IS THE NEW THING WORKING?

Last week Friday 9/7/18 (grandson’s birthday so I would remember) was just my first day at trying to switch out my coffee for green tea.  Here are the things that I have already noticed:

  • I have been battling my first kid came home from school cold, and it’s been an ugly one. The worst part has been my throat.  The first thing I noticed with the green tea is that it did seem to soothe my throat better than the coffee.

bad cold

  • Cravings are down.
    • Part may be because I do not add creamer to my tea (not supposed to), but I do LOVE it in my coffee. I can (have and will) drink coffee black, but sometimes the coffee is very bitter or way too strong for my taste. I simply chose years ago to put cream in my coffee.
    • I used to add sugar too, but when we moved to the farm and met out Bee Guy; that changed to honey. It is supposed to have immune boosting properties along with other body goodies. I do add a bit of honey to my tea – usually every other cup so far.  This may change after a while. I am really starting to like the green tea taste.
    • I have also learned that starting the day with something sugary can aid in your craving it more throughout the day. Guess I get to test that theory too.

munchie monster

  • I feel more alert. This may also be part of the leaving the cream and not so much honey aspect.  Not exactly sure what the booster is in it, I just really appreciate

wide awake

  • More energy – this is a biggie for me. Part of my blood pressure meds makes me feel tired all the time.  They have brought my pressure down but caused me to become a bit listless.  I HATE THIS!  There are only so many hours in a day, and only so much I can get done in those hours.  When you wake up feeling tired (even after 4 cups of coffee) you get depressed easily because you feel like nothing is getting done – grrr!

lazy

Reviewing all of this, I believe I will stick with my green tea.  It’s hard when my sister and I have always shared the coffee making responsibility.  I can still set up pots in the evening for the next morning, but mine is so much easier.  Have not been able to talk her into it yet.  You CAN teach an old dog (don’t tell her I called her this) new tricks, but you must keep pushing.

What we think we look like

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THEY DID IT AGAIN – YEAH!

I love getting emails from other how-to-er’s (yes, I just created a new word, and a lot of you are not going to like it – get over it.) all over the world.  One of the first places that I connected with is https://thewhoot.com/.  They have brought me so many wonders over the last ten years it is amazing.

They look at everything from crafting, to health and wellness, to fun family activities, and much more.  I am not affiliated with them; I simply wanted to share something new that they brought me this morning.  It was all about the wonders of Green Tea.

I have been drinking green tea for only the last five years, and not very regular, but I am hooked.  After reading the article and watching the video, I want more, and I want to do it right.  Starting Friday (just because it is my Grandson’s tenth birthday, so it will be easy to remember the start date.), I am going to switch from my morning coffee to morning green tea.  Wish me luck.

too much coffee

It’s easy enough to set up a pot of coffee; now I just need to remember to make it plain hot water and DO NOT add coffee.  Steeping for the 2-3 minutes will also be easy as it is about that long before I can drink anything hot.  The only bummer is I currently only have dried green tea on hand.  I will have to check into her connections and see what I can do about obtaining some fresh stuff.

I will put out monthly updated on how I am progressing and if it really helps with what she states.  The main goals I will be looking at are:

  • Abdominal Fat (including bloating)
  • Reduced cravings (I admit it – I am a choc-o-holic, especially the dark stuff.)
  • Improved brain function (not sure how to measure this, maybe it will just come to me?)
  • I do not have diabetes or high cholesterol, but I do have high blood pressure. Would be fantastic if it can reduce this and get me off the meds. (It took 18 different tries to find the one that would work for/with me – hate that I need chemicals.)
  • I also take meds for my anxiety, another thing I hate, but it became a necessity after the fire. In my younger years, I labeled myself as the “stress eater” because I loved being pushed to my limits.  The difference between then and now is that was work-related stress and easy to let go at days end. The fire created so much personal stress that I needed help to lower it.  The stress boosted my blood pressure, which made me sick(er).

types of green tea

Want The Perfect Cup Of Green Tea?

  • Be Sure Your Water Is Slightly Hot Or Tepid, Not Boiling.
  • Leave Your Tea Bag Or Leaves In For 2-3 Minutes, Then Remove. You’ll Have A Nice Flavor, Less Caffeine, But All The Antioxidants And Vitamins Contained In The Tea.
  • You Could Also Add A Dollop Of Honey For Some Extra Sweetness, Or A Mint Leaf Or Cinnamon Stick For More Flavor (never add milk or creamer).
  • Then Sit Back And Enjoy Getting Healthier!

The video below is perfect at explaining why Green Tea is better, and the differences in the Green Teas.

Green Tea Benefits Video

(She is amazing!)

Since we are nearing the end of another year and since this year was absolutely awful, I have decided to try this major/minor change in my life.  The best part of all this is that I love trying new things.  Foods, crafts, books, yarn works, you name it, and I will give it a shot.  If anything new can add or create a change for good in my life – woohoo!  So here’s to trying new things!

TRY NEW THINGS

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I FIGURED OUT MY SECRET!

I have been asked so many times over my 50+ years, how do I manage to stay happy and keep going?  The last four years I have been struggling with the answer to this question.  While driving my Grandson to another Therapy appointment, I came upon the answer:

 DON’T DWELL!   

I began thinking about all the bad things that have happened just over the last four years.  This has been one of the hardest times of my life.  I took a bit of a step back to try to figure out exactly how I got through it all and kept my sense of humor.  The following is what I have discovered.

dont-dwell-just

HOUSE FIRE 4/20/14

  • Lost 4-year old Grandson (younger brother to the one I now have custody of).
  • Lost memories (including hand paintings my deceased mother made for me.)
  • Lost memento’s (Jewelry gifted for my birthdays from my deceased father, years books signed and shared with great friends from my past, and things that I created in various mediums turned to ashes)

What did I do to deal with itI didn’t dwell on it.

I didn’t have any time to sit and wallow in self-pity.  IT HAPPENED.  I had gotten hurt at work about a month before the fire, so I was (I can say it now, “luckily”) already on a type of work disability.  When the fire hit, we were allowed Family Emergency Leave which only lasted a few weeks.  Then my injury got worse, and I was sent to a specialist.  That was at the same time I was working with Detectives, Insurance Investigators, Insurance, Funeral Home, and my Grandson.  My daughter was a basket case and couldn’t handle anything but herself, so I took in my Grandson.  Then my specialist took half of my left index finger.

I was now off work on medical leave.  It was June, and the farm was a mess.  Our insurance was fantastic and set up a mobile RV trailer on our property, so we were still able to take care of the critters.  It was also good for my Grandson as his ADHD/Autism does not allow him to handle change well.  He was only 5-years old at the time and did not fully understand everything that was going on.

We would sit in the gazebo in the front yard because it was right next to the swing set.  It was “our time” to just discuss anything he had in his head.  One of the first things he said to me was:

When are you going to go get Andrew?”

This hit me right upside my head like a led brick.  His brother was dead.  He died in the fire.  How was I going to explain this to him?  The first time he asked I just changed the subject. It seemed to work – for the moment.  Then a few days later he asked again.  Apparently, he just thought Andrew was staying somewhere else, and I could simply go pick him up.  I should have recognized that he did not fully understand the death when we were at the funeral.

He was sitting front row between myself and his mom.  There was a large picture of Andrew and a door just to the left of it.  I was holding it all together until he leaned over and asked me if Andrew was behind the door and could he go play with him till this was over.  I lost it.  I simply held his hand and said no honey, then proceeded to cry uncontrollably.  This was my release.

interior funeral home door

By the time he asked me to get Andrew a second time, I think (subconsciously) I was better prepared.  The only thing I could think of to try to describe an angel to a 5-year old little boy, came from the Disney movie The Incredibles.  I proceeded to ask him if he remembered the movie?  He said yes while swinging on a swing (everything was just so casual to him – amazed me).  Then I asked if he remembered how the sister was able to go invisible, but her family knew she was there?  He paused for a minute and the agreed.  I told him that Andrew was like that now.  He would be invisible forever, but always with us.  His reply:

“Oh.  Ok, can I have some juice now? “

the-incredibles-violet

WOW – IT WORKED?!  That point on he never again asked me to go and get Andrew.  I did see him on several occasions that summer, talking to him when he was playing.  The two of them were very tight, and one seldom was without the other.  Nathan was the leader, Andrew was the follower, and they were best when they were together.  Initially, Nathan had a hard time just playing by himself, and he would constantly try to engage me.  Unfortunately, so were the construction guys, Insurance, victims advocate, police, and a million other people that wanted to help.  Oh, and my finger doctor informed me that my family friend “arthritis” was the reason I could no longer raise my right arm, and I needed to get a full MRI to see the extent of the damage.  Like I had time for that!  But after my description, he backed off and seemed to enjoy his time alone with his angel brother.

By the time the end of July rolled around, we were all so stressed out and exhausted we were snapping at each other for no reason.  It was time for a break.  Washington County Fair!  It was fair time.  Local Morgan County fair is very “old style” – just the critters, kids, and crafts – no rides of games.  However, just 30 minutes away is Akron, which is home to the Washington County Fair – games (sponsored by the 4-H kids) and some rides (also locally sponsored).  We decided to take a Saturday off for distraction purposes.  We all had a blast!  A fun ride around the fairgrounds on a mini-train (pulled by a decorated lawn tractor).  Tons of fun little games made just for younger kids and great little prizes (a fantastic way to build up his confidence).  The best was a huge blow-up slide maze thingy.   We were all relaxed – finally!

bounce slide house

The best surprise and the thing that reminded me not to dwell on the bad was something my Grandson did one late Saturday.  The old house was gone, and the new had started.  They guys had the new steel floor joists done and all the wood flooring on top.  It had been a very hot late summer day we had set up a little plastic pool for Nathan to cool off in.  My sister and I were pulling weeds around the yard and didn’t notice that he was not playing in the pool anymore.  Suddenly, bounding across the wooden floor (which, at this point, looked more like an outdoor theater stage) came The Original Young version of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS only with ninja turtle underwear.  He had a plastic ninja turtle back in front using it as a shield, and a large stick for a sword.  He began jumping around on the “stage” thwarting invisible bad guys.

How could you not bust out laughing at a 5-year old boy, with nothing but ninja underwear, a turtle shell shield and a sword stick attacking invisible bad guys?  It was the first, biggest laugh we had since the fire.  That was when I knew we were going to be ok.  We could still laugh after everything bad.  No more time to dwell on what was gone – what’s done is done!  The three of us stayed outside laughing, playing and getting wet (from the pool) until after dark and we were all exhausted.  It was a good day!

You can also check me out on:  www.helbergfarmstories.com for fun stories from our farm.

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“Darcy, We’re Not In Kansas – Yet” – or The Tornado Trip

Well, those of you have been following me should know enough about my past to know there is damage.  The fire of 2014 was the worst.  July 29, 2018, comes in a pretty close second – F2 Tornado.

The whole trip was wicked.  We have a huge living room window that I judge when it is time to put the chickens in by.  As it starts turning darker out, I know it’s time for me to move.  Well, at 4:30 p.m. I got up and my phone weather warning alarm went off (I remember cuz I jumped – it vibrates and rings a nasty sound – I made it that way), stating that it was a tornado “warning.”  Those of you that do not know, a “watch” means conditions are right, a “warning” means the suckers on the ground.

As I went to my car (I use my car to close things up at night because I do not trust my new knees yet – tripped and fell too many times and it really hurts), the south side windows showed a clear sky.  Got into my car and rounded the house going north and my stomach turned.  That darn woman’s intuition kicked in HUGE.  I quickly closed up everything and glanced over the chicken barn and freaked out – something massive was coming.

My first thought was another wicked dust storm like we got back in April of this year.  But my intuition would not back down.  I got back up to the house and found my sister stretched out on the couch watching movies like no big deal.  I yelled at her to get downstairs NOW!

Instinct kicked in again – turned everything off, had my phone, grabbed my tablet, thought about my laptop but last minute decided no (great time to not listen to myself – idiot!!).  Let the dogs in and grabbed the cat and we all went down to the downstairs living room – north end of the house.  I closed all the doors in case of windows breaking (there is only one small one in that living room area).  Note: My bedroom door opens to this downstairs living room.  All other doors are in the hallway.

I sat in my fav crafting chair while my sister and grandson snuggled on the couch.  Dogs wouldn’t lie still, and the cat was hiding.  I pulled up the weather radar on my phone and watched the ugly colors flow across the screen, and the stuff outside the window flew.  I distinctly remember my bedroom door rattling – THE WINDOWS WERE ALL CLOSED IN THE HOUSE – this was tornado pressure.  Our ears were popping and plugging like we were going up in a jet.

I think initially, part of me just thought (or maybe hoped) this was some more of our severe winds.  I was not scared – which is weird.  At about 4:45 the power went off.  Around 5:00pm-ish I called our insurance company and told them we were in a tornado and would most likely have damages (after the fire, I learned that Insurance should be the first one a person calls when you own stuff that is insured).  By 5:30 pm we were sneaking back upstairs to check.  The majority of the storm was past, still, some strong winds going on, but the sun was showing.  The first thing I spotted was this:

tornado-pic-1.jpg

The window was blown in, glass and heavy water everywhere. You can see my tablet with the mess on top – and yes, it’s shot! (I cried – silly me lives for writing, and I had some great stories on it.  Hope I can have my friend save the hard drive as he did after the fire?)  My grandsons mini-tablet was thrown off his stand (on the right) and was sitting soaked in his chair.

Then I went to check the office, but the door was jammed.  It took us a bit, but we finally got it open to this:

tornado-pic-2.jpg

We could definitely tell which way the wind blew.  This is our office/sewing room and I also use it to keep track of my yarn goods for sales.  They ended up trashed as well.  Not just soaked, but bits of glass shards embedded in them.  Then I cried again – all that time and effort shot in less than one hour.

The next thing I did was go outside to check the damage.  This was the most noticeable in the front yard:

tornado-pic-3.jpg

It is/was our gazebo.  In the pic, it is facing southeast.  It is supposed to be facing west toward the house.  The twister (appropriately named) picked it up, turned it, then set it down on top of the fence (looks like the vinyl fence is going in the door )..but it left the fence post intact – go figure?

Then the north end of the house:

tornado-pic-4.jpg

This really shows how freaky (or picky?) a tornado can be…both the living room window (to the left) and the office window (right) are blown in/out – but the door window is just beautiful?  The door itself is metal and has massive dings from the large hail, but the glass is untouched – how?  Even the porch light (little black one by the door) had its glass busted on a couple sides – but the door window is ok??

My grandson’s trampoline was the next thing that caught my eye.  Because we have such awful winds, we had it not just staked in the ground in several places but tied to both the tree and the fence.  The weird part on this is that the rope on the tree snapped, but the sucker is still hanging on to the fence.  The fence was not even cemented in?

tornado-pic-5.jpg

The cage is shot – too many busted screen poles, but the tramp itself looks ok.  It did smash into the house above my bedroom window and left a mark – but that was all it did to the house.  I expected a lot worse – guess all the stakes and ropes helped.  If you look close in the center of the picture, you can see the far pole is actually shoved over halfway into the ground.  We tried to pull it out but can’t…gonna have to use a jack.

The big barn had a massive piece of its sheet metal roofing flapping in the breeze, and several pieces of roofing in the back are gone.  Same with the big gray shed.  Our chicken barn roof is gone.  Then there is our greenhouse:

tornado-pic-6.jpg

If I didn’t know better, I would think we were constructing it (my  Helbergfarmstories blog was started because of this.).

You may be wondering what all this has to do with life lessons lived – it’s about finding the humor when there appears to be none.

The first thing my sister said to me was “we’re not in Kansas Dorothy.” And we both bust out laughing.

  • The three of us survived.
  • The critters are all good.
  • The gardens are shot, but the majority of the house is intact.
  • We have full coverage on the house and our possessions.
  • We don’t have insurance on the outbuildings (never got to it.) but we can fix those.
  • Tried to get coverage on the greenhouse, but no takers since “the weather we get out here is too much of a risk to cover it.”  Funny, I always thought that was what you paid insurance for – risky situations?!?

We have seen some of our neighbors and their homes/properties have been devastated by this twister.  All-in-all we did not get it as bad as some of our friends, but we have a fantastic little community here, and we all pull together!  The biggest reason for us to keep pushing forward.

Yes, I had a good cry when I first sat and thought about it (so did my sis and she NEVER cries).  Then I pulled up my big girl panties and got things done.  The barn front and large gray shed are done.  The part of the chicken barn that is over the chickens (other ½ used to cover goats) is covered and they, with the kitties, are all dry and safe.

The greenhouse is what it is.  We cannot afford a new roof right now, and the base 2″x12’x12′ boards have to be reinstalled first.  So, for now, we are going to use it as is   :

  • The far end with the swamp cooler wall managed to save the north end crops – zucchini, strawberries, small tomatoes and some hot peppers – oh and the melons (and they are in the middle of the area – have no clue how they were saved?).
  • I also pulled back some plastic on the west side and found my eggplant and pickle vines were all ok. A bit beat up (smashed) but still good.
  • My grandson’s flowers are next to my Rosemary bush, and both got nailed by the scaffolding (from trying to repair before), but they are good.  So is the Basil next to them…but the rest of the row is trash.  Our big heirloom tomatoes took a beating as well as the other sweet and hot peppers.  BUT as of this morning (8-9-18), I see sparks of life.  Some of the main stalks/vines are showing new leaves.  Now we just need to set up row covers and heaters to keep them going long enough to produce.

The best news after all this mess is that I am a new grandma – sort of.  A couple of chickens that have been setting for the last month are now proud moms.  I love how they puff out to cover the babies.

Well, once again, life goes on.  You can either let it eat you up, or you can bite back.  I choose to bite back!  Hope you do the same.

TOO MUCH TRASH? This can help!

No, I am not talking about garbage in the normal sense.  I am talking about news trash:

  • Politics (just awful over the last couple of years – and NO, I do not approve of our Commander and Chief).
  • Natural disasters (floods, volcanos, hurricanes, fires, and even a huge iceberg).
  • Violence (I swear there is at least one major ugly violent story in the news every day).

I beg you stop telling me TRUMP funny

Well, I have decided to find the funny, fun, and heartwarming stuff that is out there and share it.  This is only going to be one day a week (for now), but if I get enough good responses, I may have to turn it into more.

I hope you enjoy reading, watching, smiling, and sometimes laughing at these as much as I did when I found them!

My first is from our friends at Mother Nature Network.com (https://www.mmn.com).  It is titled:

These comedy wildlife photo winners will make you belly laugh

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards focus on wildlife conservation but lighten the mood with humor.    By: Angela Nelson

I have seen tons of animal pics that have made me smile with funny or heartwarming stuff, but these actually gave me the giggles.  Since the main purpose of my blog is to bring more joy into your life (no matter what is happening in your world), I thought this would be a perfect way to help.  A couple of them I have seen before, but I can’t stop laughing out loud at the crab!

I hope you enjoy and have a great rest of your day.

You can also check me out on:  https://helbergfarmstories.com/ for fun stories from our farm.

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Want to earn a bit-o-cash for free: Vindale  I love how easy their surveys are!

If your life is stuck and you need some new ideas on how to fix it, this nice gentleman contacted me.  I checked out his site and found a ton of great information and guidance help.  He is not an affiliate, just a link that I hope may help to un-stick you:  Miles Anthony Smith – Leadership, Career, & Life Wisdom

WHAT SEASON IS YOUR HEART?

Years ago (ok DECADES ago), there was a book that came out about what color type you were based on your skin tones. I have a strong Irish/German heritage, so I have very pale skin.  My eyes are also very light blue, and I have dark brown hair with red highlights (more grey now – eeek).  So, needless to say, when I go out in the summer sun I burn very easy.

That top-of-the-charts book told me that I was a “fall” skin tone type.  This seemed correct to me as I love the colors of deep red, dark green, and gold in the clothes I wore back then.  To some extent, I still lean toward those colors when I shop for clothing. However, I have just discovered that I may have a fall skin tone, but I have a winter heart.

peaceful winter When you look at this picture do you fee cold, harsh, and alone?  I see warm and cozy.  I picture a home filled with warmth and laughter.

peaceful winter 2How about this one?  Are you only thinking about Christmas and the stark cold of winter?  I think of crafting and making things to share with family, friends, and loved ones.

hidden snow cabin This is one of my favorite dreams.  I would love to have a tiny little cabin in the middle of the woods.  I prefer it be small enough to have a fireplace as the only mode of heat.  I would need some lanterns for decent lighting.  My goal there would be to find peace, quiet, and creativity.  All I need would be:

  • Several good crafting books.
  • Tons of yarn.
  • Some of my beading supplies.
  • Hot cocoa, snuggly blankets on an overstuffed couch, and a warm fire.

Minor amenities like food, water, and a bathroom would also be nice.  However, I do know how to create good drinking water from snow.  I have used the woods for a bathroom before (when I was a lot younger, but I’m sure the concept is still the same).  I also know a bit about hunting and foraging and if there is a stream or lake nearby – fishing is a must.

The next best thing to my favorite would be this:

slow walk to unknown in snowA woods with a path that does not show a clear end.  I see peace, quiet, and another story!

I would love to hear what season your heart is and why an  I hope you feel the urge to share.

You can also check me out on:  https://helbergfarmstories.com/ for fun stories from our farm.

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WE ARE NOT ALONE, and I am proud of it!

take me to your reader

No, I am not talking about aliens.  I am talking about reading lovers.  Books, ebooks, blogs, comic books and whatever else we can get our hands on –  IT MUST BE READ.   There is one book that stands out in my mind, even to this day – Chatter The Red Squirrel.  I know it is not in print anymore as this was one of my first/best Christmas gifts over fifty years ago.  A book.  It was my first chapter book (the younger generation apparently separates just books into categories).  I have an Aunt that sent me, and only me, a book every Christmas.  She was not my Godmother, so it was not a relation obligation.  She (for some reason) and I connected and, for as long as I can remember, I was thrilled to receive them every Christmas.  I happily charge her with my passionate love of the written word.

red squirrel

I love going to libraries and bookstores are my Achilles Heal.  Oh and don’t get me started with anything involving paper and pens or pencils.  When tablets first appeared I swore I would never have one.  Our home now has three (one for each of course).  I love the handiness of the e-readers. However, my first passion is the good old standard paper products.

ereader

For the longest time, I considered myself a bit of a freak (ok, a really huge freak, if we are honest – but for a variety of reasons).  I thought I was in a very small minority of people that consumed the written word as I do.  I am reading all the time.  Well, thanks to one of my fav websites,  Mother Nature Network (https://www.mnn.com/  no I am not affiliated with them – yet.), I found out that I am not alone but, in fact, I am in great company.   Here’s the link if you want to see if you qualify for this marvelous title:

Too many unread books? You have an ‘antilibrary,’ and that’s a good thing

I think I fit perfectly into a specific statement in their article:

— a very small minority — who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool.

This statement fits me to a tee!  I read to learn.  My elder sister reads romance novels.  My youngest sister reads the strangest (usually nonfiction) stuff like Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools by Victoria Tweed (what kind of a title is that?).  The name caught her eye, and after reading the prologue, she had to read more.  My collection is all about learning.  Learning new things, improving on a current skill, picking up a new skill, finding better ways to get through my days; these are my darlings.

I collect the written word, music, and crafting supplies (I am a Yarnie at heart).  There is not a single my personal space in our home that does not carry at least two of the three.  When I go to appointments, and I know, I will be there for a while, a book, a yarn project, and a smallish notepad and fun pen (or two or twelve) go with me.  I try to be prepared for wherever the mood takes me.

I am proud to have an antilibrary – are you?

The kaizen way(Currently reading.  Not affiliated.)

You can also check me out on:  https://helbergfarmstories.com/ for fun stories from our farm.

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Happiness is where you find it – NOT!

You can look till you are blue in the face and you will not find it – you have to choose to make it!
I can say this because this is what I do, I choose to be happy. There are tons of thing on any given day that will force you to be the opposite of happy:

  • Kids out of control and not listening.
  • Boss is taking out his problems on you just because you are there.
  • Coffee dumped in your lap – no one’s fault, but you are not happy, none-the-less.
  • It’s raining when you wanted sunshine.

I will gladly share with you examples of my continuous work of attitude adjustment (WARNING: some of my pics are very graphic.).
initial 3-18-14 pic b 4 surgery  (The Cause.)
I had to have half my left index finger amputated just one month after our house fire that took everything (including my 4-year old grandson, but that’s for another time.). I will admit when the Doctor first announced this I was blind-sided.   I started crying hysterically. Thank goodness my younger sister was with me so she could get me back to reality.

6-9-14 not healing right after 1st filet surgery to rid infection  The first fix – didn’t work and yes that is my knuckle bone sticking out above the flesh (exposure is apparently a very bad thing.).

I was expecting him to tell me I would need pins or something, but I never thought of lopping it off. Well, after the initial shock subsided, I planted my feet firmly on the ground and started to think about the things that I would have to change to accommodate this circumstance. I am a yarnie and crafter by nature. If you know anything about knitting and crochet, you know the yarn is held by your fingers. As I am a right-hander, and as I was taught to carry the yarn in my left hand – my major player was now going to be absent forever. Now, this was MY first thought.
My sister, on the other hand, looked me straight in the eye and said:

“How are you going to pick your nose now?”

That poor Doctor. He left the room with a woman shocked and hysterical over the news he had just delivered, and now walked into a room with a couple of dizzy broads laughing so hard tears were all over the place. Then my sister bursts out with:

“Where’s the bathroom, I have to pee?” and bolted out.

There are times in life that you just do not think to take a picture at that very moment. This was one of them. This poor young Doctor was beside himself, and it was obvious that he had no clue what to say.
6-23-14 - 1st_day_view_after_loss  The 2nd surgery – to “fix” it.

The amputation was done in June 2014 and went off without a hitch. It took several weeks to get through recovery and therapy. During the process of this, the Doctor noticed I was having difficulty raising my right arm. He ordered x-rays and found that there was no ball left in my shoulder socket (let me know when you stop laughing. It’s ok because I still get teased by family and friends on this one – no ball in my socket- haha!).

He proceeded to order more x-rays and tests which told us all that I have osteoarthritis (arthritis in my joints – oh lucky me!). To lighten this up a bit, I went on to have six more major surgeries within 12 months. I was also handling all of the fire cleanup, Special Investigators, Detectives, remodeling, insurance, my Grandson and his Therapy, etc., etc., etc. Just a bit stressed out.

It just so happens that Halloween fell in the midst of all these surgeries – our second favorite holiday! I now consider myself extremely lucky to have had some fantastic doctors with great funny bones. My first (the guy that took ½ my finger) also did my shoulders. Those of you that have been lucky enough not to have it done, you end up with your arm in a sling for about three months. This sling provided a perfect hiding spot to help with my Halloween gag.

I had to purchase all new things for our home – this included holiday decorations. The first was to be for Halloween. Then it hit me – skeletons. I also purchased a package of those rubber tips you put on the end of your fingers to help turn pages of paper. My sister had to help me from here. She cut a small slit in the tip of one of the rubber tips. Then cut off the little finger from the skeleton. Shoved the fake bone through the slit and glued it to keep it in place. Then she painted the rubber a skin tone which left the white bone sticking out of it. It fit perfectly onto my new Ms. Stubbly.

We’re off to see my doctor, the wonderful doctor of osteo…(yes, you have to sing this to the tune of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz). As with any doctor office, the nurse assisted us into the room first. She had not seen our Halloween surprise because it was hiding in my sling. My doctor came in, set my file on the counter as he was asking so naively: “How are things going?”
“Fine,” I said, “But I have a few concerns about my finger, should it look like this?” “It does make it easier for me to knit now.”
boney-finger-halloween  (Knit one, purl two?)

It took all my sister, and I had to stop giggling until he turned around and saw my Ms. Stubbly with the fake bone sticking out from the end. He burst out laughing at us – now that’s a doctor! Then he went out and told the nurse, who told a couple of others, and before long we had several people in the room. It was all great fun.

When things calmed a bit, we noticed his attire for the day – plaids and stripes? My sister very nicely asked him if his wife knew he left the house looking like this today? Once again, we could not stop laughing. I swear, from that visit on he made sure his wife helped him pick out his clothes – at least on the days he knew he would see me.

This is part of how I have taught myself to create my own happiness. I have many more stories to share, so I hope you will tag along and have some fun with me!

Happiness is made – not found.

You can also check me out on: www.helbergfarmstories.com for fun stories from our farm.
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FREE NOW – what a crock!

I get tons of emails on a daily basis. Granted it is all my fault as I have subscribed to most of them.  However, in my defense, I found that when I find an interesting post, go in, sign up and hope to receive more “interesting” posts; I get a load of garbage instead.

I love to write. I love to share my stories, crafts, gardening help (https://helbergfarmstories.com/), and other bits about me; usually with a collection of humor thrown in.  It’s just what I do.  But the stuff I have been getting lately has started to tick me off.

FREE NOW – LIMITED TIME OFFER – COMPLETELY FREE (just pay shipping)…

 I am guessing that you get several of these also, at least on a weekly basis.  Mine are bombarding me daily.  The part that really ticks me off is how they entice with the “free” when it is NOT free.  If I have to:

  • Subscribe to get it.
  • Pay ridiculous shipping, handling, and/or processing fees
  • Watch a full 2-hour webinar to get the information on how to get the freebie, only to then find it is not actually free.
  • Agree to be overloaded with a million emails per day that I did not plan, want, or need.

Then I go to unsubscribe from the nasty only to be told it may take several days.  In the meantime, I get a million more dumb stuff emails that I have to clean up after.

Now, someday, I hope to write the next best novel, create an ebook that people can’t get enough of, or some other wonderful writing income maker.  I have a very simple plan that I wish to share:

  1. When I finish the written work, I would love to give it away completely free – no shipping, no handling, etc. I would request a review from those I provide the free copy.  Now, this is free in a no-money sense. However it will require a bit of your time to tell me if you loved it, it needs improvement, or if it sucks.
  2. If I should decide to do a print book vs. ebook, the shipping and tax will be listed as a charge – NOT FREE THEN IS IT?! So I will tell you up front – this is not free.  What a refreshing idea?!

Several years ago there was a movie made with Dudley Moore.  He was an overworked, overstressed advertising agent that ended up in an institution early in the movie.  The point of the movie was to imagine what it would be like if all advertising simply told the truth.  If the product stinks, but you will buy it because of the cute, half-naked woman presenting it – then say so.  Be proud of how you are shamelessly pushing your products!  The movie was appropriately named “CRAZY PEOPLE.”

 movie pic CRAZY PEOPLE

If You need a giggle, click here to see the trailer on YouTube it’s just a nice movie that makes you smile!bunch of crazies

Happy Monday!

Will We Deserve It?

I hope that those that read this little post of mine today will take it to heart. I especially would love to know that those under thirty-somethings will be paying attention. Today I want to share a very deep-felt life lesson. Age and the emotional damage it creates.
I am not talking about the physical changes, that’s just a nasty side effect of aging. I am here to tell you that I have earned every single one of those lines on my face (mostly from laughing at myself), and I am very proud of them. No, what I am talking about is the anger that comes with it.

I never EVER dreamt of running for a political office. Being raised in the 1960’s, I still remember what world leaders did or did not do about Vietnam (among other wars – and YES, it was a war, not a police state! What BS is that?), and it’s issues (before & after).
I remember throwing my bra in a fire for women’s rights in the 1970’s. (Yes, I am giggling at this one because I can’t do without the stupid thing now or I would have black-and-blue knees – eeek.)

womens rights
I remember growing up on the farm with fields to work, animals to take care of, and all the functions required; bending, lifting (some heavy lifting), scrapes, cuts, falling and getting back up and doing it all over again.

My body has come to the point where it is telling me ENOUGH! I cannot do the physical things I used to do, which is heartbreaking. I am much now smarter than I ever was, yet I have never felt so hopeless – and scared. No one will hire me because I am broken – not stupid – just too much of a health risk.

I am not afraid of spiders and snakes (Ooo, that just reminded me of a great song by Jim Stafford, click here to listen – it’s fun.). I’m not afraid of losing loved ones, that is part of the circle of life. I am, however; becoming very afraid of the powers that be making a stupid decision that affects my life profoundly. The part that really gets my goat is that not one among them has EVER had to know personally what their decisions do to screw up my life!

spiders n snakes

I would love to know if any of our politicians have had to do the following:

• Pick up and throw a 50-80 pound hay bale to keep the animals fed.
• Saved a life. I’m talking about serious stuff – pulling from a car accident, type of saving.
• Felt the emotional loss of a beloved animal as a child.
• Experienced being in a house fire.
• Having lived through that fire only to have your 4-year old grandson not.
• Watching as 50+ years of creations, letters, diaries, books, albums, collections, your mother’s hand paintings, recipes your father created, and other priceless memories go up in flames.
• Follow that up with the next 12 months filled with major surgeries – oh, guess what? You get to lose ½ your finger, and in the process, we found you have no major joints left. Everything is bone-on-bone and will all need to be replaced.
• Work for the stupid government for 11+ years only to find out doing so, screwed you out of your benefits.
• Then have “your” government decide that they want to change the following:

  •  Even though you have already gone through the whole mind-numbing process, and been approved for Medicare/Medicaid; we now want to make you go back to work (as if anyone will hire me like this), just because you “LOOK” healthy enough to do so.
  •  We also want to pull all your guns, because someone with mental health issues (oh, don’t forget – we will not go for that excuse anymore), decides to use one to kill. GOD FORBID WE ACTUALLY TRY TO FIX THE MENTAL ISSUES THAT CAUSED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.
  • We are going to take away your beautiful natural landmarks because our Good-ole-boys in corporate companies want the land to make more money off it.
  • We also want to give those same buddies of ours the right to pump old nasty oil waste water out in the middle of nowhere near you. (Oh, and we do not care if your drinking water aquifer is right on that spot. You can pay to have water shipped in all clean and pretty.)

I remember holding huge family corn roasts every fall. After several years it became family and friends and just kept growing bigger. As far back as I can remember, we had a distant cousin with MS. She was brilliant but could not move even to talk. She had learned to smile when she was truly happy, and I remember several of us working our hearts out to entertain her because we loved her. Her parents carried her everywhere. Our whole family supported them in their efforts (and our family was huge.). The parents got older, and the daughter got bigger. Eventually, she was placed in an institution and passed away. But the family did not simply give up on her because it was hard.

MS pic of what Corine looked likeWhen did it become so easy to write things off simply because they do not affect you?

When did choosing the first answer become the right answer, even if proved wrong?

When did the new generations decide that they did not have to care about                            things that were not all about them?

I was 40, 30, 20, yes and even 10 years old once upon a time. I grew up learning the following truths:

• Work hard, and you will be rewarded.
• There is no such thing as a free lunch, but you can help someone less fortunate than you.
• Treat others as you want them to treat you.

These were not just bits from a book, but real things my family believed in. Real things they impressed upon us since birth. Real things that we still try to follow and share.
I have become obsessed with end-of-the-world type movies. I don’t think an asteroid or alien is going to be our demise. I think we have already done more damage to us than any foreign object ever could.

When we stop trying to make things better…

When we stop showing and sharing compassion…

When we stop being as we the people and stand up against the wrong – even                          if it is the harder way…

THEN, we will lose our world, and we will have deserved it.

dead-trees-947331_640-pixabay

You can also check me out on: www.helbergfarmstories.com for fun stories from our farm.

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