Parker’s Story – Rescued From a Hoarder

This is going to be a series  of blogs about our dogs and why we rescued them from deplorable and abusive homes and hoards. I’m doing this series because I know there are some big changes coming in the next week or two. The pictures below is of Parker when we first rescued him and recently.

Parker’s Story- A Handful Of Cuteness

I’m sure many who knows me personally and on my Facebook pages knows about my dogs and how we rescue them from bad situations such as hoarding groups, high kill shelters and so on.  We’ve rescued boxers, pugs, cats, mixed breeds, birds, horses, goats, rabbits, lizards and other animals that didn’t ask to be put in dangers way.

Usually when we rescue an animal, we always look for a good home for them and homes are screened and the people interested are also. When rescue them, find good homes and that makes it so we can rescue another animal that’s being abused.  But, about 5 years ago, we decided to not re-home our pugs and our mixed pug/pekingese. And that is for the most part because Jasper, Parker and Henry became more than rescues, they became family. We always feel that all animals are more than animals, they are family. Well, not snakes and spiders.

parkerscaredWe rescued Parker in October of 2013. That’s by the boarder of Mexico and 2 1/2 hours from Tucson.  My parents lived in a tiny little farm town called Elfrida, AZ. My mom and sister Brenda adopted a few puppies from this group. I asked my mom if she would get me information on the hoarding group. She did and these people at I would say well over 50 dogs and I have no clue on how many cats. These people had Pekingese’s, Pugs, Chihuahua’s and not sure what else. The county told the people that they had to get rid of all but 10 of the dogs and all males had to be fixed. I called the lady and told her that I’m going to go visit my parents and if they needed homes, then I may bring a couple back to Utah and re-home them. I had no intention of keeping them.

douglasDouglas, Az is about 12-14 hours from where I live. But, I went anyhow. I met the lady and I was shocked at the conditions. All of these dogs lived in horrible condition’s and it made me sick.  After seeing the condition’s, I realized I couldn’t take more than one back. That’s because the medical needs for all of those dogs could be dangerous for my dogs. So, I did find Parker. He had one eye that he was blind in and he was in decent shape. With my husband and I living in a condo, we couldn’t take that many animals. St. George only allows 2 dogs and I had to get a special permit for Parker.

Since I volunteered for a rescue group in Arizona I was able to use the 501C3 status as a non-profit.  But, we brought Parker back with us. He was terrified of everything. He had extreme separation anxiety. In 3 days, he ate doggie doors, door frames, escaped out of enclosed and locked crates.  We took him to our vet and they told us that Parker was castrated like cows are castrated. The vet told me that they only seen that in one place and that was in Douglas, AZ.  When I told him that’s where we got him, he wasn’t surprised. While we were at the vets office we also made sure that he had all shots. The lady said she gave them shots, but there is no way I would believe that.  When the vet said he was castrated, it broke my heart. I couldn’t let Parker really hang out much with Jasper and Patsy. I’ll go into her story also in this series. I just want to give each of the dogs, their own story.

Anyhow, since we intended to find a good home for Parker, that was almost impossible because of his anxiety. He was highly destructive and afraid of anything and anyone. For the drive back home from Arizona, he was in my arms and had his face hidden in the crook of my arm. he wouldn’t eat, drink or anything for the 14 hour drive. He was terrified. Once we got into St. George we only had 5 minutes till we got home. But, as soon as we got off of the freeway, Parker lifted his head up. He must have known we slowed down and stopped at the light.

189625_3950251631548_566846998_nI told my husband that once we get home, we need to make sure to put Parker in the dog crate that we brought with us in case he tried to dart. We only used the crate while we were in the hotel in Tombstone and we learned really fast that Parker runs and hides. He ran under the bed and positioned himself so we couldn’t get him. Once we finally caught him, we made sure to put him in there and then drove the 3 hours to Phoenix and we got him a harness. While he was in the crate, he was literally trying to escape and he was flinging his crate with him in it all over the back of the car.  Since he was doing that, we had to get a harness where we can hold onto him and it hand a handle.

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Parker is scared because a friend came over and she always speaks loud and he thought he was in trouble. Even though we were talking about updating her computer lol.

It took us a year to get to the point where he wasn’t afraid of us. He still trembles if we raise our voices and he hides.  Every time we thought he was ready for a new home, he was so afraid to even interact with anyone unless it was our family. My sister Joyce wanted him and we did let her have him. Joyce absolutely loves Parker. The only problem was her husband is a truck driver and Joyce and Ira took him on the truck with them for a few weeks. When they came home from being on the road, Parker was skin and bones. That was because he was very nervous and he is terrified of noises.  Semi trucks are very loud when it comes to airlines, horns and all of the road noises. From my understanding he was doing what he did when we first rescued him.

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Parker Now

Even though my sister loves him, it wasn’t good for Parker. He was starving because of his anxiety. He didn’t want to even go potty when the truck was stopped. Now, my sister has visitation rights lol. Even though Parker loves Joyce, we realized that we could never re-home Parker. We’ve had Parker for 6 years now and he isn’t going anywhere. Parker is our problem child. The lady that we got him from said Parker was 8 months and he looked like he was still in his puppy phase.

I want to close this by saying that if anyone is looking for a pet, please try to rescue one. Animal shelters normally have all types of animals. I know many people wants puppies, but if you can save an animal, please give it a try. I’ve found that instead of me rescuing them, they rescue me.  There are many who will tell people to adopt instead of shop. There are benefits to both and even the animals in pet stores need to be rescued. I’ve bought before and usually it’s because I know the people who are breeding. But, I will always choose to adopting since shelters will kills animals if they aren’t adopted really fast. Usually they give them 5 days.

In the next day or two, I will share another rescue.

 

 

 

My Experience With TDS for Cable/Internet

For a very long time I have been in the battle with our cable/internet company.  We have our basic cable and our internet with TDS. This is their website and I’m only putting it here to let people know to be aware of them and to protect themselves from overcharges, hidden charges and charges that are added that you never asked for. TDS Website…  

On Facebook I always see people asking other members of the Indoor Yard-sale page if they know of any good internet companies. They can expect a lot of experiences and many will comment the same way that I do. That comment would be that if they want to be cheated and lied to, then TDS is the place to go. They should try any company other than TDS.

bajaMy first run in with them was when they were still called BAJA Broadband. The company was sold to TDS in 2013. I found an article about the sale and you can click on this link. TDS buys Baja Broadband.  BAJA had a lot of issues and in my opinion I thought it was more about customer service issues. Also, while it was still BAJA Broadband, that’s when we found out that the salesman that came to our house to sign us up also signed us up for a package that includes cable, with the sports package and 2 premium channels (HBO and Showtime), internet and a phone. My husband and I don’t watch sports and never agreed to subscribe to the sports package and we didn’t watch HBO or Showtime. We had basic cable, not all the channels we don’t watch. With the phone, we never even knew we had the phone. They told us that it is a good thing to have and we could talk to people on our computer. But, never ordered the phone and a number of things. 

badcustomerserviceSince I worked in Sales and with customers, I can tell you first hand that if I was offering bad customer service to a customer, that they would more than likely tell their family members, friends and anyone who will listen. Then those that heard about your experience will share that with anyone and anyone. So, that one bad experience has been shared by not just the 10 or so people you told, but now those people are sharing with many others and it just gets worse from there. Then you have the age of the internet. People can tell anyone and everyone online, offer reviews and so on. So, If I gave someone a bad experience, then I would say that withing a day, over 50 people has heard of how bad I was and they would never do business with the company I worked at. I could also loose my job if the owner wanted to fire me. I found a website that describes this and it breaks it down on how dangerous it can be for a company who has bad customer service. This is the article that was written that shows the The Real Cost of Bad Customer Service (And How to Avoid It).

I went into the then BAJA and talked to the lady that is at the front desk/computers. She told me that I did have it and that it is this amount of money. I was dealing with this woman for three months. Finally someone in another room was listening and there was a lot of customers listening to this discussion. I explained to that lady that I never ordered those services and I’m not paying for what I didn’t use, know about or ask to have. She took me to the side and tried to get me to speak quietly, and that did NOT happen. I filed a report and she said she would talk to corporate and look into it. I figured she was just trying to push it under the rug. So, I made sure that she filed the papers while I’m watching and i wanted to hear her tell the gentleman on the phone what is going on and I wanted it on speaker phone.

I made sure they did it that way because I worked in customer service for 20 years and I know how people try to calm people down by “acting” like they are going to take care of it. I also got the guys name and number at corporate so I could follow up. I was totally shocked when I got a call from him a week later and then I received a letter in the mail a few days after that. They did a full investigation of what happened and they told me that they went back into my account and they checked to make sure that we never even tried to use a phone and there is no history of premium channels even being watched. Then he told me that they are reimbursing the overcharges that I was charged. I was expecting a couple of hundred. But he said I was overcharges $611.00 because of the things the salesman and the employee that worked in the front of the office. I was shocked. I know I was overcharged, but I felt stupid that I allowed these people to charge me so much.

And lately I have been feeling cheated again and my guess is that a lot of people are feeling the same way. Anytime I go into the TDS office, there are many in line that have their equipment in hand and they are canceling their service. Last month, there was a little old man that was just ahead of me and he had his equipment in his arms and was cancelling their service. The older man lives in an assisted living place and he didn’t realize he was being charged for things. He was yelling and very upset. BTW, the same lady that I was upset over the phone thing and overcharging is still working there and this poor man was livid. She added the phone to his internet. He never used it and never ordered it. Where he lived, cable was included. He was only subscribing to internet. I did talk to this man and I told him the same happened to me and with the same lady.

Since I did sales for so many years, I know that they earn a commission if they sign someone up for the service and for add ons. I know without a doubt that the woman that I tried to get  help with my problem from is getting commissions for all things she up-sales. A friend of mine worked there and she didn’t up-sale services like the phone, higher speeds for internet and whatever service they offer.  But, this gentleman was on his phone calling his lawyer right in front of this woman. Everyone could hear what was being said and oh man, I’m sure he is going to be a thorn in their side, even more so than me.

Then last week I called TDS to get a break down for my bill. For some reason I’m paying over $140.00 for basic cable and internet. The same lady again that works there refused to give me a breakdown of my bill. She said that she didn’t have the capabilities to view what all my services are and the charges. She said she can print me out a reciept and she gave me an 800 number to call customer service and to see if they will cut my bill down. I’m figuring she works in customer service, she has the computer in front of her, so she should be able to see what everything is on my account. She knows I’m not one to be quiet since I’ve called her out many times. I have no clue why she is still there.

The person who I called at TDS gave me the run down and said that they can put everything in a package and it would drop the price down.  When he told me that our basic cable is around $43.00 and then there is the charge for the DVR rental and that is $13.00. Then there are 2 additional charges for the DVR and one is for us even recording and I can’t remember the other charge that is attached to the DVR. But we only have 1 DVR and we have regular boxes for our other 2 TV’s. There were also a few other service charges and I can’t remember what they were. So, I was being charged a little over $100,00 for only cable. That includes no premiums. Our internet is a bit over $40.00 and we also have a fee for the modem.

I told the man that I’m trying to make sure if it is cost effective to keep our cable. he tried to offer me all kinds of discounts.  I let him know that My plans are to turn in all of my boxes and to cancel the cable. I don’t have any trust in a company that over charges and takes advantage of people. I also told him that they may want to look into those who work in customer service at our local TDS company. I will be keeping my Internet and since I already subscribe to HULU Plus, I just bumped that up so I now have all the channels that we have now and those channels we watch. We can also have a DVR. In order to get HULU Live, it was just $30.00 more than I’m already paying for HULU.

I told the man that I was talking to that  if they were honest and treated customers with respect and not cheat people then I would recommend them to those asking. But since I’ve had so many issues with them, there is no way I could ever recommend them.

In closing this blog out, I hope that people pay close attention to their bills and if something seems off, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. 

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Guillian Barre Syndrome Q and A

This blog may be a little long. I ended up getting a number of questions for me to answer. I did combine some questions since some of them were similar.  Thank you for all of the questions and I hope my answers will help you understand what GBS/CIPD. I will follow this up with comments from my husband and daughters. It will be about what they went though with me being sick all the time.

About a month ago, I sent out emails, posts on Facebook and on my Instagram page that the month of May is Guillian Barre Awareness Month. I have been doing GBS Awareness posts for a number of years and I will include links to those blogs so anyone can reference those for more information.  I have included links also for website called Guillian Barre Syndrome Foundation. There is a lot of information and videos that describes what GBS is.  As with many things, I want to make a disclaimer that what is normal for one person may not be for other people.

I have the CIPD variant of Guillian Barre Syndrome, which is the chronic form. I’ve had it a number of times, when people normally get’s GBS 1 time and the degree of disability varies from person to person.  I’m trying to stay away from information overload, so I hope I can make it easy to understand what GBS/CIPD is. I have included links to the information that I’m sharing. Just put your mouse over the link and it will take you to the page for the information.

Here is a link to a video on Youtube that kind of shows you what I went through. This is a short video and will show you what I went through. When I first came down with it, that was before video taping and sharing my story. Please what Miranda’s Journey which is pretty close to my own experience. The only difference I had this 4 times and I don’t know if she has or not. but, it’s easier to expain what I went through by showing this video.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome – Miranda’s Journey

Last years blog posts was more of a personal type of posts and was one of the hardest times when it came to my GBS experience. These are links to last years blog posts. There are also a number of other blogs that

My experience with Guillian Barre Q&A’s

Q. What is Guillian Barre Syndrome? 

A. (Guillian Barre Foundation )-  Instead of me using my way of describing it, I figured it is best to give the accurate medical lingo to describe what it is.

Guillain-Barré (Ghee-yan Bah-ray) Syndrome is an inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nerves outside the brain and spinal cord.

It’s also called:

  • Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
  • Landry’s Ascending Paralysis

GBS is characterized by the rapid onset of numbness, weakness, and often paralysis of the legs, arms, breathing muscles, and face. Paralysis is ascending, meaning that it travels up the limbs from fingers and toes towards the torso. Loss of reflexes, such as the knee jerk, are usually found.

Q. You said that you have the CIPD variant of Guillian Barre Syndrome. What does that mean? 

A. Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)?  The easiest way for me to describe it is that instead of Guillian Barre Syndrome going away and left without a number of symptoms that continues being a problem. This is what  the National Institute of Neurological  Disorders and Stroke(NINDS) website says. It often presents with symptoms that include tingling or numbness (beginning in the toes and fingers), weakness of the arms and legs, loss of deep tendon reflexes (areflexia), fatigue, and abnormal sensations. CIDP is closely related to Guillain-Barre syndrome and it is considered the chronic counterpart of that acute disease.

Q. How did you get GBS? 

A. I ended up getting Guillian Barre Syndrome from the flu shot. From what my Dr said, I carry a certain antibody that reacts to viruses such as the flu. From what the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) website says that there are some people who have gotten GBS after having the flu or other infections such as pneumonia, strep throat (which is how I ended up paralyzed the second time. I ended up with GBS from the flu shot, 3 weeks after getting the injection.

If you have gotten the flu shot, you may have noticed on the bottom of the paper that you have filled out you will see this listed at the bottom about who should NOT get the flu shot. This information I got on the CDC website.

People who should talk to their doctor before getting the flu shot:

If you have one of the following conditions, talk with your healthcare provider.  He or she can help decide whether vaccination is right for you, and select the best vaccine for your situation:

  • If you have an allergy to eggs or any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Talk to your doctor about your allergy. See Special Considerations Regarding Egg Allergy for more information about egg allergies and flu vaccine.
  • If you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralyzing illness, also called GBS). Some people with a history of GBS should not get this vaccine. Talk to your doctor about your GBS history.
  • If you are not feeling well, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

Q. How did you know that you had GBS and what were your symptoms? 

A. That is a great question. 

I was a very athletic person. I ran on the average -10 miles a day. I was only 17 when this was all happening.  I was tired all the time. I normally woke up by 8 AM and then I would go out for a run. I enjoyed sports and played on a girls softball team, tennis, volleyball, track and field and cross country. Since I left home and moved in with my then boyfriend and husband now, I only did running and biking.

One day I went into Nolanville, Texas and it was less then a 2 mile bike ride. I was heading home and my legs felt heavy. I couldn’t get the strength to walk. I needed to walk across the street where my bike was. But, I had a horrible time doing that. I did manage it after an hour. I came into our house and it was all I could do to go up the three steps to our house. Our room mate said that I took so long because I was trying to get out of helping clean. But, I went to bed and I was just exhausted.

Over a 2 week time span, I went from very athletic to not being able to walk, lift things and anything that took an effort. I lost strength that started in my feet and went up over those 2 weeks. I knew something was wrong, so I went to the hospital, but the Dr’s thought I was on drugs. But, when I got diagnosed finally, I was completely paralyzed up to my forehead and on life support.

Q. How did I know I had GBS? 

spinaltap

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 A . I finally had a Dr believe me and he ordered a spinal tap(lumbar puncture). This is a procedure in which fluid surrounding the spinal cord (called the cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) is withdrawn through a needle and examined in a lab.

They were testing the fluid because they suspected it already. They knew that it was GBS because the fluid was a darker yellowish/straw color which they said it was that way because of the protein in the fluid. Normally the spinal fluid is clear.My fluid was close to the last on of the 5 vials. It should have been clear.

Q. Is it contagious? If so, is it hereditary? I know you have daughters and grandkids, are they at risk.

A.  This is a question that I get quite a bit.  This is what all of the informational websites says; The exact cause of GBS is not known. Researchers don’t know why it strikes some people and not others. It is not contagious or inherited. … In GuillainBarré syndrome, however, the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy nerves.

I have 2 daughters and 7 grand children. Because of all of my medical problems, I was only able to get pregnant once. We did adopt Rebechia, which would mean there isn’t anything I would have handed down to her and her children. With my daughter Jessica and her two children, they don’t take the flu or the pneumonia immunization. My  health problems have caused them to stress over the possibility of them getting what I had.  Dr’s always say that it isn’t hereditary and not contagious. I have no doubt that it isn’t contagious since it is as auto-immune disease. They also say it isn’t hereditary, but I have seen it happen when it comes to families. They don’t know for sure.

I have had this 4 times and it’s always because I have gotten sick or I was around someone sick. So, we do our best to prevent getting around anyone sick when possible since I have almost died a few times over just getting sick. Since there is so many unknowns. We don’t know about hereditary things.

Q. My uncle had GBS about 15 years ago. He is in a wheelchair now. The Dr’s told him he would never get it again. I’ve read on your blog that you had I believe that you have had it around 3 times and you still have some residuals. Will my uncle get this again?

A. I don’t know if I can answer that since everyone’s experience is different.  All of the Dr’s I have seen and places like the GBS/CIPD Foundation, CDC and others have said this;

GBS can range from a very mild case with brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis, leaving the person unable to breathe independently. Fortunately, most people eventually recover from even the most severe cases of GBS.  After recovery, some people will continue to have some degree of weakness. While I have had it a number of times and have had a variety of symptoms, that isn’t true for everyone.

Guillain-Barré syndrome can affect anyone. It can strike at any age (although it is more frequent in adults and older people) and both sexes are equally prone to the disorder. GBS is estimated to affect about one person in 100,000 each year.

Q. Are there ways to prevent getting Guillian Barre Syndrome?

A. Not that I know of. I just know that I do my best to not be around those that are sick since I have had it. I don’t know if there is even a test to see if you have the potential of getting it. I heard they have an blood test for it, but it isn’t a normal test and I haven’t had any of my Dr’s and Neurologists suggesting it.

Q. I had a family member that died from Guillian Barre Syndrome unexpectedly.  We were told that she would be OK once it starts reversing. I belong to an online support group and what they are describing, it doesn’t fit with what my family members doctor said. Have you come close to dying? Do you have a fear of dying?

A. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your family member. Since everyone is different, it has to be difficult to lose someone you love when you were told they would be OK. I was also told that once my muscles and the nerves began working, I would never have any issues from it. When it comes to how I deal with my diagnosis and death, I’s not afraid of death. That’s because of my faith. I do worry about those I will leave behind. If it wasn’t for my faith, I would be terrified.

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God has never let me down. He promised me that He is my strength and my refuge in times of trouble. I have never forgotten that and I need Him ever single day and moment in my life.

Q. I have known you for a long time and I have found you inspirational because of how hard you have and are fighting. How do you stay positive when so much has happened?

A.  I for sure have my moments. I have those times when I just want to throw in the towel. It’s pretty much where I get to the point of , “sick of being sick” type of mentality. I just don’t post a lot of that stuff. But, a number of years ago, I had to change my negative thinking because I was having more bad and angry days. Thankfully God helps me through those moments.

Q. You said that you try to only discuss your experience with having Guillian Barre Syndrome at this time of the year, why is that?

A. I think that is a good question. Basically I don’t like to talk a lot about it because I don’t want people to say, “that’s the person who has Guillian barre Syndrome” or “I feel bad for everything she is going through”. That’s because I know some people have medical problems and that’s all they talk about. One of the ladies that I was friends with that became her identity. My illness isn’t who I am. My name isn’t Sandie Guillian Barre Syndrome. I’m simply Sandie Divan. When this lady only talk about her medical things, it became apparent that she was using her medical issues as a tool to get people to donate to her and to do things for her that they normally wouldn’t do. They did it because they felt sorry for her. While I have GBS/CIPD and a number of other medical problems because of it, that isn’t who I am.

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This isn’t a picture of me, but this is what it is like when I was going through my stuff.

Q. I had Guillian Barre Syndrome 5 years ago and it’s been very difficult.  I was intubated and then had a tracheotomy to help me breath. I’m still in a wheelchair. I wish I would have died and not be a burden on my parents. How does your family handle your medical issues?

A. For me the hardest thing was being intubated and not being able to breath and not being able to tell anyone what I was thinking and feeling. I couldn’t move or do anything. I totally understand that. that is something I still have problems with. I have made it a point to have my medical directives drawn up by an attorney so I could make sure to never be put in that position. Last year, my Dr’s didn’t listen. You can click on the links I shared at the top of the page.

I don’t have many fears, but, I understand how difficult that would have been for you. If you need to talk you can send me an email and I will contact you and I can give you some information about one of the  group I go to  Guillian Barre Syndrome Surviors Group on Facebook  . 

 

Technology Isn’t Always Best- Part 3

I was having a conversation with one of my grandsons.  He was telling me how hard life is for him. JJ was upset with his mom because she never does anything for him. He has this perception that he does all of the cleaning in his house and he has no food to eat. He also says that his parents are meaner than any other parent since they get everything their child wants. I let him continue while I was waiting for my daughter to come back to the car.  I didn’t share the conversation JJ and I were having with my daughter, but he just wanted to continue talking. That was a big mistake, lol.

As JJ continued talking and he was visibly upset. My daughter was asking what it was like when she was little and how both of my daughters got everything they wanted (NOT). I’m sure JJ regretted him opening up this conversation.

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13 Inch Black and white Zenith Television Set 

My daughters were born in 1980. So, there were no computers, iPads, big screen T.V.s, cell phones or video games such as WII’s, Play stations, Nintendo’s or WiFi’s. We had only 1 T.V. Our first television was a 13 inch black and white television. And when our daughters were pretty young like in the 1st grade, we had the Atari video game. The only games to play on it was pong and something else. He was shocked that we didn’t have video games.

I told him that if we wanted to play games, we went to an arcade. We didn’t have games like that at home. It was hard enough for us to be able to feed our daughters and cloth them.  There were times we would have to go to a food bank since we didn’t have any money to even buy bread. We would also get cloths from thrift stores or other families if they were getting rid of them.  Again he was shocked and he thought I was lying to him.

As parents, our priorities were on raising our daughters. We weren’t focused on keeping up with the Jones. For Christmas, our daughters didn’t get expensive gifts. We normally only had around $20-$25.00 per child to spend on gifts. We shopped at a store called Pic N Save. Pic N Save was on the lines of Dollar general. Since we shopped at stores like that, we were able to stretch the little bit of money we had.  So, Chuck and I did the best we could do to make Christmas happen.

Many of the toys and gadgets that my grand-kids have, cost more than what we would spend on most of our bills. We didn’t have the $200 or more that JJ gets with just one Lego gift. They didn’t need expensive Lego sets, barbies, computers, games and so on. What they enjoyed and I honestly think that many kids today doesn’t understand that spending time as a family is more important than a tree filled with expensive toys.

We adopted our daughter Beckiah. She arrived at our house 4 days before Christmas. All she had was a brown grocery bag filled with cloths. She had nothing else. We already spent all the money we could for Christmas gifts and for food. We had to make our money stretch until our next payday. When we got word that Beckiah would arrive the following morning, we had to scramble. We already got Jessica’s Christmas gifts, but we had nothing for Beckiah. Jessica was only in the 1st grade and she joined our conversation and she said that we could give Beckiah some of her Christmas gifts. I was bawling at her kind gesture.

Our daughters knew the truth about Santa and the Easter Bunny. They knew there was no Santa and that Christmas is about Christ and so is Easter. I didn’t have any money to buy more wrapping paper since we now had to split gifts. Jessica went to work. We took all of the gifts out from under the tree and then took name tags off of the gifts that was going to Jessica. Jessica didn’t know what she was getting, but she was OK. She was and still has such a giving heart. So, all the gifts that were labeled for Jessica was relabeled for Beckiah.

bigwheels2
Big Wheels

One of our neighbors came over to the house to help me get things ready for Beckiah to come home. Nelana asked me about what we were doing for Christmas, meaning gifts for both of the girls. There was one gift that we couldn’t split up. It was a surprise gift for Jessica. We bought her a Big Wheel. We new we couldn’t afford a second one. I told Nelena that we will wait to give Jessica the Big Wheel until we can get a second one. Little did I know that Nelena didn’t go straight home when she was done helping me. She went to the toy store and got a Big Wheel for Beckiah.  Nelena also got each of the girls a baby doll and stroller.

As time marches on and more time passes by, the more I look back on those days with so much fondness and nostalgia because I miss their simplicity.   Life was pleasantly simple and joyous.

I wish things were the way they were then. I loved the conversations, silliness the time we would spend with my daughters by baking cookies for the homeless. We would do the 12 days of Christmas for unsuspecting neighbors. I didn’t have to compete with a television, computers, laptops, iPad and so on. We just enjoyed being together.

I was born in 1963  and our lives was vastly different then from the world we know now. I’m not going to go into the whole this is what it was like growing up in the 60’s and 70’s.

I use to get bored when my parents and grandparents would say something like, ” I remember when…. “, and a very long story followed that discussed their childhood. I’m sure I had some eye rolling going on. Now, I share stories of when I was younger and simpler. Which I know  my grand kids humor me by listening and roll their eyes.

jjandjosalyn
Josalyn – 3yrs old and JJ -11 yrs old

I did share privately with JJ when my daughter was out of the car that he has parents who love him and his sister. They are able to give them gifts that educate them and gifts that they enjoy. I let him know that many kids would be happy to have just one of the gifts that he gets. They make sure that they buy him the best mountain bikes instead of cheap ones that he could get hurt on.

For his birthday a few years ago, Jessica and Jason had a swim party for JJ’s birthday and he was allowed to invite his entire classroom, just so he could make friends. I let him know that there are kids who have no parents that love them or anyone. I think he hears it so often, that he is desensitized now.

I let him know that when my daughters were his age, there wasn’t much that we could afford to do. My parents didn’t do things with us kids. We grew up with the mindset of “kids can be seen, but not heard.” I know JJ wasn’t fully listening since he was sitting in the back seat, which his ipad on his lap and he wanted to know if I was done talking. I miss the days of having conversations with people and being able to see a persons eyes looking back at me, instead of down at a computer.

My mother in law lived with my husband and I for a number of years after my father in law died. She would tell us the same old stories over and over again. Oh, what I would do to hear those stories again.

18722277_293395561110481_3533412213656125440_aI watch this families video’s on youtube. His channel is called, “White House on the Hill”. They are a sweet family who raises all kinds of birds, chickens, pheasants and Emu’s. While I love learning about his farm and raising chicks from eggs, I enjoy watching their channel because their family doesn’t let technology run their lives. They do things as a family. Click here to go to their channel. 

 

 

I miss growing up on a farm. We lived with my grandparents in Indiana in the early 70’s.  Grandma grace was a Sunday School teacher and I think my foundation and love for the Lord is because of the things grandma shared. We had our own garden, raised our own chickens, ducks and so on. My grandparents lived in the middle of Amish Country. We had no indoor plumbing, no electric and no restroom. My grandma cooked food from the garden and we ate the chickens we raised. We had an outhouse and our baths were in a trough. In the winter, our heating was from a wood or coal burning fireplace. We took bath is inside in a makeshift tub. During the warmer months we bathed outside and someone held up a sheet so nobody could see us.

I have subscribed to their channel because their family and lifestyle reminds me of a time  when my Grandma Grace was still alive and how no matter how hard things are, we can get through it. I tried my best to instill those qualities in my daughters.

chucldreninteret
Is the Internet hurting children? Article on CNN 

In closing technology is great for many things but it comes at a great price . When we depend on technology for everything, the price may be too high. My daughter will ask JJ a question over and over again while he is looking down at his ipad. She raises her voice and asks JJ the same question that she has been asking for 5 minutes. he then shouts at her and asks her what she wants. He is so zoned into his game that he hears nothing around him. He doesn’t even know where we are going since his head is down the whole time.

The price of technology is too high in my opinion. When technology takes the place of real relationships, then that’s to costly. When I was younger and my daughters were younger, I feel they had a better life even though we didn’t have a lot of money. We knew how to play with friends and family. We could interact and use our imagination without computers. we didn’t need all of the bells and whistles that children have now.

Here’s a link that talks about and helps with children using gadgets and apps. I understand that there are educational applications for children. I feel that if the parent is limiting the usage and the amount of time the child is on the ipad, then that’s the parents decision. Don’t be one of those parents who lets the computer be the baby sitter.

 

Swimming and Baptisms- Irrigation Ditches.

This is part two talking about How technology isn’t the best. On the first one I mentioned that I will be about living in Hyder and my faith and baptism. Since we didn’t have anything to watch, computers or ways to talk to friends unless they lived by us, we had to come up with ways to do things and use our imagination.

baptism1

I’ve shared this experience about my faith and about my baptism before. But, I’m more than happy to share again.

I remember watching some members of the Nazarene Church in Knox Indiana getting baptized. I wanted to do that so bad. It wasn’t just because of how they got to go swimming, it was because I know how important and pleasing it is to God to be baptized. My grandma Grace would tell me about how we need to be baptized in water and by the Holy Spirit. I didn’t quite understand what she meant by being baptized by the Holy Spirit since, well, He’s a Spirit. But, I figured God knew how to do it spirit and all, so “here I am”.

church-service
Stock Image of a church

Since I went to church at a Nazarene Church, they won’t baptize anyone until you get 14 years old. It doesn’t matter if I fully understood or not, the pastor said that I would have to come back and ask then. If Jesus could speak to the Elders in the temples when he was 12, I would think I was good to go and be baptized.

I would have had to get permission from my parents in order to get baptized, even if I was old enough. The only reason I even got to go to church was because my mom wanted us out of the house and someone from church would come and get us. I won’t go into the reasons on why we needed out of the house, but it was for the best.

Our family moved away from Indiana and I think at some point we moved back there and again back to Arizona. There are a number of years that I don’t remember. My sisters can remember them and some family members do, but I don’t. They have all told me that it was good to forget.

irrigationditchBut, anyhow. at some point, we moved to Hyder, Arizona. It was in the middle of nowhere. It was hot, not just hot, but it was a preparation for Hell. There wasn’t anything we could do and it was so hot, we couldn’t do anything outside unless it was 6 am or after 7 pm. But, we did have irrigation ditches.

  • WHAT IS AN IRRIGATION DITCH?
    Irrigation ditches are man-made channels that deliver water to homes, farms, industries and other human uses. Most ditches divert water from natural creeks and rivers and bring it to other areas.
sulfure
This is the color the water turns when sulfur is in it. 

When we moved to Hyder and we seen these ditches, we were curious. My dads boss who was the owner of Thompson Farms told us that we can swim in them, but be careful. They will add sulfur to them once in a while. They do that to fertilize the cotton and I would think to kill bugs. He told us to never go in or by the water if they are adding surfer to it. With sulfur it is yellow and stinks really bad. I would think it would be dangerous to even inhale. Those irrigation ditches was right in front of our trailer, so we could smell it all the time.

Sulfur is mentioned many times in the Bible. Anytime I’ve read anything in the Bible about sulfur it isn’t a good thing. Here are a few verses;

  • Luke 17:29- But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
  • Revelation 9:17 – The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur.
  • Revelation 20:10– And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Since I knew that sulfur is bad, I had no problem staying away from it. Jerome told us kids that if the water is clear and no sulfur is in there, that it is safe to swim in and just stay away from the tubes or we can get sucked into them and we would die. OK, so let’s thinking about this for a second.

We moved to AZ when I was in the 4th grade and I became involved with a little Baptist Church that met in a trailer in Hyder AZ. The baptisms from Indiana still stuck with me and it was something I wanted to do so bad.

  1. DON’T go in or near the water if there is sulfur in it. If it is yellow stay away from it and if it smells like surfer, stay away from it.  He said it could and more than likely kill us as in dead and gone and we will be left for the rattlesnakes. Now, that’s a heck of a deadly warning isn’t it?
  2. Don’t go swimming through the little tunnels because we will drown since the holes are just big enough to fit a body and we would get stuck in the hole. There would be nobody around to save us. There were no police in Hyder. The closest officers were over 70 miles away. There were no Dr’s, paramedics or firemen either.  So, if you want to stay alive, don’ play in the tunnels or the tubes.

After he told us those things, he started to leave and told us we can go swimming and just pay attention to those rules. Egads, that was horrible. But, we did get enough courage and we went swimming in the ditches. We stayed away from anything that could suck us into a hole and we didn’t swim in yellow water.  I always knew about yellow snow, but this was a whole other learning curve lol.

There was this family that came to welcome our family to this middle of nowhere and invited us to church. I was super excited. My parents of course were not. My sisters didn’t want to go to church. They only went because mom and dad knew we would be out of their way. My bother wanted nothing to do with it. I begged my mom to go. Even though my parents don’t believe in God, they finally told them that they can pick me up. After the family left, my parents told me that they didn’t want me to say anything about church, God, what I learned or anything else. If I did mention anything church wise, I would pay the price.

The first Sunday at this little Baptist Church, the pastor was talking about the importance of Baptism. Baptism was the top thinking that I have been wanting for so long. I asked him about what age I would have to be to get baptized. I didn’t have to be 14, but I would have to have my parents approval. I knew there would be no chance in asking. I’m sure I had tears in my eyes. There was absolutely no way I could even say God in my house yet alone ask about Baptism.

So, my little 10 or 11 year old mind and heart came up with a solution. But, I needed help with it. We had the irrigation ditch, which has water. And on most days it was clean and clear water. On other days it was the kind of water that will kill ya. Since there was nothing else to do in Hyder, we would swim for hours. But, before we went swimming, I would ask my friend Kim Thompson and my sis Joyce if they would like to be baptized. baptismquoteThey gave me some really stupid looks. Kim’s family is Catholic and our family is, well, nothing. I’m a Christian and that’s as far as it went.

I watched many baptisms. I didn’t have a Bible of my own, so I had to say what I remembered that the pastor would say. I would stand in front of them and then I would ask Joyce and Kim  these things. I’m sure the words aren’t exact since it was so long ago. But, this is what I asked them and in turn they did that with me.

  1. Do you believe that Jesus is the son of God?
  2. Do you believe that He died and was raised to life?
  3. Do you accept Him as your Lord and Savior?

And then I would have them hold their nose and close their mouths and then dunk them. I didn’t realize way back then that once you are baptized, you are saved. So, every time we went swimming before we did anything else I wanted to be baptized. I don’t think they wanted to all the time. I just didn’t want to take any chances.

During that part of my life, be having the many baptisms gave me peace. It’s hard to explain. As a child my life wasn’t very good and most days I didn’t know if any of us kids would survive. But, because of being baptized so many times, I felt different. I always knew God was with me, but during those times, I just felt complete. Over the years I have always wondered if my true baptism that I got on the day I turned 14 in Willcox was my actual baptism. Or if even though I wasn’t baptized by a pastor and I was baptized I would think close to 100 times, if that was my true baptism. There was no service, pastor or documents. But the feeling I had, I 100 percent meant every word I said. God gave me so much love, grace and mercy in my life.

While Hyder had nothing to do at all. What it did have been an irrigation ditch that could kill a personal easily and that ditch had life-sustaining power.

I would love to hear your experiences of when you got baptized. I would also like to hear about what you think when it came to my baptisms in irrigation ditches.

I will share more about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on a future blog since this one is long enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology Isn’t Always Good

Hyder AZ - Agua Caliente
Hyder, AZ

This is going to be a series of how technology isn’t always the best thing.

rattlesnake denWhen I was younger our family lived in a very tiny spot on the road called Hyder, AZ. Hyder is located between Gila Bend and Yuma, AZ.  This would have been in 1974 or 1975.I use to think I hated it because there was never anything to do. We had to make up our own entertainment. Hyder was about the same temperatures of Death Valley, rattlesnakes were all over the place. We actually lived across the street from a den of rattlers. We also had what seemed like millions of scorpions. Hyder is now considered a ghost town and I can honestly see why.

I was in the 5th grade when we moved there. The school we went to was about 40 miles from our house and we had to be picked up around 4 in the morning and we got home around the same time. That’s because it’s all farmland and kids lived all over the place. It took us a long time to get to school. The school I went to was called Sentinel and there was 28 students from the grades 1-12. There were 2 trailers for the classes. For grades 1-4, they met in the single wide trailer. The teacher for those grades most of the time was drunk by the time we made it to school. I tried to find images of the school and it looks like it isn’t there any longer, which I totally understand why lol.

When the teacher was passed out on the floor, my teacher Mr. Hollingsworth would send one of the kids in our class over to teach those kids. He would decide on who went to help by who passed the spelling bee and math bee for that day. It was first thing when we got there since we needed to go over right away.

While we lived in Hyder, we had to create our own entertainment. Our T.V. had three channels and that’s with Rabbit Ears. My dad always chose what he wanted to watch and it was always news. There were no discussions of arguments. We never argued because of the way my dad was and the constant fights that were very heated. I won’t go into that right now.

We did have a phone and our phones were on a party line. A party line is a shared service line. I think we had to share our line with 4 or 5 people. The way we knew if we had a call was because party-line-comicof a  code ringing system. I think our ring was a high pitch ring that rang three times. If we accidentally picked up someone else’s call, we just hung up and apologized. If we wanted to make a call, we had to pick up the receiver to make sure nobody was on the phone. None of us kids were allowed to make calls or receive calls. My parents always unplugged the phone after 5 since they went to bed around 6 pm and the same for us kids. Since we lived so far away from anyone, we didn’t really have many friends that would call anyhow.

desertI did make friends at church and my dads boss Jerome Thompson had kids our age, so their kids were our friends. My mom would allow me to walk over to Kim Thompson’s. But that was at least a 2-3 mile walk across the desert and I had to keep an eye out for rattle snakes since I had to walk right past the dens. My parents didn’t really care about us walking that far or the dangers I would come across. It would usually take me an hour or so to get there. That depends on how many stops I made to drink or sit down. If I seen a snake, I got there faster lol. Oh and also there is wild boars and no trees.

I usually always walked by myself. If something happened, nobody would know since there were no cell phones or anything out there. It would for sure NOT be anything I would ever let anyone I loved do.  I did know enough though to bring a gallon of water. That water was gone by the time I got to Kim’s and her parents were more than happy to bring me home. Since we couldn’t use the phone, I couldn’t call them to tell them I was coming over. I would say that during the summer, our thermometers showed that it was always 125% F.

cotton-field
This cotton shows the three kinds of cotton we would throw at each other. But, the one that is all the way out wasn’t as much fun as the other two lol. 

Since there was no entertainment or friends, we came up with ways to have fun. We would get up early on the weekends and during the summer. Most of our days were always outside. Because of how my parents always fought, we did anything to stay away. There was 5 of us kids, and we would play baseball, run, Frisbee, swim in the irrigation ditches, play in the orange groves and since we lived in cotton fields, we would play in the fields and throw the hard cotton ball pods. If the cotton was only partly showing, those hurt and they were sharp enough to cut ya.

 

We also played kick the cans, tag, running races and we played with cars on our made up dirt tunnels and roads. One of my favorite things to do was look for cool and unusual rocks in the gravel. It sounds boring, but I would spend hours looking for unusual rocks. That is until it got to hot outside,  They would bruise like nothing else if you got hit by one.

Because of the lack of any kind of technologies, we knew how to play and use our imaginations. We were exhausted because of how hard we played. Which having to go to bed so early, being exhausted was a good thing.  We weren’t allowed to sit around a computer, television or be on the phone 24/7. Since we couldn’t make any noises at night we had to sleep.

I won’t be going into any of the negatives in this series of posts. I’m going to do my best to talk about the positives. My next post will also be about living in Hyder and my faith and baptism happening in irrigation ditches. So, please check back.

 

 

 

 

Guillian Barre Awareness Month – Coming Soon

In September 1980 I had my first onset of Guillian Barre Syndrome. I ended up completely paralyzed from my feet to my forehead. I’ve had many people asking me to share my experience. I found out after I had a second round of Guillian Barre Syndrome because I was around a sick child. It was at this time that my Dr’s figured out that I have the CIPD variant of Guillian Barre Syndrome. Normally when you have Guillian Barre Syndrome, you will never have it when you’re getting better. Over the next week or two, I will be taking questions from anyone and I will do my best to give my experience.

Here’s a short video that will explain what Guillian Barre Syndrome is in a medical sense. But, I will be answering questions that pertains to my experience.

 

gbs

For the past year I haven’t been feeling good at all. Normally when I get sick I bounce back pretty fast. Since May is Guillian Barre Awareness Month, I decided that I will do things a bit differently. I have written other blogs about my experience and I will put links to all of those blogs, that way you can read them all. Since I will link all of the blogs and that way I won’t be repeating the same old things.

But, I’m going to do a Q&A type of blog post. If anyone has questions, I will post my answers on here in May.

So, you can comment on this post or you can email your questions. My email is s63angel@gmail.com