Monday, December 19, 2011

The Christmas Shoes – Based on a book and song by Robert Layton

Chick Flick ~ Life Lessons
First off, let me tell you that I went to the website to get some information on who wrote it, directed it, etc. The first thing I read was:

Genre: Romance, Tearjerker

Oh, did I already say Tearjerker? Holy Cow! I wanted to SOL – Sob Out Loud, but I was with my older two daughters, Angie and Beckie, and did not want to sound hysterical. I think Beckie actually shed a few tears on this one. (Love you Beckie!). The Second thing is that there are many recent comments from viewers in outrage that Lifetime is not airing this movie in the next 6 weeks, because it carries a positive message.

Aside from that, it is an incredible movie that delicately twists so many important messages together. I am not going to tell you about the story line, I'm only going to share the messages I got out of watching the movie. And, quite honestly, if you read the “description” on, it really doesn't give you the real essence of the movie. This is a triple thumbs up! (me, Angie, and Beckie).

  • Oh what a tangled web we weave ~ we interact with people on a daily basis and most of us have no idea what role we may play in that persons life. A simple smile can be the best thing that happens to that elderly woman you pass on the sidewalk. I have told my kids, since they were school age, that everyone deserves a smile and a hello, even hold the door for someone. It doesn't matter if the person, or “kid”, is a troublemaker, considered unpopular, doing drugs, or is a bully. You don't have to hang out with them or be friends, but they deserve to get a smile; it could be the best thing that happened to them that day or in their life.
  • Paradigm shifts ~ You never know what is going on in the other person's life. The best example of this is a short story I read, I think in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book (and I've taken some artistic license with this, because I cannot remember all the details, but you'll get the gist of it). A father is on a train with his 4 children. The children are running around, making a lot of noise, and the dad is totally oblivious to them, and does not make any attempt to reign them in. A passenger asks the man if they are his children. He says yes, they are; we just left the hospital, their mom just past away. Always remember you don't know what is going on in another person's life.
  • A quote from the movie ~ a mother's words of wisdom to her son: “Don't just make money; make memories”. Need I say more? As those of us with fibromyalgia (and other chronic illnesses) know, life is all about Living in the Moment. Please don't just read the words and say “yeah, it is”. Think about it; try it. In the world of Hustle and Bustle, Living in the Moment is harder than we think. Try it, put down that phone, the remote control, the spoon you're stirring dinner with and be fully in the moment when a loved one is talking to you. While you're taking a walk, put away the phone! Breathe the air, don't think about your troubles, look at the beauty that surrounds you and soulfully take it in, the fullness of it all. It is the most wonderful experience when you start Living in Moments, and start making memories.
It has been a long time coming that me and my oldest two children sat together and watched a movie, and the time we spent together will be a memory, for us,  forever. We're talking about watching the sequel to the movie, but we're gonna wait till after the holidays. Merry Christmas Blessings to All!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES - Reply to Foggy Brain

Thanks to @myfoggybrain many fun memories of my past Christmas' came forward and brought a smile to my face!  Please check out her blog at 

Christmas memories....the first one that comes to mind is how ticked my dad would get putting up the lights.  It used to really bug me, but when I became an adult and had to do my own tree lights, I realized why.  My parents were very simple with their life.  It was nice, and comfortable, but simple.  The styrofoam candy cans wrapped with red ribbon always adorned the metal gates into the living room, the fake tree on the porch with plastic tear drop shaped decorations and pretend wrapped presents under the tree. Our indoor tree was also "fake".  The decorations were the glass bulbs, some old ones my parents got when they got married in the early 50's, these angels made of felt and a plastic head, and the little glass horns I always tried to blow every year and got yelled out....didn't realize I could get hurt from them.  Maybe I can find some pictures?...hmmm.

She was not elaborate with her cooking, at all, coming straight from Beith, Scotland, when she was three, again, everything kept simple.  I think the only cookies we made were chocolate chip, and Grandma's Butter Cookies.  I have the original recipe, but unfortunately have not made this in at least 15 years.  The dough was made, and put through a cookie press (which I cannot find one that works good!).  All different shapes - poinsettas, camels, trees, and many more.  The were decorated with chopped walnuts, marachino cherries cut in half, chocolate sprinkles, red sugar sprinkles, and green sugar sprinkles. 

Although there isn't any real special tradition that sticks out, I think dinner was always at our house.  Very seldom relatives came over, as they had their own large families, but we DID pick up my grandmother from the nursing home and bring her to our house for Christmas.  This was my dad's mother.  She didn't speak much, but you could tell she enjoyed being at our home.  She loved her tea in my mom's china tea cups.  She said it tasted better, and she appreciated that my mom did that for her.  Even with the simplicity of it all, it created a magical feeling for me, which I continued and elaborated with my own family for many years.

I still believe in Santa; I believe that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and somehow I've managed to instill the real meaning of Christmas to my children, but kept the magic of Santa too.  We used to make cookies, but with 5 kids and a hectic life, that eventually stopped - their favorite cookies are the "candy cane" cookies, and my oldest still makes them with her son.

Our traditions have changed over the years.  For several years my mom and dad would stay at our house on Christmas Eve, and would leave mid morning Christmas Day.  We went to church Christmas Eve, and came home to our "Christmas Dinner".   Jesus was placed in the manger just before the kids went to bed.  The kids always woke before us, and they were allowed to get their stocking and open it until the adults got up and the coffee was ready.  There was so much excitement and joy in the air.  I never understood why my mom didn't really get gifts, and she was always happy with the one pair of stockings I gave her every year.  Once I became a mom, I realized that her gift was watching the joy and happiness of her children as they opened their gifts.  That is still my favorite part.

About 15 years ago we started to have our "Christmas Dinner" Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day food was and still is appetizers, leftover dinner, and mimosa.  That way we could stay in our pjs all day, watch our kids play, help them put together their gifts, play with them, and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, that our Savior Jesus Christ was born.

Because of our large family, Iglesias # 2  (Beckie), insisted we choose a holiday that was "ours" - no matter what, through the years, we needed a holiday where the whole family got together, no excuses.  We claimed Christmas Eve.  Now Chuck and I are the grandparents, all our kids and their kids come over.  We go to church, have our dinner, exchange gifts with our adult children and grandkids.  It still stands that only stockings can be opened in the wee hours of Christmas morn, until we get up and have the coffee ready.  Watching my kids open their gifts is a gift to me; it gives me such a special feeling, and I know I am truly blessed and thankful for the blessings in my life.  I reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and feel the peace and love envelop me.

I shared my memories - Please Share Yours!

A Letter to the Healthy World from the Land of of Chronic Pain and Fatigue / Fibromyalgia

I found this on, and it described many things I feel, and it helped me start to accept what the Fibromyalgia does to me.  I hope it helps you too!  I even gave a copy to my husband and children to read, and posted it on the refridgerator.  Enjoy! 

If you were born with healthy genes, you may know me but you don't understand me. I was not as lucky as you. I inherited the predisposition to chronic pain, fatigue and forgetfulness. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FMS) after months, years or even decades of mysterious physical and emotional problems. Because you didn't know how sick I was, you called me lazy, a malingerer, or simply ridiculous. If you have the time to read on, I would like to help you understand how different I am from you.


1. FMS is not the newest fad disease. In fact, it isn't a disease at all, and it isn't even new. In 1815, asurgeon at the University of Edenburgh, William Balfour, described fibromyalgia. Over the years, it has been known as chronic rheumatism, myalgia and fibrositis. Unlike diseases, syndromes do not have a known cause, but they do have a specific set of signs and symptoms which, unfortunately for the patient, take place together. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are also syndromes.

2. The many physical and emotional problems associated with FMS are not psychological in origin. This is not an "all in your head" disorder. In 1987, the American Medical Association recognized FMS as a true physical illness and major cause of disability.

3. Syndromes strike life-long athletes as viciously as they do couch potatoes. They can be disabling and depressing, interfering with even the simplest activities of daily life.


1. My pain - My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I can not work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is real.

2. My fatigue - I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can't. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can't help you with yard work today, it isn't because I don't want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.

3. My forgetfulness - Those of us who suffer from it call itt fibrofog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don't have any short-term memory at all.

4. My clumsiness - If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

5. My sensitivities - I just can't stand it! "It" could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, odors. FMS has been called the "aggravating everything disorder." So don't make me open the drapes or listen to your child scream. I really can't stand it.

6. My intolerance - I can't stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I sweat...profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don't feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don't be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it's cold. I don't tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it.

7. My depression - Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house or die. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from FMS as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

8. My stress - My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I'm not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.

9. My weight - I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My appestat is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it.

10. My need for therapy - If I get a massage every week, don't envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is knot-filled. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.

11. My good days - If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don't assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

12. My uniqueness - Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else.

I hope that this helps you understand me, but if you still doubt my pain, your local bookstore, library and the internet have many good books and articles on fibromyalgia.

Author's note: This letter is based on communications with people throughout the world, males and females, who suffer from fibromyalgia. It does not represent any one of the over 10,000,000 people with FMS, but it can help the healthy person understand how devastating this illness can be. Please do not take these people and their pain lightly. You wouldn't want to spend even a day in their shoes...or their bodies.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


  1. When you are diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, don't fight it. You don't have to like it, but life is so much easier when you accept it.
  2. Educating people on your condition can be frustrating. This has almost taught me to be patient with others.
  3. Before we were diagnosed with our “chronic condition”, the life we lived in became a blur. We rushed from here to there, and back again; worked endlessly at our career for more money and to give us a feeling of self worth; were to busy to listen (really listen) to our loved ones. (I am saying this based on my life – yours may be different). And now, for me:
  • I literally stop to smell the flowers, or to notice the red berries on the bare branches.
  • When I look out the window and see a Cardinal, I run for the binoculars to get a better look, and feel a great joy within my soul for having seen this beautiful creature.
  • When I am in a moderately bad flare, and spend a lot of time in bed, my family knows they are more than welcome to come and sit with me – on the bed – even the kids friends. I may be barely able to smile, or contribute to the conversation, but I listen to them, really listen, and it is a great feeling for all of us. Even if we just sit in silence.
  • I try to be nicer to my husband and appreciate all that he does, his help and understanding (finally), his carting the kids, even though he is tired from work; but I go back to the days when first met, and remember why I fell in love with him, and I am falling in love all over again.
  • I try to be mindful every day, every moment (doesn’t always happen!! :) ) More on being mindful another time. But a good example my counselor gave me was, when I was working, he said when your phone rings, before you answer it, “stop”, “take a breath”, “answer phone” - you have then put yourself “in the moment, and mindful of answering the phone.
4.  I have learned to accept (not always) that I can't do all the things I used to be able to do. I used to be a “Type A” personality; very organized, logistically inclined on getting things done in the most efficient way, keeping track of just about everything at work and at home. (P.S. I have ADHD). After work, and after taking care of the family and kids were settled, my time was spent on my latest interest – usually till 11:00 / 12:00 at night. Since I've had Fibromyalgia, I am no longer that person. And it is “OK”. I am still the same caring person, who would like to be able to do all of the above, but I have learned to limit myself, and use my energy accordingly by focusing on the most important things. Most of the time, I can accept this; sometimes I cannot accept it – and that's “OK” to. All part of being mindful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Well, one week until Thalnksgiving! Since I've had Fibromyalgia for two years, my house slowly started looking I am slowly starting to clean things in the nooks and crannys, and get this house looking like a home again. Of course it hasn't helped that our oldest and her son moved in, then a few years later #2 moved in with her daughter....then the oldest and son moved out, and bedrooms got rearranged...LOL...YES! this is my life....5 Kids, two Grandkids and a wonderful husband who works his tail off and I am Thankful and Blessed and Love it all.

But, back to Thanksgiving! It is one of my favorite holidays (Christmas is #1) because it is a time for family and friends to gather and give thanks for all that they have. This year, my brother Rob and his family (Wife Joann) and their four children are coming to stay for a few days and my in-laws, who we haven't seen in several years are coming from California ( they'll be staying at a hotel). So #2, and myself have been working on putting the house back together and nudging the teens to do their part. It is coming together and the house is looking pretty good again....and that means the house will be ready for Christmas AND I'll get to focus on my crafts and vintage repurposing and bringing pictures to this site!

P.S. I have been searching for blogs of lovely vintage "stuff" and fibromyalgia, I'm following 23, but they don't appear on my page. I am working on getting them to show because I want to share all of the good stuff I find.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Slowly but surely I am updating my blog. That's the most important speed....and little by little it gets done. I just have to remember that the first "little" things I do don't show the big picture! Like cleaning the house for Thanksgiving; It took five days of "little" things to finally begin to show progress in that direction. One of the "blessings" of having Fibromyalgia, it has taught me that it's "ok" not to do it "All" - "At Once"; the most important thing is to have faith that it will be accomplished. So today, I added to my Blog a list of Blogs I am following. Please visit these Blogs. They inspire me and make me feel good. I am sure you will enjoy them too!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Back to Blogging!

It's been a while since I've been onthis blog because I've been on the “Fibromyalgia Journey”--Andwhat a strange and (wonderful?) journey it has been. I won't boreyou with all the details; suffice it enough to say it has altered mylife and my families life in ways I never thought imaginable. Forthose that know me, they know I don't back down on too much of anything too often, and that I like to live a varied and busy life,and this Fibromyalgia was not going to change that! Ahahaahha....but it did.

I had to quit almost everything I loveto do. What remains in my life are the most important things – myfamily and teaching Sunday School. If there is energy after that itis spent on crafting and repurposing vintage finds and castaways. Iam going to fit this blog in somehow because I love to write, and I'dlike to share my journey with others.

For those that love to repurpose or have a passion for vintage things and a time gone by, I hope youenjoy checking out the before and after pictures of my repurposing;for those of you who have fibromyalgia or know someone who does, Ihope you find understanding and comfort; and for anyone else, I hopeyou find my spiritual journey and my new way of living mindfullyrewarding and helpful in your life too.

Restarting this blog has been on mymind for over a year. One step at a time! And here we go into thewonderful word of Everything Vintage!