Sunday, March 31, 2013


 As I wrote about your great grandmother, Alma Rose, last year in this challenge, it would be redundant to do it again.  So that left me with a nice big blank as to what to do this year for the letter A.
Finally, I settled on talking to you about Attitude.  Attitude is half the battle in most situations or circumstances life throws you.  Let me give you a handful of examples.
Back in High School I figured out if you act like you belong where you are, people by and large would assume that you did.  Attitude.  I'm in this hall between class, I have a purpose and reason for being here, I don't shrink down or try to hide when I see someone and they upon seeing me don't bother to ask or question because they assume I have a valid reason for being there.
Then later on at work I realized attitude worked in other ways.  A shy, quiet girl I was working with had a man out on the warehouse dock make an unseemly, suggestive remark to her.  Her immediate reaction was shock and fear.  She ran away crying.  Later on, she had to avoid the man at all costs, because anything he said upset her.  While in the same type situation I had never missed a beat, never stopped walking, just called out over my shoulder, "Yeah, in your dreams."  The person never spoke to me again.
While in these situations attitude might help you navigate the social waters of the world, this is not where attitude is your biggest ally.  It's in those private battles you fight in your head, your body, your heart. 
A right attitude, a positive attitude, can make the darkest day seem bearable.  As when I believed that my mother was better off dying and going to God then surviving that massive aneurysm to live as a vegetable. It can help you hunker down and complete the most menial, mind numbing tasks.  Like cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night when you are sick yourself.  It can cause you to be thankful no matter how bad things are financially.  Seeing that you do have what you really need for existence.  The warmth of your home, the flowers outside, cuddling your child.  It can allow you to hold yourself together in the most trying of times. Because someone more venerable than you is depending upon you. It can give you the strength to do what your body tells you is impossible when there is no doubt something has to be done in order to save something or someone precious to you.
How can you have the attitude you need to get through, to get over?  Many times I have found the strength by thinking of one or both of you.  In financial hardships the best way is to simply do as the old hymn says and count your blessings, name them one by one...see what God has done.  But the most surefire way I know of is to pray to God to help you see things as He sees them, to see the people in your life as He sees them.  He is faithful.  He will show you another side of the person, another viewpoint on your circumstance. Then with this new outlook and the assurance of His presence (after all, He showed you so you know He is present) you can adopt a new attitude.  A more positive, less selfish, long range attitude to help you see above and beyond the storm that you are in.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A is for April, Z is for Sleep

What?!  Don't believe me?  Think I don't know my alphabet or that I can't spell?  Z.  The letter Z.  As in ZZZZZzzzzz.  The universal sign for having dozed off.  Sleeping.  Snoring.  Resting.   And I rest my case.

April is the start of the April A-Z Challenge, of which I am once again a participant.  I'm excited and looking forward to it.  I prefer to use a theme for my A-Z posts.  And this year my theme is more a point of view.  I will be writing each post as if I were writing it to one or both of my children.  It might be special memories, family stories, advice, scolding, etc.  Something I've never shared with them, or something I have shared and want to record here to preserve.  Since most folks have or will have children, or have been a child, or have special memories, family stories, etc. I do hope you will enjoy it. 

The Z, being for sleep, means I never seem to have enough.  And I get very little co-operation in getting more.  In fact I often have to fight for it, and then I'm so wound up I can't sleep.  It's symptomatic of my being very undervalued and under appreciated around here.  I'm not supposed to have outside interests or things I like to do just because I like to do them.  Unless they match "someone else's" like to do's.  Then I have their blessing.  So, I expect April will be a round, a row around my house.  But I'm doing it anyway. 

I have my tentative ideas for each days post scheduled on my calender,  but I'm not writing them up ahead of time.  One, I might change my mind as I go.  I want to be fluid with it.  Also, I prefer to write in the moment.  So, I'll be writing as I go. 

We are asked and encouraged to visit other A-Z'ers blogs during the challenge with a suggested 5 per day.  Last year this was a real struggle for me.  I expect it still will be this year.  Seems one person in my home gets moody just seeing me sit at the computer, and another has a virtual horse farm they want to play and chat at.  AND we are stuck on dial-up, living in the sticks with a limited income.  My plan this year is to visit my suggested 5 while I eat lunch at the office.  And drop by more of them as I can in the evenings, or while I drink my coffee on Sunday mornings.  You can see the list of participants here:  The A-Z Challenge 2013 List.  Life & Faith in Caneyhead is number 626.

There is one thing I am extremely grateful for this year.  Jeremy designed the theme for the badges and banners this year and added one for each letter we can place on the appropriate post.  This way, if I want to post something that does not relate to the challenge, my readers can easily differentiate between challenge posts and my usual fair.  Challenge posts will have the letter of the day badge and of course regular posts will not. 

Enjoy your weekend and have a beautiful and blessed Easter.  I'll be celebrating Easter at Wiley Mae and enjoying my precious Baby Ruth.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tips for Helping Your Family Avoid Diabetes

I am pleased and excited to share with you a timely article that my new friend, Carolyn, at Full on Fit recently wrote.  Please read, share and spread the word.  

- Barbara in Caneyhead

Tips for Helping Your Family Avoid Diabetes
March is National Nutrition Month, a great time to spread awareness about the importance of healthy nutrition in all families. But with the rising epidemic of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses in kids and adults these days, now is as important a time as ever to get on the right track.

My own little cousin was diagnosed with Type 2 not too long ago, and it completely changed our family’s outlook on health. With a healthy diet and regular exercise being the best prevention and management solution to Type 2 and obesity, we have changed our lifestyles to make sure no one else in the family develops the disease. With obesity and Type 2 being so widespread among today’s families, it’s time to make the changes that are necessary to get our families on track to living healthy lives. Here are some things to consider for your own family:

Regular exercise is absolutely essential to maintaining insulin sensitivity and avoiding diabetes. Some of the easiest ways to get regular exercise are to go walking around your neighborhood together after dinner, go to the park and run around with the family pet, or even go for a bike ride on some biking trails.

Swimming is another great way to stay fit. Easy on older joints and fun for kids, swimming is ideal for family fitness outings. Also, with so many different water games out there, it’s a great way to make a day full of exercise, fun, and lots of laughs and memories to be made!
Gardening is a fantastic spring and summer option that will keep your family in shape and give you fresh, healthy produce at the end of the season.

Finally, consider some fitness videos or classes as a family. There are so many different kinds of classes and fitness activities offered today. My younger cousins love to come to my house and do Zumba and Yoga with me. According to orthopedic doctors from Syracuse’s Orthopedic Center, yoga is great for increasing bone and joint health, flexibility, balance, and posture – all things that are great for all of us, no matter what age we are! My cousins even have all of their own Yoga Mats and they leave them at my house for when they visit each week!

A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is a cornerstone of any plan to avoid diabetes and obesity.

Be sure that your family gets enough fiber, which helps control blood sugar. The foods highest in fiber, such as fruits and veggies, can also be great replacements for high-carbohydrate menu items.

As much as you can, avoid processed carbohydrates, such as soda, candy, sugary cereal and white bread. Those items cause a major spike in blood sugar that can contribute to the development of diabetes over time. Instead, choose whole grains for long-lasting energy that is easy on insulin.

Balance your meals and snacks by combining protein, healthy fats and low-glycemic carbohydrates. Beef jerky, fresh fruit and nuts are all good choices.

Here's a simple, healthy recipe that kids love:
Fast Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken Supreme

- Put a pack of chicken legs (or thighs) in the slow cooker
- Dump a can of salsa over it
- Add ½ teaspoon of cumin, 3 chopped cloves of garlic and ½ onion, quartered.
- Turn the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours and serve with whole-grain corn tortillas, sour cream and fresh lettuce.

Following the tips above will reduce your family's chances of getting diabetes. By viewing health as a family activity, everybody in the household will be more likely to stick to a fitness plan in the future!

Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What I got today from my sweetie. :o)
Barbara In Caneyhead
Beautiful, cloudless day here at work.
Barbara In Caneyhead

Sunday, March 10, 2013

God is Awesome!

Well, certainly.  Of course He is.  But no matter how many times He clearly demonstrates that to me, I still stand in awe of Him when He does it again. 

Pete has recently started receiving disability.  And that in itself is a move of God.  He's been so miserable at times, despondent at others, and always infuriated that he hasn't found any solid answers as to why he feels like he feels though we have tried as much as poor folks with no insurance can.

In December, Pete had another hearing scheduled to review his case for disability.  We were feeling very disheartened as the hearing date approached.  We had so little new information to present.  Even we couldn't see how they'd approve it from a purely scientific, logical perspective.  We covered it in prayer and asked our brothers & sisters in Christ to do the same. 

The day we walked in the building for the hearing, Pete's attorney said, "The heavens have smiled upon you today!  If you are ever going to be approved today is the day.  This judge likes to help people."  Him and Pete went on into the hearing.  I sat and waited and prayed.  When they came out, Pete didn't even clearly understand that he had been granted it!  The attorney told us he had and explained how things would happen and progress, and we sat there in shock and awe.  We had been given a miracle!  Praise God!

Not waiting for his checks to start coming, we scraped up the cash for Pete to see a local M.D.  The first step was to find an M.D. that Pete trusted and that seemed truly interested in helping him find the answers.  For so long he has had nothing but NP's and PA's to see.  Not that they are necessarily bad, but they don't have the same background as a well rounded M.D.  But the first MD was too brisk and wouldn't spend enough time with Pete. 

So I stayed home from work one day in February and we started calling and looking for an MD.  BUT FIRST, we prayed together for God to lead us to the one.  One couldn't see him until Thursday, and we wanted something ASAP.  Another didn't except Medicare and since he'd be going over to that sooner or later, he wouldn't accept Pete as a new patient.  Then another would not see people without insurance.  Then another wouldn't see someone who had just been under another local MD's care.  Urrrggghhh!

Needless to say, I ended up taking Pete to a medi-quick type place that day and we went back to the drawing board for an MD.  Before I could get papers from one to fill out, Pete was needing to see someone again and we tried calling the one who couldn't see him until Thursday before.  They had an opening the very next day!!  So I scheduled Pete.  He liked him.  And the doctor seemed concerned and ready to help Pete as far as he could go on cash.  On his second visit to this doctor, Pete was telling him how his eye blacks out in half the field of vision and he said he'd schedule him an appointment with a doctor at the Eye Center of Southeast Texas.  Pete went on to try to tell him about his ice cold hands and feet, but the doctor said "Let's start with the head and work our way down."

On our way to the "eye doctor", Pete got to feeling grumpy and said something about what was the point.  I told him that the doctors there were way more than eye doctors.  That one of them told my mother years ago that she needed to be tested for lupus, and sure enough, she had it.

We got there, registered, payed up front over $200.  And waited.  And waited.  Then finally were called back. A nurse did a very detailed medical history on Pete.  Then she dilated his eyes and did a routine eye exam.  And we went back to the lobby and waited and waited.  Finally we were called back to the room once more.  And Dr. D walked in with a stenographer to type every word into a computer.  He put on what looked like a space age catchers mask and examined Pete's eyes.  Then he sat back and said there was really nothing wrong with his eyes.  The very slight beginnings of a cataract in one.  But years down the road to be a problem.

Then he said that his arteries in his eyes were much too thin for a man of 50 years.  "You need to have your circulation checked."  Pete told him how he had been admitted to a local hospital last August and they had done a check of his carotid arteries and a chemical stress test and all of that and told him it was fine.  He took his stethoscope and listened all up and down one artery and then the other in Pete's neck.  He said, "There is some difference between the two."  And then Dr. D asked about if Pete had problems with cold hands and feet!!!  And Pete said "yes!".  The doctor said that was a syndrome connected to poor circulation.  Then he asked if Pete also sometimes had wavy lines in his vision and Pete said "I mean!! yeah"  The doctor said that was a type of migraine that didn't necessarily cause a headache and also was tied to poor circulation!!  And it just went on.  Pete sharing and him nodding agreement.  Him acting like there was nowhere else in the world he had to be.  I told the doctor when we were leaving, "Thank you!  You have told us more in 20 minutes than anyone else has in two years!!"

I know my God arranged for things to happen this way to lead us to that appointment.  It was the best $200 and 4 hours we have spent in this search for answers! 

What's the next step?  We're not sure, but we know God has a plan.  And with His help we will get there. 

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