Sunday, January 24, 2010

What do you think about "handmade"?

I love handmade and it just aggravates me when someone goes "look at all the handmade/homemade things" like it's a bad thing. I just don't understand why they feel that way. Handmade indicates the love, the talent and the superior workmanship that goes into an item that a craftsman has held in their hands as they made it. A handmade item literally is made by the blood, sweat and tears of the craftsman. Each item is one of a kind and is something personal for the owner. It's not made by a machine in a factory or by a sweatshop worker overseas. It's American made for Americans. It's for your newborn baby made by his/her grandmother, aunt, cousin or family friend. It's that decorative item in your home that someone made for you because they knew what you liked and cared enough to put in the time to make it themselves. It's a christening gown or wedding dress that's handed down from generation to generation.

I came across the article below today and it tells me that I'm not the only one that feels the way I do.

The "handmade" movement is picking up steam in the US as people get more and more fed up with corporate giants like Wal Mart that move into towns and destroy local economies and local cultures just to bring in lower priced and lower quality goods. Consumers are recognizing that buying cheap goods imported from sweatshops in Third World countries isn't an ethical or cost effective way to shop. There are lots of reasons why customers are choosing to buy handmade, but the best reasons to buy handmade are these:

1. Buying handmade supports traditional arts. Throughout history artisans and crafters have developed methods and techniques to make items that are useful for everyday living beautiful and unique. Buying handmade supports the continuance of those arts. Without a market for handmade goods some artistic techniques that have been around for thousands of years might die out.

2. Buying handmade means buying one of a kind. In today's culture that has a relentless focus on uniformity buying handmade items helps you stand out from the pack and express your unique personality with one of a kind pieces of art and clothing. If you are comfortable with who you are and like being different from everyone else then buying handmade one of a kind items is definitely for you.

3. Buying handmade means buying higher quality. If you buy handmade items from a highly skilled artisan or high end crafter the item that you buy will almost always be of much higher quality than something you can get at the local discount store that was mass produced. Handmade items are made with high end materials and carefully crafted so that they will last and stay beautiful for a long time.

4. Buying handmade supports small businesses. Since most artisans and crafters use unique or not mass produced materials that are made by another artisan or crafter when you buy handmade products you're not only giving money to the artist but also to all the other artists that create the supplies to make that product. Paying more for a handmade item is really an investment because you are helping to support several artists.

5. Buying handmade makes a statement. Making a conscious choice to buy handmade products instead of mass produced ones says that things like quality, craftsmanship, and supporting small businesses instead of big retail businesses matters to you. When you buy handmade you are using your dollars to tell stores like Wal Mart that not every consumer can be seduced by the lowest price.

Article Source:

I'd love to hear what you think. Am I wrong, totally off track? Or do you agree with me and understand why my favorite Christmas present was my new sewing machine.

When You See Me

This poem says it so well. On the outside we may look "fine" but we aren't. When we cancel plans at the last minute, we didn't get a better invitation. When we look tired, it's not because we "overdid it". We may not look sick but underneath is the real person. The person who is in so much pain and so fatigued that we can barely put one foot in front of the other. There is no way to describe how horrible the pain is but I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy.

by Mary Hastings
written May 2003

When you see me on a "good day"
I may look as if nothing’s wrong,
But I, myself, am very aware
That the energy won’t last long.

You may think that I am lazy,
Or I just don’t like to try,
Or maybe I am just depressed,
When sometimes you see me cry.

You may not understand me,
It’s not easy to explain,
The struggles that I so often endure,
As I live each day in pain.

People may offer their opinions,
Thinking that I just need some advice,
Yet they don’t really comprehend,
Although they are trying to be nice.

What for some may be so easy,
Is almost impossible to me,
But because I may look healthy,
Many around me fail to see.

Perhaps it seems that I’m sloppy,
If I would only take more pride,
It’s sad that many don’t stop to see,
The person who is inside.

Planning things is so hard to do,
With each day uncertain fate,
The best that I can do is try,
And oftentimes I have to wait.

Life can be so stressful,
Even when you have your health,
Many people cannot even imagine,
Giving up their dreams and wealth.

While some people may worry,
How to fit everything into each day,
Others of us must struggle,
To even find a way.

So often misunderstood,
Some say that is must be "in my head,"
Yet there are days that it takes all I have
To even get out of bed.

You’d think that if one is weary,
Then why not just take a nap,
But the fatigue at times is so severe,
That nothing seems to help.

If exercise were the answer,
I would just move into a gym,
But intolerance and unbearable pain
Makes it difficult to stay trim.

That’s alright just take a pill--
Medications can always do some good,
However, sometimes the effects are far worse,
Oh, but how wonderful it would be if I could!

Living each day fighting defeat,
Knowing that you can’t give up and quit,
Even though it gets hard to do,
Find ways of accepting it.

I guess it would be a better thing,
If there were a little more support,
Everyone longs for acceptance and love,
As they keep their life in sort.

If I could make the world aware,
Help them to see things in a new light,
Be careful on what they base their view,
That they may receive a new insight.

Then maybe when someone else comes along,
Who is going through something unknown,
They may not feel so hopeless and scared,
And will know that they’re not alone.

Whether it be a terminal thing,
Or something chronic with no known cure,
There are many processes that will be faced
In this we can rest assured.

The grieving over loss is hard,
Whatever the loss may be.
What may be just a bump for you,
Could seem like a mountain to me.

Everyone responds so differently,
We all have our own ways to cope,
But the one thing that we must never do,
Is believe that there’s no hope.

For I faithfully trust in God above,
And no matter what the future may bring,
I know that He is holding my hand,
And He’s in control of EVERYTHING.

~Permission granted to post~

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chronic pain, narcotics and the DEA

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I posted. I'm glad this is a goal and not a resolution because I'd be in trouble with the resolution police. :-) I've had an awful case of bronchitis and it has finally started breaking up. I've stopped feeling like I was going to cough my toenails up so I think that means I'm better.

During my down time with the bronchitis I got the call I had been waiting on for months. No, Publisher's Clearinghouse didn't call. Something even better to a chronic pain sufferer. Dr. DeFlumere's office called the morning of the 14th and said they had a cancellation at 4:00 that day. This Southern Lady promptly took it and got there early - and I'm never early. On time but never early. :-) You see, Dr. DeFlumere is my pain management specialist. I've been on the waiting list to see her since mid October. For someone with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Rheumatoid Arthritis, a pain management specialist is a very important person. I have reached a point in my illness where only narcotics relieve the pain - they don't make it go away but they do make it bearable to a point where I can function. Those of us in this situation find it hard to get the narcotics that we need to treat our pain because of our wonderful lawmakers in Washington and the DEA. Our internal medicine physicians and even our specialists refuse to write prescriptions for narcotics for the treatment of chronic pain, even tho they feel prescribing these drugs is warranted, because of threats by the DEA to take away their licenses for doing so. Pain management specialist are there to take up the slack and stand up for our right to not be in pain. However there are so many people with chronic pain and so few doctors willing to work in pain management that it takes months, if not years, to get in with one and get your treatment started.

I hope that 2010 will bring a time of change and awareness about the differences between addiction and dependence. I am not nor are my friends with chronic pain disorders addicted to our drugs. We don't take them to get "high", we take them to function. We would rather not take them but we do so that we can have some level of "normal" in our lives. These drugs allow us to take care of our families, to be wives, mothers and grandmothers, to volunteer at our churches and in our communities. We want to be contributing members of society.

Yes, I am dependent on my narcotics but I am no different than a diabetic who is dependent on their insulin. No one would ever say that a diabetic is addicted to their insulin. Why can't chronic pain sufferers get the same compassion and respect?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Sarah!

I've got to learn to post using my cell phone because I missed saying Happy Birthday to the 5th cutest baby ever born, Sarah Grace. My precious little granddaughter turned 3 yesterday. It seems just like yesterday that I was cutting her cord. When we found out the date that Monica was going to be induced, Uncle Dave aka Uncle BoBo, came up with some names that were a great tribute to the king - Priscilla Marie, Lisa Grace, Sarah Marie, you get the idea. For some reason, Monica and Brian did not take any of the suggestions. I guess we could say that the Grace part came from Graceland but it would be a lie.

Watch over thy child, O Lord, as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever, she may be. Strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she fall; and in her heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The baby is here!!!

This has been a world wind week. I can't imagine how Jacky, Pat and Alicia feel. CynCyn is worn out! It seemed like Kaitlyn was never going to get here and then all of a sudden at 4:20 Wednesday afternoon she made her grand appearance. Since dad is 6'10" and mom is 6' we were expecting an above average size baby. She didn't disappoint, making her debut at 10 lbs, 8 oz and 22 1/4 inches. When we got the text that she was here and announced the weight, the other families in the waiting room were just in awe of Jacky! I had to leave and go get Bill before I got my chance to hold her but we got back in time to watch through the nursery window and see her getting her first bath. This quiet little angel has a temper. She had her fists clinched and she was kicking while screaming at the top of her lungs! We got to hold just a few minutes later. I have to say that she is the 6th cutest baby ever born behind my daughter, son and 3 grand children. I'm sure my ramblings will include stories about little Kaitlyn in the months to come.

Heavenly Father, you sent you own Son into this world. We thank you for the life of this child, Kaitlyn, entrusted to our care. Help us to remember that we are all your children, and so to love and nurture her, that she may attain to that full stature intended for her in your eternal kingdome; for the sake of you dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Monday, January 4, 2010

Boil some water, we got a baby coming!

Our friend Jacky just called to let me know that she is going to be induced Wednesday morning. I am so excited for her and Pat and their daughter Alicia. It's going to be very different having a set of little pattering feet around the house again. Bill's going to miss the big event because he has to work but as soon as I drop him off, I'll be headed over to the hospital. We southern women know that someone has to be there to keep the family company during this exciting time in their lives that we have absolutely no business butting into. Births are a social event. All the ladies of the church have to get out their recipes that can be cooked, then warmed again when needed and still maintain the delicious taste of being freshly cooked. We have to have someone to coordinate the arrival of the food. You wouldn't want two chicken casseroles showing up at the same time Heavens forbid! The food coordinator would not be me, fibro fog and all you know. I'd end up sending Mrs. Perkins to Omaha with steaks. The most important person in the social chain is the one who makes the call from the hospital alerting the food coordinator that the baby has arrived. That would be me! Armed with my ever faithful iPhone (what did we ever do without cell phones?) programed with all the important phone numbers, I will announce to the world or at least to the ladies of St. Andrew's parish that Miss Kaitlyn has arrived. I'll let y'all known when the little one has arrived and I've fulfilled my duties. I really need to think of a term besides "little one". With dad at almost 7 feet and mom at 6 feet, she's probably not going to be a "little one". Would "middle size one" work? Let me know what you think.


I 've already knocked a 2010 goal off the list!!

Welcome to my blog. I know what your thinking "what the heck are rambling thoughts of a southern lady." The answer to that is you'll know when I know! Just kidding. I am a southern lady, American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God, proudly born and raised in the great state of Mississippi and a proud Mississippi State fan.

The rambling thoughts part comes from my ability to ramble on about nothing at all or things that don't mean a hill of beans to anyone but me.

I've been thinking about started a blog for several months because I do have a tendency to have lots to say and secretly I've always wanted to be a writer. You know an Erma Bombeck type or maybe even Anita Renfroe (guess the secrets out!) I put it on my list of goals for 2010 and then decided that it would be real easy to accomplish at least one of my goals! No need to work up a "glisten" if you don't have to to mark something off your list! For you Yankees, we southern ladies don't sweat, we glisten.

While this blog will be mostly fun and games, I have two serious goals for it. (There I go setting goals again.) My first goal is that anything that is put on this blog will glorify God and my savior Jesus Christ. I believe the prophecy is being fulfilled every day and that it won't be long before I have a healthy body again.

My second goal is to educate those who read it on the chronic pain diseases that I have - Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I hope to help you understand that just because those of us who suffer with these diseases don't look sick, doesn't mean we aren't. We work really hard at not looking sick but usually don't succeed.

I also want to share recipes, craft ideas, my success (and failures) at learning to sew well and to quilt. Of course, I will also bore you with the mundane things in my life that you could not care less about. Speaking about mundane things - have you ever realized that most of us say that we "could care less" which indicates that we care at least a little bit. Since it was pointed out to me that we should say "couldn't care less", I've tried to remember to be sure I let people know exactly how I feel. Speaking of letting people know exactly how I feel, I can be very opinionated. Bill stop laughing! Bill is my wonderful husband who if he reads this will be laughing so hard that he won't be able to say what he's thinking - no kidding!

Speaking of my wonderful husband. He likes to eat when he comes home from work so I better get on in the kitchen and get something started. We southern ladies know our way around a kitchen and like to keep our men well fed.

Till next time,