Archive for the ‘Life lessons’ Category

Aspartame Followup

Because so many people have been asking me how I am doing since I decided to eliminate Aspartame from my life …….it’s nineteen days and going strong (more ways than one)!

Nineteen days ago this 66 year old was weak and sore all over. At times I walked slightly hunched over and couldn’t stand up to cook over 2 or three minutes.  I used whatever help was around to pull myself out of a chair and I couldn’t sleep curled up anymore because if I were in that position too long, it would hurt to straighten my legs out.  Now all of that has changed.

Fortunately or not so, I think I will still be able to predict the weather with my knees as they are bad and will need some attention someday. However, to be able to stand and do my morning primping without discomfort, or to cook a meal and not have to sit down and rest every couple of minutes is a MAJOR breakthrough and a cause to celebrate.

Aspartame poisoning is real folks!!! Don’t doubt it for a minute. Do I miss Diet Coke?  Only until I get up and walk around, then the missing goes away quickly!

Here is to good health and being Aspartame free!

Until next time……



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Aspartame Poisoning

For the last 9 days I have been doing an experiment with me. If you are a regular follower you know that I am afflicted with an auto immune disease that may or may not end up in MS. Those of you that have seen me (especially throughout the winter) have noticed at times I can barely walk. My daily diet consisted of Tylenol as the first course just to get me moving in the morning Diet Coke.  The fear of what might be coming had nightmares haunting me regularly.

Over the last year, on several occasions, I have received on my Facebook page, articles regarding Diet Coke and Aspartame poisoning. I have read them with great interest and then said to heck with it, I am not giving up Diet Coke. How do I know it’s true? Well I received another one of those articles last week and it had someone’s blog connected to it and so I went to it to read her story. It sounded like I was reading my own tale. Time for me to do my own investigation.

Nine days ago I quit drinking Diet Coke. I have to admit to you that for me this was harder than quitting smoking. By days 2 and 3 and part of 4 there were withdrawal symptoms.  I had headaches, I couldn’t sleep, day three I even had the shakes.  But even through the withdrawals, I could feel the pain and stiffness in my body going away. Yes I have bad knees. The are damaged from skiing and very arthritic so that will always be there. However, getting in and out of a chair – no problem. Getting in and out of the car – no problem.  Walking, bending………NO PROBLEM! Does this mean I won’t be able to predict the weather anymore by the degree of stiffness and pain I was in?

Yesterday there was a wee bit of stiffness but nothing that required Tylenol or slowed me down.  I am sure it is going to take some time to get this poison all out of my system.  I am not going into all the specifics here as you can Google Aspartame Poisoning and read lots of articles.  I will just tell you that when Diet Coke or anything else with aspartame is stored above a certain temperature, the aspartame turns to formaldehyde and you get enough of it in your system through regular drinking you are inviting many undesirable side effects. Side effects that can greatly alter your quality of life. It can cause seizures, brain damage and symptoms very similar to MS and Fibromyalgia  just for starters. Many people have been misdiagnosed  only to quit products containing aspartame  and after a period of time were symptom free.

So that is what I have been up to this new year of 2016.  There is no more Diet Coke in my home or anything else with aspartame. On diet products in the future I will read every label. Maybe when Spring comes I can start walking some distance again. I sure hope so!

Until next time…….


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Many of you have heard me say at one time or another……”no animal has ever hurt me like people have.” Sadly my friends, it is very true.  Why do people set out to deliberately hurt one another – either emotionally or physically? I am not saying I am innocent of this by any means. There have been times I wished I could have bit my tongue clear off, instead of saying what I have said to someone.  Remember folks,  once it leaves the lips, you can’t take it back.  It is there hanging over you for all time.

Take for instance the people currently seeking a nomination to represent their party to run for President.  Do we really want any of these “loose cannons” with their back alley vocabulary representing us in negotiations for peace or anything else? I certainly don’t.  These people scare me, some more than others. But unless we get people to take off their “blinders” and start looking at the whole big picture with 20-20 vision and some good old fashioned horse sense, we are going to be in big trouble.

In a few hours it will be 2016 and we will be bringing 2015 baggage with us to the new year. Let’s see…..there’s the political race, Isis and terrorist threats, leadership that is less than adequate, and I am not just referring to one person.  We have many homeless and hungry people that we seem to not have money for but yet we are being asked to take in immigrants and roll out the red carpet for them. I think not!  Let’s take care of our own first and that includes our veterans. Let’s respect and thank our police, fire department and armed forces for keeping us safe on a daily basis. Until we get back to being whole and good again, we have no business bringing anyone else into this country.

Well folks I have a big year ahead for me and Bella.  I ask for your prayers and God’s help to keep me strong so that I can get through the rough stuff and find the peace when its over, that I think I will have.  As I close this post for 2015 I want to thank you for following me and I want to leave you with the following: My mom’s favorite song was Let There Be Peace On Earth.  The first line is “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”……… think about it.

Happy New Year everyone from Bella and me!

Until next time……..

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I say not so happy because John died way before his time and today is the 35th anniversary of John Lennon’s death.  For me to find this out is ironic as I heard a song of his earlier this week that gave me quite the motivation to write. Some know the song as So This Is Christmas or Merry Christmas. The real name of the song is War Is Over. 

John sings the song and is talking about what we may or may not have accomplished this year as far as treating one another with kindness, material things,  accepting our differences in race, color and religion. When he goes into the chorus there is a children’s choir in the background singing almost as a subliminal message …….War is over, if you want it.  It’s on YOUTUBE.  Listen to it, read the words. It is a very powerful song with an equally powerful message. Think about it…….if every, breathing human being in     the world truly wanted peace….it could happen.  I doubt it happens in my lifetime but maybe in generations to come.

I don’t know whether we could call John a visionary as he just wanted what we all of that generation wanted……peace.  For a good many of our generation, our fathers had been in WWII and with Vietnam in full boil we were watching out brothers and boyfriends and husbands putting themselves in harms way to defend our country and protect us and our freedom. It wasn’t suppose to be a “real war” just a police action. Ask some of our veterans that came home and see what they tell you.  Another song that John came out with at this time Give Peace A Chance (all we are saying is……).  It was sung at every peace rally and protest march. What a time we lived in and witnessed in the late 1960’s.

With 2015 coming to a close in a few short weeks, I have one wish for all of us……..I wish us peace in 2016.  Whether is peace on earth or peace within ourselves and family.  There are those of us who are fighting wars within themselves be it health, financial or family. I pray that God will give them whatever it is they need to have lasting peace within.

Until next time………John Lennon, you are missed!

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Every time football season comes around, I invariably get at least one person that asks me why I am so loyal, vocal, and down-right faithful to the Georgia Bulldogs football team even though I live in the midst of the Midwest, Illinois to be specific.  Fasten your seat belts folks because I am going to explain.

In June of 1972 I walked out of my place of employment in Rockford, Illinois and went home to announce I was leaving for Atlanta,Georgia just as soon as I could get a flight.  I had to do it in just that manner or it never would have happened….and that is another story.  For this post …….I moved to Atlanta……done.

Now I quickly learned that in Georgia you either went to Univ. of Georgia in Athens, Ga. or Georgia Tech in Atlanta. There were other schools but no one ever mentioned them.  The first eight out of ten guys that I  met were good ol’ Univ. of Ga. (UGGA) graduates.  The next thing I learned was if you didn’t like football, you had better either move back north or don’t count on seeing your boyfriend until football season was over. Fortunately for me…….I loved football and the Georgia Bulldogs.  I loved going to their games in Athens.  I loved the UGGA campus. The whole experience  gave me a sense of the way of life I had been craving.  I truly was a southerner at heart.

Long about year #2, my dad came up with the thought…..why didn’t I enroll in school there and finally get my college degree?  Here was that fork in the road. Which way was I to go?  College life or life as usual? I didn’t go to college after high school for a reason…..FEAR, plain and simple. I had been bullied from 5th grade through high school by the same person.  If you have read one of my earlier blogs you will find out that I had also been raped and beaten my senior year.  There was no one on this earth that could convince me that if I went to college, that I wouldn’t be getting four more years of bullying. No, maybe it wouldn’t be the same guy, but the cause of the bullying would still be apparent and someone else might start in. I just couldn’t do it….I just couldn’t.  I wanted peace in my life and true happiness.

Some 41 years later, I can tell you now that I took the wrong fork in the road.  What is done, is done. No going back ….only forward.  But to this day my heart and loyalty is with UGGA. “I’m Bulldog born and Bulldog bred….and when I die I’m Bulldog dead!”

While in the south  (8 1/2 yrs) I learned to love Nascar, hushpuppies, grits, the Confederate flag, and pick up trucks. It is a different way of life, a different way of eating, and just a different way of doing.  But I can tell you all right now, in those immortal words of my late friend (a true southerner, author entertainer and columnist) Lewis Grizzard, “no true southerner would be caught dead leaving the south during football season”. And that is gospel!

And with that I say good night until next time……..


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I have a question…….how come every news story sets off a debate???? Consider what happened when there was that mass murder in the church in South Carolina last month. It didn’t take 48 hours and the folks said it had to do with the Confederate flag causing racism and the war cry of “that flag has got to go” was heard throughout the continent. The Confederate flag business completely over-shadowed the murders and the sadness of what had happened.

Causes are like opinions, and like ideas, and like thoughts, and like etc., etc………EVERYBODY has at least one. My cause(s) means no less to me than your cause does to you.  I posted something about Cecil the lion  on Facebook when it first happened and one of my dear friends posted something to the effect that she wished people would get as vocal about the pro-life issue. I can understand where she is coming from. Oh they do. In this town periodically they are standing at major intersections with horrible pictures and signs for me to see as I drive by.  I have several who put stuff on my facebook page ….. pictures which I “hide”.  This is an issue which cuts to my very soul and I don’t want to go into it….nor do I want it shoved down my throat. I am trying to live a peaceful existence and remembering that everyone has a right to their own cause and their thoughts about it.

But the point is, everyone has a cause and most of them deal with making the world a better place, and some…….not so much.  Everyone that knows me, knows my passion for animals and quality end of life care for humans. My facebook page is full of it.  It is not that I am saying any other cause is less significant than my passion/cause. On the contrary. I feel deeply for the children in our country and other countries that are hungry.  I feel deeply for victims of natural disasters.  I hurt for the homeless and victims of domestic violence and so many other things.

No one person has the energy or the finances to be the champion for all causes.  If we all do what we can to nurture our causes collectively, this can’t help but make the world a better place. But we have to quit turning every news story into racism or a challenge between the causes and instead further our own causes and help make the world a better place for all.  Be part of the solution, not part of the problem!

It is not that Cecil the lion was  more important that someone else’s cause……it is just for some of us, Cecil’s death broke out hearts.

Until next time……..




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Quite a few years back I was having a conversation with one of the ministers of our church. Of all of the clergy that I am familiar with he was one of my top two favorites. We had been discussing my family’s situation at the time……..i.e. the continuing upheaval, and dysfunction in general. One of the things he was getting from what I was saying was that there were pedestals in my life and maybe way too many of them.

Yes, I had my dad on a pedestal always…….ever since I first laid eyes on him.  My brother was right there on another pedestal next to him. Then there was mom. …….we had the typical mother-daughter relationship so some days she was on a pedestal and some days she fell off. The conclusion of our conversation was that maybe we should all refrain from putting people on pedestals so much. It is human to do this and it is human also for the ones we have on pedestals to fall off. It is when they fall off that our hearts get broken. If we didn’t put them on the pedestals that we do, and accept them for the humans that they are including their faults and shortcomings, there is far less chance for us to get hurt. Just accept them as human beings  and love them for just that.

I have honestly tried to live my life that way in the years since that conversation. Not too awfully long ago I let someone continually hurt me. I can hear my dad say “hurt me once….shame on you. Hurt me twice shame on me”.  I allowed it and I tolerated it so I am more at fault than the other person. I let my self-respect and dignity be trashed. And why??? Again there was a pedestal involved. I didn’t expect this person to be human and have faults. I saw this person as someone super-human.  When the pedestal toppled and this person came falling to the ground, once again I hurt like hell. I couldn’t believe it.

So from this day forward I am going to remind myself that I am a human being. I have faults and shortcomings. I am not perfect in any way, shape or form. BUT, neither is anyone else. Wish I could have a bon fire in the back yard and burn all the pedestals and roast marshmallows. I will have to settle for mentally doing that instead.

If you have me on a pedestal…..please take me off of it. I do not want that responsibility of having to live up to your ideas of me. Whew! I feel more comfortable now that I am down on level ground.

Until next time…..may your pedestals be few or none and your joys be many.

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