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Holiday Season Thoughts

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After much reading on the subject of “Holiday Beggers” from an unnamed (and apparently irate) source on Craigslist, I had to post this ad in response to them. I would include their previous posts but they included many, many horrible words and foul language and name-calling that I cannot condone. But I did have a few things I wanted to share with this or these person(s). Then I also had to share it with my friends. Thanks for reading guys. 

“There seems to be quite a lot of confusion about this holiday season of giving and love. People are berating others for needing assistance when they know nothing about them except for a short post on CL. They feel it is their duty to call these people out and tell them how awful they are for being needy. Do they know this person? Do they see into this person’s heart the way G-d does? No. Because only G-d can see into our hearts and souls and see our true desires and needs. But the Bible is quite clear on how to treat the needy. If you do not believe me, then read it for yourself.
Acts 20:35 ESV   
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Galatians 6:2 ESV   
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Deuteronomy 15:11 ESV 
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
Matthew 5:42 ESV 
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
Proverbs 14:31 ESV 
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
Proverbs 28:27 ESV
Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
Ok so there you have it. Oh wait? What is that? You don’t read the Bible? Not religious? Ok then check out these quotes.
A gift in season is a double favor to the needy.
Publilius Syrus
The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. 
Ghandi
The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. 
Helen Keller
Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there.
Philip Brooks
No one became poor by giving alms.
French Proverb
The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.
Leonard Nimoy
Wow. I didn’t see anything saying, “Give those needy people a piece of your mind! Let them have it! Kick them while they are down!” You have no idea HOW needy a person is or how down they really are. I could not find a quote or passage of scripture that claimed you should judge the needy before giving to them. I couldn’t find anything about berating and insulting them for being poor, homeless, brokenhearted, lonely, depressed, etc. I will pray for the people that berate the poor and the needy. I will pray for the poor and needy. And I will not and cannot join your campaign against them. If they are scamming people then they will have to stand before the Creator and account for it. But it is not our place to cast judgement upon others who say they are in need. If you have any thoughts on this, I would love to hear from you but I WILL NOT entertain those who look to send me hate mail, hurtful words or curses. Please send your response graceful, carefully and gently as I have done the same to you. I hope everyone here has a very Blessed Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.”
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Hippie-ish?

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It is very odd to be called something you don’t really think you are. Like a police officer, a bartender or maybe, a hippie? Well, recently, I have been called a hippie. Quite often too. It is very weird though. I don’t feel like a hippie. I don’t think I look like one either. So I thought I would make a list of things I do that I do not think are very “hippie-ish”.

  • I bathe semi-regularly. I mean I do shower quite often. 
  • I wear antiperspirant and perfume. I like to smell like something I am not. Like a Japanese Cherry Orchard, a Moroccan Spice Market or an Ocean Breeze! 
  • I wear make up. Lots and lots of make up, when I can. I love to play dress up with my face. Lots of colours and new styles. A rainbow on my eyelids? Hell yeah! Bright pink lips? Oh sweet! False eyelashes that reach to my eyebrows? Done that! Styling the eyelids to look like butterfly wings when you blink? Oh, thats a new one! Let’s go try it now!
  • I shop at Walmart sometimes. Yeah. I know they are evil but I also don’t want to drive to twenty different store today with all the kids. Walmart, here I come!
  • I eat fast food because I am lazy. So, yes, I do sometimes stop at Chick-fil-A because I don’t want to drive fourty minutes home to make lunch for kids already crying that they are STAAAAAARVING!!!!
  • I wear clothes. Like cool clothes. At least I think so. I don’t ALWAYS wear long skirts and fluttery nursing tops. Sometimes I wear cute stuff! Although, I do love my long skirts and nursing shirts.
  • I clean my house with chemicals. Well, sometimes I do. I mean, I love my mirrors to sparkle from the Windex and the Goo Gone is a miracle for gum in the carpet! So, not everything I use mis vinegar, borax or baking soda (Or a combination of those three)! And my new dishwasher does not accept homemade dish soap so I have to use store bought gel packs even though it makes my wallet sad. 
  • I use disposable diapers when I go out and about. I LOOOOOVE my cloth diapers but I always forget them in the car and then they start to stink and its just grody. So when I leave the house it is usually with a small supply of disposable diapers. 
  • I watch TV and so do my children. Who doesn’t love an episode of Firefly or The IT Crowd after a busy and stressful day? Who doesn’t appreciate the finest electronic babysitting of Word World when you desperately need a shower? Sorry, but TV stays in my house. I like it. Sometimes. 
  • Video games are magical. I adore video games and play quite a few. Portal and Portal 2? Yippee! Halo 3? Co-Op with my hubby for a great night! Fallout and Fallout New Vegas? Let’s play it fifty times to see all the alternate endings and story line options!!! I really do love video games and am a total nerd about it too. 
  • – I drive a car. My big blue Bethesda van is my buddy because there is no way I am walking all the way to the grocery store.
  • I do child training. Spankings, time outs, and the like are all allowed in this house. Because if you do the crime, you do the time. 
  • I am not a liberal. ‘Nuff said. 😛
  • I like to use real words and avoid adding words like, “Peace out” to my favourite phrases. Honestly, I find phrases like that annoying. Who says, “Peace out”?!
  • I don’t smoke pot. I don’t do LSD. I am not “down” with illegal drugs. They make you stupid. Why in the world do people WANT to be stupid? It’s just… stupid! They eliminate all drive to do right, get things done and so one. Drink some coffee and have a biscuit. It’s much more relaxing and you still feel smart when you are done! Plus it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than drugs. 

So am I a hippie still? Not sure… Maybe I am in denial. 🙂

Could you use more U.S.E.?

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U.S.E. I think we could all use more of it. Uplifting, Support & Encouragment. I write this for a reason. This is a semi-rant post. I am very tired of people using the church for a battleground. A place to call each other out. To demean and humiliate each other. To gossip and back stab and point fingers. I don’t remember that in the Bible. I do remember a forum and a place and a time for talking to other church members about their problems, vices and short comings. But there was a time and place for that. What I find most in my Bible (Maybe I am using the wrong Bible) is the call to be encouraging, supportive and uplifting to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Calling someone out in a public forum on a slight indiscretion is NOT encouraging, not uplifting and not supportive. Treating someone like a lesser member of your community is not encouraging, uplifting  or supportive. Being “unable to speak to” a person because they don’t fit YOUR misguided and misconstrued mold of what a Christian woman should look, speak or act like is not uplifting, supportive or encouraging. How can you show the love of Christ when you are better than everyone around you? How can you truly be accepting of His mercy when you show no mercy to your sisters? And on the same note- not everyone has the same convictions. Some people are good at art and some people are good at science. Art people are not lesser people than science people. The same goes for our convictions. Some people feel convicted about drinking any alcohol at all. Some people feel convicted about cursing. Some people feel convicted about seeing secular movies. Because you don’t watch secular movies, does that make you better than a Christian who does not have that conviction and feels comfortable watching a secular movie? Because you feel convicted about swearing or cursing, does that make you better than a Christian that does not? I don’t think so. And God works on us all in our own time. Planting seeds is fine. But YOU cannot FORCE them to grow. Letting someone know your own personal convictions and why YOU have them is fine. But, I am tired of the church battlefield. If we cannot love our fellow Christians, how can we love on a torn and broken world that doesn’t know Him at all?

Random Easter Sunday Post

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Happy Easter to all! I am so excited for Easter. Our whole family loves this time of year even if there is snow on the ground (Welcome to Wonderful and Ever-changing Colorado!). My daughter has been running around the house yelling, “Jesus died on the cross and rose again FOR ME!!!” and I can’t tell you the joy that is in my heart right now as she does it. So, our Palm Sunday plans were thwarted and our Good Friday services were dashed to bits and we were unable to make it to Easter Sunrise Services due to lack of transportation. Our empty tomb cookies were a flop but I am still giddy about doing Resurrection Eggs with the kids at my in-laws house. There will be much eye rolling and snide comments about it, but I don’t care! My children will know what we believe despite what other people think. And I love that my husband is so supportive and that I will have supportive friends there too to help buffer the comments and to help us stay on track. We don’t do the Easter bunny but the kids did get some little gifts to help commemorate the greatest gift we have been given- Salvation. I hope they will truly understand one day but today they at least know the story. They know why we do the things we do. And why this is so important to me and my husband. And I thank the Lord for that. So Happy Easter to all of you out there and I hope you guys have a wonderful, blessed day.

New Layout

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Hey people who happen to read my blog. Sorry if you have been experiencing any “technical difficulties” or issues reading the posts due to the colouring/ layout. I am still working hard to get this whole thing set up, as it is being a pain in the rear. So, Sorry to everyone and I am still working on it right now. Thanks for reading and I will post something more interesting later. 🙂

Some recipes

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A friend of mine asked me to post these recipes I had sent her recently. And I don’t know what websites I got some of these recipes off so please don’t send me a nasty email saying I stole someone’s recipe. That is not my intention. I am just forwarding some good info. 🙂

A list of inexpensive and easy recipes I have come across and/or made up for families that are bit larger (usually feeds 6 or more people, considering some portions will be kid sized portions). Also, you can stretch these meals even further by adding a salad and bread.


 

Easy Chicken Alfredo-
Two boxes of fettuccine noodles
Two jars of Alfredo sauce
Two Cans of chicken
Boil noodles and drain when noodles are cooked (The “wall test” works well to judge doneness of noodles). In the same stock pot used to boil noodles, add two jars of Alfredo sauce and chicken. Let simmer until hot then add back the noodles to the pot. Stir, top with Parmesan cheese and serve. Great to serve with some garlic bread, croutons or bread sticks.
Easy Taco Soup-
Three cans of Kidney Beans  & Three Cans of Black beans (Honestly though, any beans work for this recipe)
3 Cups of Salsa
1 Large Can of Chicken Broth
(Optional) 2 cans of Chicken (Or leftover chicken works well too. Just dice or shred it)
1 Packet of Taco seasoning (Easy Alternative to Taco seasoning is a teaspoon of each- paprika, season salt, minced onion, garlic salt, and chili powder)
2 cups of water
Add all ingredients to stock pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serves well by itself or add cheese, guacamole, sour cream and tortilla chips. My hubby also loves to eat this with cheez-its too.
Easy Depression Cake-

Great recipe that can be made Gluten free (use rice flour or other gluten free flour) and is already naturally dairy free.
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water
Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing. (I like it without icing though but it makes a Great Birthday Cake for fairly inexpensive and you can easily make 2 at one time.)
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
(Makes a great “Make Ahead” Dinner too!)
  • 18 (1 ounce) slices white bread, cubed (Sometimes I get lazy and just lay the bread slices across the bottom instead of dicing them.)
  • 8 ounces cooked ham, cubed
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups diced Swiss cheese (I usually nix this cheese and just use an extra cup of cheddar instead)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (I don’t usually have onion powder in my spice rack but I substitute Minced onions)
  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal (Or crushed cherrios or rice krispies work too.)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with half the bread cubes. Sprinkle with ham, Cheddar cheese, and Swiss cheese, and top with remaining bread. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and onion powder. Pour evenly over bread. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, blend the crushed cornflakes and melted butter. Spread evenly over the casserole. Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Last Minute Chicken “Pot Pie”-
Great last minute dinner idea for a large family but really more of a “Cobbler”)
  • 1 package of premade pie crusts (Usually has two crust pieces in it.)
  • 1 Large package of frozen mixed veggies
  • 2 Cans of chicken (If funds are tight, just add one. It will still taste great.)
  • 2 cans of cream of whatever soup (Cream of chicken, cream of celery, cream of mushroom and cream of broccoli are all ones I have tried successfully)
  • 1/2 a cup of milk
Mix veggies, chicken, soup and milk together in a large bowl. Get two pie tins (Or you can use 9×9 cake pans. They work well too.) Put half the mix in one tin and half in the other. Toss a pie crust on top of each of them, crimp the edges and poke a few holes to vent it. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour. Quick, easy and tasty. Great for picky eaters too!
My Mother’s Easy Chili-
  • 2 Large cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Large cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. of ground beef, shredded chicken or ground turkey
  • 2 small cans of kidney beans (Also can use any beans in this recipe though too)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • (Optional) 2 or three drops Tabasco sauce
Brown meat and onions in the bottom of large stock pot. When browned, don’t drain meat. Just add the canned ingredients and beans. Once it begins to simmer, add spices and let simmer for 30 more minutes or more if you have time and desire to. Serves well with cheese and crackers but also good with Fritos or Cheez-its.
Crock Pot Chili Recipe-

All same ingredients as above recipe.
Take all the ingredients and dump into a crock pot. Don’t worry about browning meat or anything. Everything goes in at one time. Stir well (Meat CAN be left frozen. No worries.) and put on lid. For slow cooked, put on low and give it about 6 to 8 hours. For a fast cook, put on high and stir frequently. Takes about 3 hours. Delicious and great “Make Ahead” meal.

“Fish and Chips” Casserole-

  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 2 cups of smashed up and stale potato chips (Really any flavour works too)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 cans cream of whatever soup
  • 2 cups frozen peas or 2 cans of green beans
  • Extra smashed up chips
  • (optional) shredded cheese

Mix ingredients in large bowl. Dump into a 9×13 pan and top with the extra chips. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Add cheese if desired and serve. Also great on sandwiches.

Crockpot Pizza Pasta- 

  • Small box of elbow noodles
  • Jar of pizza sauce (Spaghetti sauce works well too)
  • 1 package of pepperoni or you can use leftover breakfast sausages too
  • Tablespoon “Italian seasoning”
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 cup of Cheese for topping

Throw all ingredients except cheese into crock pot and let simmer. 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low ought to do it. Stir cheese and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Great with garlic toast. (Also, for picky eaters, you can throw in some zuchinni slices to give them some veggies and the flavour is awesome! Usually only need one zuchinni though.)

Awesome Crockpot Stew for a Crowd- 

  • 6 large potatoes, diced (Large chunks)
  • 6 carrots diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 lb. of stew meat
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 can of beef broth
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients into crock pot and let simmer for 6 hours on low and 3 hours on high. Great with some homemade easy bread. Super yummy too!

No-Time Bread or “No-Knead Bread”
makes 1 loaf

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (two packets)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 1/2 cups bread flour (Or, for us “poor folks”- whatever flour you happen to have on hand)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (Or whatever vinegar you have, I have found out)

In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer put the yeast, sugar, and water and let it sit. Heat the oven to 450°F. Put a Dutch oven (or whatever pan you plan to use. Stoneware is great and so is cast iron) in to warm as the oven heats. Get out your flour, salt, vinegar, spray oil, and anything else you need. Now that the yeast has had a few minutes to bubble up, add 3 cups of the flour as well as the salt and vinegar and beat for several minutes with the paddle. Add the last 1/2 cup of flour and switch to the dough hook and beat for seven minutes. (Or for those without a stand mixer- mix until everything becomes one.) Alternately, knead “vigorously” for five minutes, or until the dough becomes extremely elastic. This will still be a wet dough, but not goopy. The dough will clear the sides of the bowl but still stick to the bottom. Lightly grease a microwave-safe bowl with vegetable oil and transfer the bread dough to it, rolling it in the oil. Cover the bowl with a very wet towel. Cover the whole thing with a dry towel and put in the microwave. Microwave on HIGH for 25 seconds.

Let rest in the microwave for about five minutes. Microwave on HIGH for another 25 seconds, then remove. Let rest and rise for another 15 minutes.

Shape into a ball and plop into the preheated pan. Quickly slash the top with a knife. Cover and bake for about 30 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature hits 210. (I just wait until the crust is a nice brown because the internal temperature thing is too much work. lol) Also, you can add herbs like rosemary or basil to give it some interesting flavours. 🙂 Very quick alternative to waiting all day to make bread. Plus you can get the kids to make it for you!

Hawaiian Chicken in the Crock Pot-

2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts

1 can of pineapple chunks (drained)

1 can mandarin oranges (drained)

1/4 cornstarch (Flour can work too but just use it carefully)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or the juice of one fresh lemon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Cut raw chicken into chunks and add to crockpot. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook for 3 hours on low of 6 hours on high. Great served on top of white or brown rice. Kids love it!

Corned Beef and Cabbage-

small slab (About 3 pounds or so) of corned beef with the season packet included

1 head of cabbage, quartered (Or- 2 heads of cabbage to be REALLY thrifty)

2 onions, quartered

Fill large stockpot with water. Add Corned beef, spice packet, onions and cabbage. Bring water to a boil then turn down heat and simmer for about 4-5 hours. Awesome with easy bread or beer bread. And my kiddos think this is just the greatest thing ever so even though it sound “Ooky” for kids, a lot kids actually really love it. Worth a shot and cost almost nothing per serving.

Easy Beer Bread-

  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (Honestly I just use 3 total cups of regular flour and nix the self rising flour)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can beer
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch baking pan.
In a bowl, mix the self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Pour in the beer, and mix just until moistened. Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Top with the melted butter. Bake 45 to 55 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack or just devour right out of the pan. 🙂

Mild Irritation

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Today is another one of those days. Another day dealing with the agony of a fibromyalgia flare up. And for people who think that fibromyalgia is just a fancy word for common phrase “lazy person who wants to pretend to be sick a few days a month”, you are very sadly mistaken. I am dealing with the very REAL pain that comes from this very REAL problem. Yes, you can manage a lot of it with diet and hormones. I do well a good portion of the time. But when the stress creeps in and the lack of sleep and a few other things, all of the sudden- **BOOM!!!** -it hits you.

You have a hard time walking. Your have a constant headache. Your whole body aches and burns and stings and throbs. Things that should bring you comfort only leave you in heap on the floor, sobbing. Massage? Only if you want me to punch you. Shower? Think- someone pelting you with hot needles. Nap? 3 or more kids in the house. How likely do you think that is?! Tylenol/ Motrin? Yeah. And M&Ms work well for post-surgery pain too. And, no, I am not being a baby. Ask my hubby. He is not a super sensitive guy but when I have a flare-up, he will tell you about the agony I experience. Some flare-ups are worse than others. But today is pretty bad. I cried all morning while my husband held me and prayed over me. And I really do appreciate what he does for me. I pulled myself out of the sofa when he left for work to go take care of the babies and managed to make a pot of coffee. Luckily, I had picked up donuts yesterday, so guess what we had for breakfast? Yeah, I know. I lost my “Mom of the Year” award a LOOOOONG time ago. No worries. I didn’t want it anyway!

But what is my “Mild Irritation” today, beside this pain? What could be worse than this? The fact that I know there is no help, no sympathy, for me. No one cares. I go to the doctor to ask for help and what do I get? A stern lecture about how I am a drug addict. It is really surprising to me because I never knew I was a drug addict! It surprises my husband, family and friends too. Apparently, having a real and legitimate problem with pain makes you a drug addict. Actually, thats not quite right. Having a real and legitimate problem with pain and being a person who cares no health insurance makes you a drug addict. That’s right. Because I don’t have health insurance, I am a drug addict. Sweet. That is an awesome notion. The irritation grows when you watch a show like Intervention and you see people who have insurance and go to the doctor with pretend problems or over exaggerated problems and are OVER prescribed pain pills, abuse them and then everyone stands by and scratches their heads and says, “Oh gosh. How did THAT happen?”. But only because they have insurance/ real “legit” (in otherwords- MEASURABLE) problems. I am not asking for an unlimited supply of pain killers or to be doped all the time. But days like today, when I can hardly walk or take care of the kiddos, I would appreciate a half dose of something. Notice- HALF DOSE. Thats right. Thats “drug addict” behaviour right there!

On top of that, look at how many people are living on “disability” for things like depression, asthma and whiplash. Yeah. Thats right. The same government who tells me they won’t help me pay for my daughter’s specialized bottles because “you should be able to feed her (two week old baby) with a spoon” is saying that if you have mild asthma or mild depression, you are unfit to work and should stay home and abuse pain killers and alcohol because that is all you are good for. The same people who won’t recognize my need for a handicap card for my car (only to be used on days when I am in pain, of course) will give a three year pass to people who have a broken toe. Seriously. I understand people have pain. I understand how much some stuff hurts. But I don’t see how this is right. Basically it goes back to the saying my husband repeats- “Remember, if you are poor, you are crazy. If you are rich, you are eccentric.” And think he is right and that this applies in almost all situations. So, I find no relief today because I am poor. I find no help today, because my daddy doesn’t let me live in his basement and mooch off him and his retirement and insurance. Because I am trying to do the right thing, I am called horrible names, made to cry in doctors’ offices and sent away in pain with the shame of being told I am something I am not.

I am just so glad of this- I have the hope that this is temporary. This life is temporary and  that when I get called home one day, that this pain will stay here on this earth. That I will be made whole. Until then, I am here waiting on the Lord today. Knowing that He made me this way for some reason and I may never ever know what that reason is in my time here.

Sorry for ranting. I am just so tired of this today.