Books!

I did some re-organizing of my book shelves yesterday and discovered I had duplicates of several good books.

 

I started to list them on ebay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/252086034993?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

But decided that I would offer some of them you to….  I will ship them media mail.  You are welcome to pay more if you want to continue to contribute to my Alaska Cruise Fund.

 

Here is what I have today:

Beverly Lewis 

DSCF4483Summerhill Secrets – 2 – paperback – $3

The Covenant (Abram’s Daughters #1) – 2 copies of this one… and I kept a copy… go figure why I had 3 copies.  Must have been on clearance someplace. – $3 each

October Song – paperback. – $3

The Fiddler (Home to Hickory Hollow) – paperback – BRAND NEW! – $4

The Shunning (Heritage of Lancaster County – 1) – paperback – $2

The Parting (Courtship of Nellie Fisher – 1) – Hardback, Large Print Edition – $2

The Forbidden (Courtship of Nellie Fisher – 2) – Hardback, Large Print Edition and some of the pages are wrinkled/folded because it had fallen behind the bookcase. – $2

The River – BRAND NEW BOOK!!  Just released in 2014.  – $4

 

I have more by other authors that I will deal with another day.

 

Also… if you were interested in those old hymnals… https://twalscott.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/hymnals/

I will be trying to deal with that this week as well.    🙂

 

 

 

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Reading

What do you like to read?

 

I prefer Historical Fiction… Amish Fiction… Christian Fiction… mostly light, easy reading stories.

I NEVER read more than one book at a time.  I ALWAYS read books in a series in order.  I almost always complete a series before moving on to another.

 

HOWEVER, with the advent of the Kindle, I have not always done those things.  I only download what is free.  Sometimes that is just book one in a series.  I have a list of the additional books so I can watch for them, or check the library.

 

This week, I had started a book on the kindle, I was about 1/2 way through.  We were headed down to the beach, but there was not enough battery charge left, so I couldn’t take it along.  I grabbed a paper book.  So, I was reading 2 different books… 2 different time frames… 2 different eras….

 

If you know me, I HATE flashbacks in movies, I get somewhat confused, so reading 2 different books should have drove me crazy.  Maybe they were just different enough that I could keep them straight.  The paper book was set during the Revolutionary War in Pennsylvania in an Amish community.    The Kindle book was set on the Oregon Trail.

 

About that kindle 3584-the-oregon-trail-dos-screenshot-it-s-a-long-walk-to-the-promisedbook:  Finding Her Way by Leah Banicki.    It was my usual, light historical fiction, with a little bit of Christian theme to it.  However, with the book, I felt like the author was writing it while playing “Oregon Trail” on the computer.  Or maybe I’ve played it too often?  It seemed to follow that game pretty closely…. from the jumping off places, to all the forts and sites…. to having some wagons tip in the river crossings… or falling down the mountain/hill when you don’t use ropes/chains properly…  with weather related issues and insects… and trading with the indians … and death and animals being stolen… to choosing which trail to take or to take the Barlow Road or the Dalles River Rapids…     🙂

Don’t get me wrong, the story was cute.  It did take a twist that didn’t fit the usual mold of Christian fiction.  It was a nice escape and fun story and they lived “happily ever after.”

 

I’m just feeling like playing Oregon Trail now and I don’t have it on this computer.  Wonder if there is a free download.  LOL!!  I remember playing it on our old Apple IIe… with virtually no graphics of anykind… Fun times!

 

Grateful Gifts

You have seen the posts on facebook about making a jar and putting in notes all during the year of things you are thankful/grateful for.  Well…. we did that this last year:

IMG_1679

We read the notes on our way to our New Year’s Eve Celebration.  Here is what was in the jar:

(in no particular order)

– Esther sorted 6 totes of shoes

-Liz got a 1 at Solo and Ensemble

-Liz took 2nd in the 400 free (Jan. 8, 2013)

-Thankful for Esther’s kind and generous heart!

-mom lost weight, dad is trying

-One Direction

-Lydia got a 1 at Solo and Ensemble for her flute trio, and her choral ensemble also got a 1 (the only 1 in the school)

– Liz had a personal best on her 500/400 as sectionals

-House of Anubis is now on 4 days a week

– we got another cat (hopefully) – NO WE DID NOT!!!

-Tricia set up Wayne’s smartphone, a BIG help

-One Direction (yes, again…. I think someone is really thankful for them!  LOL!)

– Thankful for Lydia’s hard work at swimming

-Christmas

-friends

-Kevin gave Abi a car

– Esther won a penguin poster (sadly the cat ate that poster a few weeks later)

-a car from Kevin and Cousin Jim to repair it

– Wattpad

– Mom got a GS award in spring 2013

– Liz worked hard pulling weeds

-Jim fixed Abi’s minivan

– orthodontics, so our teeth will look good!

– Abi goes back to school

– we can almost get a car in the garage (and then brother Pete filled up the space when he moved, but now it is almost empty again and we DID fit a car in – but just grandma’s little Kia Soul)

– Thankful for the wise choices Liz is making during High School

-Lydia’s band and choir got a 1 at contest

-Thankful for Abi’s stick-to-it-iveness in college

-toys and games

– Esther spent almost 24 hours with Mia

– youtube

– Wayne got a full time job

-new phones

– Panic! at the Disco (I’m told it is music?)

– a nice hike at Wanake

-$3 fuse fixes the microwave

-I had one of the best years at camp. ❤   – Lydia

– Danisnotonfire and Amazing Phil (I’m told they are people on Youtube)

-Patricia for thinking of this great idea  (but really it was on facebook first,  😉    )

– spending 2 days at Auntie Lois’

-Abi home on break to run “mom” errands

-presents

-food, shelter, etc.

– House of Anubis started again.   🙂    (Well maybe not “good” for the family though?)

-Abi did a lot to help drive her sisters around during her Xmas break

– a working microwave and food to cook in it

-Liz hasn’t crashed the car yet!

– Liz band 3-peat at OMEA state finals – and they got a 1 this year!!!

– good weather for the spring campouts

-thankful for Tricia’s care of her mother during this time of need (her broken shoulder)

-Liz got her driver’s license

– I love my slippers and was very surprised!

-Fair winners (everyone won ribbons at the fair!!)

Yes, we will continue this for 2014!  Hopefully there will be at least the same amount of things to be thankful for next year!!

Happy Book Lovers Day!

This family officially qualifies!  How many books do we have?  As one of my children said as a small child when asked how old she was: “this too many.”

IMG_0528kids puzzle and coloring books

IMG_0529kids books shelf #1

IMG_0530kids books shelf #2

There are also 5-6 boxes of kids books in the garage – board books and “baby” books.

IMG_0531Adult-like books and some photo albums.  Also a small portion of the hymnal collection and everyone’s Baby Book.

IMG_0532Photo albums.  Out of sight on the floor are several boxes of photos from the last 1.5 years that still need to get into albums.  The empty albums are there too.

IMG_0533My books.  Mostly Amish or Christian historical fiction.  The doors at the bottom also contain 2 shelves worth of misc. books.

IMG_0534My books shelf 2 – same as the last.

IMG_0535 Esther & Lydia – shelf #1.

IMG_0537Esther & Lydia  – shelf #2.

IMG_0538 Liz addendum shelf just for the Warrior books.

IMG_0539Liz shelf #1.

IMG_0540Liz hanging shelves.

IMG_0541Liz/Abi shelf #2 – also doubles as makeup and beauty product storage.

Now, lest you think that there are no books for Wayne… his books are in storage in the garage since he no longer has an office.  There are at least 50 – not kidding, really! – boxes of books of various religious studies, commentaries, sermons, etc.

Yes, we have a book problem.  Yes, there is probably a 12 step program for this addiction.   😉

Pseudotumor

or subtitled:  Why should a 20 year old still be dealing with this for the last 3+ years???

Information from the website Mayoclinic.com is in italics.  My comments are in  bold. 6912-0550x0475

Pseudotumor cerebri  occurs when the pressure inside your skull (intracranial pressure) increases for no obvious reason. Symptoms mimic those of a brain tumor, but no tumor is present. Pseudotumor cerebri can occur in children and adults, but it’s most common in obese women of childbearing age.  

While Abi is of childbearing year (though she better not be bearing any children any time soon) she is definitely NOT obese and has never been in the 3+ years we’ve been dealing with this.

When no underlying cause for the increased intracranial pressure can be discovered, pseudotumor cerebri may also be called idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

That is my favorite thing to call it (I.I.H) because it is big words and people look at you like you really know what you are talking about.  In this case, sadly we do.

The increased intracranial pressure associated with pseudotumor cerebri can cause swelling of the optic nerve and result in vision loss. Medications often can reduce this pressure, but in some cases, surgery is necessary.

There has not been any loss of vision for Abi, but the medication is not working anymore…..  other options will need to be explored.

Pseudotumor cerebri signs and symptoms may include:

  • Moderate to severe headaches that may originate behind your eyes, wake you from sleep and worsen with eye movement
  • Ringing in the ears that pulses in time with your heartbeat
  • Nausea, vomiting or dizziness
  • Blurred or dimmed vision
  • Brief episodes of blindness, lasting only a few seconds and affecting one or both eyes (visual obscurations)
  • Difficulty seeing to the side
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Seeing light flashes (photopsia)
  • Neck, shoulder or back pain

Abi mainly has headaches that worsen through the day and when she is overly tired (it was a really, really bad idea for her to council night camp a couple weeks ago) or stressed.  The medicine (diuretic) coupled with No Doze (high doses of caffeine) have usually worked to keep the headaches at bay.  Funny that she would take No Doze in order to go to sleep!

The exact cause of pseudotumor cerebri in most individuals is unknown, but it may be linked to an excess amount of cerebrospinal fluid within the bony confines of your skull.  

This was confirmed 3 years ago when she had a spinal tap to check the pressure of the fluid in her spine.  It was up.  They “drained a pint” and the headaches stopped for a time.

Your brain and spinal cord are surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which acts like a cushion to protect these vital tissues from injury. This fluid is produced in the brain and eventually is absorbed into the bloodstream. The increased intracranial pressure of pseudotumor cerebri may be a result of a problem in this absorption process.

In general, your intracranial pressure increases when the contents of your skull exceed its capacity. For example, a brain tumor typically increases your intracranial pressure because there’s no room for it. The same thing happens if your brain swells or if you have too much cerebrospinal fluid.

Recent evidence indicates that the majority of people with pseudotumor cerebri have a narrowing (stenosis) in two large sinuses in the brain (transverse sinuses), but it’s not clear whether the narrowing is a cause or effect of the condition.

No other cause has ever been given to us.  She has had a couple MRI’s and they indicated nothing unusual, or nothing that seemed to point to a cause.  Thus the whole “ideopathic” part of the name:  unknown cause.

The following factors have been associated with pseudotumor cerebri:

Obesity
Pseudotumor cerebri occurs in about 1 person per 100,000 in the general public. Obese women under the age of 44 are nearly 20 times more likely to develop the disorder.  

As I already said, Abi is not obese, though she is under 44.  Good to know that she is that special:  1 in 100,000.  We always knew she was special… just not a fan of this kind of special.

Medications
Substances that have been linked to pseudotumor cerebri include:
 Ummm… nope, nope, nope, nope… too much milk and cheese?  Maybe.

  • Growth hormone
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Tetracycline
  • Discontinuation of steroids
  • Excess vitamin A

Health problems
The following conditions and diseases have been linked to pseudotumor cerebri:
 Nope to all of these!  Never had her parathryoid glands checked though.

  • Addison’s disease
  • Head injury
  • Kidney disease
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease
  • Mononucleosis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Underactive parathyroid glands

As many as 10 percent of the people with pseudotumor cerebri experience progressively worsening vision and may eventually become blind. Even if your symptoms have resolved, they can recur — months or even years later.  Yes, reoccuring… still no vision issues though.  Nothing like being in the “lucky” minority!

Eye exams
If pseudotumor cerebri is suspected, a doctor specializing in eye disorders will look for a distinctive type of swelling — called papilledema — in the back of your eye. You will also undergo a visual fields test to see if there are any blind spots in your vision besides your so-called normal blind spot in each eye where the optic nerve enters the retina.  
 

Abi has had these tests.  Another cool word to know:  papilledema!  We do not have eye insurance so this is not covered and it is expensive to have done.  Thus, we did not get this done again a the beginning of the summer.

Brain imaging
CT or MRI scans can rule out other problems that can cause similar symptoms, such as brain tumors and blood clots.
 Yes, had this… no real tumor, nothing out of the ordinary.  And YES, she has a brain!   😉   

Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)
A lumbar puncture — which involves inserting a needle between two vertebrae in your lower back — can determine how high the pressure is inside your skull.
   

Yes, she had this.  She then spend almost a week in the hospital with the spinal headache resulting from it on super high doses of caffeine until it was determined that it wasn’t going away (the writhing teen on the bed wasn’t clue enough) and they did the blood patch.  If we have to do this again, we will be certain a blood patch happens at the same time as the pressure check.

Pseudotumor cerebri treatment typically begins with medications to control the symptoms. Weight loss is recommended for obese individuals. If your vision worsens, surgery to reduce the pressure around your optic nerve or to decrease the intracranial pressure may be necessary. Once you’ve had pseudotumor cerebri, you should have your vision checked regularly.

Medications

  • Glaucoma drugs. One of the first drugs usually tried is acetazolamide (Diamox), a glaucoma drug that reduces the production of cerebrospinal fluid by at least 50 percent. Possible side effects include stomach upset, fatigue, tingling of fingers, toes and mouth, and kidney stones.  This is the medicine Abi is on.  It has worked for a time, but doesn’t seem to be helping right now.  She was told to drink extra water to avoid the kindey stone issues.
  • Diuretics. If acetazolamide alone isn’t effective, it’s sometimes combined with furosemide (Lasix), a potent diuretic that reduces fluid retention by increasing urine output.
  • Migraine medications. Medications typically prescribed to relieve migraines can sometimes ease the severe headaches that often accompany pseudotumor cerebri.

Surgery

  • Optic nerve sheath fenestration. This procedure cuts a window into the membrane that surrounds the optic nerve. This allows excess cerebrospinal fluid to escape. Vision stabilizes or improves in more than 85 percent of cases. Most people who have this procedure done on one eye notice a benefit for both eyes. However, this surgery isn’t always successful and may even increase vision problems.
  • Spinal fluid shunt. Another type of surgery inserts a long, thin tube — called a shunt — into your brain or lower spine to help drain away excess cerebrospinal fluid. The tubing is burrowed under your skin to your abdomen, where the shunt discharges the excess fluid. Symptoms improve for more than 80 percent of the people who undergo this procedure. But shunts can become clogged and often require additional surgeries to keep them working properly. Complications can include low-pressure headaches and infections.

pseudotumor_cerebriSpinal Shunt was mentioned at one point.  I don’t know if this is a good option or not.  It might be time, however, to discuss something more permanent for her.  What 20 year old wants to continue taking medicine everyday when you are an otherwise healthy person (I know that many have to because they have diseases/problems greater than this).  Especially as she moves forward with life and might actually want to bear children someday, knowing that the headaches could worsen might be reason enough not to and I kinda want to have grandchildren!   🙂

I will be calling the neurologist this morning to see what next steps we can take since Abi’s time is limited due to being at camp and then heading back to school.  Hopefully, we can reach a solution and get her healthy ASAP! 

 

 

Thank you for reading this.  It seems that it is one of my more popular blog posts.  When I posted it I was just trying to vent and educate our own family and friends about what Abi goes through with Pseudotumor.  Just in 2016 alone, this post has been read 139 times.  WOW!

 

If you are willing to share, please comment and tell me why you are researching it and what your circumstances are.   We would be very interested to know.  

Books 5

Again, i’m not reading any new bookssssssssxssss… i am reading a really good story though.

It’s book quality and it’s not even finished.

1343186-256-k604514

I’m reading I’ll Protect You on Wattpad. i found on one of those email things of storied you might like…. for once it was right. maybe i should pay attention to them more…… there’s 48 parts to the story already and adding. it’s really good. i have like 3 parts until i finish what’s written. but i could see this story becoming a book. Their writing style is like Veronica Roth and Lauren Oliver at times (because they read books like that). There is also the Greek Mythology mentioned a bit and Harry Potter. I could only dream of writing a story that good.

 

With me i will start a story with part of what i want to happen in my mind but then i will start thinking way tooooooo much about what i want to happen and instead of writing it i just daydream about it and then never write the story. i Have WAY too many unfinished stories from over the years. (mostly from third grace up) I mean if i was a publisher i would totally publish this story, and make it into a boook. but then i would have to study writing and possibly business and i just don’t want to do that!

There are stories that i get like 3 full great chapters in and then just quite writing them. I’m a terrible writer. Well most of the time, others don’ t think i am.

I cannot wait for HOUSE OF HAAAAAAAAAAAADES!!!!!!!! i say that a lot.

of subject for a moment but The Fosters is like Legit the best TV show in the world!!! it’s one of those shows where you watch every episode 50 million times each week while waiting for Monday to roll around. and being that there’s so far only five episodes that’s saying something!!!!!

There are those stories you can tell were just thrown together (mocking jay) and then there are those stories the writers don’t always think they did a great job but are really truly beautiful. Or those completely delusional writers who think that there story is the best ever and it’s just a sloppy mess because they didn’t use punctuation or proper paragraphing or any thought out plan of action to how they want to write the story and it’s just one big run on sentence. Like when you unravel a ball of yarn and instead of rolling it back up neatly you just shove it into a bag and it gets tangled and knotted beyond repair.

the only thing about I’ll Protect You becoming a book that i would change is the title. the title makes it sound like some love story about death and romance. that’s not all it’s about so i would give it a better title. The character development is amazing and i feel like i’m reading a real book written by some professional writer not a high school student.

 

-Lydia

Friendship

Friendship is a shining thing, a steady beam of light, 

A lantern on a lonely street, a song far in the night.

A smile, the touch of a loving hand, a quiet moment on a hill.

And oh, what a happy little child bringing home a daffodil.

Friendship is a happy time, throughout your whole long life.

Friends are those who listen and help you out in strife.

Two people, priceless, rolling down a hill.

And oh, what  happy little child bringing home a daffodil.

I remember some lovely nights by campfires with my Girl Scout friends singing that song (and the other 4 verses too).  It meant a lot to us then… way back when.  I don’t remember exactly where I learned the song, though I do think that some of the verses are ones I created.

But what really is a friend?  I found this “friendship pyramid” online.

The definitions of each level are thus:

 

The base is made up of acquaintances, friends of friends and people you think look vaguely familiar. Usually the denizens of this level are people that you have met for a few hours and then see them later you don’t know whether to let it be known that you know who they are, in case they think you are crazy or they don’t remember you. These people I like to give them the subtle, ‘what’s up nod’ nothing too formal. It acknowledges that you know each other but you are not inviting them over for tea and crumpets.

The second level is, school friends, classmates and work friends. These people are their own group mostly because we act a certain way around them. These people are cool to hang out with from 8-5 Monday through Friday, but inviting them out of this environment can cause problems. Especially if you are in a competitive company or class with them. Many people in this section seem to think that going out with you while not part of class or work is a hidden sign for them to become a covert ninja spy. Who only pretends to be cool until they can use the information that they have learned from you to their advantage. 

Level three is the transition phase. I like to think of it as friend limbo. This can be a good friend zone or a bad friend zone. Say that a member of the bottom two tiers has proved their awesomeness and you have deemed them eligible to compete to be in another tier. Then this is a good place for them to be. Or it could be bad. Say someone from the top two tiers has shown how unawesome they are, they can be kicked down to level three while their status is being reevaluated. 

Fourth level is the people that are not your best friends but are still pretty cool. These are the people that know you well enough that you feel you can be more of your self around. However you don’t go full on you around these people.   Ladies these are the women that you ask to go to the bathroom with you when you are at a party. The relationships you have with close friends greatly resemble love at times. People need to love you to want to hear about your strange neurosis and idiosyncrasies. Typically with this level you still need to have some set ‘plans’ about what you are going to do, rather than just be together.

The fifth level is for your best friends, siblings and family members that you are really close to. These people have something in common; they love you, even when they hate you. These people know that you are actually vulnerable and cry more than you let on.  These people are there even when you think that there is no one else. They will come and get you when you run out of gas, and they won’t even tell you that you are stupid.  These are the type of people that you feel comfortable lending money to in any situation. They are also the ones that know more about you than even you know.

The very tip of the friend pyramid is your Best Friend. This person you can go long times with out talking to but the second you see them it’s like no time has gone past. Ladies if you don’t know whom your very best friend is, since we tend to have 5 best friends. A best friend is someone you can  hang out with and have no plans and you still have fun because you are hanging out together. They can be polar opposites of you but you still get one another. 

(thanks to:  http://amarillocollege.blogspot.com/2011/04/levels-of-friendship-are-varied-and.html)

 

Soooooo… how many friends in each level do you have?  I know that I am really good at the acquaintances and work friend levels.  I know lots of people, I can recognize faces and remember them.  I am terrible at names, but I am good at face recall.  Heck, I can often even recall store cashiers, bank tellers, etc.

Level 4 is where things get iffy…  I have some of these types of friends.  Not many but a few.    However, I feel like that is where my pyramid levels off.  I really don’t have a best friend.  I certainly don’t have 5 as that author suggests.  By her definition of Best Friend, I might have one or two.  But my definition of best friend is a bit more complex.

How would I define a best friend?  That is hard to put into words.  A couple things do come to mind.  It is someone to whom you can vent as needed and will vent to you.  Someone you can call (at any time) and share your joys and tears.  Someone who will reciprocate.  Who calls you and thinks of you as a best friend too.  Someone who overlooks your “strength” and sees your needs and weaknesses and loves you anyways.  Someone who will be honest with you and you can be honest to as well.    Someone who truly listens to you, can hear your heart, can understand without words necessary.  Someone you can be connected to – emotionally & spiritually.    I’m sure I could think of more, but the biggest thing for me the reciprocity.  Not only do I need/want to have a best friend, I need/want to BE a best friend.   Back to that fringe living issue… maybe I am incapable?  Maybe because I am too “strong,” no one thinks I need them.  Maybe I am a terrible listener and I judge people (I try not to)?

Almost 12 years ago, something broke within me (and not just my ankle).  Since then I have really felt overwhelmingly alone most of the time.  I have cried more tears in the last 12 years of being “strong” than I cried in the 37 years before that (yeah, add those 2 number together and you get my age this summer… “new math” adds it up to 29).  Granted lots of things have gone wrong in my life since then that I could not control, which without a friend to bounce things off of and vent to and cry with exacerbates the feelings.  I tried really hard to make a friend once… opened up, got vulnerable, cried even… what happened… what I feared by being transparent… I was shot in the foot/stabbed in the back (insert analogy of your choice).

How do I feel when my spouse has long conversations almost weekly, sometimes daily with his friends?  I remember doing that in High School.  As an adult, or at least in my memory banks of the last 20 years, I have not had that luxury.  I feel cheated.  I don’t know what they talk about.  They are guys, they probably don’t share feelings and hurts.  Heck, I don’t know that guys ever share feelings.  But they at least talk.  Who do I talk to in a regular week?    With my voice:  my children, store clerks, girl scouts & parents, friends of my kids, sales people on the phone, work related people, volunteer related people.   With my fingers:  on-line friends – a few of which I have met in person,  I do treasure those people.  I would put some of them in that close friend level.

So how many friends do you have?