Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking forward to the New Year

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I kept 2 of my resolutions for 2010. I've actually never kept any before, so for these two little resolutions, its like winning a little lottery scratch off ticket to me. But for the most part, 2010 was not a great year. I lost my beautiful aunt to cancer...and a few other losses due to divorce, misunderstandings and poor decision-making. I can't and really shouldn't blame this all on a "year", but with the circumstances coming one right after another with hardly any room to breathe, its easy to say GOOD RIDDANCE 2010.

New Year's Day is just another day on the calendar...but to most of us, it means New Beginnings. And since I kept 2 resolutions for the FIRST time EVER in my life, the thought of that motivated me to make some good ones for 2011 and keep them ALL. Not only will this be good for me, its now a challenge! (...and I've always loved a good challenge!) So, the closer to New Year's Day I get, the more excited I get. My brain is saying, "On your mark, get set, GO" and I picture myself running a marathon! Now, marathons are NOT part of my resolutions...but it sure looks good in my head! :)

For the coming year, my resolutions are obtainable, and with diligence and the guts to follow through...can be kept. So here are mine for 2011:

* I used to scuba dive years ago. For 2011, I resolve to get re-certified and take a trip or two to see the Shipwrecks of the Atlantic again.

* I resolve to finish two books for 2011. One, being "Big Dummies, Volume 2."

* I've picked up my guitar again after years of it gathering dust. I've always been afraid to play in front of anyone but my brother and my daughter. This year, I resolve to lose that fear. I don't want to play in front of an audience! LOL. I just don't want to be afraid of critique when anyone asks me to play. And I want to be able to sit around on weekends with my brother and friends and bring new stuff to the table. I don't want to be afraid to sing and play in front of them. I want to bring back what I used to enjoy before I worried about what other people thought!

* I resolve to be a better friend. To listen more, to talk less. To see past the obvious and love the person within.

* I resolve to love more, smile more and meditate more.

* I resolve to finish every project I start.

* No running marathons! Forget it! But I DO want to do the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk! I would resolve to do that, but I have to make sure my schedule allows for it. Its something I've wanted to do for years. I hope this year, I can make that happen. This is not really a resolution...but a bonus if it does happen.

I'm sure I'll make a few more before tomorrow. Right now, these are awesome...and I'm already looking forward to the best year ever. I...am...happy.

Happy New Year,

Love,
Karen

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm awake!

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Quit pokin' the bear, dangit! Eyiyiyiyiyi. I didn't post anything for the entire month of October, and that month had a whoppin' 31 days in it! I had a gentle reminder via email about 2 weeks ago. Truth of the matter is, I wrote several blog posts but thought them too corny to publish. So I got a crap-ton of them in my draft file. Most of them written in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. The rest of them when I was just plain ticked off.

Really, did ya wanna see me lament about weepy stuff? Didn't think so. You're welcome.

So no, I'm not gonna talk about the Denver Broncos. I'd appreciate it if none of y'all did either. The 59-14 game against the Raiders was as much of a shellackin' as I could handle, until the Niners came and whooped our butts later. GeeeeAAAAAHHHHD! I'm not gonna jump on the winning team bandwagons tho'. I'm gonna stick with the Broncos as I have since 1983...even if their name IS below Copyright 2010 on the NFL homepage.

I'm not going to talk about the rude lady at the DMV, even though I really think she needs to take a vacation and soak in a danged bubble bath for a week...or a month. Whatever it's gonna take to get that stick...well, I ain't gonna finish that thought.

And I'm NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT HOW MANY LICKS IT TAKES TO GET TO THE CENTER OF A TOOTSIE ROLL TOOTSIE POP...cuz I don't eat candy anymore. ARRRRRRGH! I need to find a subject that doesn't set me off.

Maybe...like...what I'm going to do with the extra hour we get this weekend when we set our clocks back. Let me see....

* Watch 2 Full House episodes on Hulu.

* Count the tiles on all the bathroom floors.

* Find out how much money I can save by switching all of my insurance companies.

* Text Roulette.

* Search the dryer vent for missing socks.

* Google Stephen Spielberg.

* Buy a pony.

I'll do none of the above and just sleep it off, I'm sure. Sure beats thinking about those Broncos. Maybe the Broncos can use Rude Lady as offensive linewoman.
It might make all of us happy.

Until next time,
Niters.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A special "Thank you"

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Last night, I received a text from a friend just out of the blue. Not a text forward. The real deal from someone who is sensitive to the broken spirited. He told me I was loved...and he loved me...and felt that I needed to know it at that particular moment. He was absolutely right.

It's been a rough 6 months.

I admit that I am not unbreakable.

But I'm still a fighter.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Slack a$$ with a busted laptop and time to kill...

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"It was a dark and stormy night..." That's what my Facebook friend Bill suggested as my opening line for my latest blog post. Coincidently, it IS a dark and stormy night, and I'm bored stupid. So, I'm just gonna purge my brain of whatever is going on up there...no matter how idiotic it is...so buckle your seatbelt.

I'm using the main PC in the dining room to write this. My little notebook I lovingly named "Junior" was injured. By my foot. One night as I was lying in my bed, I was playing a simple game of Word Whomp. I got so tired, I shut Junior down and set him on the floor...something I had never done because I was worried it would get broken. The next morning when the alarm went off, I jumped up and stepped on "something" and heard it crrrraaaaaaaaaack! I didn't bother to look at what it was until after my morning tea and shower. Yeah...Junior's screen is all busted, but the rest of it works just fine. So, I got this magic cord thing from my engineer friend John and hooked poor Junior up to a 32 inch flat screen TV. Good news is, nothing's lost. The bad news is, now it's too big to fit in my purse.

Okay, so let the brain purging begin, so I can make room for more stupid stuff.

I learned a bunch of new stuff over the last 6 months...like...stuff I thought I knew about stuff I really don't know as much as I thought about stuff. I'm still learning new stuff and some of the new stuff I am learning is really ticking me off. Therefore, I need to practice, "bite tongue, smile pretty" so I can adapt to new stuff. Did that make sense? Probably not. But it did to me.

My dream man is Richard Collier. (Character in the movie "Somewhere In Time"...if you haven't seen it, rent it...unless you really hate chick flicks. Rent it anyway.) Alas, Richard is dead. In both the movie and real life. I really think Richard would have loved me. Like Elise, I would let him walk around with toilet paper stuck to his face all day, just so he knows there is no shame being "him" around me. And I'd tell him if his suit sucked. But as I said, Richard is dead. Oh, and he's not real either. That could be a problem.

(Hang in there...I'm still brain purging.)

If I had a son, I would have named him Vladimir and he would have known how to spell it by the time he was three months old.

I think Smart Cars are just a Jedi mind trick. I've only seen them in one color. Blue. Do they look sexier in red? Ouch! GAHD! My brain hurt on THAT thought!

Squirrel does NOT taste like chicken. Rattlesnake does NOT taste like chicken. Gator does NOT taste like chicken. Chicken flavored ramen does NOT taste like chicken. Remember that snack cracker Chikin in a Biskit? What the hell is THAT? They put a chicken on the box to psych me out? The only thing chicken about that is the guy who typed the fine print of the REAL ingredients. Chicken tastes like chicken. End of story.

Iiiiiiiiiiii'm Henery the Eighth I am...

Stupid ideas make great infomercials. Really. How many of you bought the "Bump It"?
Somebody got rich on little pieces of plastic. Maybe it's my turn now. What can I do with a crapload of dryer lint?

Jello creeps me out.

If I had another son, I would have named him Jonesy...after that stupid cat on "Alien."

I heard Snooki read a book. That's nice. Who's Snooki?


Oh GAHD, I think my cerebrum is empty now. (insert joke here).

Going to bed to reload.

Until next time,
KW

Saturday, July 31, 2010

In Memory of Joan Elizabeth Specht

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Years of hanging on to dreams already gone
Years of wishing you were here...
After all this time you'd think I wouldn't cry
It's just...I still love you
after all these years.

Beloved Aunt: Joan Elizabeth Specht, January 18th, 1951 - July 27th, 2010
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Friday, June 11, 2010

For my father....

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When I was a little girl, I met a soldier who changed my life forever. This man fell in love with a woman 14 years older than himself. He had never been married, never had any children of his own. This woman had grown children and several grandchildren, but it didn't matter. She is who he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. She, on the other hand, was not interested in settling down with anyone. But he remained persistent...for three years. He loved her children and her grandchildren as if they were his own. And for her, he would have done anything.
Three years later, he received transfer orders to Arizona. Before he left, he presented the woman with a diamond ring and asked her to be his wife. She gave no answer. A few days later, he made what had to be the longest drive of his life to Fort Huachuca.
She loved him, there was no doubt. Her reasons for dragging her feet were many, but at the urging of her daughter and grandchildren, she phoned him and accepted his proposal.
Two years later, her daughter died...leaving 4 children behind. Several family members made plans for the children, but none of those plans involved keeping them together. The argument escalated, and the soldier could take no more. "There's no splitting these children up! I want them ALL."
And that's where they stayed...and grew up happily.
My grandfather Henry C. Huey, though not biologically, IS my father. The man who loved us, raised us, and continues to make sacrifices for the children he worships. I still giggle at the nicknames he gave us when we were younger. "Neater", "Gravel", "Panther", and "Journey"...the names he still uses to this day. We all got our love of football, baseball, basketball and football by watching them with him while eating the plate sized steaks he grilled for each one of us. Sunday mornings were pancake days. He was up at the crack of dawn making sure we had a hot breakfast...giving our grandmother the break she deserved. We traveled the country. Whenever he had a business related trip, he loaded the car and took us all. Plus the two large family dogs!
Whenever we need help, he is the first one there, always. Ginni's last day on earth, he helped me get her to the hospital and he stayed beside the both of us...crying right along with me. My heart broke because we were losing Ginni...but my heart was crushed watching this man, who was always our rock, break down. The two of us made the hardest decision of our lives that day...to let her go. I don't know what I would have done had he not been there with me. I don't know what I would have done if he were not in our lives. I just CANNOT imagine life without him. When Ginni was moved to a room, he went to be with our grandmother...to comfort her while I stayed with Ginni.
To my father, Henry: The only way I can repay you for all you are, and have done for me is to be the compassionate and loving girl you raised...so when people see me, they see you.

I love you so much.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

I know I'm random...LOL

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Every time I hear Josh Turner's song, "Why Don't We Just Dance," it takes me to a scene in one of my new favorite movies, "My Life In Ruins"...and I just gotta laugh...and DANCE...just because.

If you haven't seen "My Life In Ruins" yet, it's a definite must see for your viewing pleasure. Unless, of course, you are a guy who just don't dig Chick Flicks. However, if you wanna make your lady happy, rent it and watch it with her....and suck it up, buttercup! :P

Anyway, the particular scene in this movie is when Tour Guide Georgia (Nia Vardalos) is forced to take several flights of stairs because the elevator in her crappy hotel broke down. Georgia originally came to Greece to teach at a University...but unfortunately, the job fell through...so she took a job as a tour guide in a seedy company. In this scene, Georgia so fed up with her job and Greece that she goes on a mini rant as she's climbing all of the stairs.

In the movie Zorba the Greek, the scene where Alan Bates and Anthony Quinn have just lost all their life savings.
What do they do? They dance.

That's the way this whole country works. Or doesn't.

If the shower doesn't work...

(SCREAMS)

I'm sorry.

...they dance.


Or you want a little privacy,

(SCREAM)

they dance.

I'm very sorry. I'm very sorry.
Not that sorry.


Or, God forbid, the toilet breaks...


Oh, flapjacks.


...you get the Greek philosophy.


(IN GREEK ACCENT) "Relax, pee outside.


"Maybe it is your destiny
to write a poem about the sky."


And then they dance.


You know, Greece was
a happening place 2,500 years ago.


It was the birthplace of art
and democracy and philosophy.


And then they discovered the nap.


(PANTING)


This country's disregard for rules
and order is just sloppy.


What is with this hair? Is it a full moon?


You know, you've all just got to get
your act together and stop dancing.


My Life In Ruins Trailer

Now I think I wanna watch it again!

Til next time,
Karen

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Minute 6 - 2010

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Five years flew by in a fraction of an instant...and still, I'm wondering why it happened. The difference between then and now is, I'm finally REALLY taking her advice. Not just touching upon "Minute 6", or saying out loud what my blessings are, but actually doing it and believing it.

One thing that was missing from my previous practices with Minute 6 was the strength not to obsess with the "what could have beens." If I had done more, prayed more, stood up more, would it have made a difference? I obsessed over how I SHOULD feel about many situations in my life...and not how I really felt and how to deal with it properly. I'm convinced that this kind thinking is what eventually made me physically ill. I had so many symptoms, saw many specialists, treated with so many prescription medications...I wasn't me anymore. Minute 6 was no longer working for me. Karen was dead and gone.

My thyroid eventually whacked out. I felt and looked like hell. I really didn't believe I was going to pull out of it. I've seen people who have been battling it for years and still not well. I've read every Mary Shomon book available, only to become more depressed with the news that few doctors will take me seriously and REALLY want to help me. And the ones who do will cost more than I can afford.

My last Minute 6 before the change was more of a 5 minute cry to God. Then Minute 6 was the decision to change. I believe things began to move in my direction after that 5 minute prayer. A co-worker of mine forwarded an email titled "Life Handbook 2010." I don't like email forwards and generally delete them. I can't tell you why I opened this one, but I'm glad I did. This list helped me find myself again. For those who have been asking me how I lost weight, read Health number 3.

LIFE HANDBOOK 2010

Health:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
Personality:
11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...
Society:
25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Life:
32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

I printed up this email and started living by it. I figured, it couldn't hurt. Before long, I was eating whole foods and dropped junk. Later, I found a naturopathic doctor and took a chance that she could help me fill in the gaps with my new lifestyle change. I began taking better supplements and stopped Gluten. Some people may call it quackery, but after going to so many specialists who couldn't begin to do anything but raise the dosage of synthroid, plus put me on other meds, it was a last ditch effort. Long story short, I lost 30 lbs, my exercise tolerance is back! I love to walk...my mind is clear, and I feel the best I have felt in years. The only med I am on now is half of the smallest dose of Synthroid. My family doctor said whatever I was doing, to keep doing...because it's working. I don't think it was just one thing that started the healing process, but I DO believe that changing the way I think was the key to it all.

So now, Minute 6 is quite different for me. When I feel the emptiness of losing Ginni and Claus...or find myself reliving past failures, I allow myself exactly 5 minutes to grieve...but I don't beat myself up anymore. I know I did everything I could do. I don't allow myself the opportunity to obsess over things I cannot change. I use the grief time to cry tears of love...constructive tears, because they deserve to know how much I love them...wherever they are. I say what's in my heart, and it's no longer self defeating. When I do, I can feel the love come back to me, if that makes any sense...and it makes it much easier to finally make it to Minute 6, where I need to get over myself. LOL.

This morning, I had a wonderful Minute 6 moment. I felt as though she were right here with me. And today, I am good. :)

Ginni, on this 5th anniversary, I hope I am doing you proud as you have done me.

I love you,
Sis

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

formspring.me

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If you could become any fictional character, who would you be?

Allie Hamilton Calhoun

Ask me anything

formspring.me

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If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

Cancer.

Ask me anything

formspring.me

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What is your cure for SNOWKILL???

Some beach.

Ask me anything

formspring.me

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Ask me anything http://formspring.me/karenwest

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I need to cry for a bit...feel free to ignore my rant...

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I need a thyroid doctor who listens to me. I don't feel well, and it has gone on long enough. I've read about so many people who have found doctors who are willing to work with the patient to get the right combination of medications, lifestyle and supplement adjustments to get them well faster. I'm dealing with the same old thing that hasn't worked for decades. Prescribed a synthetic T4 for the fourth time now, and I'm just over this. Not one of the many doctors I have paid want to try anything different.

I've had several episodes of atrial fibrillation. My heart is fine. Numerous expensive and uncomfortable tests confirm that. One doc says it's thyroid disease fueled. Another says it's anxiety...and a third says it's allergy related. Because of this problem, no one will consider me for T3 replacement. Be patient...give it time, they say. It's been way over a year and I say I've been the lab rat for all of the so-called "tried and true" therapies and clearly they are NOT working. This is not fair.

I've had sensitivities to Levothyroxine three times now. I'm on a low dose of the brand name Synthroid to see if that will make a difference. I'm still sick. I want to exercise, but it makes me sick to do so. This makes me sad. I want be active! I have the will, but I cannot get physically ill because of my intolerance to exercise. (Another symptom of hypothyroidism.)

I eat only whole foods now. I drink only water and the occasional chamomile tea. I don't drink, quit smoking...I take whole food multi-vitamins. I've been doing this for awhile...and as I said earlier, I'm still sick.

I'm tired of reading websites about patients who have found an open minded doctor to help them heal. Frankly, in this large area that I live in, there isn't one within a hundred miles of me who will take my insurance. Those docs are way out of my price range. I'm jealous. If Mary Shomon is such the patient activist, come to MY area! Unless they're wealthy, our thyroid patients are suffering. And specialists are a dying breed.

I've read every book cover to cover and have tossed them out of frustration. I can stand up, be proactive, put my foot down, cry my eyes out to ALL of my docs and nothing. I feel like I'm branded as a complainer. I was good in the beginning, trust me. I came in with my symptoms and looked for help. I was given help...I've been given the same OLD help. After a year of my suffering and a year of the old-school thyroid treatment, you'd think someone would want to explore another avenue?

I want all of my money back.

I'm done crying now. Maybe venting here will help me find some newfound courage to continue to kick thyroid disease ass. I don't know.

Until next time,

Karen