Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Random Reality Check




My top ten list of realities that are just too real for comfort.
Originally posted on Triond in 2012. 
                                                                                            
Do you brush and floss your teeth every day? Exercise and eat healthy? Why are good habits so easy to break; and bad habits so hard to shake?  Here is my top ten list of stuff that I know is true, I just wish it wasn’t. My list is probably different from yours, because I have Parkinson’s disease, but I’ll bet you can relate.
[Update: Five years later, and I still can't take my own advice.]


10) Cake and ice cream are just for birthday parties.
     S
ource: Dr. Jim Sears from the TV show "The Doctors."


     Oh, say it isn’t so! Dr. Sears is a pediatrician who says that this is the rule at his house for his own kids. Maybe that’s just a rule for kids...but Dr. Sears lost a bunch of weight in the first season, so if I want to lose a bunch of weight this year, I should follow his advice. Oh, Oh, IDEA! Could everyone reading this article please invite me to your birthday party this year? If you live too far away, I could just have some cake and ice cream here in your honour. We could Skype it...no?

9)  Exercise is good for people with Parkinson’s.
          Source: My neurologist, my family doctor, my neuromodulation clinician (the nurse who programs my Deep Brain Stimulation Device), my physiotherapist, my fitness instructor, all of the various publications I have read from the Parkinson’s Society, all of my fellow Parkinsonians, my husband . . .
     OK, okay, I get the message already! And I agree with all of you – I know that this advice is very wise. I just wish that it wasn’t true. Why can’t lying in bed hopped up on pain killers, watching TV be good for people with Parkinson’s instead? No?

8)  Being overweight is hard on the body.
          Source: all of the above, especially the last one. Plus I heard it on “The Doctors” again today.

     Hubby tries to say it nicely -- most of the time. Being fifty pounds overweight is like carrying a fifty pound load around ... and losing weight would reduce the strain on my knee and all of my other joints; yada; yada; yada. I hate it when he is right.

7)  The Internet is very addictive.
          Source: too many to list.

     Probably everyone who is reading this post knows about the addictive nature of the Internet. Otherwise why are you on the internet, reading my blog? The Couch Potatoes of yesterday are the Mouse Potatoes of today. Where did I spend all of my time before Facebook? Was there life before Facebook?

6) Old people can’t text.
        Source: my kids.

        I wrote an article entitled Why Old People Can’t Text way back in November of 2010. I have had two years to practice sending text messages since then, and I am a little faster now, but now I need bifocals to read the text...
 [Update: and five years later, still slow, now need trifocals.]

5) Two Bite Brownies should be eaten in two bites.
          Source: My daughter Megan. She is wise far beyond her 17 years.

     I took a break after #6 because I was running out of wise words. I joined Megan for an after school snack. We were discussing the wisdom of the two-bite brownie. I said that if you eat it in one bite, you won’t leave crumbs. That sounded wise, but really it wasn’t. I put a whole two-bite brownie in my mouth at once, and discovered that it was almost too much to chew. Megan said something quite clever, along the lines of “I told you so.” I hate it when the kids are right. It reminds me that they may be my caregivers one day, completing the course of role reversal.
[Update: Megan is 21 now. How time flies!]

4) The ability to laugh at one’s own stupidity guarantees a life full of laughter!
          Source: Apparently me. I found this one in my “Wise Words” file, and I had attributed it to myself. I don’t think that I would lie about something like the source of a quote.

     That one sounds self explanatory, and quite wise. I don’t remember writing that, but therein lies the wisdom of writing (or typing) things down and organizing them into files. That reminds me that I need to spend some more time writing down all of the cute and silly things that the girls did and said that I can remember. By the time they get married, I might be further along on the path to dementia, and I will need this information for my toast to the bride. At my wedding, my uncle gave a toast to the bride, and it was an actual piece of toast – cold and unbuttered at that.
[Update: Since the original posting of this article, one of my girls got married. They wouldn’t let me speak. Derek had specific instructions: ”Whatever you do, don’t let Mom get hold of a microphone!”]

3) Editing sometimes means cutting until it hurts.
        Source: My friend and fellow word smith, Terrie, from whom I have learned that I don’t know nearly as much about writing as I think I do.

     I know you might find this hard to believe, but I have a bit of a habit of rambling on and on, and sometimes I go off onto bunny trails that have nothing to do with the topic. I’ve entered a few writing contests that have word limits, and I have enlisted Terrie’s help to try to prune my work. It is not a task for the faint of heart. Once I sent her a work of fiction that was already twice as long as the limit and I had barely introduced my characters.

[Update: Terrie’s assessment included the notion that my “short story” sounded more like the first chapter of a novel. So instead of entering it into the contest, I expanded it into a novel, and had it published as “Sacrificed to Vanity”.]

     I read somewhere that when you take that cruel red pen (figuratively speaking), the first thing to do is to find a paragraph that you think is especially clever, and cut that out. That sounds harsh, but I have found it to be good advice for staying on topic. 

2) Make a plan first.
          Source: all of the organized and self disciplined people out there.
     I don’t like planning ahead. It is easier and so much more fun to figure things out as you go. My husband is one of those organized planning type people. He uses a lot of graph paper. His problem is finishing a project. He loves the planning stage, but when he runs out of steam and graph paper, it is hard to get him motivated again.
     My problem starts off as the opposite of Hubby’s, but the conclusion is the same. I start right in without a plan, but then I get bogged down by logistics and I don’t finish projects either. For example, this article may not have taken me all day if I had made an outline first, or at least figured out the ten   phrases first.
     But I am almost done now, and at least I knew what my #1 harshest reality truism was going to be.

      1)Ice cream doesn’t work as a medicine.
      Source: My cyber friend and fellow wordsmith Brenda Nelson. Hubby is also of this opinion.

     Bless the heart in that skinny body of hers, Brenda has pointed out the incongruity of my claim that ice cream is the best medicine with my complaints about my ever expanding keister. She also doesn’t buy my theory about gremlins in my closet shrinking my clothes. I know it too, but don’t tell Hubby.

Well, there you have it, my top ten harshest reality bites list. Do you have a few of your own? Leave a comment; I would love to hear from you.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Dontcha just hate it when .. . .



. . . .

I had planned to spend the whole morning knitting Derek's new slippers while watching game shows on TV, but then my obsessive/ compulsive nature took over, so instead I spent the whole morning trying to move an image on my blog (not this one, and not mylifewithparkinsons.blogspot.com but on karenscritters.blogspot.ca.

All I wanted to do was to change the picture of me sleeping with Mittens on my lap (nice picture, but a little outdated since Mittens ran away from home when we moved into town -eleven or twelve years ago- and I think I have mourned that loss for long enough), so I wanted to put up an image of me and Brandi,and then put a small picture of Brandi beside that one.

I spent about three hours trying to set up that page, and after all that, I still have not made the change. I just gave in to the way the website design monster wanted to go.

I know that some of my friends seem to be capable of clicking, cutting, and pasting magic, but I kind of miss the days when cutting and pasting involved a pair of scissors and some glue.

http://karenscritters.blogspot.ca/


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Making Daisy Chains




If you are reading this and you don't know that I am a Christian, welcome to my blog, you must be new here. Please stay and keep reading. I promise not to figure out the IP addresses of everyone who visits my site so I can track you down and ask if you know the Four Spiritual Laws. You are safe to lurk here. I have no idea what an IP address is or how to use one to track anyone. My lack of technological skills is pretty much your guarantee of anonymity.

The reason that I say this is that if you know me, either through personal contact or online (actually, especially online), you know that I am not one of those nice Christians. You know - the ones who say things like, "Well, being a Christian has been good for me, but I don't want to offend anyone by mentioning my beliefs in public. Whatever you believe is cool for you."

Nice Christians are tolerant people. They have found the narrow road: the one that leads to life. Eternal life. Abundant life. The most amazing life you can have one this side of Heaven. But they walk it quietly, or sit in the lovely meadow beside the path, making daisy chains so they don't disturb the people walking on the broad road. You know: the one that leads to death.

People who are on the road to death don't know and/or care that they are on the road to death. Most of them don't believe that there is a road that leads to death. If you tell them, they will be offended, and they probably won't like you anymore. They will say nasty things to you, using language that they hope will offend you so that you will shut up and go away.They might tell you that you are not acting like Jesus would act. Jesus was nice to people. He hung around with sinners, He was tolerant. In fact, the only people He said nasty things to were the religious people, like the Pharisees. He was really rude to them - like calling them a "brood of vipers". They took offense at that sort of thing. They shut Him up by nailing Him to a cross.

Some people think that the point of this story is that Jesus was tolerant of the sinners, but didn't think much of the religious people. That is so not the point of the story. That is like, half of the first line of the story.

Yes, Jesus loved the sinners, and they were the ones who hung around Him.The tax collectors, prostitutes, and other assorted sinners who followed Jesus believed that  He was the Messiah. They could tell by His words that He spoke as someone with authority. He spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven as if He was the king. When they asked Jesus what they must do to be part of His kingdom, He told them to repented of their sin and they would be forgiven. He set them free from the lifestyles that had enslaved them.

The "religious" people who were offended by His message did not believe that He was the Messiah. They did not repent of their sins. They would not admit, even to themselves that they were sinners or that they had any sin in their lives.

That is the difference between Christians and the other sinners. You see, we know that we are all sinners. The difference is not our good behaviour. Christ didn't give us a list of stuff we needed to do before we could be good enough to follow Him. We followed Him first, The changes in our behaviour came as the result of hanging around with Jesus. The more we let Him into our lives, the more He can work on cleaning up our lives.

Jesus said:
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." ( Matthew 7:13-14,)
  The last words that Jesus said before He ascended before their eyes back into Heaven were:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt 28:18 - 20)
 We call this the "Great Commission" and it is in obedience to Christ that we cannot be "nice Christians" and just ignore the rest of the world walking along on the road to destruction.

Picture this: a group of Christians has found the narrow path, plunked themselves down on the grass beside the path, and they are busy making daisy chains. A new Christian walks by. From his vantage point on the path, he sees the people on the wide, smoothly paved road as they blindly walk right off the end of that broad path and into the "pit". He turns to the Christians in horror, and asks, "What the hell are you doing? Don't you see those people, walking to their doom?"

The other Christians tell the newbie,"Oh they don't listen to us. They think we are delusional. Besides, maybe that road is fine. Maybe you are wrong about what happens to them at the end. Sit down, brother. Make a daisy chain."

"Why would I make a daisy chain? How is that gonna help those people?"

"We don't really know. Maybe they will see the pretty flowers in our hair and want to join us."

What do you think? If you were that new Christian, would you try to warn those people?

(All Scripture quoted from the New International Version,
 copyright 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society.)


       
                                                                 

Photo credit: https://morguefile.com/creative/kszchopstix/1/all

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

And the scientists said "Let there be life!..."

But they didn't actually create it.

This is an article that I wrote and posted on Triond in 2011.

And the Scientists said:  “Let there be life...”
...And ten years, twenty scientists, and $40 million later, there was life! Not a whole lot of life, just one cell, and not exactly created from ‘scratch,’ but, still, a major scientific breakthrough. Enough of those and maybe someday science will catch up with theology...
In May of 2010, Dr. Craig Venter and his team at the J. Craig Venter Institute, UCSD, announced that they had created the first synthetic self-replicating bacterial cell. It was a unique life form with 1.08 million chemical base pairs (human DNA has about 3 billion base pairs). But it was alive, and according to the report published it replicated over a billion times, producing copies that contained the new synthetic DNA.
Evolutionists celebrated this announcement as proof positive of the primordial soup theory – that the first life forms developed out of inorganic chemicals present in the gases that formed the earth’s atmosphere after the Big Bang. These chemicals were attracted to each other in totally random sequences, until finally the perfect sequence came together to form a DNA molecule that was self-replicating. If 20 scientists working under ideal conditions only took about ten years to design a self-replicating cell, then surely it could happen in the wild, given enough time. No more need to rely on some intelligent designer or God.
But Venter and team did not actually make their artificial life form from scratch. The “synthetic” chemicals they used came from...where? The Big Bang may have initiated the expansion of matter across the universe, but where did the matter come from?
Plus simple single- celled organisms are not actually all that simple. A single molecule of DNA, removed from a cell and stretched out can be about six feet long (Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator). Even a bacterial cell with “only” a million or so chemical base pairs is complex. Venter’s researchers came up with a unique DNA sequence, but only after spending more than ten years and $40 million dollars studying the ones that God made first.
And Venter and his team still have not been able to replicate a functional cell membrane to contain their uniquely designed genome (that’s all of the stuff that is inside a cell). Cell membranes have turned out to be a lot more complex than scientists thought they were. The wall of a cell is not just a bit of tissue holding the innards together. It has to be selectively permeable, which means that it takes nourishment in and lets waste material out. So for now, the scientists had to scoop out the innards of some existing bacteria cells, and replace the genome with their synthesized DNA constructed from chemicals in the laboratory.
If the finest of human scientists with the cumulative scientific knowledge of hundreds or thousands of years of studying the universe and the life it contains still cannot explain or replicate the membrane of the first single celled organism that they claim initiated the whole process of evolution that resulted in the unique DNA of every single life form that has ever existed on this planet – how could that happen by random chance? Too see actual numbers of the possibilities, see this site:
Primordial Soup Theory
My intention in writing this rant is not to denigrate the scientists who have spent their lives studying DNA and the human genome and the wonders of the universe. My intention is to point to the designer of these wonders. He not only created this ginormous universe to put us in, he gave us an innate curiosity about this creation, and he gave a few people in each generation a bit of extra gray matter to expand the collective knowledge about the universe.
So while I applaud the accomplishment of Dr. Craig Venter and his team, and I acknowledge that this is a giant leap forward for science, in my opinion they have not created life.
 My sources:

Friday, October 28, 2016

New definition: Purse Vomit



            Purse Vomit: [noun]: 


                1. the contents of a purse that needs to be washed 
                         because your cat knocked over your water glass .


                2. the matter ejected from your purse onto your bed 
                           while you wash your purse.

  


 

Hope my purse dries before bedtime! 

(Yes, that is a cat in the background, and no, she wasn't in my purse.)

(The purple yarn thing is a sweater I am crocheting.)




Monday, October 17, 2016

Not A Mused!






I'm sorry. Your regularly scheduled joke cannot be funny tonight. My muse called in sick. She says she broke her funny bone. I laughed. Never laugh at a muse with a broken funny bone. Now she says she is taking permanent leave of my senses.




Friday, October 14, 2016

The Torrid Tale of my Ingrown Toenails





Oh, the horrors to Behold!
A gruesome tale; best left untold!
The savage Beast that Gnaws its Prey
Whilst still Alive - then casts away!
The Brute will hunt again, I fear -
It loves to Munch my Toesies dear!




My poor toesies! The Ingrown Toenail Monster has developed a taste for my tender tootsies. It gnaws away at them, then leaves them alone long enough to grow some nice skin and nail, but then like a burglar who breaks in and steals a bunch of old crap that you didn't like anyway; but them he comes back after your insurance has replaced your stolen old crap with brand new stuff and this time he steals your new stuff; the Ingrown Toenail Monster comes back to gnaw its way back into your tender new toe flesh to send you back to the doctor to rip it out again!

Am I being just a bit overdramatic here? I am, after all, a professional hypochondriac with some real health issues and legitimate complaints -- and then I go and spoil your sympathies for poor little ole me by whining about an ingrown toenail?

But it hurts! Fortunately, due to my technical inadequacies, I am unable to transfer pictures from my phone to my computer, so I will have to spare you the gory colour photos of my latest "permanent" solution to the problem of ingrown toenails: the -Vandenbos procedure. I am going to attempt to give you a link to a YouTube video of a whole gory close up of an actual surgery just like the one that I had done:




Lovely, isn't it!?! Now my toesies will be rosies -- as soon as the second infection goes away.