Saturday, August 31, 2013

Best of... Only The Manager

You know how musicians put out their "best of..." albums? I decided that I want to do some of those for my blog. When I go back and read through a lot of my posts I think they sound kind of dumb. I may even feel a bit embarrassed by them. However, there are a few that I think are worth repeating. Maybe I was better tapped into a higher wisdom those days. I don't know. Sometimes I just think I happen upon a topic that is worth a rerun. The following is one such rerun...

 Edify, this is a very important word to me.  It goes through my head a lot.  Sometimes it really annoys me.


The definition of edify includes "to build up, to construct, to strengthen a person" as well as "to inform or enlighten intellectually or spiritually." (from  When I consider if something is edifying or not, I ask myself if any good can come from it.

I suppose you wonder why such a nice word can be annoying.  Well, sometimes I just want to say stuff, whatever I'm thinking.  It may be something that would classify as gossip or it may be something just a little bit mean.  Why do I want to say things like that?  I don't know, but sometimes I just do.   I'm not proud of it but there it is.  It may be something like, "Hey, have you gained weight?" or "Did you hear that so-and-so cheated on his wife?"  It is even possible to SOUND sweet when you say it.


Also, if you say "bless her heart" after such a comment, it's ok, right?


Usually the word "edify" comes to mind when I take time to think before I speak.  I'm guessing the Holy Spirit is responsible for that.  I'll have these little brakes screeching in my head and I find myself thinking, against my will, "Is this edifying?"  Rats!  I am usually, but not always, able to stop myself from blabbering out the non-edifying thoughts.

On the flip side, sometimes I find myself thinking edifying thoughts about someone but don't make the effort to share those thoughts with them.  I'm trying to notice when I DO have an edifying thought so that I may pass it on.  Even that can be difficult.  Maybe they will think I am a weirdo.  What if they think I am trying to butter them up or think I am being phoney?

I have to say, though, I've yet to get a bad reaction when I pass on an edifying thought to someone.  It might be one-on-one or it might be saying something edifying in front of a group, but it needs to be said.  This world can be dark and scarey, but we are called to be bright lights of hope, letting Jesus shine from the inside out.  We are to encourage and build-up others.


                    Maybe striving for an attitude of edification is where it all starts.

                                   This is a link to a post on a blog I enjoy.

            Janine elegantly writes on this subject.  You could say it is an edifying post.

So, now you know about being edifying.  Now you know why sometimes I look like I have a little struggle going on in my head as I am questioning myself, "Will this be edifying in any way?"  What are your thoughts on the subject?  Does edification come easily to you?  Tell me about ways you've found you can be edifying.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Little Girls and Dandelions

All little girls pick dandelions, don't they? 
I know that I did. 
Maria did. 
It is just one of those things that little girls do. 
I love it!

When we were at the Natural Bridge Cordelia found lots of dandelions. 

In true Cordelia fashion, she made sure we each received one. 
She is such a giving little thing.

Well, Elise watches every move that Cordy makes.

She wants to be just like her big sister.
It is pretty cute to see. 
She is a quick learner, though.

And she gave me this beautiful dandelion.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ayers Natural Bridge

Yesterday was my day off. Maria and I had plans to take the girls to my Mom's. Well, I ruined that by flossing a crown right off of a tooth. That is not a good idea! I was very, very grateful to my dentist and his staff for getting me right in. By the time I was re-crowned, though, it was too late to head to Mom's. I felt a bit pouty about that but we came up with a second choice plan that turned out to be delightful.

We went to a beautiful park that features a natural bridge. It is a short drive from where we live but it seemed like a little oasis in the middle of the Wyoming prairie! The colors were so wonderful! I took over 300 photos! Yep, I am going to post them all. OK, maybe not all of them. Here's quite a few for you to look at, though. As you do, I hope you can feel a bit of the peace and relaxation that place had to offer.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

23andMe... Yes, Me!

I've done something kind of interesting!

 I've always found genetics to be fascinating and now I've discovered a really fun way to find out more about my own. Earlier this summer I saw a brief news clip about a company called 23andMe. For $99 I could find out a LOT of hints about my health and ancestry. I didn't ponder long before I decided it was worth $99 to me to do this. When I mentioned it to one of the doctors with whom I work, he knew of this company and said it was a legitimate DNA test.  I don't want to mislead you. It isn't total and complete but rather only tests for certain markers. It's pretty cool, though. It's been featured on PBS's series, Who Do You Think You Are, the show where they track some celebrity's family line.

When I went online to read about 23andMe I found a nice website absolutely full of information. It told me that I would get reports on hundreds of health risks or traits. I also learned I could find out information about ancestry. So, I ordered my test kit.

My test kit arrived in only a few days. I was required to register my kit online and then directed to spit into a tube, seal it and mail it back in the prepaid packaging they provided. The instructions were complete. It was all very simple and required only a few minutes of my time. The hardest part was the waiting. It took about 4 weeks to see my results.

There are lots of cautions and such along the way, both when ordering the kit and later when choosing which reports I wanted to see. As they put it, "knowledge is irrevocable". 23andMe can provide information that leads a person to know they are adopted or that maybe they have a half-sibling somewhere. I can see where this information could be hard for some families to learn.

Maybe you would see that you had a really high risk for developing Alzheimer's Disease or something. That knowledge might be devastating! Would you want to know? The way the results are set up, you may choose to keep some of the information locked while viewing the more general results. No one should take this without being fully informed. The site gives a lot of thought-provoking information.

However, the results may tell you that you are at high risk for developing a heart condition. Maybe it would help you be motivated toward better health. Some of the results tell you if certain medications will work well for you or not. You will also learn a lot of ancestry information. It identified over 900 members who are related to me, most quite distantly. By choosing to communicate through their message system I have made contact with some of those people. One of the first turned out to be a third cousin. We were able to identify our common ancestor. It amazed me that this company could identify all those relatives just by our spit!

My results, so far, haven't been too hard to take. There are some things for which I have a higher than normal risk. A few of them I already knew about as I've already been diagnosed with them. I also found I have a lower than average risk for Parkinson's Disease. That was good news. The results do NOT diagnose anything. They just come back with a percentage number for you. It may be something like telling you that you have a 23% chance of developing some disease or ailment for which the average person only has a 3% risk. They also give you information on how to change health habits to perhaps lower your risk or at least to identify it earlier, perhaps when it is more treatable.

This company is heavily involved in research. All of its members, over 300,000 of them so far, are offered a chance to be a part of that research. Some of the results you receive won't come with a percentage because they need more results from more people before they feel sure of their answers. As more people become involved, those results will be updated. You don't have to pay to get those updates.

There are fun results on this report as well. It will make some guesses about you, based on your DNA. For instance, mine said my hair is likely slightly curlier than that of the average person, which is true. It said I was likely to be a person with blue eyes, which I am. It told me I was likely blood type AB, which I am.

As for the ancestry information, the more relatives you have who do the test, the better for your results as well.  Women, for instance, get a more complete result if a close male relative (brother) takes the test and allows you to link as being a known relative. That helps fill in some information gaps due to us women not having a "Y" chromosome.

I did have one really big disappointment when I got my results. I found out that I'm pretty vanilla. I am likely over 99% European, almost all Northern European. I was kind of hoping for something more exotic!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Photo Shoot

Recently I asked Maria if we could use Elise for a little photo shoot for a hat for Wyoming Rose Boutique. Maria has used her girls in photo shoots before, producing adorable pictures. Well, let me show you something. It's not as easy as she has made it look!

We gave up...for awhile. After supper she was more in the mood.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy (Late) Birthday, Sara!

I don't know what was wrong with me this past week-end! Well, I was pretty wrapped up in studying every waking minute for that ACLS Class (which I passed, by the way). Still, that is no excuse for what I did...or rather, what I did not do. I did not post a birthday tribute to my daughter-in-law.

Sorry, Sara.

Better late than never?

Happy LATE Birthday to our beautiful daughter-in-law!

I am happy to call this sweet girl my daughter-in-law. She is a delightful combination of smart and funny. You should hear her laugh! She has a joyous, melodic laugh. I remember Ben once telling me that one of the things he liked about Sara was that she got his jokes. They laugh a lot together. I love that!

Years ago, when Ben was talking to me about who he might someday marry, I told him I would love whoever he loved. Sara made it easy to keep that promise!

So, sorry to be late with the post, Sara. I love you and wish for you not only a happy birthday but a happy year ahead. I'm glad you are part of this family!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Build Your Kingdom Here

Rend Collective Experiment

Come set Your rule and reign
In our hearts again          
Increase in us we pray
Unveil why we're made
Come set our hearts ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls
Holy Spirit come invade us now
We are Your Church
We need Your power
In us

We seek Your kingdom first
We hunger and we thirst
Refuse to waste our lives
For You're our joy and prize
To see the captive hearts released
The hurt; the sick; the poor at peace
We lay down our lives for Heaven's cause
We are Your church
We pray revive
This earth

Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
We pray  

Unleash Your kingdom's power
Reaching the near and far
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church
We are the hope
On earth

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cents of Humor

Cents of Humor

A cents of humor is worth much more than gold.

It’ll keep you young while worrying about metal will make you old.

Though gold’s price may go higher, it won’t make the day sunny.

But a cents of humor will summon the rays and make your days funny.

You’ll never control how much gold will be worth.

However, you are in charge of the value of your mirth.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Something to Ponder

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that 

you can see the place you came from with new eyes and 

extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. 

Coming back to where you started is not the same as never 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

No Joke! It Could Be a Stroke!

Another part of the ACLS class I am taking involves learning more about strokes. I am refreshing my knowledge about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. As I do this, I realize that even the best doctors and nurses can't help a stroke patient if they aren't present. It usually falls upon a non-medical person to recognize a problem and to initiate the process of care by calling 911. So...... you guessed it! I decided to post a little education about strokes. Yay! Aren't you excited!?

Strokes are so, so common! People can have strokes and not even realize it. Although the risk of stroke gets higher with age, no one is immune. Watch this young news reporter. She seems oblivious to the fact that she is making no sense. She was having a stroke.

There are two major types of strokes. Basically, a stroke occurs when something happens to impede the blood flow supplying the brain. The two major types of stroke are ischemic and hemorrhagic. It probably isn't important for the average person to know those words but I will tell you what they mean.

An ischemic stroke simply means that a little something interrupts the flow of blood to a part of the brain. This includes blood clots or a little piece of debri that breaks loose and travels, getting stuck in a small vessel.  Brain cells are very delicate. They need constant blood flow to bring nutrients and oxygen to them! When they don't get what they need, they start to die. The symptoms a patient has with a stroke depend upon which brain cells are being deprived, which cells are dying.

The second type of stroke is referred to as a hemorrhagic stroke. Instead of something getting in the way of the flow of blood, this type occurs when a vessel is leaking blood out. When the blood leaks out into the brain, it means the blood cells downstream aren't getting their fair share of the nutrients and oxygen. The leaking blood can also cause damage by pooling where it is not supposed to be. It causes pressure and damages precious brain cells that way.

Have you heard of mini-strokes? A mini-stroke is referred to as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). They are not to be taken likely. A TIA is more than just a warning sign. A TIA is really a narrow escape. Here's an example.... a person may have a piece of plaque (debri) that breaks loose from inside a vessel. It starts flowing along until it travels to a vessel that is more narrow. It gets clogged up there and sticks. Doesn't that sound just like the ischemic stroke I described above? Well, it is. The only difference is that the debri is stuck only temporarily. Whew! The patient lucked out, right!? The thing is, someone who has a TIA may not be so lucky the next time and permanent damage may occur. It is important for them to be treated so as to prevent another, worse event.

To learn more about how to take care of yourself the best you can so as to avoid a stroke altogether, click here. That link will take you to the Mayo Clinic site, one of my favorite places to refer people who want to learn a bit more about any health topic. It is trustworthy and written in words that make sense even if you have no medical degree. And no, Mayo Clinic does not pay me for that little advertisement...although I'd be open to that! Anyway, they will explain to you how to increase your chances of avoiding a stroke. 

So, even if you don't feel you are at risk for strokes, you likely know someone who is. If you are present when someone is having a stroke, the best thing you can do is get emergency services to them as soon as possible. It is sooooooo important to get care quickly because the fewer brain cells that die, the better the chance for a good recovery! The problem is, sometimes people just don't recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Not everyone starts speaking nonsense like the reporter shown in the video above. Sometimes the symptoms are much less dramatic.

Sometimes a person stroking may report that they are experiencing sudden vision changes. Sometimes they complain of sudden numbness or tingling. Maybe you'll just notice they seem to be suddenly confused or suddenly dizzy. Like the reporter above, they may have sudden trouble speaking. Perhaps they suddenly complain of an unbearable headache. Another thing you may notice is they are suddenly having trouble walking or even balancing while standing still. Did you notice that word "sudden" being involved in each of those sentences? Stroke symptoms can occur more gradually if the person has several smallish strokes but anytime any of those symptoms come on suddenly, it warrants an immediate call for 911. Do not hesitate to say you think the person is having a stroke. You want help FAST!

When the paramedics arrive you may notice them asking the patient to do some weird things. For example, they may ask the patient to smile. What?! It doesn't seem the time to check out their pearly whites! What they are doing, though, is a stroke assessment. Sometimes a stroke patient feels like they are smiling normally, but only half of their face is smiling. That's a pretty low tech approach but is strongly indicative for stroke. They may also ask them to raise both arms out in front of them. A stroke patient may be unable to raise both arms equally or, even if they can, one arm may keep drifting downward. They may ask the patient to squeeze their own hands with both of their's. The paramedics are comparing strength. If one hand can't squeeze or does so with a lot less strength than the other, suspicion of a stroke diagnosis is even stronger. Of course, these are tests you can perform as well, but please call 911 first.

If you remember nothing else about strokes, remember that time is important. Wasting time to get help may result in the death of more brain cells! Also, some of the treatments are only helpful if started within a few hours of the first symptoms. It is good to note the time when symptoms began and to report that time to the healthcare professionals. 

I'd like to leave you with some good news... 

I once had the opportunity to spend a couple of months helping a stroke patient. She wasn't just any patient; she was my friend. In the first days after her stroke she could not walk, talk or even recognize many of the people she'd known for years. We were devastated! I was given a front row seat, though, to a wonderful show of recovery! I watched as her brain had to find new routes to access information. It was one of the most incredible things I have witnessed! Her recovery outcome would not have been as good if she had been deprived of early interventions.  As it is, she was able to return to her husband and children, able to care for herself and her family. It was a story with a happy ending.

If you think you or someone else may be having a stroke, call 911 without hesitation.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Heart Homework

I am tooooo busy to blog right now. You see, I have to take an ACLS Course this week-end. For the non-medical among us, that stands for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support. I wasn't too worried about it until I learned that I was supposed to have a book and be studying in preparation for it. I could have been studying for weeks but I didn't know. So, I just got the book this week and I am CRAMMING stuff into my tired old brain. I'm sure it will all turn out ok...kind of sure. I just need to focus a bit.

Since I am studying about how to care for people suffering a heart attack, I thought maybe I'd use this opportunity to educate all of you as well. Don't worry. I won't make you study. Just watch this cute video. It is humorous but it makes a good point. There will be a test later. No, wait, I'm the one who will be taking a test later this week. You just watch and learn...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Better to Give

You may be surprised (not!) To know I am proud of my granddaughters. Well, Cordelia gave me another opportunity to admire her sweet little self. No, she is not perfect, but that little girl truly has a giving heart.

Saturday I picked up some crafty things to go do with her. Right away she chose to make two necklaces, one for her Momma and one for me. I told her she wouldn't have enough supplies to then make one for herself. Her answer, "That's OK. I have wots of udder necklaces."

Maria wore her's to church Sunday. I treasure mine and will wear it often!

After Sunday Supper...

wet hair
spaghetti faces
crab apples

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