Friday, September 12, 2014

The Quilt Holes.





Just a little Update to all of my Dear Friends on my health issues. First let me say I'm very sorry I haven't been around to visit ya'll lately. My health problems have got much, much worse and I will be seeing a Surgeon Monday on possibly having my Thyroid gland removed. The surgery is not in stone just yet but as far me, the decision has been made. This has been a long, hard journey and the mountains just keep getting more harder to climb. I've had Thyroid Disease (Hypothyroidism) for 22 years and it's now become Hashimoto's Disease. It's when something goes wrong with our immunine system and it attacks the Thyroid causing extreme inflammation and.all kinds of problems. It's amazing at how much that little gland controls our body and how much damage it can do when something happens to it. My days are basically spent laying around either burning up with heat, freezing to death, aches from my head to my toes, etc., etc. The list goes on and on but hopefully the surgeon will take pity sake on me and be willing to go ahead and remove it rather than wait till my body destroys it or worse turns to cancer and I Do Not want to even think about that.
But I want ya'll to know how much I appreciate each one of you and your friendship but most of all your prayers. I'll be back around to visit ya'll as soon as I'm able. I miss you and I'm praying for each one of you as well. God Bless, ~ Susie


As I faced my Maker at the last judgement,I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.
Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles: an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.
But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.
My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.
My gaze dropped to the ground in shame.I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter, but there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it. I had to start over many times.I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would melt within my skin beneath the judgemental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.
And now I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.
An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.
Then I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in his eyes. He said " Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let me shine through, until there was more of me than there was of you".

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

Author Unknown..

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Glory Of Morning




                                                     They appear in the morning
                                                      In the early mist of dawn
                                                      In all their splendid glory
                                                      Sitting on their throne

                                                      Growing beside the blue bells
                                                      The asters are misty with dew
                                                      Even the black eyed Susan's
                                                      Bow down to them too

                                                      The daisies are so excited
                                                      Snow white with glee
                                                      Such beauty so dominate
                                                      Streaming so elegantly

                                                      Each little passion flower
                                                      Blows kisses in the wind
                                                      Along side the cone flower
                                                      A welcoming transcend

                                                      Even the blue eyed grass
                                                      Grows more proud and tall
                                                      Trying to over shadow
                                                      Each forget me not call

                                                      Those lovely fringed orchids
                                                      Sway their fancy dress
                                                      An orchestra of cattails
                                                      A glorious concert at best

                                                      The cosmos are so happy
                                                      In their own hemisphere
                                                      Among a haven of paradise
                                                      So loudly, they cheer

                                                      Each morning is perfection
                                                      In the bright sunlight
                                                      Even the evening primrose
                                                      Wakes up thinking of night

                                                      Those pretty, little wine cups
                                                      Raise their cup so high
                                                      A toast to such creation
                                                      In the midst of beauty nigh

                                                      Even the reigning queen
                                                      Of Solomon in all his glory
                                                      The lilies of the field
                                                      Stand and bow accordingly

                                                      Climbing, climbing more high
                                                      On a glorious summer stroll
                                                      Those beautiful morning glories
                                                      What a sight to behold

                                                       © Susie Swanson, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

This Is The Face Of Hashimoto's






Hi. My name is Hashimoto's. I'm an invisible autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid gland causing you to become hypothyroid.
I am now velcroed to you for life. If you have hypothyroidism, you probably have me. I am the number one cause of it in the U.S. and many other places around the world.
I'm so sneaky--I don't always show up in your blood work.
Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.
I can attack you anywhere and any way I please.
I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.
Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?
I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now.
I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.
I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.
I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.
I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything.
I can make you feel very anxious with panic attacks or very depressed. I can also cause other mental health problems. You know crazy mood swings? That's me. Crying for no reason? Angry for no reason? That's probably me too.
I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me.
I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you lose weight. I don't discriminate.
Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.
If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons:
That virus or viruses you had that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress.) You may have a family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay.
I hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh. Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.
You will be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.
There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless - that high cholesterol, gall bladder issue, blood pressure issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me.
Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage?
That's probably me too.
Shortness of breath or "air hunger?" Yep, probably me.
Liver enzymes elevated? Yep, probably me.
Teeth and gum problems? TMJ?
Hives? Yep, probably me.
I told you the list was endless.
You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.
You'll be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of doctors you've seen, just how debilitating I am and how ill and exhausted you really feel. In all probability you will get a referral from these 'understanding' (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist.
Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I can be.
Some of them will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or "Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.
They'll also say things like, "if you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you'll feel better." They won't understand that I take away the 'gas' that powers your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things.
Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next. You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had that, and she's fine on her medication" when you desperately want to explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S taking, doesn't mean it will work for you.
They will not understand that having this disease impacts your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, and that every cell and every body system and organ requires the proper amount and the right kind of of thyroid hormone medication for YOU.
Not what works for someone else.
The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.
I am Hashimoto's Disease.


Many thanks to all of you that's sent prayers up for me. They have been heard and answered. I finally got a diagnosis. It may not be what I expected but God will continue to be there to help me along. I know this disease is not nearly as bad as what some of you are going through but just like many of you I stand on my faith and we will make it with God's help. I'd like to be able to say I'll beat this thing but that's left up to God. There's no cure for it and when it starts it just keeps going till the thyroid is completely gone.  I've had Hypothyroidism for 22 years and been on meds every day since. I urge everyone that has Thyroid Disease to be sure and mention you want your Antibodies checked also when you go for the Labwork. I've been doing alot of research on this and thyroid disease in general. I already knew how thyroid disease whether hyper or hypo ( high or low ) can do to our bodies when it gets out of whack. The only ones that even have Antibodies are the ones like myself that has the disease.  If they find the Antibodies elevated then you're in a whole heap of trouble .Your Thyroid will go low and then high, back and forth. On the ultrasound they will find lots of inflammation that just lays there and spreads till it destroys the gland. In some instances they'll also find Nodules on the thyroid. Mine has lots of inflammation and all they can do is monitor it and adjust my meds. as time goes along. But God is still in control.

Many thanks to each one of you for your patience and understanding. I'm so sorry I haven't been around to visit much but I'm going to try my best to check in as I'm able. I miss all of your great posts. Ya'll make my day. Thanks again for your prayers and May God Bless. ~ Susie

Friday, August 15, 2014

Grateful For Shoes






It seems we all take fer granted the little things in life, never once thinking about what it would be like to do without.
Hard times were a way of life back when I grew up and my parents had it even worse.  Folks made do the best they could with what little they had. Just having food on the table, a bed to lay our head or something that we don’t even think twice about today, a pair of shoes on our feet was worth so much more. God’s blessings are poured down on us everyday and we don’t know how fortunate we really are. If folks had to live like that today they’d never make it.

My parents grew up in a different time and learned to appreciate even more so, the little things in life. They raised us six younguns the same way. My mama always said, “be happy with what ya got, there’s lots of folks got less”. and she also said, “all the finery in the world can’t bring happiness”. I came to find that out over time and sittin down to milk and bread for supper was a feast compared to some, or getting a new pair of shoes when school started in the fall.  I’m a simple person and it doesn’t take much to please me.

We went barefoot through the warm months so much that we had trouble getting used to shoes when school started. Our feet were as tough as a pine knot and rusty as could be at the end of day. But we knew to scrub em clean before we crawled under mama’s clean bed clothes or she‘d skin our hides good. When we got a pair of new shoes we wore em plum out or handed em down to the next one when we outgrew em. That seldom ever happened.

My mama told how she went barefoot not only in the summer but even after the frost. Her daddy worked hard to keep em fed and put clothes on their backs. She came from a family of ten younguns. Back then they had big families and lots of mouths to feed.
She talked about walkin to catch the school bus on cold, frosty mornings and how cold her feet would get. When the bus finally came she’d jump up the steps fast as she could and sit in the seat with one foot propped on top of the other just to get em warm. She’d rotate em back and forth till she got to school.
When her daddy finally worked out enough money to get shoes, he’d buy fer the ones that needed em the most and the others had to wear what they had till he earned enough at the sawmill. He’d cut a slim, straight stick and measure their feet with it and carry it with him to buy the shoes. All the others that had to wait their turn, he’d take a hammer and tacs and put the soles back together the best he could. He’d try to fix em so the tacs wouldn’t come through to their feet and keep the soles from flapping. He’d even put cardboard in between the shoe and the sole. She said, sometimes the tacs would work their way through to their feet but they weren’t about to tell their daddy or mama cause they had enough to worry about.

Back then shoes were a luxury and they were tickled to death to get a new pair even if they were brogans as my mama used to call em.
 She said some of the other younguns that were always blessed with new clothes and shoes made fun of em.  It really hurt her bad and one evening when she got on the bus to come home, this one boy that had been makin fun of her fer a while with his sniggerin and laughing met his match. She’d just got a new pair of brogans and she pulled one off and almost hammered his head through the floor of that bus. The bus driver had to pull over to get it stopped. She said what she was scared of the most was that she’d ruined her new shoes. When she got off the bus she looked em over good and decided that it only helped to wear em in. Needless to say, he never did speak to her anymore . She said he dodged her every chance he got.

It broke my heart when she told that story and now when I look back I realize that was one of the reasons she and daddy both worked so hard to give us more than they ever had. Along the way they taught us to appreciate it too, and never make fun of the less fortunate.
We may not have had the best of shoes or clothes and sometimes my brothers wore their britches with holes in the knees to school but one thing’s fer certain, they were clean. My mama always said, “rags are honorable but there’s to much soap and water to go dirty.”

She sure learned early on in life how to patch a pair of britches to last. Of course, having so many brothers and then four boys, she didn’t have a chose. Even in later years folks brought their britches to her to patch em. She couldn’t turn anyone down. Mama had a soft heart fer people cause she remembered her raising. And she always said, “be proud of your raising.”

 She always got the Sears and Roebuck or Speigel catalogs in the mail and every year they had big back to school sales. She called em the wish books cause we’d look holes in em. She ordered a lot of our school clothes on time and made a small payment every month. She couldn’t afford to order much. We mostly wore hand me downs. Since I was the oldest my hand me downs came from girls close to my age that lived in the neighborhood. That was after they found out it wouldn’t hurt our feelings none. Most people were worried about that back then. When I grew out of em I passed em on down to my one and only sister.

One year I found a pair of the most beautiful, yellow sandals I’d ever seen in my life. I wanted those sandals so bad that I could taste it. Mama didn’t mind ordering em but wanted me to have something that would keep my feet warm with frost fast approaching. All of my old shoes were worn out and there’d be none to fall back too. I kept on till she ordered them and I’ll never forget the day they came. I put those sandals on and pranced around like I was Cinderella.
 Sure enough when cold weather came, I was in a mess. We had to dig out a pair of my best, old shoes and take em to the shoe store in town to see if he could do anything with the soles. That man was the best at making shoes look like new of anybody I’ve ever seen. He put the soles back together like new. I wore em till mama got her bill paid down some. She ordered me some warm shoes to do me the rest of the school year. I certainly learned my lesson. Pretty is as pretty does.

Needless to say, that shoe repairman was a God send. He’s still there today in the exact same spot. There’s no tellin how many shoes that man has fixed over the years. And if anybody needs their shoes fixed today, he’s the man to do it.
He also has big racks of new and like new shoes. Daddy bought all of his from that little store. He claimed that was the only place he could find any that fit. Daddy liked his shoes a size longer. We all called them Clod Hoppers.  I’ll never forget one summer after he’d grown older and was showin his age, we talked him into getting some men’s sandals. We told him they’d keep his feet cooler in the summertime. We never dreamed he’d love em so much. He was comin in the front door one day and there was a step up ya had to make to get in the door and he stumped his toe and almost fell flat on his face. We tried not to laugh till mama said, “them Jerusalem Cruisers are gonna be the death of ya yet.”
Of course he and mama wore theirs till the soles fell off tryin to keep us in shoes.

 When I look back on the many times I run barefoot and stumped my toes nearly off, it brings joy to my heart and makes me wanna do it all again. There’s nothing that can compare to busting a big mud hole wide open, even if we knew we’d get the toe itch. But as my mama used to say, “ there’s nothing like being grateful fer shoes when ya got none at all and ya feet feels like a block of ice.”

                                                            © Susie Swanson, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

That Old Wooden Chair





 That old wooden chair was his favorite spot to be
Sitting in the sunshine in the warmth of the day
Looking out across the land he loved so much
It stirred up memories that carried him away

He always took pride in those big cornfields
 He plowed from sun up to sun down
There’s nothing left but underbrush now
Nary a stalk of corn planted in the ground

Those fields made good corn back in the day
He hauled many a load to the gristmill
Even if it took him all day in that wagon 
On an old gutted out road, most of it uphill

He always tried to share his bounty with others
Everyone wasn’t fortunate to have a good year
Even the stalks made for good fodder
That livestock sure did make it disappear

There was always plenty of planting going on
Whether it be corn or gardens growing so kind
Had to eat come summer or winter
Everything was canned, nothing was left behind

Even before the harvest had time to come in
He thought about winter and what it would bring
He had to keep the home fires burning, or else
If the weather got to bad and firewood got lean

He’d been all over those mountains and hills
Cutting and snaking out wood, it was the only way
That old mule knew how to work hard
He sure could pull that sled on any given day

One can never have enough wood to burn
In the winter when the sun sets low in the sky
Back when he was young and strong
Work was a pleasure, he could never deny 

He could still hear those cherished words
Come on home now, it’s suppertime
He’d grab a dipper of cold, spring water
A sure cure for a hot thirst every time

Sitting on the porch in that old wooden chair
With his sweetheart, wife and best friend
Meant more to him than anything in the world
Oh how he yearned to do it all over again

There’s that pretty little grove of apple trees
Been there many a year, and so content
She helped to plant them, they brought a smile
Even with their trunks so bowed and bent

Her pretty flowers still bloomed in the spring
He always told her she had a green thumb
More beauty than an old man’s heart could hold
He’d soon see her, she was waiting for him to come

Awe, it sometimes brought tears knowing
Time and circumstance had left him behind
Yearning for the things he’d lost and loved 
 Made him feel like he wasn’t worth a dime

He knew his life’s work was over and done
Remembering those bygone days brought a smile
They sure knew how to lift an old man’s spirits 
From the warmth of that chair, if only for a while

Today the old house is so empty and quiet
 Nary a sound but the mantle clock’s tick
Plenty of reminders in every nook and crack
Over in the corner is that little walking stick

The sun still shines on that little window seat
The little birds sing but there’s no one to hear
So much nostalgia and loneliness left behind
In the heart of that old wooden chair

© Susie Swanson, 2014

 Thought I'd better post something to let ya'll know I'm still alive and kicking. I'm still a long ways from kicking high but I'm getting there. I've missed ya'll and hope to be back soon. . Many thanks for the prayers. God Bless, Susie

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

God Is Near

                                       

                                           
                                         
                                           Looking back along the years
                                           I can see the hand of God
                                           Leading me down every path
                                           that my feet have trod

                                           I can see the long, steep hills
                                           that I dreaded so to climb
                                           Now I know he went with me
                                           up them everytime

                                           And I think he walked with me
                                           when I thought I walked alone
                                           Through those far away shadows, dark
                                           valleys I have known

                                           And the times I could not walk
                                           he carried me on through
                                           The sorrows and heartaches
                                           he lessened them too

                                           Though I am only human
                                           he knows me very well
                                           Without him by my side
                                           I would be nothing but a shell

                                           So today why should I doubt
                                           and today why should I fear
                                           Sometimes I shall look and see
                                           even now, God is near

                                          © Susie Swanson, 2014

For several months now I have been in a battle with Health Issues. For reasons I don't care to go into I can not give any details at this time.. I'm now under three Specialists and still have a long ways to travel. Even though my journey has been a long one there's lots of folks out there in far worse shapes and I'm praying for all of them and ya'll as well. I know ya'll have been praying for me and that's what's kept me going. The power of Prayer is an awesome thing and we serve an awesome Father that loves us and sticks by us through thick and thin. What can I say, God is Good All The Time. I want to thank each one of you for your prayers,. Because of my Sickness I'm taking a break from my Blog until my health improves. It has become increasingly difficult for me to keep up with anything these days. I miss all of you and visiting your posts. I have always looked forward to all of them but since I got sick it's been very hard to keep in touch. I'll be back as soon as I can and until then ya'll hold down the fort and May God Bless each one. ~ Susie

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Old Barn





                                                 There's an old barn
                                                 sitting all silent and still
                                                 what a story it could tell
                                                 out there in that big, open field

                                                 Back when times were different
                                                 there were alot of things going on
                                                 to look at the old barn today
                                                 no one would never have known

                                                 It was very fond of the cows
                                                 that used to all gather in
                                                 when it came milking time
                                                 and the milk they were willing to lend

                                                 Oh those pesky chickens
                                                 they were always running around
                                                 looking to build their nests
                                                 for then they were homeward bound

                                                 It could never forget the horses
                                                 that each evening had to be fed
                                                 especially during the winter
                                                 before they were put to bed

                                                 Oh how it loved the children
                                                 when they used to come and play
                                                 up in that big, old hayloft
                                                 each and everyday

                                                 There the old rope is still hanging
                                                  they used to swing on that old thing
                                                  with all their child-like noise
                                                  what joy it did bring

                                                  The old barn surely did feel needed
                                                   in that other place and time
                                                   it seems so sad today
                                                   just to walk away and leave it behind
       
                                                   In my mind I'll hold on to the picture
                                                   when I walk through that big, old door
                                                   then it'll stay with me forever
                                                   and never be forgotten anymore

                                                  © Susie Swanson, 2014

Hope all is well with ya'll. We've had a rainy few days but that's fixing to change. Cool weather coming in. Practically unheard of this time of year. Canning season is in full swing and I haven't been able to do much this year. Mostly freezing alot of stuff. But like the old sayin, "It'll beat a snowball anyday" Ya'll take care and don't work to hard. Blessings, Suse