My Word – 2017

Life, in general can be full enough without adding to it unnecessarily.

In 2017, I choose SIMPLE!

SIMPLE is my word for the new year!

Below you will find my top 5 main Goals, the Action Plan to achieve each one and what the ideal End Result will be!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

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Leaves…

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Fall has always been one of my all time favorite seasons, ever!

Once I purchased a home (with many trees on the property), I soon began to feel dread at the sight of falling leaves. How was I gonna get this mess cleaned up?

The first year, my neighbor so kindly cranked up his leaf blower and proceeded to blow the leaves off of his lawn into nice neat piles over onto my property line for me. How thoughtful (slightly grinning).

I remember feeling so embarrassed at the amount and the piles and thinking how I was not able to get it raked and bagged in a timely manner. My yard was the worst on the cul-de-sac.

The second year, I vowed to outsource for the job and avoid the embarrassment. The folks I hired took over a week and $400 dollars later I found myself vowing to never pay that again!

The Third year (this year), I decided to start raking early and get a method to the madness by having the leaves processed as they fell. Even if this meant I had to rake several times, I would use this time as exercise… What was I thinking?

This season I am vowing to invest in a few items of equipment that will solve this once and for all, allow me to do the job myself and use my time more wisely without so much strain on my body.

I am going to purchase the following:

  1. A Mulching Mower w/ Bag
  2. A Leaf Mulching/Blower Combo w/ Bag
  3. Flower Bed Rake (for small spaces)

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Pictured above (lower right corner) is a leaf disc, this is a great investment for a small yard. This awesome tool forms into a taco shape, you rake leaves into it, pinch it at the top and slide it right into the trashcan liner and boom, done and ready for the next load. I would definitely recommend it for a smaller job! I may use it for flowerbed rake outs next year to make that job easier/quicker.

If you have ideas on additional equipment that will help me with this awesomely fun fall task of leaf disposal for a party of one to complete alone, please comment below with your recommendations!

Now… let’s move on to snow and shoveling! NOT !       Signature

 

My Son & TBI

My son was born on Christmas Day…this was such as beautiful gift … I can not even express the gratitude I have for this event …

The years flew by and during the summer of my sons 17th year of life he was hit by a van that was traveling at 45 mph while he was crossing the median on his skateboard.

He was flipped up and over the van due to impact and landed on the pavement below.

He was instantly lifeless… and not expected to live.

When I arrived at Children’s Hospital I was greeted by the Chaplin and a Social worker … my son was NOT going to die – why were they here?

They guided me to a private room and started to prepare me for the worst….

I broke down…

He survived …

He ended up with a broken orb, broken clavicle, lobe damage and a diagnosis of TBI.

The broken clavicle required surgery for bolt placement so he went under…

12 days after being admitted he went from being in critical condition to walking out on his own! I was told over and over by so many doctors this is very rare and they have only heard of someone surviving what he went through and most lost use of their legs…

He had a short set back and was readmitted due to an infection at the clavicle surgery site, which required an additional surgery to clean the wound and all I could think was he is NOT going to die… is he?

He stayed a few more nights and was sent home with a picc line. It was the first time I was alone to be his nurse… I had to go to work and leave him on the couch and hope that he did not start to bleed out at the site. I was a wreck leaving him there …

We made it …

He has gone through physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other types of therapy… He has taken physiological tests… he has been measured, reviewed, watched, prodded…

Loved…

He continues (years later) to experience issues with response time, fine motor skill, depression, anxiety, emotion control, a sleep disorder and involuntary limb movement when he does sleep… (there is more)

Sometimes I cry for myself because I am tired, sometimes I cry for him because he is tired and sometimes we cry together…

I have a lot going on … It has been a hard year with a few really good victories!

We are not giving up…
For more information about TBI please visit the below website and remember you never know what someone is going through, be kind, you don’t have to understand it all… just be kind :

http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/injury-resources/state-resources-for-tbi/ohio/

Depression

“Depression has no appointment, it invades and controls. It’s like a dim lit dream with the exception of never waking from the darkness, the haze, the despair. Snooze…

You may consider yourself aware and with intelligence but…depression will trick even you… Fool…

You will look and never see the train, the cliff, the bridge, the ledge… Jump…

Your voice has been stripped from your throat and no one listens anymore. Silence..

You are erased, dismissed, counseled, looked down on, talked about in whispers… AND they think you do not know… Look Away…

You smile, nod, agree, go with it… Die’g…

The mask saves and kills. You long to be free. Depression…”

By bstephens

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According to http://www.adaa.org: Depression affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.

For help contact: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)

Another great resource for individuals who know or suffer from TBI: http://m.brainline.org/content/content.php?id=782

 

Laxmi Road | India | Let Go …

One day, early… I hopped in a rickshaw and headed out for shopping!

My friend “Pradnya” introduced me to this way of taxing and to Laxmi Road, itself.

I had heard many times that, Laxmi Road was ‘the place’ to go at least once during any stay in Pune! Who was I to argue about a shopping experience… in India!?

Once I arrived- I hit the ground running,  little did I know at the time that this area is about 4 km (approx 2.5 miles) of pure bliss. Scarves, Kurti’s, Jewelry, Sandals and the list goes on and on.

Laxmi Road is a blocked off area on the streets of Pune which serves as an outside mall, in direct sunlight and without covering … Hot! Hot! Hot! … to be expected I guess because afterall, this area IS named after a Goddess !

This area is VERY popular and today is no different. People of all areas of India and beyond seem to be covering every inch of this place. It is remarkable, overcrowded, buzzing with energy and full of a language that I do not understand.

This day in my life, is one that, I will never forget.

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Photographed by Beverly Stephens

Pictured above is traditional party jewelry. I absolutely loved this piece -and- it had matching earrings! I bought it no matter the price… I do not even recall how much it was because it just did not matter. The price was “Mine” dollars!

Unfortunately, I never wore this nearly as much as I thought I would…

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Photograph by Beverly Stephens

The one thing I really liked about this piece and a lot of necklaces displayed in India is the portion that is placed around the back of the neck is made of cord or string. This makes it very comfortable to wear and also there is ease in adjustment by simply tieing it tight or loose.

In May of 2016, I decided to declutter more of my jewelry and this set was amongst the selections that I chose to purge. If you are interesting in seeing what other earring and necklace sets that I decluttered, the video is below.

Cherish your belongings and the memories they were a part of … but above all, when items no longer serve you… say ‘Thank You’ and let go…

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Prepare for Impact

Many times we do not realize the impact we have on others…

During an emotionally charged time in my life, I happened across this barn on one of my road trips and after taking a second look at the picture I took on that day, I realized the barn image was “reflecting” on the hood of my car… it made me think about how each of us also reflects something toward everyone we meet, talk and interact with and I had to ask myself … what image is being reflected…

 

Quote Pic From Amish 2016

Christian Turns 4 Years Old

OH my little buddy … Christian is his name … he is a purebred, black Pug !

April 2013

Taken in 2013 – Posing in the green grass with his red walking harness

Christian can be very territorial and likes to bark when anyone visits or comes knocking at the door and he loves to talk to the neighbors dogs by barking through our fence. He doesn’t have any issues ‘acting’ like he is a big dog and he doesn’t mind posing for pictures from time to time.Christian

 

I remember the day I brought him home, he was so tiny and depended on me for everything. He was so small in fact I could wrap him in a hand towel, folded in half. He loved that, I am guessing it made him feel secure being wrapped up in something soft while I held him. Those really early days were precious to me and times I will never, ever forget.

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2016 Birthday Hat – I turned 4,  Jan 12th !

This month he turns 4 years old and we celebrated with a new toy, a special dinner and a nice red party hat!  He wore the hat just long enough for me to snap a few pictures.

He has gained a few pounds in the last couple of years as he settles nicely into his pug rolls and is happy and healthy in our home… a little spoiled but I guess with a face like that, who wouldn’t be spoiled!              Signature

Christian and I - 3rd Birthday

Christian & Mommy (Me) – On his 3rd Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY !