Stripping away the rose colored glasses of denial concerning my reality. Getting in touch with truth. Reaching out to others in empathy concerning their reality and their walk to truth.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happiness at Thanksgiving

Happiness is finding thankfulness, regardless of the situation I'm experiencing. We're all human so I know each of you can relate. Finding a blessing among the turmoil / trials of life. Things challenge my faith but going forward is the right decision. Then, there are times I simply stand still and wait.

Since my last blog post of August, I had a second stroke. Once again the left side of my body was affected. So there's a little more loss of mobility but I keep hanging on. Therapy sessions are suspended for this week's holiday. Not to be hindered, I set up my own obstacle course, around my yard, for daily walks. Luckily it's Fall with lots of leaves which I'm slowly raking mid-morning. It's so nice to feel the warmth of the sun. Who knew raking leaves would turn into a blessing by keeping me mobile?

My birthday is the day before Thanksgiving Day. I plan to make myself a batch of peanut butter cookies. I might save some for "the turkey gang,"aka my family gathering. This year I'm headed to my older brother's home... at "Lake Wiley," South Carolina.  I imagine it will be a bit cooler temperature lakeside than it is at my home. Not to worry... I have lots of comfy sweatshirts and sweaters.

I really miss online time but sitting does not help much. It's better to be up, moving about. Still this is a week when lots of people are celebrating, and I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving or a Happy Week!

Now it's your turn....

1- Do you celebrate Thanksgiving or a similar type holiday?
2- What's your favorite side dish for Thanksgiving?
3 - Are you a sweatshirt or a sweater person?
4 - Do you have a turkey joke to share?
5 - Do you have a prayer request?

Lastly... sending love and warm wishes!

~ Dixie

Friday, August 26, 2016

Balancing act ~ number one priority!

Image credit:

"Balance is something I can only glimpse, as I go from one extreme to another." (Quote: my brother, Ben.)

Quite the profound statement! In 1988, when my brother said this in a  recovery meeting for addicts, I almost dismissed it. Still it stuck in my head, circling for many months until a year later I joined  him in attending meetings. At the first of September, Ben celebrates 28 years free from drug addiction. On October 4th, I'll celebrate 27 years! He has been a great support in my recovery.

Ironically, he's been living with me for the month of August, while his new apartment is completed. It has been pleasant to have him here. I almost hate to see him go, but he's not a kid... he must have his own space... and me too. Living alone for five years has had its pros and cons, but I love the peace and quiet.

He gets "home" every day and then walks 4 miles. Ben knows I'm in physical therapy and again, his support has been appreciated. He has no judgment of the simplicity off my assigned exercises. As he said last week, "You've got to start somewhere and gradually increase as time passes. (It has taken me a year to work up to 4 miles.) Take your time. You'll get there, Dixie."

I know he is right. He and his wife have decided to divorce. I have hesitated to even mention what I'm experiencing, but I know he must "see" some of the physical struggle that daily life is for me... right now. And that brings me to the positive side... he knows I'll work hard to regain the "me" that I was... not so long ago. The divorce is upsetting to me... I cannot choose sides, as I love them both. So I try to avoid dwelling on it, moving on with my own battle. No, I can't help but get a little teary-eyed thinking about them.... but for now, I'm on a journey that needs my full focus.

So where am I now? After 5 therapy sessions I know how bad my situation is. Balance is the one thing we all need. It helps us walk and do tasks, ranging from the simplest to the hardest. It is also something that I'm having to regain... a slow battle. I have two therapists. One is helping me regain strength in my left leg and arm. The other is working on my balance issue... but actually the two must go hand in hand.

I've chosen to do my exercises 4 times daily, though it's not required by my therapists. Still it speeds the process and that makes me happy... I have a sense of accomplishment. and isn't that important? I get tired, and rest between the toughest exercises. There are six  exercise treatments this week, two more than last week! Hopefully before the end of August, I'll be able to walk in the yard alone. I have to be able to keep my balance on level ground first. I'm grateful to have a large patio! My yard is not level, so it's a "no man's land" for now. :(

So to close this, I refer back to brother Ben's quote... "Balance is something I can only glimpse, as I go from one extreme to another."

I hope your frustrations are few or at the very least, manageable. I hope you have balance, be it in your mental, physical,  emotional, or spiritual realms! Know that I miss you, and pray for my blog friends every day (smile).

Love, Dixie

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Slowly but surely... healing

Hello! I'm still here, and trying not to get depressed over the slow progress. 

The last test the neurologist ordered showed my right, carotid artery blocked. It's inoperable, yet a most amazing thing happened. Smaller arteries expanded and took over the task. I'm getting enough blood because of that. He also said some new arteries have grown... I didn't know the body could do that. Did you?

Setting therapy appointments has been difficult, as I'm not driving but relying on my god-daughter to help me. On Monday, August 8th, we went for my evaluation for physical therapy. There was a battery of 14 tests. the best score is 56 points - I scored 46! The therapist was very excited and told me I should be able to fully regain my balance, coordination, and lost skills. Though I went in with a lack of confidence... now I feel somewhat relieved. 

The physical therapist has also arranged for me to meet with an occupational therapist too. This hopefully will help me regain my typing and painting skills. Life has been a bit boring, and I might add, a bit scary. Three blogs are sitting idle, and I have a couple paintings that are waiting to be finished!  So finally - I'm scheduled for therapy! Beginning this Friday, August 12th, I'll be learning things to help regain my "normal" life.  The great part is - I get to stay home and do specific exercises for my situation. No rehab center is necessary.

I never realized how the left and right sides of the body work together, while also working independently. It's quite amazing!

Because I have a serious balance issue, I've had to let go of the yard work. Not to be discouraged, I decided to put new plants in clay pots. Both plants need trellises to grow on, so the next task is building something simple to let them climb. 

The Loofah plant fruit can be eaten if picked while still young and tender. I understand it has a taste  like cucumber or zucchini.  If you wait to  harvest later the fruit becomes "loofah sponge," which is my goal. My plant is about 16 inches now, but this photo is how it looked earlier on.

The Passion Flower plant has fruit that is also edible. Have you ever had passion fruit?

I'll close now. Typing is still such a chore. I miss all of you, and thank you for the prayers, and keeping me in your thoughts. While I'm online this week, I'll try to visit everyone!

Thank you, (smile).

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Update and Vacation for July

My last post stated I would be seeing a neurologist on June 24th. Well, that happened, and there's bad news and good news. 

Here's the bad news. The stroke I mentioned during a previous post actually happened last fall - some eight months ago now. My regular MD thought all of my issues were caused by a vitamin D deficiency. However, once my D level returned to normal, the issues had still not completely cleared. I went for an MRI, which showed evidence of a stroke.

The neurologist questioned why it took so long for me to have an appointment with him - eight months! I didn't have an answer; I think he might want to contact my regular MD, and I told him that. At this point in time the only thing to do, regarding this event, is to go for physical evaluation and therapy. I hoping to regain strength and usage of my left hand, arm, and more stability in walking. So July will be filled with lots of appointments for therapy.

Meanwhile, as a preventive measure, I have to have other tests, as ordered by the neurologist. An echo cardiogram, and CT scan are scheduled this month as well.
This may sound crazy, but I was so relieved to hear this news. It could have been so much worse. Thoughts of other illnesses or situations were stressful, even though I tried to remain calm and positive. I'm sure you understand. To me this is good news.

I've been absent from this blog so much but I've tried to keep up with my joke blog and my Battle of the Bands blog. I'm taking a vacation from all three blogs for the month of July. My health is the focus. Thank you for your patience, kind words, and positive thoughts. I will try to visit everyone even though I won't post this month. 

Thank you!


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Quick update

My rose bush is beautiful right now.

I take short walks around the yard ~
It's good to keep moving.
Even when it's physically hard~
Each day I'm improving.

Typing now with seven fingers ~
Instead of five.
Crazy mobility lingers ~
Still it's good to be alive.

Update: I have a June 24th appointment to see a neurologist. My left hand, arm, and leg still have issues. It gets frustrating but I try to remain hopeful and cheerful. I'm so blessed in other ways.

We're definitely into warm weather. It rains every other day, and then turns muggy and humid. I put the air conditioning on, around 75 degrees... for this week at least. Where I live might be in the 90's one week, but then back to the 70s the next week. It's always been like this for as long as I can remember.

My hope is that everyone is healthy and enjoying life. If you are battling something, let me know so I can keep you in my thoughts, (smile). Please bear with me. I'm not writing much lately. I hope that will change soon. Be well.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Giving up my wicked ways... baking on the straight and narrow!

Last Thursday, I wrote of my intent to bake a German Chocolate cake for a neighbor. You remember, I accidentally grabbed the wrong box. When I got home I discovered I'd grabbed Devil's Food cake... big mistake since the neighbor doesn't like that particular cake. (I think I may have muttered a couple of impolite words under my breath.)

I'm leaving behind my wicked ways. I'll be baking on the straight and narrow. This cake is so simple, it's possible a 'caveman' could do it. If i could find a caveman, I'd experiment and let you know. It's a rare day when someone cooks or bakes for me. Maybe an Angel's Food cake will change my luck?

From Betty Crocker - Angel Food/Pineapple in Tube Pan

1 box Betty Crocker™ white angel food cake mix 

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained

1 - Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray.
2 -  In large bowl, beat dry angel food cake mix and crushed pineapple on low speed 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 1 minute. Pour into pan.

3 -  Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely upside down as directed on cake mix box, at least 1 hour. Run knife around edges; turn cooled cake out onto serving plate. Use serrated knife to cut into slices.

No tube pan? Go for this recipe instead:

Take a box of Angel Food Cake mix (just the contents of the box, no need to follow the directions on the box), & combine it with a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple in its own juice.

(No need to use a mixer, just stir it with a spoon) When you do this, something magical happens. 

The mixture starts to froth & it turns into an amazingly airy, fluffy bowl of deliciousness right before your eyes.

Once it's all mixed up, grease and simply pour it into a 9 x 13 cake pan & bake 350 for 30 minutes.

Well, I'm off to call the neighbor... wish me luck! I'm hoping I won't be spending another week eating cake alone. Then again, I can have my cake and eat it too, right?!!

Just for you:

Do you like Angel Food or does that Devil's Food excite you more? Sure, I really want to know!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Queen of Boo-boos strikes again!

If you have neighbors like I have, you like doing things for them, right? What if the good intention flops? Here's the story of how I became the Queen of Boo-boos:

The intent was to make a birthday cake for my neighbor... German Chocolate... sounded yummy to me. I have this terrible habit when shopping. I'll look at the item on the shelf, decide that's what I want, but then I grab the box right behind the front row box. You understand that, right? However, I didn't get German Chocolate cake mix. What? That particular box had been placed in the row of Devil's Food cake mixes. So what I got was... yep, Devil's Food! Ha! Then, wouldn't you know... the neighbor doesn't like Devil's Food cake!! So I'll make it for someone else, or at a later date for a holiday. Problem solved.

It turns out that he really wants a plain, but homemade Pound cake. It's not hard to make, but I've discovered I have a another problem. To make a Pound cake you really need a mixer; doing it by hand is outrageously difficult, (frown). 

Three years before, the Queen of Boo-boos found her beater wands but couldn't find the hand mixer. So what did I do? I had tossed out the two beater wands. (Why keep them if I have no mixer? Sounds reasonable, right?) So I'm going to make the Pound cake and guess what I found? Geez Louise, the mixer was in a cabinet I rarely, if ever, use.. So now I have a hand mixer and no beater wands!!! (I m absolutely not a hoarder but in this case I wish I'd given it more thought.)

The neighbor has generously offered to purchase me a hand mixer.  Being the suspicious type, I wonder if I'll be "urged" to make him cakes or other stuff now? Oh, what to do? Do I accept his offer or seek out recipes that don't require a mixer?

What's your opinion? 
Yes or no to his offer? 
Have you ever had an experience along this line? 
Do you toss out stuff thinking you may never need it? 
Are you a Queen or King of Boo-boos?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Nosy Rose

My little red rose ~
Sweet scent for my nose.
You're already blooming ~
After that slight grooming.

This little rose bush is a true delight. A couple of snips and it performs beautifully. It will get slightly larger than a 'patio rose' bush... perfect for my flowerbed. This summer I intend to try rooting a few cuttings. The more the merrier and the cheerier, I say!

Do you like roses? If not, what do you find most appealing?

Bonus points:

Monday, April 25, 2016

MRI ~ Proof that I have a brain!

My apology for leaving everyone hanging. 

I now have proof that I have a brain... yes... I have had concerns (Ha!)

The MRI confirmed 'evidence' of an older stroke that occurred some time ago... there's a possibility I had a heat stroke in May 2002. I remember experiencing total exhaustion in 2002 for several weeks. However...the doctor said that the former event did not cause the current situation. Back to square one.Okay, now what? I'm waiting on a referral to a neurologist...

I called the MD's office to inquire about a neurologist appointment. One hasn't been set yet, so I'm only guessing it's not a huge priority.  Frustrating as heck but that's life.

The MD did find new conclusions... my vitamin D level (once deficient) is okay now. He changed his diagnosis and decided that I do have Vertigo...back on those pills... I knew it.

An email pal sent another suggestion, having read my mail concerning the 'former stroke' I'd had. I'm going to follow up on his suggestion and hope it brings further relief. It has to do with circulation and keeping the arteries cleared, ie, a type of high cholesterol therapy. That really could be a factor in my situation. Though my cholesterol isn't too high, I would still benefit from this. I'll get back to you on how the situation changes. (Thank you, anonymous e-pal!)

Most importantly ~

I would like thank everyone for the prayers, well wishes, and positive thoughts. The A-Z Challenge ends this week on Saturday. My minion work will be done! My blogs have been starved of attention... it won't be long before I get back to a more regular schedule, (smile).

Friday, April 8, 2016

A little prose with an MRI

We are the way we are  ~
No one changes as a result of our prompting, prodding, or pushing. 
Though we can move and share with others.

We are the way we are ~
We  grow when we recognize the goodness of the universe for our own inner sanctum.
Those who hear will learn, and hopefully reciprocate.

We are the way we are  ~
When we have defined what brings us our own joy
We're able to allow  others the same kindness and space.

dcrelief ~ personal update:

Friday morning (today), I'm having an MRI on my brain. The doctor is investigating 'why' I've lost some function in my left hand and left leg. It's a little bit scary, so I hope you'll keep me in your thoughts. 

My neighbor shared: "If they discover that you have no brain, you will have been worried over nothing!" I suppose he has a point!

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Weekend of Sights and Sounds

One dove calls to another.
Rose-pink Azaleas glow in the sunlight.
Clouds flirting with the blue sky.
Lawnmowers break their Winter silence.
Neighbor digging a trench for rain water runoff.
Varying winds ~ gentle breeze, sudden gusts.
Spring is here once again. 

Do you have a favorite sight or sound, related to Spring?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Friday is the Day!!!

Holton's Heroes are working hard, behind the scenes checking blog links, and participation. I am so ready!

Friday is the big day. The A-Z challenge begins. Best of luck to all participants. I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines this year. I will not be participating. Instead I'll work behind the scenes as a minion; a rewarding job in itself. Hope everyone has fun. 

Thanks to Arlee Bird and Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting this event!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

A-Z Job opportunity

It's almost time for the 2016 A-Z Challenge to begin! The seventh year, and going strong. 

I had a lot of fun doing the 2015 challenge. This year my only participation will be as a "minion worker" for John Holton. If you'd like to help, click on John's link and leave him a comment. His group of minions are called "Holton's Heroes." I love the cami look, (smile).

Today is "Theme Reveal Day," but some might post a day or so later. Be looking for themes that peak your interest.

I'm including the A-Z Badge in my sidebar, in case you'd like to join in the fun this year.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Memories ~ full circle

Once there was a ride ~
Swallowed by the tide;
Would childhood memories disappear?

Memories of fun ~
Laughter in the sun.
Replacing my joy with future tears?


Memories are etched in my mind, free to relive any time I like. Then again, I wondered: "what happened later, long after my visit? Did this place remain the same? Does this 'now time' still reflect the goodness I took into my mind?" (Sigh)

Have you ever had a similar experience? 

Image information:

Workers on lunch break watch the removal of the Jet Star roller coaster May 14, 2013. The structure has been in the ocean for six months after the pier it was on collapsed during Superstorm Sandy in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The Casino Pier has contracted Weeks Marine to remove the Jet Star roller coaster from the Atlantic Ocean.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Season of Children's Flowers ~

They're only inches tall, 
with blossoms that are small.
You may not see this treat,
They're underneath your feet.
Adults don't notice anything,
This very special gift of Spring.
But little ones play for hours,
during this 'Season of Children's Flowers.'

~ dcrelief

Bonus!! Rumors run amok. Today I offer the scoop on the new President. Hold on to your hat!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

You are kidding me, right?

Like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy... this is all wrong, right? Has anyone ever met a leprechaun?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

St. Patrick's dessert and blessing ~ for you.

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day. Are you Irish? Do you like the color green? I offer a dessert recipe. Feel free to add a drop of green food coloring!

Key Lime Pie Fudge

¼ cup sugar
1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
⅓ cup butter, melted
16 oz high quality white chocolate, finely chopped
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp butter
zest of one lime
3 Tbsp key lime or lime juice

Preheat oven to 375.
Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil and grease with butter. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the sugar and graham crackers crumbs and stir to combine.
Add the melted butter and stir until crumbs are all moistened.
Spread evenly into the baking pan and press until even. Bake at 375 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes or until edge is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Once crust has cooled, add the white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and 1 Tbsp butter to a saucepan.
Cook on low heat just until chocolate is melted and and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the zest and juice.
Spread mixture evenly over the crust. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Remove fudge from the pan using the foil and cut into pieces.
Lift the fudge from pan using edges of foil. Use a damp kitchen towel to cleanoff the knife after each cut for a clean cut.

Irish or not, I leave you with a song.  Have a great week!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Enjoying Spring but then...

Spring in my yard is an amazing time - life as I love it - returns. So how did I miss the "Daylight Savings Time" notice? Aw, yes! I was busy taking notice of the yard. So when the time changed on the 13th, I wondered why my studio wall clock had slowed... exactly one hour? Or had my laptop and cell phone made mistakes, by advancing... exactly one hour? 

Laugh, if you want. I spent a half day looking for a battery for the wall clock. I was not looking forward to purchasing batteries... boo... awful prices!! I had the best laugh at myself for such a silly oversight... I hope everyone adjusts well to "DST".

My Japanese Tulip Tree

 My Forsythia Bush


Tomorrow is my "battle of the bands" day. I'll be playing two different versions of the same song. 
Feel free to stop over and vote for which song version you like. dcrelief ~ Battle of the Bands participant

Closing out today with a thought for Spring Rain - I love that too. Here's one of my favorite composers and artist - Yanni...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Child of Sunlight

Are you familiar with violinist, Lindsey Stirling? Today I am posting a song I enjoy very much. It is uplifting to me. I hope it will be so for you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A simple request ~

It's hard to type when one hand doesn't want to work. Yes, I'm having some difficulties, but trying to keep going.  Currently the sun is out, here and it is a gorgeous day. I long to be out there digging in the ground, playing in my yard but it's not possible yet.

Thursday I return to the doctor for a check up. I really hope he can help me get past this moment of physical trouble. Please keep me in your thoughts, please. Thank you.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

From Us to You

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

~ dc and Teddy

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What a crock!

In the fridge... all the right fixings for super soup. All I had to do was clean, peel, and chop all the veggies. Then pop it into the crock pot for a long simmer's night. Set my cook timer and go relax... right?! But, oh no! An hour went by and the timer went off, but guess who left the crock pot unplugged. Midnight came and I felt like I was "Moonlighting". That feeling when you can't go to sleep yet... there's work to be done.

If I'd thought a bit longer, I'd have left it off and instead, started cooking in the morning. But no... wouldn't that make sense? I'm such a night owl. Early morning is too much for this happy cook.

Oh, what the heck... the song came to mind and it's a favorite. I'll call you when the soup is ready.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Peanut Butter Cookies for a day without Sunshine

For many of us, it's Winter time. Many days, that means gray skies and a colder air temp. I get up, get dressed but wonder why? The morning looks the same as sunset.

I keep glancing out the window, waiting for the sun... and it's so dreary... I drift off... If you're one of those people who can fall asleep while on 'Facebook', you'll know what I'm talking about. Either that, or I'm no longer easily entertained.

Yes, that sleep thing gets you, and you find yourself wanting a wake up activity - right? Or do you return to the pajama and slipper mode and call the day off?
Ho-hum, I decided to make cookies. My favorite Peanut Butter cookies. Thank goodness for timers that wake me up to take the cookies from the oven. So far, I've never slept through a timer bell. That baby is loud!

What do you like to do on sunless, Winter days? Do you like cookies, and if so, what's your favorite? If you could, would you stay in pajamas all day?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Only the shadow knows

Welcome to another "Groundhog's Day"... you know the day when the groundhog comes out from his burrow, and attempts to predict when Spring will arrive. A feat most meteorologists cannot accomplish, right?

Oh well, the day is still celebrated, in some parts of the world more than others. Wait! Do all countries have groundhogs? Hm, if you don't have one, don't worry... we'll let you know what happens here.

Some people really worry about this. Here's a song for them.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Gramma's truckin' luck

Grandma was a mobster
her truck was painted pink.
She'd haul a load of lobster
and clean them in her sink.

Everyone knew Grandma
Better listen for her horn!
She sadly ran down Grandpa
Left him lying in the corn.

She cried all night and day,
until she bought that mink.
Insurance paid her way
for piercings and some ink.

A ring went in her nose
a diamond in her tongue
A tattoo of a rose...
She'd only just begun...

Hey! Monday I'll be at my 'Battle of the Bands' blog

dcrelief ~ Battle of the Bands participant

I'm also participating in the 'Lost and Found  - Valentine's Edition' Blogfest.

Feel free to stop by, read my short story, and then listen to my battle song choices. Vote for the song you like the best. Have a great week.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Directed by the world to live for days, times, and seasons.
Am I a citizen of the world without my choosing?
Every month has a holiday or disaster to worship.
Must I participate? Must you?
Of course we must.
It's unacceptable not to do so.
What rights do I really have now?
Will 2016 be different?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016! ~ or "Turn the Page"

This invisible blogger stopped by to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Lots of sounds outside tonight. In spite of the rainy week, people still celebrate. They are out there making a new day, a new year... they're turning over a new leaf... they're turning the page... Well, that reminds me of an old song. Here you go.