I asked Bob to help me find a movie online yesterday.

He asked: Who plays in it?

My reply: The really cute girl twins that grew up to be horrible adults...

He chuckled, but knew exactly who I was talking about! Do you?

Aaargh! I have THREE cameras available to me and I can't get a picture?

Camera #1 won't let me have the card and I can't find the cable.

Camera #2 won't read the card - even after reformating and I don't have another the correct size.

Camera #3 is on my very cheap smart phone and not worth messing with.

The good news is that I should feel ready to smash something after spending over an hour on this project, but don't. I am feeling surprisingly calm despite knowing there is a high possibility that I am going to need to live without a camera for awhile (even while my whole body was trembling due to anxiety, I had a camera - my ex-husband even bought one with a little anti-shake technology so the images were somewhat respectable positive) And, no, I'm not talking about little point-and-shoot ones (oh, that reminds me... I think Bob has one that his mom got him... I'll have to check that out! smile ), but rather expensive amateur-moving-to-professional cameras and some of the most thoughtful gifts my ex-husband gave to me... yeah, I should be VERY upset, but I'm not. All I can say is: I LOVE my Plexus! love

Now, where'd we put that little camera?...

Every body has their limits. I've about reached mine and I'm out of dish washing detergent!!! annoyed

Half-way through making supper, I realized: I'm not hungry yet! cool

It's been 3 long days since my last visit to the barn. I was looking forward to today... the truck in not fixed, but my youngest doesn't have to work today and will be getting a ride from a friend. I was thinking of going along... Then, the question:

Mom, are you sure you can ride in HER car (she smokes)?

Long pause... I hang my head in defeat. No.


Tomorrow. Bob will be able to put the starter in the truck tomorrow. It should be fixed tomorrow. I can wait another day...

I feel a headache coming on...

I have Retinitis Pigmentosa – a degenerative eye conditioning causing tunnel vision and the ability to see in the dark.

Over 10 years ago, I developed disease-specific cataracts that were removed – giving me years of additional sight - for which I am forever grateful! Due to the surgery involved, I developed chronic edema of the eye. I used special eye drops for a year or so to reduce the swelling until my ophthalmologist said that I was stable and there was nothing else that could be done for me. He encouraged me to try vitamins and supplements for supporting healthy eyes.

I have followed that advice. I have tried all manner of vitamins, herbs, eye washes, juices, changes to diet, systemic enzymes, and even one supplement that was supposed to stimulate stem cell production – all in hopes to maintain and/or improve the limited vision that I still had (I had been declared legally blind).

I ditched stuff that didn’t show noticeable results, but have kept some items in my daily regimen for years because there is a noticeable difference when I stop using them. I believe that doing this has helped my vision remain stable for so long.

The “noticeable results” that I have seen with various supplements include reducing floaters, improved visual clarity, and reduced eye strain-related fatigue.

Unrelated to eye health, I started experimenting with probiotics in hopes to reduce my anxiety level, a year ago, after reading many stories about how they have helped other individuals overcome theirs. One thing that I did NOT expect was changes to my vision!

There have been subtle changes that leaves one thinking it must be wishful thinking or a fluke experience… like pointing out a deer before anyone else, spotting pheasant alongside the road, making out a fox bounding across a field, seeing the closest car mirror in my peripheral vision… little stuff like that can be written off as paying better attention or looking in the right direction.

However, the experiences kept expanding. One day, I suddenly noticed that I could see the outline of the driver in my peripheral vision. Later, I realized I could see movement in the driver side mirror. I could make out deer at dusk.

I could see opposite sides of a room – at the same time! One of the best experiences (so far) was on the way home from a recent visit to my Dad. It was dark and, as we were driving through town, I saw a movement in the shadows on the opposite side of the road. When I mentioned it, Bob declared in surprise “You saw that?!” A moment later, I could make out that it was a cat. Then, I noticed a second one chasing it!

Stupid stuff, I know. Little details that people take for granted, but are having me praise the Lord because I haven’t been able to make out things like this for YEARS!

I remember talking to Bob about the limitations of my vision when we first moved into our house. I remember letting him know that I couldn’t see much more than the size of the TV from our position on the couch 10 feet away. Now, I can make out light colored objects in various areas of the 25 foot room as illustrated in the image!

The first image is a sloppy stitching of 3 pictures to create a panoramic view of the living room. You can tell it’s not a good job by the curvature of the room and the ghosting where the images overlap, but I just wanted a visual reference to work with and not a professional panorama.

The second image shows what I used to be able to see.

The third image is a general view of what I can see now while focusing on the TV.

Please keep in mind that this is solely my personal observation, completed undocumented, and, quite possibly, non-repeatable by others afflicted with Retinitis Pigmentosa or other diseases. Again, this image representation is not exact.

Bob says that my visual field is based on how much light is available in the area. He stood in the areas that I can see and moved a green laser pointer around, but I could not see that. He then moved into the blank areas with a regular flashlight and I could see that beam quite well. And, when the sun goes down, and the windows are dark, I return to being unable to see them while looking at the TV. So, yeah, it really depends on how much light is available.

No, I don’t believe my Retinitis Pigmentosa is cured or even in remission. I still can’t see things below my nose. I still find myself moving my head back and forth in strange areas so that I don’t run into objects (or people!). I am still a danger to those in the store with me, while I am pushing a shopping cart. I still can’t see the stars in the night sky.

Even so, I am excited to share this, because never have I ever experienced an increase of vision from trying anything!

Whether it is due to less stress or a combination of what I am doing now, I find it a miracle of God!

I do have a theory… My theory is that the probiotics I am taking are reducing system-wide inflammation in my body, allowing more light to be processed by the retina. I arrived at this theory after discovering that there have been some encouraging results in initial research on probiotics and eye health (specifically uveitis, glaucoma, and dry eye) – so much so that there are now probiotic-based eye drops available! Far more research needs to be done in this area for any concrete conclusions to be made, but there is new hope to be had! Praise the Lord! positive

I am reminded today that a phenomenon happens in our spiritual life as we grow in Christ. As we daily read scripture and seek the Lord in prayer, our tastes in life-choices change as the Holy Spirit works in us.

This change is involuntary and often gradual, but can sometimes be dramatic. We start shuddering at violence or cringe when cuss words are spoken. Others may notice a change in our conversation and that a healthier lifestyle is chosen.

Some teasing or even spiteful comments may occur. It may even feel as if you don't know yourself any more. A choice must be made. Embrace the change or return to your former lifestyle. Is the reward worth the sacrifice?

For myself, the joy I receive from my time with the Lord, far outweighs changes that other people may not appreciate when these changes improve my quality of life in this world and prepares me for eternal life.

It is the same with my health. I did not expect, or want!, to lose my taste for chocolate. However, I know that in losing the taste for it, it is far easier to leave it behind. If that is what is needed to improve my health and quality of life, then it is a sacrifice worth making!

Bob and Buddy (with Arianna in the background) spending some snuggle time while watching TV big heart

I'm up. Don't expect anything else. tongue out

My 6-month-old grandson is in need of prayer. He is refusing to eat. What little is forced down, just comes back up. crying

Thank you all for the prayers! My grandson is doing much better! smile Now, an explanation... and a bit of ranting... wink

There was a bit of a misunderstanding on my part when my oldest called me last night asking for prayers for her very sick son. It was my understanding that the doctor prescribed a new formula AFTER he stopped eating (imagine... a prescription formula!). But, the formula was given on Monday after the regular baby check-up showed that he hadn't gained enough weight. He was perfectly healthy and growing well, but not heavy enough and that, apparently, needed immediate attention.

My grandson immediately had a bad reaction to the new formula, but the doctor's office said that he was to eat nothing but the new formula for three days regardless - because it is a "hypo-allergenic" and therefore he can not be having a reaction to it.

Thankfully, my son-in-law's mom was able to stop by today and talk to them and check on the baby. The decision was made to ditch the formula and feed him baby food and water. The baby is now on the mend and happy again.

He DOES have problems with focusing on eating... and staying asleep. He already does not fit in the "normal" category.

Even so, I am just super glad that I didn't have to deal with weekly nurse visits fighting my every decision when my girls were little like my oldest gets to deal with! Both of my girls were light-weights, but I didn't have to measure every ounce of food and log every hour of sleep! They ate whenever they were hungry and slept when they were tired. I may have been "doing it wrong" with no set schedule and such, but they were healthy and growing and that's all that mattered!

This micro-management of babyhood, with all the demands of achieving the "proper" milestones, may give early warnings of certain health concerns, but is causing far more stress jumping through the hoops than any help that it is supposed to provide. Not every baby is going to fit in that "box" and it is not always a reflection on the parent's ability to care for the child if they don't (as has been hinted at by certain professionals). Rules and standards are good, but not everyone can fit nicely into a box with a label on it! If that were the case, there would be no room for individuality!

I surely am my own worst enemy! grimace

Let me explain... I've been using Slim Hunger Control for nearly two months and MetaBurn for a month now. Yet, zero weight loss and zero inches dropped. I can't complain much though... I DO feel great! smile

Still, I was puzzled that I am not seeing results when I AM eating less and I was starting to become disappointed that yet another product wasn't helping my waist line.

The thought of quitting crossed my mind when inspiration struck me... I really need to count calories. Some people don't have to, but I REALLY need that information staring me in the face multiple times a day - especially since I have a bit of a problem with nervous eating!

I had used a food diary a year ago, but discontinued it because I really needed the funds to go in a different area. This morning, though, I found one that is free! smile

Amazingly, I could remember my meals since Sunday. wide eyed

I immediately noticed that I consume FAR fewer calories on the days that I actually follow my plan to replace at least one meal with the Lean protein shake (two is best). It also showed that on days that I don't bother with the Slim Hunger Control (like yesterday), my eating is out-of-control! In fact, the app told me that if every day was like yesterday, I would gain almost 10 lbs a month! shock

I can honestly say that it is only by the grace of God Almighty that I am not FAR bigger than I am now! Now that I can see the problem, I can work on moving out of my own way and stop sabotaging myself! smile

*This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this site are not provided to be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, illness, or injury. The author and manufacturer accepts no responsibility for such use. Participants in an independent, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical study who used Slim twice a day and BioCleanse and ProBio 5 lost an average of 7.21 pounds in 8 weeks, while the placebo group only lost an average of 0.19 pounds.

Some people seem unable to speak a sentence without a four letter word (or a string of them!) thrown in. I feel like saying: How old are you? Three? Show you have an education and use those vocabulary skills! Yeah, I know... I just offended almost everyone... I should hang my head in shame... wink

I only recently learned of Selective Mutism. Since this disorder often shows first symptoms during childhood, it helps me understand some of my personal reactions that I had to situations. I've thought for years that I wish I had tried harder to speak my mind. I have no doubt that my parents would have helped me through it, if they had known it was more than simple shyness, but it wasn't terrible at the time and I seemed to "out-grow" it for a bit.

Then, I got married... I was never diagnosed with Selective Mutism (an extreme anxiety disorder), but I ended up in the ER for a "nervous breakdown" during my worst episode. I couldn't walk on my own and was unable to speak.

When it first started to become problematic, I felt like my jaw was just tight. I had plenty to say and tried writing it out, but my family was offended and said I was being manipulative (another member DID use silence to manipulate situations).

Later, the tightness in my jaw was followed by an inability to focus on what was being said. It was an involuntary reaction, which I tried to explain but I was told that I was being disrespectful (this reaction typically happened during a "discussion", hence the "disrespectful" and "manipulative" comments).

I started trembling all of the time and the inability to speak became more frequent and painful.

The ER doctor recommended seeing a counselor, but the family had been so against my daughter seeing one when she first started showing symptoms of schizophrenia as a teenager that I never went, because I couldn't handle the additional stress.

About this time, a friend tried to introduce me to Plexus, which I really should have tried right away! I just didn't realize that gut health really effected mental health - especially since I had tried using probiotics before with zero results.

Instead, my husband couldn't deal with me any more and asked for a divorce. I didn't argue. I quit trembling a few months after the divorce, so I know that removing the stress helps a lot, but I've noticed a HUGE difference in my stress-tolerance levels with the aid of using the VitalBiome and Accelerator (I've tried them separately, but they seem to work best together for me).

It's been over a year since starting VitalBiome. Now, I'm becoming more comfortable sharing my opinions again - controversial though they may be. It's an empowering feeling! smile

*This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this site are not provided to be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, illness, or injury. The author and manufacturer accepts no responsibility for such use.

No matter my anxiety level, I feel lighter just walking into the barn. Wading through a hundred feet (or so) of knee deep snow to get to the barn IS becoming tiresome, but I know that will soon pass and I certainly would not trade it for watching yet another show on cable/netflix/youtube. On days that I don't get to go to the barn due to a blizzard (like yesterday - we fed extra the day before), I end up pacing the house like a caged cat. Indeed, my barn chores help keep me grounded! smile

little things

I had 3 minutes to myself, so I spent them on the Gazelle (as I've been rather lax in my workout routine the past couple of weeks) instead of clicking on a game... when the time was up, I looked at the calorie counter... 2.5 calories burned! Woo-hoo! Celebrate the little things, right? wink

I seriously want some chocolate! I am feeling a little irritable today and my go-to comfort food is… chocolate!

My dilemma is not that there is none available. I have plenty. I have snack sized bars and cookie dough and cake and pudding and ingredients to make all sorts of delights from scratch… no, the problem is… my GRIEVANCE is… it no longer tastes good! shock

The first to go was my favorite chocolate peanut butter cups… why did it have to be my favorite? They started tasting metallic. I quit eating any chocolate wrapped in foil for that reason many years ago. But, these are not wrapped in foil and still taste metallic.

I thought my stash was getting old, so I bought a fresh bag. Metallic. Grr. annoyed

My youngest and I decided to get a treat the last time we were in Sioux Falls. We went to a famous fast food place because I had never had a chance to go there and had wanted to for nearly a year. I ordered their peanut butter cup ice cream option. I soooo wanted to enjoy it! I went ahead and ate it, thinking that surely it would get better… ha! The candy tasted waaaay stale and the ice cream seemed to sit in my stomach just to remind me what a poor choice I had made.

My made-from-scratch chocolate cake was next in line… the recipe that I worked MONTHS on to perfect! The treat that has become a tradition for Bob and I to enjoy together on a weekly basis for the past two years… my scrumptious chocolate cake tastes… flat. tongue out

Bob says it is still delicious, so I know it is my taste buds that have changed and I blame PLEXUS!

Any my chocolate chip cookies? Tastes like gooey burnt sugar. I used to LOVE them! It’s not just chocolate either… Bob and I have been having cinnamon rolls every weekend for a year or so. It’s our thing. Now, they taste like frosted doughy cardboard.

I can hardly believe it. I really should be excited about these changes… I mean, I AM trying to lose weight and if the food that hinders my progress no longer tastes good, then it is easier not to eat it! Right? wink

*This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this site are not provided to be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, illness, or injury. The author and manufacturer accepts no responsibility for such use.