Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm tired of saying my mother died.

I took RCIA this past year, and had every intention of joining the Church afterwards.  As some of you may remember, Feb 18, I had to leave RCIA class because I got the call asking if my mother was a DNR (do not resuscitate), she passed away before RCIA was finished that evening (I left, of course.)  I didn't feel quite confident I was ready emotionally to join the Church (theology was no problem), so I asked my priest if I could join in a few months.  He said that he would need permission from the Bishop, but that yes, I could.  I specifically asked if I had to go through RCIA again  (I completed the class although I didn't join).   I was told that once through RCIA was all I needed.

Now we have another priest.   I was ready to join the church a couple months ago, but he is telling me I have to go through RCIA again.   I'm trying to convince the powers that be the reason I didn't join was based on circumstances and not theology.

I'm so tired of saying "My mother died" or "I was at RCIA class when my mother passed away"

I see the Eucharist at Mass each week.  I can't receive.  This upsets me, and to think it could be Easter before I could receive just seems so far away.

I've been through so much this year, I've had so many losses, and the one thing I'm wanting is to receive the Eucharist.

I am hopeful that something can be done, but I'm also tired of talking about the loss that consumed my mind around Easter Vigil.

Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Watch TV with No Cable Bill

FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

When my mother passed away, one of the first things I did was get rid of the cable TV service.   I'm still finding ways to watch some of my favorite shows and have a routine with others.  One of these ways is using my Apple iPhone 5s to watch shows, and of course you can also watch them on Samsung Galaxy S5..   I have a data plan through U.S. Cellular, and their reliable 4G network means I have access to my favorite shows when I want to watch them without cable TV.

For starters, I have downloaded the apps for some of the larger networks.  Just today I watched a reality show that was aired on Thursday.  It was one of the shows I hated giving up when I got rid of cable.

Photo courtesy of

If your favorite shows aren't accessible through an app, Google Play and iTunes sell a number of shows at $1.99 to $2.99 each with a season pass that gives you a discount.  (I might have to do this to watch Jill Duggar's wedding.  With me planning my own wedding, I have been really wanting to see that episode!)

Other options are Hulu Plus and Netflix.  For $7.99 a month, you can watch HD shows on all your devices including your computer, tablet, and phone!

If you are already a subscriber to one of these services, then maybe you would be interested in a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV to stream these services to your television.  They allow access to thousands of channels and low cost rentals, even the ability to play games.

Being able to stream shows is great for people on the go.  That way you can watch them at your convenience.  I watched one of my favorite shows today while I was exercising.  Maybe combining the treadmill or spinning could help you lose weight in addition to catching up with your favorite shows.  I know I'm trying it!

Of course if you watch a large variety of shows, it might be better to keep your cable service so that you can see everything you want to watch, but I will say that I haven't missed cable TV very much.    Even when my mother and I had cable TV, I didn't have a TV in my room, and her lift chair was in the living room, so I found myself streaming shows even when we had cable.  I even regularly watched a channel that we couldn't receive on our local cable line up, but it was accessible to me because of an app on my phone!  How neat is that?

I haven't had cable television since February, and I love the accessibility of shows on my mobile device.  Just this past week I introduced my fiance to a new series I discovered on my tablet.  How cool is it to be that in the know about television without cable?   Personally I think it's pretty great.

One last thing, with back to school, it's a great time to talk to your children about phone safety and responsibility.  You can download a FREE Parent / Child agreement to help you talk to your teens about some things that might be otherwise difficult to bring up with them.    Get your free agreement by Clicking Here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The $10 item that cost $186 in medical bills.

I was looking through "my notes" on Facebook and found this story.  I thought it was funny and that I would share.

From August 2008.

The day started early, early, early.  I headed out to one of my favorite garage sales -- a community sale that is held indoors. It was packed. I could barely get through the crowd. There was a woman who kept shouting "Pay me on your way out. Shop often. Don't be afraid to shop a lot." (Imagine this as a running commentary.)

I found some interesting stuff -- cookie cutters, craft booklets, puzzles, etc. So, anyway, I started looking at the pictures. I've found some fascinating pictures at garage sales. I once found a beautiful antique painting of a lady, and recently I found a reverse painting with mother of pearl inlay. But I digress. At this sale today I found a print that was signed by the artist. I debated getting it for $3 but thought I'd go ahead.

As I was back at this area, I heard someone start mocking the "Shop often" woman who was still continuing. I wished I had brought earplugs! :)

By this time I had a stack of books, the print, and a couple puzzles. When I was able to say something to "Shop often" I asked if I could set the stuff down somewhere while I continued looking. Most years they allow you to put it in the kitchen. She said "Shove it under the table" "SHOP A LOT!" Then turned to me and said she couldn't guarantee that no one would take it (at which point I was thinking she could be put to better use watching purchases rather than being a cheerleader to encouraging shopping.) "PAY ME ON YOUR WAY OUT! SHOP OFTEN!" Then she turned back to me and said, "Just pay for it and take it to your car and come back". *sigh* I've gained some weight and I thought "Why did she make me try to get it out of the way under a table and now telling me not to leave it there". So I slid the stuff out as best I could on the carpet and slipped my fingers under the print, which was the largest thing I had, which I had put on the bottom. I was going to gather the items and after having my hands in the middle of the print, pick the whole stack of items up. The next thing i knew I was in excruciating pain. I didn't know this but the print was broken on the underside. I rammed some of the broken wood through my finger, slicing it about a quarter inch below my right index fingernail. I pulled my hand out from under it and I was dripping blood. "SHOP OFTEN"

I said to Shop Often that I needed a band-aid. My blood is starting to drip at this point onto the carpet. It's already on my shirt. She asked someone if they had a band-aid and they said yes. She said "Loretta has one in her purse." I have NO idea who Loretta is, so I think that Shop Often might be able to get it for me. "DON'T BE AFRAID TO SHOP A LOT. PAY ME ON YOUR WAY OUT. SHOP OFTEN. COME AGAIN. SHOP A LOT" This woman is really grating on my nerves. I figured the best thing to do to keep myself and the carpet clean is to put my finger in my mouth. At this point someone is starting to look at my stuff. I said muffled with my finger in my mouth "That's mine". Shop Often turned to me and said, "That's why you need to pay for it and take it to your car." Again, muffled I told her that's what I was doing when I got hurt, and please, could I have a band-aid. "SHOP A LOT" She turned back to me and told me to see Loretta. Again, I still have not had the pleasure of making Loretta's acquaintance, but someone overheard me asking for a band-aid and got out a first aid kit from the building. I was still in a lot of pain, feeling a little woozy as well. I reached for a fingertip band-aid and was told I couldn't have that one. WHAT THE HECK? All this time "Shop Often" is still continuing her monologue in the next room. 

I'm forbidden from a fingertip bandage which I think would be best but am given one. I go to pay for my stuff and "Shop often" decides to charge me $5 instead of counting everything up. I count it up later, and had it all been counted up it would have been $4.85, but I'm just happy to be getting out of there although I would still like to look, I just am feeling a little light headed and think I best either plan on going back later or not at all. The woman sees I'm looking a little woozy and asks if I need to go to the hospital. I said I don't have insurance, so I wouldn't be going. Little do I know, although I go to the doctor instead of the hospital.

By the time I get to the car, my finger is throbbing and I'm in a lot of pain. Mom comments that if a little thing like that could hurt so much, how could I ever stand surgery. When Mom can, I like her to drive when I go to yardsales because she can let me off, I can look and I don't have to take the time to park -- it saves me a lot of time. So Mom says we're going home so I can get some Tylenol. I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach at this point. Blood doesn't bother me, but this was really hurting.

I was able to clean my finger off a bit at the house and saw something in it. Great. That's why it was hurting so bad. It was deep enough I couldn't get it out. I called my doctor, and she wasn't in today, but someone she works with was. The first appt. I could get was at 1, and this was hurting so badly.

So Mom says just stopping in at the doctors might get more results. Bingo. I get in less than 15 minutes later although I have over a 2 hour wait. The doctor comes in and sees my finger. He agreed that, yes, part of the picture was left in my finger. He asks about the picture. Old or new? New. What was it of? Did I get a good deal on it? Was there anything else interesting at the sale? What else did I buy? :) 

So the next thing I see is a tray with surgical instruments on it, and a big light. I think "I'm not having a baby, that's just fat." Which I tell the doctor when he stops in again and he says he's only going to deliver a metal splinter. (At this point we thought it was metal.)

I also mention I wasn't sure when my last tetanus was, it was either before I went to China in 1997 or before I went to Europe in 2002. He looked at me and said, "You get a technical shot." (I think he thought this was funny because he kept saying it. Of course I have an odd sense of humor, too, and can make jokes in some of the worst of situations.)

Finally, he comes in, and has me get up on the chair. He asks me to put my finger up, and puts a sheet around it. I said, "We're number one". :) So he numbs it (and why does it hurt so much to numb something? Isn't that an oxymoron?)

I can feel him digging around in my finger, but it doesn't hurt. I can tell it went pretty deep. He said I needed to see him today, that this shouldn't have been left on its own. Afterwards he tells me I did really well through the procedure and said that men are the worst, they can't handle pain. I told him I had a professor in college say it is because women have two X chromosomes and men have an X and a Y. He said, "That's probably true, but I don't know Y." 

So I am told to wait for my technical shot. I started feeling really nauseated, and let's just say there was a good thing there was a trash can in the room. Yuck.

The nurse comes in with my technical shot. I wait a couple minutes after she gives it to me for my stomach to settle, which it did. 

Itemized cost of everything:
base doctor visit $50
technical shot: $50
removing the splinter$75
antibiotics that were prescribed $11.99 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Plain Faith: A True Story of Tragedy, Loss, and Leaving the Amish
by Tricia Goyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s the way things are done.  Tradition.   Looking good to others to allow them to see your quiet, simple faith.  Being peaceful.

But what happens when things are no longer quiet and simple, let alone peaceful?   How do you live these things when your world has been turned upside down?  When your faith is tested and you find it lacking?   This is one couple’s story.

Ora Jay and Irene Eash were coming home from visiting friends.  It had been a long day, and when driving an Amish horse and buggy, unlike a car, it’s okay to doze off except for intersections.  But when Ora Jay dozed off, he was awakened to the sound of a semi truck, his buggy being shattered into pieces, and screams.  He found his two daughters dead, and the peaceful life was no longer peaceful.

He and Irene joined a “circle letter” for those who had lost children.  With eternity so close, yet so far away, they began questioning their faith.  This is the story of loss, both of daughters, and the faith they had once so willingly embraced.   In its place, they found faith that gave them hope and peace.  Ironically, the peaceful life didn’t give them peace on the inside.

Leaving the Amish community is difficult.  You lose your family, friends, and basically everything you have ever known.  Their journey is a fascinating one that spans many years.

I very much enjoyed this book.   I would have liked for there to have been a bit more about losing their daughters and that painful time — how they coped and got through each day.  But I realize that was the tragedy that happened which changed the course of their lives from Amish to “English”, so while it is a heartbreaking event, the focus on the book was more the journey away from the Amish community.

This book was co-written with author Tricia Goyer, and her books are always a delight.   They are well written, and something you can feel good about reading.

I highly recommend Plain faith to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction (although this is a true story) as well as to anyone who has lost a child.

You can purchase Plain Faith here:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Day, Sad emotions

I just wanted to write.  To someone.  To no one.  Blogging is a way of writing publicly, yet sometimes feels as if I write to no one.

Yesterday was hard.  I had another day of thinking about how there will be only two family members of mine at the wedding.  I have eight more months to ponder this.

I'm hoping there will be a lot of friends there.  We are doing an open church wedding.  Right now, eight months away, it looks like we'll have nearly 50 guests, and I'm sure more will confirm closer to the time.  I want to celebrate with those who love me, those who like me somewhat, and those who are coming just to eat fried chicken.  I want to celebrate life.  I want to laugh, enjoy, and smile with those who have stuck by me the last year.

I want those who are there to know that I'm still grieving the loss of my parents.  I'm not sure I'll ever get over that.  But I want something there to remember my parents.  Instead of a bouquet, I'll carry the Bible my mother carried at her wedding.  Aside from her engagement ring (which is now mine) and her wedding rings, that is the only item I have from my parents' wedding.  I may pin Dad's high school class ring inside my dress.

It seems like since my dad is no longer here, I will have to have someone else walk me down the aisle.  The more I think about it, the more it may be two someones.  Why?   Because it feels like if just one man walks me down the aisle, he is a replacement for my dad.  Having two close friends walk me down the aisle seems to say that no ONE can ever replace my dad.  I know it means different things to different people, but it feels that way to me, and all that matters at my wedding is the symbolism I want to give things.   I haven't decided for certain, but both men I have considered asking to walk me down the aisle will be there.

It's amazing to me how such a happy day can also bring up sad emotions.