health. The insurance companies use very different rules for physical and mental disorders. Physical disorders are covered by insurance no matter how long or severe they are, but mental disorders are constrained by limits on duration and severity. If I were physically disabled insurance would pay for anything I need, but since I have a mental disability some of my care is not covered. I cannot have counseling because it is not fully covered by my insurance. Of course, Medicare has limits that are even stricter than regular insurance. I must be careful that I do not overstep the coverage of Medicare and medically needy Medicaid.

 

My physical health is very good. I do have acid reflux, but Nexium controls that. I also have some pain in my left leg, but chiropractic treatment and a NSAID pain reliever make it bearable. I have lost twenty-five pounds since March so I am healthier than I was. I have gone from a size eighteen to a size fourteen in many clothes. I still need a size sixteen in some things that run small, but it is a definite improvement. I would still like to lose a bit more weight, but I am able to exert myself in ways that would not have been possible a few months ago. I exercise almost every day and that improves my health.

 

I should probably go to bed earlier to get the recommended eight hours of sleep required for optimum health, but that just is not something I am willing to do these days. I have gotten in a pattern of staying up later and I enjoy it. I feel that some enjoyment contributes to good health.

 

I am fortunate in that my Medicare and medically needy Medicaid pay for most of my healthcare. There is no way that I would get adequate care if these two programs did not exist. The medically needy Medicaid is particularly good because it helps pay the costs that Medicare does not cover. I would not be able to afford the medications that keep me functioning were it not for medically needy Medicaid. There are many people with problems similar to mine who do not have health coverage and are unable to afford medication and minimal care. Sometimes these people have severe problems because they are not treated. I am fortunate that I have qualified for these programs. I would not be healthy without proper care.

 

Because I am in relatively good health, I am able to care for my Mom whose health is quite poor. Her Parkinson’s disease is not severe, but along with her other health problems she is fairly ill. The numbness she has in her legs and feet make her stumble at times, and her balance is not very good. She has a number of conditions that must be regularly medicated and monitored by her doctors. I manage her healthcare and her medication. It takes a great deal of organization to stay abreast of all she needs. I am able to coordinate her care with minimal problems.

 

I hope I continue in good health. I take care that I am able to do what needs to be done.

 

May all of you live in good health.

 

Always,

Jo Ann

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Money

Creative Journal – Entry Twenty-eight – Money
Sunday, November 08, 2009

 

Money is something of which I wish I had more. There are so many good things that money can afford. I am fortunate to have the money I do, and I count that a blessing daily. However, more money would allow me to do things I cannot at present do. Most importantly, if I had more money I would pay off the debt I owe my mother. It would be so good not to have that hanging over my head. I am paying on the debt steadily, but with the little I can do, it is not disappearing very quickly. I should never have borrowed so much from my Mom, but without her help, I would not have many things I enjoy.

 

Even though my money is very limited, I have what I need, and some of what I want. I cannot do all the things I would like, but even so, I do not suffer. If I had more money I would be tempted to move into my own place and that would not be good for my Mom. She needs me with her 24/7. At least, I would be able to take a vacation if I had more money. That would be a wonderful thing, just to get away and see somewhere different for a few days. If I had more money, I would not worry so much over every cent I spend. I could relax a little when I go out to shop. Maybe not everything I bought would have to be on sale. Although, even had I lots of money I think I would be a bargain shopper. I like the thrill of saving money and getting things for a fraction of what they were supposed to cost.

 

Since I went through Financial Peace University last year, I have been able to use my money more wisely. I earn $790.00 a month. I give $300.00 to my Mom to help pay expenses and pay down my debt. I am trying to save $50.00 to $100.00 a month. My bill for internet and phone is around $75.00 and my MSN service is $9.95. My prescriptions are $35.00 to $40.00 a month. That leaves only a small amount of money to spend on groceries, necessities, and things I want. This month I had to pay $111.00 in insurance for my Buick. Therefore, I must be very careful of what I spend this month. Last month I finished with $4.00 in my wallet and $0.29 in my checking account. That was a good month because I saved $100.00. I am hoping to get my teeth cleaned at the clinic this month and that will be $50.00. When it is all written out like that, it is amazing I am able to make do with the amount of money my Social Security Disability provides. The money I save is my emergency fund and I periodically have to use it for things that are beyond the normal expenses I incur. Before Financial Peace University, I did not save any money and I did not give Mom as much toward my debt. I am trying to be more responsible now. It is an extreme balancing act to live within my means. I hope one day I have more money, but because of this time in my life, I will be better able to use extra money wisely.

 

I am happy that I have any money of my own. Since 1997, my Social Security Disability has provided for me and for Alex until he entered the Marine Corps. I do not know what we would have done without the money. I still rely on it. I know it is a wonderful blessing.

 

Money is an extremely good thing as long as it is used with care.

 

Always,
Jo Ann

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Words

Creative Journal – Entry Twenty-seven – Words

Saturday, November 07, 2009

 

Words are an endless treasure. I am entranced by the ideas that words communicate. From face to face communication to the knowledge I gain from books, I am fascinated by words. There are simple words that describe things then there are complex words that add meaning to concepts. I write, and my words become real on the page. I can go back and learn exactly what I was thinking in the past. My words are a snapshot of who I am at a certain moment in time. Words can describe things in detail and transmit an image from one person to another. Words are magical, bringing the imagination of the past and future into the present. I read and I am carried away on a stream of words.

 

Words describe and make things clear. Those who are blessed with a way with words can move people to think and act in ways that would not have occurred to them without the communication. Human beings are blessed with the gift of language, which is ours alone. Our use of words sets us apart from the animals. Our highest ideals are transmitted through our words. We gain understanding of one another through our use of words. Much can be learned about a person simply through his/her words.

 

We can learn from the great minds of the past through the words they left behind. Poets and prophets have left their words for us to ponder. The world that existed long before our times is described by the authors of the past. Words are a legacy reaching out to influence the present. Words can help us learn about ourselves and grow into better people.

 

To watch a baby acquire words and begin to communicate is amazing. Words make a creature only centered in itself move beyond itself and become a person. The acquisition of words makes the young mind grow and develop. Thought is connected to word and word allows communication. Thus, whole worlds open to a child… words are the key.

 

Words are a way of living for me. So much of what I have learned has been transmitted to me via the words in books. I communicate with the wider world through the words I set down. I do not even know the extent of the good my words may do, for I set them free to roam the world. Words are strong and have power to effect change. I hope that my words may influence people for good. I try to use words in a positive way to build up others. Words are wonderful and I am so glad I am able to use them.

 

Always,
Jo Ann

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Power

Creative Journal – Entry Twenty-six – Power

Friday, November 06, 2009

 

My power is very limited. I am responsible for myself and for helping my Mom. I have some power over Hope, but I do not think she actually thinks of me as the pack leader. She believes she can do as she desires. I no longer have any power over Alex. He still asks me to do things for him on occasion, but he does not always heed my advice. He has power over his own life within the confines of the Marine Corps. He cannot do everything as he pleases.

 

I do have power over my finances, but there is not much money to manage. I have to be very careful to avoid running out of money every month. I really do not mind being constrained financially, it has taught me to appreciate what I have more than I did in the past. Gratitude gives me power to be satisfied with my life. I have the power to choose my attitude every day, and most often, I choose to be happy. There are things that disturb my sense of peace, but I have the power to change my feelings. I have power over my own mind. No one else can dictate my thoughts. I have the power to write creatively and do artistic things. No one else has my ideas and that gives me some power.

 

I have power over what goes on here when my Mom is away. I am left in charge of everything here including all three of our dogs. Because I do most of the chores here, I have some power over what goes on here.

 

Power is not something that interests me much. I do not desire power over others. I am only concerned about having power over myself. As long as I am able to take care of myself, I will feel empowered.

 

Always,
Jo Ann

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Thankful Thursday (On Friday)

I am thankful…

 

1.     I was able to save some money the last two months.

 

2.    I saw that Wal-Mart had over-charged Mom and I for our Diet Cokes and we went and got a refund.

 

3.    I found the PAD Chapbook Challenge.

 

4.    The DIRECTV technician fixed the problem with our system. A frayed cable can cause many problems.

 

5.    Mom has stayed home this week.

 

6.    Ko-Ko’s surgery went well and she is more herself this morning.

 

7.    I am writing every day.

 

8.    I have read many books lately and that I found an Anne Rice novel at the library Tuesday.

 

9.    My printer is working.

 

10.  Jeremy is going to let Mom buy another storage building.

 

11.  Alex emailed me yesterday.

 

12.  Our electric bill is a lot lower than it was during the summer.

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Late

Creative Journal – Entry Twenty-five – Late

Thursday, November 05, 2009

 

I am late getting this entry done, because I have been procrastinating about it all day. I have not felt my best today, but really, that is no excuse for putting this off. I was up at 7:00 this morning because we had to take Ko-Ko to the vet to be spayed. She had to be dropped off between 8:00am and 9:00am. She became six months old on the first and the vet recommended the procedure be done near that time. Once we had her settled at the vet, we went to IHOP for breakfast. Mom bought mine and it was very good. I had chocolate chip pancakes with my breakfast combo. We went to Sam’s Club to pick up our medication. Mom bought some pizzas, apples, and sock animals as well as her prescription. I paid for my four prescriptions. I had not expected all of them to be filled, but was thankful that they were. We went to Wal-Mart and got the money they overcharged us for Diet Cokes on Tuesday. They did not want to do the refund, but I was not leaving without our money. Then I picked up two packages of Northern. We came back home and I finished reading Angel Time by Anne Rice. This is an excellent book. The storytelling is fantastic. Anne Rice is one of my favorite authors and she did an outstanding job with this book. It is about a killer who becomes involved with angels. It is set in both the present and the thirteenth century. I highly recommend it. Jeremy called and we told him about the storage building we had found yesterday. He says he will go look at it Saturday and perhaps Mom will be able to buy it. We picked Ko-Ko up from the vet at about 4:30. She was very subdued. She grunted and lay still as we drove home. She spent the evening curled up in Mom’s lap mostly. She had not eaten today so I fixed some Moist & Meaty for her. This was a special treat. She ate it even though her mouth was tender because the vet removed two baby teeth that had not come out yet. I started a new book.

 

I thought I might skip writing an entry today because it was growing late, but I realized it would not be good to break my pattern of journaling every day. I want to stay up late anyway, even though I am a little tired. I probably would have slept late this morning had I not had to get up. Tomorrow I can sleep in because we have no plans for the day. I will try to write some more entries for the PAD Chapbook Challenge tomorrow. It is too late to do it today. I read the prompts and could think of nothing to write so I decided I could do it later. Later has turned into too late tonight. Procrastination and perfectionism will do that to a person. It makes one wait until it is too late to act.

 

I am rarely late for appointments, meetings, or things I must do, but if there is an option to leave something until later, I often take advantage of it. I meet deadlines, but often wait until the last available moment. Even so, being late is not my choice. My Mom instilled in me that being late is never right and I like to be right so I do things early or on time. Mom’s best friend, June, is always late and it is a major irritation to Mom. June is a wonderful person with many great qualities, but being late is a habit with her. I do not understand it, because I always endeavor to be on time or early. Mom has little patience for June being late, she complains of it to me almost every time it happens, but she will not say anything to June no matter how long she has to wait on her. Mom will not complain to her because she places such a high value on their friendship.

 

I see how much lateness bothers Mom and it makes me try even harder to be on time or early. It is of high value to Mom and I want to please her. It is almost a matter of honor with me never to be late. I hate it when we are at appointments early and then have to wait hours for the doctors who run late to show up. It seems that professionals would make a concerted effort to be on time. They charge if patients are late or do not show for appointments, but they can be late anytime and we can do nothing about it.

 

It is getting late and I must get this posted for today so I will leave my treatise at this.

 

Always,

Jo Ann

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