Sunday, April 20, 2014

Our Family is Something To Crow About

 
All of us think that our family is the greatest...and YES they are!
 
Each person in our family has a unique detail that makes them special.
 
As I was replacing and rearranged some of my family photos, I began to observe and see that specific detail that makes them who they are. Some are funny, some are more serious, some are pranksters and others avoid being pranked. Some eat too much, while others watch every bite they eat. Some bury their faces inside books while others don't even open a book. Some members of my family are very picky on how they look while others could care less or are more simpler and humble in many ways.
 
Each of them are different and odd but I love them and I wouldn't trade them for anyone else because I love them unconditionally.
 
What do you think about your family?
 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Busy Week

Hi everyone.
 
Its been busy and productive here at home. My large "To Do" list is finally getting to the end.  I still have 21 projects to finish but since I started with 83 projects, I say I've done well since January 2. (I'm doing the HAPPY dance).
 
 Last week I made some homemade gluten free pancakes and they were divine.
 
 
I got my latest journals and some books stored away in one wicker basket and available when needed.

 
My office library case that houses many of my church books were organized also.
 
 
 
I also made some homemade tortillas and for lunch I melted some non dairy provolone cheese over tomatoes and spinach...they were delicious. 

 
The computer cabinet got a good cleaning out and organization...it looks lovely.

 
 
One morning I woke up to find my Christmas Cactus plant in blooming stages. That brought a smile to my face.

 
My bedroom closet shelf got some new organizing looks. Now all my Winter sweaters and Turtle neck tops have a nice place to be housed and so does my extra blankets.


 
It feels great to get some more projects completed, now to get the linen closet, the bedroom drawers and the bathroom cabinet done this next week.
 
Have a great week.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Suffering with Insomia, Causes and Cures

The inability to sleep at night can take a toll on a person's body and tin he way they interact with others on a daily bases. Then depression, mood swings and depression can develop leaving the person isolated from society and thoughtless as each day goes by.
 
I have been having a problem falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. To no avail sleeping pills, relaxing meditation and yoga have not helped me fall asleep. This problem has also caused me to get massive headaches only at night as I am in bed. I began to do some Googling on the matter and I found some interesting facts about insomnia I never thought would affect me this way. As you read note that the parts highlighted in red are the things I am going through at this moment causing my insomia.
 
( More than 25 percent of Americans report insomnia occasionally, while 10% experience insomnia almost every night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So, how do you tell if you've simply hit a rough patch that will pass, or if you have a chronic sleep problem?)

There isn't a hard number, says Tracey Marks, MD, psychiatrist in Atlanta and author of Master Your Sleep. A good marker is to look at a week or month and add up whether you've had trouble sleeping more nights than not. Acute insomnia, which lasts for a few days, can be connected to a particular event like a work deadline or examination. Sleep usually gets better when the stressor goes away, says Deirdre Conroy, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Michigan.

It's common to have temporary insomnia, says William Kohler, MD, medical director of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill, Fla. You don't need to be overly concerned about a couple nights of restless sleep. But if insomnia persists and interferes with your functioning, then it's time to evaluate the nature of the problem. Chronic insomnia, which lasts for longer than three weeks, can affect your daytime functioning. You may notice changes in your mood, difficulty concentrating, or decreased productivity.

Identifying a Probable Cause

A lot of times sleep problems are related to mood problems, says Conroy. So you should ask yourself: Has my mood changed? Do I feel more depressed? Am I more irritable than usual?
If you're prone to worry, anxiety can be making your sleep worse. But sleep problems also develop without any associated mood problems. Sometimes you can point to a primary stressor like losing a job or worrying about the mortgage. But there doesn't have to be a particular stressor associated with insomnia. Just worrying about sleep can snowball over time, says Conroy.
Other underlying reasons for insomnia include pain, medications, sleep disorders, and poor sleep
habits.

There are three different types of insomnia. Transient, acute and chronic. Transient insomnia is considered insomnia lasting from one night to a few weeks. Acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well for a period of three weeks to six months. The most serious form of insomnia is chronic insomnia. This type of insomnia lasts for at least a month and sometimes longer. Chronic insomnia is more complex and often results from a combination of factors, including underlying physical or mental disorders.

One of the most common causes of chronic insomnia is depression. Other underlying causes include arthritis, kidney disease, heart failure, asthma, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, Parkinson's disease, and hyperthyroidism. However, chronic insomnia may also be due to behavioral factors, including the misuse of caffeine, alcohol, or other substances; disrupted sleep/wake cycles as may occur with shift work or other nighttime activity schedules; and chronic stress.

There are two levels to each type of insomnia, primary and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia occurs when the inability to sleep does not occur because of a medical or environmental cause; however secondary insomnia occurs when the inability to sleep is caused by a health condition.

There are different kinds of insomnia:

Sleep Onset Insomnia (Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome):

A disorder in which the major sleep episode is delayed in relation to the desired clock time that results in symptoms of sleep onset insomnia or difficulty in awakening at the desired time.
Idiopathic Insomnia: A lifelong inability to obtain adequate sleep that is presumably due to an abnormality of the neurological control of the sleep-wake system. The insomnia is long-standing, commonly beginning in early childhood, sometimes since birth. Psycho physiological Insomnia: A disorder of somatized tension (conversion of anxiety into physical symptoms) and learned sleep-preventing association that results in a complaint of insomnia and associated decreased functioning during wakefulness.

Childhood Insomnia (Limit-Setting Sleep Disorder):

Primarily a childhood disorder that is characterized by the inadequate enforcement of bedtimes by a caretaker with resultant stalling or refusal to go to bed at the appropriate time.
Another kind of insomnia that generally affects children is called Sleep-Onset Association Disorder. This disorder occurs when sleep onset is impaired by the absence of a certain object or set of circumstances, such as being held, rocked or nursed; television watching, radio listening, etc.

***Food Allergy Insomnia:

A disorder of initiating and maintaining sleep due to an allergic response to food allergens. It is typically associated with the introduction of a new food or drink, i.e., cow's milk.
Environmental Insomnia (Environmental Sleep Disorder): A sleep disturbance due to a disturbing environmental factor that causes a complaint of either insomnia or excessive sleepiness.

Transient Insomnia (Adjustment Sleep Disorder):

 Represents sleep disturbance temporally related to acute stress, conflict or environmental change causing emotional agitation.

***Periodic Insomnia (Non 24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome):

Consists of a chronic steady pattern consisting of 1-2 hour daily delays in sleep onset and wake times in an individual living in society.

Corticosteroids - used for treating patients with allergic reactions, gout, Sjögren's syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammation of the muscles and blood vessels. Examples include: prednisone, triamcinolone, methylprednisolone and cortisone.

  • Statins - medications used for treating high cholesterol levels. Examples include:
  • simvastatin, rosuvastatin, lovastatin and atorvastatin.
  • Alpha blockers - used for treating hypertension (high blood pressure, Raynaud's disease and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Examples include: terazosin, silodosin, alfuzosin, prazosin, doxazosin and tamsulosin.
  • Beta blockers - used for treating hypertension and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias). Examples include: timolol, carvedilol, propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol and sotalol.
  • SSRI antidepressants - used for treating depression.
  • Examples include: fluoxetine, citalopram, paroxetine, escitalopram, sertraline and fluvoxamine.
  • ACE inhibitors - used for the treatment of hypertension, and other heart conditions. Examples include: ramipril, fosinopril, trandolapril, quinapril, benazepril, enalapril, lisinopril, moexipril, perindopril and captopril.
  • ARBs (Angiotensin II-receptor blockers) - used when the patient cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors or has type 2 diabetes or kidney disease from diabetes.
  •  Examples include: candesartan, valsartan, telmisartan, losartan and irbesartan.
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors - used for treating memory loss and other symptoms for patients with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
  • Examples include: rivastigmine, donepezil and galantamine.
  • 2nd generation (non-sedating) H1 agonists - used for treating allergic reactions. Examples include: loratadine, levocetirizine, fexofenadine, desloratadine, cetirizine and azelastine.
  • Glucosamine/chondroitin - dietary supplements used for relieving the symptoms of joint pain and to reduce inflammation.

  • Altitude Insomnia:

    An acute (short and sharp course, not chronic) insomnia usually accompanied by headaches, loss of appetite, and fatigue, that occurs following ascent to high altitudes.

    Hypnotic-Dependency Insomnia (Hypnotic-Dependent Sleep Disorder):

     Characterized by insomnia or excessive sleepiness that is associated with tolerance to or withdrawal from hypnotic medications.

    Stimulant-Dependent Sleep Disorder: Characterized by a reduction of sleepiness or suppression of sleep by central stimulants, and resultant alterations in wakefulness following drug abstinence.

    Alcohol-Dependent Insomnia (Alcohol-Dependent Sleep Disorder): Characterized by the assisted initiation of sleep onset by the sustained ingestion of alcohol that is used for its hypnotic effect.

    Toxin-Induced Sleep Disorder: Characterized by either insomnia or excessive sleepiness produced by poisoning with heavy metals or organic toxins.


    What You Can Do

    If you've noticed signs of insomnia and the problem has been going on for a few weeks, set up an appointment with your doctor to discuss your sleep concerns. If your doctor suspects an underlying sleep disorder like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, he or she may refer you to a sleep specialist.
    Change your diet to prevent allergies and try to seek medical attention to this matter.


    After reading all this I realized that there are some problems on these notes I need to address. Worrying about many things in life can really play on how you function each day. It is now 2:30 am and this is the 7th day without much sleep. I must seek medical attention accompanied by spiritual help with prayer. I know Heavenly Father will help me sleep, my faith will see that...I am blessed no matter what.


    

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Memories Captured In Photographs

    They say a picture can hold many memories and they can tell a story without saying a word.
     
    As I was going through some of my photo albums this past week I came across these few photos.
    This first one is a photograph of my friends back in New York in the 60's. I'm the tall one in the back. Second row...My friends Madeline, Elbie, Julie & Joannie. Then there's my brother Sam, my little sister Mayra, my cousin June and Kiki.
     
     
    We all grew up and moved on with our lives. My friends and I did not keep in touch until Facebook was born. Reuniting old friends, memories and laughs was an extreme delight for me.
     
    Here is a photo of me when I was around 8 old. I don't know why I never smiled when I was being photographed. But the memories of what I know now of why I never smiled still haunts me to this day.

     
    This photo is so ruined. I cannot depart from it and I already talked to Walgreems to have it restored. I was 12 years old then and very happy.

     
    I was blessed with 2 beautiful sons.
     
     
    And now enjoying my 2 wonderful grand-daughters who keep me laughing by being goofy sometimes.

     
    Now I am home alone with many memories to unwind. I stay busy decorating, writing and enjoying my retirement.

     
    

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Keeping a Journal

     
    I have 11 journals and I only keep 6 of them active...the others are occasional journals for different events (family, weddings and new arrivals). There's a memorial journal for those loved ones who have passed on, a medical journal of all the illnesses our family has had and one for each one of my grand-daughters...they will each get these journals when they get married...they are named "Nana's Memories".
     
    As I was cleaning and organizing my computer desk drawers, I came across most of my journals. As I read  some of the events I had recorded on them, I began to think will anyone really appreciate these writings once I pass. Would they be interested in reading about my life, my tears, my joys and my thoughts?
     
    It is hard to tell but since I have a testimony about journals, I decided to cherish them like gold, hoping one of my grand-daughters will cherish them as much as I did.
     
     
    

    Sunday, March 16, 2014

    Did I Forget to Pray?

     
    The day begins..
     
    Scene 1...Today I rushed out of bed. I rushed through my morning shower. I hurried up doing my hair, my makeup and my nails. I quickly got dressed. I chowed down some oatmeal and crackers and rushed out the door. I pressed the elevator door and it seemed like forever to come up to my floor. Paced the floor as the elevator went down, not only to stop at every floor below me. As I was going out I bumped into a few people never to say "I'm Sorry". I turned on the car engine only to curse my way out of the parking lot. I almost got killed for not stopping at the red light and I rear ended the car in front of me. It took the policeman forever to write out the ticket and as soon as left I picked up the phone to lie about why I was late for our work meeting. Sound familiar????
     
    This scenery is often repeated by many of us.  We are so rushed to get to places in time that we forget the most important thing that starts our day...PRAYER. 
     
    Prayer...
     
    A well forgotten moment which allows us to begin the day with God's Spirit.
     
    Now lets see this scene with prayer as the main factor.
     
    Scene 2...I woke up this morning and fell to my knees. I implored a heart felt gratitude for the lovely day and the blessing to rise up well this morning. I prayed for guidance, protection, good health and for HIS Spirit to choose the right.
     
    I rose from my knees with a smile on my face, a joy in my heart and with more than enough time to spare. I calmly showered, I got dressed, did my hair, put on my makeup and I did my nails and toes. I ate my oatmeal, I made a sandwich for lunch and I even chopped up some fresh fruit for dessert.
     
     
    I walked out of my apartment and I pressed the elevator button for the 1st floor. The doors opened up and I walked out of the building within minutes. I turned the music on my car and off I went singing all the way to work. I arrived 30 minutes before my meeting at work was suppose to start and I even took 15 minutes to pick up my desk. I went to my meeting and arrived 5 minutes before it started.. 
     
     Thank you Lord for guiding me today.
     
     
    

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    My Spring Cleaning is Complete

    Oh my, I cannot believe I missed posting last week. Its been a super busy time here at home.
    Every year from Jan.2 to March 31, I clean out and organize my entire apt. I purged unnecessary things and I replace many things that need to be replaced...like a new iron and vacuum.  I have also painted and decorated many rooms and furniture. I am happy to say that I only have 2 more things to do and I will be completely done.
     
    My Spring cleaning is finished. I am doing the happy dance....yes!!!
     
    I used lots of baskets to organize the bedroom, the office and the food pantry.
     

     
    And of course I used lots of hooks to hang baskets, coats, and scarves.

     
    Decorated all the curtains in the apt. using necklaces as tie backs.
     
     
     
    I organized many things using baskets.

     
    I painted some walls, washed down many walls, doors and cabinets, rearranged furniture, painted lots of furniture and even my trash can got a new face lift with a new coat of paint. It looks lovely.

     
    Everything in the apartment looks great, fresh and ready for Spring.
    I am happy.
     
    

    Monday, February 24, 2014

    The Family Tree

    FAMILY
     
    A sacred institution with extreme blessings
     
    I came across this picture of a hand painted family tree a few months ago. The beautiful art work and the display of family photographs screams out to me how sacred this family is to the home owner.
     
     
    As I studied carefully the beauty of this artwork I could visually imagine the designer's love for her art in wanting to display her family for everyone to see.
     
    The painting of this tree brings me to think of those who have passed on before us and are also wanting to be remembered. Searching for your family tree is very simple and if you wish to search your family tree, just click on the link below. Start today and unite those family members to your family tree. They are waiting patiently to be part of your family tree and to be united with you forever.
     
     
    Almost each one of us have at least one family member. Some are blessed with too many to count. But no matter how small or large your family may be...your family is one of the most sacred blessings God created just for you.
     
    

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    Best Calling Ever

     
    I have been a primary teacher now for 3 years in a row. I used to be a primary president back in 1986 and since this is my 3th time teaching in primary since my presidency release, I do know how this program works.
     
    Unfortunately,  for some reason this last year I felt exhausted, drained and tired of teaching in primary. I began to pray for answers and I even considered asking the Bishop to release me from my calling. But something inside me said don't...so I didn't.
     
    This year I continued teaching the same class I had been teaching for the past 2 years. I thought I would have a new class this year with new children but I didn't. As I prayed intensely for guidance and help to teach these precious children with truth & knowledge, I began to feel the need to fulfill my calling even though I felt they were not learning. The amazing thing about teaching this year is that my manual changed and this new manual allows me to prepare my lessons how ever I want as long as I teach the subject assigned that week and that I only use the scriptures, church videos, the friend magazine and voice church recordings along with gospel pictures given to me with the manual. 
     
    This new technique gave me the opportunity to expand on the subject in a greater scale. So with intensive prayer every week and with creative ways to teach each lesson, I began to seriously teach these children using truth & knowledge. 
     
    So I put on my whole armor of God and I began my teaching career in primary...giving it 100%.
     
     
    Our first lesson this year was on the Plan of Salvation, so on my first lesson I made the plan on a poster board just like the one below.
     

     
    I taught them each step of the Plan of Salvation with scriptures and colorful illustrations. They ate it all up. This lesson lasted 3 weeks in a row. I made sure they understood everything very well and on the last lesson they each got to make their very own Plan of Salvation poster, which they truly LOVED making!
     
    The Plan of Salvation board  is to be used throughout the entire year since each lesson refers to the plan. So they should have the entire Plan of Salvation completely memorized by next Christmas...so I thought.
     
    These children learned the plan so well in three weeks,  that just by me asking them a question on the plan they all would raise their hands eager to answer the questions and they are all correct too. When this happened for the first time I thought... wait a second, lets see how well they know this plan. So I kept asking them one question after another and they knew all the answers.
     
    My eyes swelled up with tears and my heart did too. I knew I was doing things right. I had taught them the plan so well that they had memorized it and what a great feeling that was...I felt blessed and I knew I had to be in primary, God needed me there.
     
    Some of the children told me that their parents let them teach their family home evening that following Monday after they took home their plan of salvation poster.
     
    As I drove home that day I began to thank my Father in Heaven for the knowledge He had blessed me with, for the gospel He had planned so perfectly, for calling me as a primary teacher, for His love and for hearing my prayers.
     
    There is no greater call than to teach with truth and knowledge.
     
    I AM BLESSED.
     
     

    

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    A Winter Update

     This is what I see out of my patio door every morning.
     
     
    Here at home the Winter weather has drenched us with so much snow and freezing temperatures down to -18 degrees at night. People and cars were rarely seen out. No one want to go out unless they really have too. I really thank Heavenly Father for giving us the knowledge of having a food storage in case of any emergency. Walmart hardly any food on their shelves a few weeks ago when I went to get a few items I had run out of...they didn't even have water in bottles or gallons. I bought 10 extra gallons of water at Dollartree just to have more. I have plenty in my food storage.
     
    This has been the worst Winter in years and there is still more in the coming days.
     
    This picture below is at my son's house in the country. He had to get up around 4:30am or 5am to clean out his long driveway before going to work and then he would do it again at night.
     
    The nice thing is that we will get a break from the snow for a few days before we get the next storm of snow that is coming in this next weekend.
     
     
    I got to babysit my grand-daughters one weekend so my son and his lovely wife could attend a wedding reception. They sure looked nice that night.
     
     
    I have been real busy organizing and purging. The main thing still left to do is my 3 file cabinets. I don't know why I am procrastinating this job but just the thought of going through so much papers drains me before I start.
     
    Tomorrow I will be painting my bedroom dressers a beautiful shade of taupe. I am excited and I know I will like them a lot.
     
    I have a large basket full of home projects to do but until I finish the house organization I will not tackle that basket.
     
    On a good note...
     
    I woke up one day this last Friday with a desire to have pancakes. Since I am a gluten free vegan I have to make my own. And these pancakes were too good. I had 3 of them. They were divine. 

     
    You can find my recipe on my blog...just click on the link.
     

    Have a great week everyone.