Saturday, April 09, 2011
Ten Commandments of Frugal Living
Just letting everyone that follows this blog know that I am moving to another server site for blogs as I am not fluent in HTML and wordpress helps me with that! The new site is at:http://pargasjunkyard.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/hello-world/?preview=true&preview_id=1&preview_nonce=51ba2661d0 Todays post: Ten Commandments of being Frugal Posted on April 6, 2011 by pargasjunkyard My husband and I laugh at each other and call ourselves frugal as we walk into the local thrift shops. But what does frugality mean? Dictionary.com defines frugality as economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving orsparing; not wasteful: entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty. Life is not about what one has but more about how one uses what one has. By learning to live by the following principles you too can become "Frugal"! Thou shalt not buy things you don't need. Lets face it, most of us are drawn to those items we see advertised daily which we really don't need. After all Wants and Needs as I tell my children "are two very different things". In other words one may "Need" clothing but buying brand new designer clothing at Saks 5th Avenue is a "Want", not a need. Buying the latest Iphone or the newest version of the IPad is another example of buying "wants" not "needs". In Life one only needs Food (which includes water), Shelter (which includes clothing of course to shelter our bodies), and Love to Survive. One does not have to do without "wants" one just must budget and plan for these and avoid the pull of impulse buys. Being able to control yourself and having the willpower to buy only the things one needs is at the heart of living frugally. In other words, If you don't need an item, don't buy that item! Thou shalt only buy when you have the money. Having the money in your wallet to purchase the items one buys is the cornerpost of frugality. To control your finances by budgeting and saving enables one to pay with cash rather than with one's credit card, thus preventing additional cash from going out to pay for the interest and fees that would accrue. This ensures that you will not end up paying far more for an item than you do when using cash. A rule we live by is that if we do not have the cash in hand or available by debit only we cannot afford to purchase any item we may want! Thou shalt purchase by value, not price. When you purchase any item take into account other factors other than just price. A products life expectancy or durability is just as important as the cost. One of the biggest misconceptions about being frugal is that those who are frugal only purchase things that are cheap or the very lowest price. Taking into consideration the best value for the price paid is just as important as paying the lowest possible price! The long term cost must be considered when purchasing any item and is every bit as important as the initial purchase price. Thou shalt be patient. To be frugal mean not buying the latest gadget as soon as it arrives on the store shelves. This means I don't have the latest IPhone or even the latest IPod… in fact I don't even own an IPhone, but just recently upgraded my cell phone to a touch screen, something I have waited for patiently over the last few years. This cell phone may not be the latest but it does what I want it to do and is not so old that it is made of stone. Most of all I did not have to pay an ungodly amount for the phone (my husband bought it off Craigslist) and I am not locked into any kind of contract because I "wanted" a touch screen phone! In waiting rather than rushing out and immediately buying any new technological gadget those who hold back (for even just a short period of time) are able to obtain the same item for a much more reasonable price. By staying a generation or two behind on the latest gadgets, anyone can still have these electronic gadgets, the gadgets still perform the functions that need to be done and one can get them for a fraction of the price. Thou shalt buy used. One of the most important cornerstones of being frugal is to get the best value from what you have purchased. Most of the time this means purchasing the item used. To be frugal is to allow someone else the joy of purchasing the item brand new by letting them to pay the full retail price. By allowing this other person their joy at owning something brand new they are paying the premium pricing for brand new products that depreciate and lose value over time for you. An example would be the difference in the costs of purchasing a two year old vehicle instead of buying the auto brand new. Used products are often a fraction of the price of the new models and in many instances perform the needed task just as well. Thou shalt look for alternatives before buying. An honestly frugal individual would not go out and immediately buy a wanted item. All alternatives must be considered prior to spending ones paycheck monies on something he might only use a few times. One must consider whether they might have something on hand that might work for the same task, consider the cost of purchase vs rental, or could one borrow this item from a neighbor, friend or other place? And what of the option of potentially trading or bartering for the item? There are many ways to get things you may need, buying with cash is only one way! Thou shalt ignore the Joneses. In learning to live a life of frugality one must come to the knowledge that it is not about who has the most but about what one does with what one has. Having something just because your friend or another family down the street owns it is not the most important thing. Your and your family's true "needs" are what are important, not playing the game of "Keeping up with the Joneses"! Thou shalt not pay full retail price. Never allow yourself to pay the full retail cost for any item if you can help it! There are many ways to keep from paying a stores full asking price from coupons and discounts to waiting for the item to go on sale and even negotiating with the store for a lower price. Preparation is the key! Using forethought and ingenuity there is never any reason to pay full retail cost for any item you purchase. Know your prices, check the sales flyer first and print out any necessary coupons prior to any shopping trip! Thou shalt not waste. Those that live a frugal life are friends of the earth…Reduce, Repurpose, Reuse and Recycling on a regular basis the items they possess. These people are "Green" conscious, and to them "waste" is a dirty word. Wasting anything, not just ones cash but beyond that wasting resources, knowledge, abilities or even one's time is not a part of the frugal life. Thou shalt do things yourself. DIY or "Do it Yourself" is one of the most important parts of being frugal. Rather than hiring tasks out frugal people will figure out how to complete the project themselves. Knowledge is power they say… if they don't know how to do a task frugal persons will research their projects, either to learn how to complete the task themselves or to find out whether the task is complicated enough to the point where hiring an expert is warranted. Frugal people rarely are willing to spend their hard earned cash on tasks they can accomplish themselves. Living frugally is not as difficult as some would imagine and with practice you could even come to enjoy it!
Posted at 12:32 pm by sonyaparga
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Cassaroles; the new old way to save!
A few weeks ago when I talked about our monthly grocery trip I mentioned stretching the hamburger into a number of meals. Just how far can one pound of hamburger be stretched with everyone not feeling as if they are eating a meatless dinner? I grew up learning to cook for a family of ten, and then ended up with five children of my own, all big eaters. These days I am only feeding three (all over 17), leftovers are frequent and are often used in casserole type meals. I am lucky as my husband usually loves any casserole which makes keeping his belly happy less of a problem!
Last week I started with the first quarter pound dish from that same batch of ground beef. This first dish tonight started with leftovers, a common practice around our home. We call this one hamburger stroganoff. I used leftover extra noodles with alfredo sauce we had as a side dish a few days earlier. Stroganoff is one of the easiest dishes I make. And it only takes about 30 minutes to complete! If you have some sour cream and cream of mushroom soup, and practically any kind of noodles you can make the simple version with ground beef. Or you can dress the dish up like I tend to. I always add onions, salt and pepper at the least. Then I go through the refridgerator and start adding more I'd I happen to have it. My favorites to add are cut up fresh mushrooms, And some Cajun seasoning in addition to using an Alfredo base for the sauce. I have in the past added green chili's diced up and used a green chili seasoning ( instead of the Cajun seasoning) for a New Mexican / southwestern style flavor. Whatever I end up adding to the ground beef I usually mix this all together then go ahead and add noodles (I prefer rigatoni or penne) prior to serving at the table.
Tonight we will have another cassarole from the second 1/4lb of ground beef. Tonights dish is a version of Hashbrown cassarole, yes another cassarole! Basically, for most hamburger cassaroles I fry up the 1/4 pound of ground beef then add it to other ingredients. The added ingredients tonight are garlic, onion, cream of mushroom soup, shredded cheese, frozen hashbrowns and again Salt and Pepper and any other spices, etc... you might want to add for flavor. I like using cajun seasoning or worchestershire sauce, and occasionally use seasoned salt in place of regular table salt. I also at times use cut up green chili to add flavor and add some green chili seasoning for a spicy taste. This is all mixed together, put into a cassarole dish, and cooked in the oven at 350 degrees for around 30minutes.
You really cannot goof up cassaroles or any version of spaghetti / linguini and I have never had anyone go away from my kitchen table hungry! Try a cassarole soon with your family, the new old way to save in the kitchen!!!
Do you have any favorite cassarole dishes? How do you stretch your ground beef in your dishes? Please leave a comment and share with everyone how you make your meat dollars go further!
Posted at 03:52 pm by sonyaparga
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Invisible Illnesses...Rarely noticed but life changing nonetheless!
This is not by myself but by a facebook friend and fellow RA sufferer.
by Alexandria Czaruk Clark
This is a note I wrote and posted on my profile this evening, I thought I would share with all my RA Chickes.....I hope you enjoy!
So my husband texted me today and told he that he had a new appreciation for me. I said ok? He told me that he had a family come in to his hotel tonight where the mom had RA. He said that the Mom looked like she was in so much pain and the clerk working with him looked at her and said, "She doesn’t have a medical condition!" To make matters worse the other clerk put them on the 4th floor even though the reservation specifically said 1st floor for medical reasons! My husband moved them to a first floor room and helped them get settled! I guess what I am getting at with all this is.....Just be cause we don’t look sick doesn't mean we aren't sick!
There are a million people out there with very noticeable medical conditions/illnesses but there are just as many of us with Invisible illnesses as well! Now I am not saying we are any more sick then the rest of the people with a noticeable disease but it does seem that just because we don’t use mobility devices, have a G-tube or are hooked up to an IV line 24-7 that we are then classified as NOT SICK! If there is one thing that I cant stand it is being told that I am not ill, feeling pain or have the right to complain! There are many invisible illnesses out there: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, MS, Infertility, Neuropathy, Seizure disorders, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, PMDD, Heart Conditions, Panic Disorder & so many more! We CAN go to the store, drive a car, fold laundry, cook, clean & raise children but we do it in a much different & usually painful way. We tend to compartmentalize our days in to what HAS to be done, what CAN be done & what CAN WAIT for later in order to make sure that certain things, the important things get accomplished. If we have a support system in place then we also rely very heavily on them as well, which sometimes seems like we are just a big burden and that in it's self is hard enough to deal with. We have feelings and we hurt just as everyone else does but sometimes the simple things in life can cause major challenges for us & sometimes keep us from doing the things we love to do!
The symptom's vary depending on illness but they can be anything from emotional pain of coping with that fact that your body as failed you to being in severe physical pain from inflammation of the joints or even just the run down & fatigued feeling because you blood sugar is out of balance! We don’t choose these symptom's and we all have our own way of dealing with them, some of us take meds & others go to therapy(physical or mental) but in the end we are all looking for the same desired result.....NOT TO BE IN PAIN!
Now I my self have a handful of invisible illnesses and while I don’t look sick to the naked eye, if you go could just go beyond skin deep you would see another side to my life! I have a regiment of meds I must take daily just to function and while most are harmless to me directly there are a couple that can really stop me in my path or at least the side effects from the meds can, all in it’s self! I can tell you that my BIG RA med is a biologic and while that may sound like I am getting relief, it can be the exact opposite! The main job of the Biologic med I am on is to shut down my immune system so that my body stops attacking it self, with that goes a handful of issues in it’s self....Hair loss, Nausea, Headaches, fatigue and the worst one of them all is that I am susceptible to every single illness I come in contact with because I have no immune system to fight it off! I currently have a stomach virus my oldest son gave & from the looks of things I will be getting a URI from my daughter soon! It hurts to move a lot of the time and even as I type this I have to take breaks to allow my hands a rest but I am not alone in this fight as I know there are many others out there just like me!
If you think it is hard to be an adult with an invisible illness just try being an adult w/ a child who has an invisible illness, I think that might be even worse! My daughter is currently in the process of being diagnosed(we get results on Monday) with her own set of diseases & it is so hard to watch her go through the pain, stiffness and side effects to some of the medications she was placed on for relief! To know where she is headed(as I am already there) is very scary and upsetting for me as a parent but I know that with knowledge, support and compassion for others that she will make the best of a bad situation! Children are so much stronger then we give them credit for, I love that about them!
I am not asking for a red carpet to be laid out for all of us, I am not even asking that you treat us any differently then you normally would what I am asking for is what all of us with an invisible illness want....To Be Accepted & Understood! All we ask is that you not judge us by the way we look and that you try to understand the daily battles we fight internally. We all want to be treated with respect and to assume that because we don’t look sick we aren't is probably one of the most disrespectful thing you could do!
I did not right this to anger people, upset anyone or even looking for special treatment! I wrote this as my way of expressing how I feel about the stereotype those of us with an invisible illness face everyday! Again, I am not saying that there aren't worse people out there in this world, cause I am sure there most certainly are, all I am trying to say is that there is a large group of us who struggle with daily battles and all we want is for the rest of the world to understand that we do exist and NO we are not faking it! So remember when you are walking around the grocery store or you are shopping at the mall....Be Kind, Compassionate & most of all Understanding because we are all human, some of us just may live a little bit differently, even if you can't notice it right away!
Posted at 02:07 pm by sonyaparga
Selling a Home in a Down Economy Part 4: I need a new Project!
Are you one of those people like me that enjoys projects? Especially projects around the house? I love renovation and repairing things around our home. But after 4 years of working on this home I am eager to sell! Why? I need new projects! LOL... how many of you would move for new projects? Well that is one reason for me...among others! With the turn of the seasons coming up I am eager to start a new project. Over the past 5 years in this house we have redone the backyard and I now have areas both for my vegetable garden and my flower garden. I know I will go ahead and put in a small vegetable garden again, even with the home on the market! I am looking forward to watching a garden grow again! I enjoy turning the soil, feeling the warm dirt between my fingers as I plant the fledging seedlings. I am thinking of putting in some rose bushes in the front yard also along the edge of the walk up to the front yard. Roses are my favorite flower other than daisies. If I can find some shasta daisies here that will live through the snow and cold we get in the winter I might plant some of those also. My problem is I don't want to do all the work and then sell the house and let someone else enjoy the fruits of my and my families labor! Some of you that are on my facebook saw my photo's a few years back as my sons helped me design and recreate our backyard. I love the way it turned out and really don't want to give it up! Our contract with the realtor goes through March...do I keep the house on the market or not? Do I stick it out and stay here? I have no idea whether we will just end up refinancing or try again to sell this place! What I can tell you is that if we do end up selling my next home will have a soaker bathtub in the master bathroon!
Posted at 01:12 pm by sonyaparga
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Saving Money At the Grocer's!
I love to save money! Doesn't everyone? I am one of those people that you may end up hating if you are behind me in the grocery line however! Getting ready to go on our monthly grocery trip takes time. It takes time to make the list, then it takes time to go over any coupons I already have, and then even more time is spent on the internet looking for, finding, and printing out coupons for items both on my shopping list as well as any I find that I think I may use on this upcoming grocery shopping trip. After all this, for most trips I try to organize the coupons I now possess! Finally my husband takes me to the first grocery store. Once at Smiths (the grocery store I prefer) we always head first to the deli counter where we get our cup of coffee. This cup of coffee is very important as the monthly grocery trip can take up to 3 hours at this first store! We wind our way throughout the store then, aisle by aisle. On each aisle as we pick and choose items we then remove each corresponding coupon and do our best to keep these separated for use at the checkstand. With each item we also compare the prices of brand name items with the store version, keeping in mind any coupon savings we might be using. Alot of the time I end up just placing the coupon by the brand name item and buying the store's brand and still save money! When I get to the meat counter the first thing I do is check out any sales on seafood, today I got some good size shrimp on sale for $5.99/lb which is a good savings in New Mexico! Then I head to the meat markdown section. In this section I can usually find some great savings! Today I found some thin sliced steaks which my husband loves! Also on markdown today I found chicken legs and some boneless chicken breasts. Unfortunately I did not find any markdowns on hamburger meat which was on my list so I then headed to the family size meat section... where the hamburger is in bigger packages and add 1 3lb pkg to our grocery cart. This will be split into two 3/4 pound packages for taco's or spagetti and the rest for hamburgers later this month. By buying the larger size package I have saved a couple dollars over all on the hamburger. I also saved on this trip by buying two packages of london broil for approximately $7 each. Each package had two london broils in it making each london broil cost me around $3.50! Each of these london broils will probably make 2 meals for my family of three dropping my meat costs for each of those dinners down to about $1.50! Wow! That is awesome in my mind! I did pretty good at the chicken section also, finding chicken legs marked down to $0.87 / lb! Each of these family packs will go for at least 2 meals, once again bringing my meat costs for these chicken meals to around $2.00/meal! My goal is to keep my meat costs below $5 per meal so when I catch great finds like these I get excited as I know I am finding money for the special items we only buy occasionally! I also find some pork chops on markdown and breakfast chops on sale so all in all the meat section saved us on the final bill! After finishing up with the meat section I realize that the store coupons were not in my purse! Horrified I run out to the truck to see if they are there. Not finding them anywhere I head back into the store to inform my husband that one of us needs to go home and find them. These coupons are important, especially the double points coupon! Smiths redeems these points every 3 months and sends us coupons for items we purchase on a regular basis as well as cash back towards groceries. They also give us points for 10cents off at the gas pump. I know this grocery bill is a big one and there is no way I am about to lose the double points! My wonderful hubby takes off for home while I continue shopping. I head to the make-up and soap, etc... aisle where I find some lipstick and eyeliner that are already marked down 20% that I can put a $3.00 coupon we have towards! Johnnie must have driven fast as I don't get through but a couple of aisles before he returns with my 17yr old daughter to help push the second cart I am now tugging. We keep going through the aisles, one by one until we are completely finished with the entire store. I believe all the employees here know us by now as the manager motions for my husband to head to one of the previously unopened registers, he knows we will take awhile! Three carts and $353 later we are headed out the door! Yes, we spent a good amount of money today on groceries, but we also saved $78 just by buying store brands, making the most of markdowns and taking the extra time to clip some coupons! We also have enough meat in the freezer for more than a month now, and enough food in the pantry to last at least a month. The only groceries we will need for the next 30 days will be perishables, like dairy products and fresh fruit/vegies! And this is actually a big grocery bill for us, we usually only spend around $220 the first of the month! But since we are expecting our income tax refund soon I must admit I splurged on some goodies we love but don't usually get!
For more information on coupon clipping, internet coupon sites and a whole ton of savings I recommend your checking out the following site:
Posted at 08:14 pm by sonyaparga
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Life is a Learning Experience!
Writing a blog is interesting as well as a learning experience. I am told one is to write about what one knows, what one is interested in, what excites you, or about family, etc... Well, those that know me know my life is a soap opera. Nothing in my life is normal and I don't believe will ever be! Not that I don't like my life, I do, very much! My life has given me a perspective on many things that few ever are privy to get. I have experienced alot in just 51 years *(ok...almost 52). I grew up with 7 siblings, attending college then dropping out and finally years later getting a degree while working full time and trying to raise 5 children. I have been married 4 times now (married almost 10yrs / divorced, married almost 10yrs / widowed, single, married 6wks / divorced, single 5yrs, and once again am now married and on our second year of marraige). In the middle of all this I raised 5 children for 12yrs then had to watch as over the next 4yrs each of my 3 oldest children decided to move back to their fathers home. No matter what I have experienced throughout my life this was the hardest thing ever! I have lived in Northern California, Southern California, Missouri and now live in Albuquerque, NM. I have moved 13 times over the years! I have owned 5 homes and even one mobile home too! I have lived in 3 different states yet have never in my life left the United States, not even when I lived only 30 minutes from the Mexican border! I have built a career as I watched disease drag my body down and then lost that career when I could no longer handle the long hours or stress involved. I have had friends, I have lost friends, I have had many aquaintances, some which have become the best of friends! I have had dreams, watched dreams crumble, rebuilt dreams and watched those crumble as I again worked to rebuild my life over and over again. I dream of vacations abroad, of taking more classes and learning more, of returning to work someday, of what I will plant in my garden this spring. My life today continues to be a learning experience as I go through each day. My current marriage grows daily, my youngest child soon graduates from high school and will leave for college this fall. I have had to learn to live with less as I deal with pain and changes my RA and other auto-immune illnesses leave me with daily. Three things have remained constant throughout all of this, my love for God, my love for family and my love for life! Life is a challenge, an ongoing mystery, but most of all a learning experience! Learn from it, Challenge it, Grow with it.
Posted at 12:01 pm by sonyaparga
Saturday, February 19, 2011
It is all in the attitude....and the changes of life....
So I haven't been so great lately at writing in my blog....sorry 'bout that! My life tends to get busy sometimes! It may only be my husband, myself and my 17yr old daughter at home right now but sometimes it seems life moves faster these days than when it did when all 5 of my children lived at home! And that has not been the case since 1993 or so when my oldest son Stephen moved back to California to live with his father. That was the beginning of the exodus! A year or two later my second child, Danny, decided he wanted to live with his father and he too moved back to California. Then a few years later Stephen moved back home to Missouri the middle of his junior year in high school and 6 months later my oldest daughter Krystie made her decision to move back to Burney, California with her father and Danny. That was just a few months after my second husband passed away from Cancer. That summer I made a decision that would change alot in my life. I decided to rent the house in Missouri out and move the kids and I back to California again, this time to Fresno. Now if you know Califonia , you know Fresno is just about the last place anyone would want to live in California! But there I was, moving my family to the same place I had years previously claimed I would never live! LOL... but this is my life.... constantly changing! I spent 10 years in the Fresno/Clovis area, made some of the best friends I would ever make but also went through some of the darkest times in my life there. Dated a few men, all of whom I am glad I am no longer with.... even married one man! But ended up divorcing him a few weeks later after finding out he was nothing but a con man.... in fact I ended up paying him off just to get the divorce finalized a few years later when the judge told him that if he didn't agree to take the $$ the judge would make sure he got absolutely nothing in the end! My question was why did the judge even suggest giving him anything at all! LOl... but that is the way it went.... so when my health decided to go downhill not many of my friends thought it strange that I decided to move again! But this move was different...This move was to a town I loved, a town I had told friends years previously that I wanted to retire to some day! When I moved here I brought 2 of my children with me, the two youngest that still lived at home.... they really were not happy with this move their mother was making them go along with! Four years later my youngest son, Aaron decided one day to move to Arizona to his brothers home and I was left with only my youngest daughter at home. Angela is now a senior in high school and threatens to move out every other day! She is a typical 17, almost 18yr old kid... thinks she knows it all and has all the answers...thinks Mom knows nothing and has no idea about life! Right now she is sulking in the bedroom because of her attitude... Why is it my youngest always has the attitude? Not that the others don't get "attitude" themselves and especially when they were 17 but for some reason this youngest one of mine is all "attitude"! Especially when we have company or are visiting someone! OH, and it doesn't help when her brother in law tells her "Your mom is just a B**&h.... Right about now I am thinking he may be changing his mind in a few years when his own very independent and strong-willed daughter gives him "attitude"! (She already does this but being just 5 tomorrow he is bound to see more of this as she grows into the teen years herself!).... Oh... I was talking about Albuquerque when I got sidetracked.... I love ABQ! Not only because being high desert it is very beautiful but I love being able to see the Sandia Mountain as well as the Monzano Mountains every day! The views here are endless and never boring! The Rio Grande is gorgeous as it winds its way through the town southward towards Mexico. Oh, and did I mention the wonderful man I found here? I am once again happily married, this time to a man that I know loves me so very much, a man that tries every day to make me happy, a man that makes his purpose in life finding ways to make me happy.... If you are looking for a man that loves and adores you for who you are, try looking on the Amtrak train! LOL... yes, that is where we met! But that is another story for another day..... today I just needed to vent! Thanks for listening! And dear readers, thanks for so understanding!
Posted at 07:39 pm by sonyaparga
Friday, December 24, 2010
The Mission behind Christs Birth!
So last night while trying to sleep I was once again reminded of what Christmas is really all about. How many of us have heard of having a "mission statement"? One always hears of these in relation to most businesses or colleges or such.... What exactly is a mission statement anyway? The Center for Business Planning states "The mission statement should be a clear and succinct representation of the enterprise's purpose for existence. It should incorporate socially meaningful and measurable criteria addressing concepts such as the moral/ethical position of the enterprise, public image, the target market, products/services, the geographic domain and expectations of growth and profitability." But what about a personal mission statement? How many of us have a personal "mission" statement? A personal mission statement provides clarity and gives you a sense of purpose. It defines who you are and how you will live. John the Baptist had one... his was "to prepare the world for him who comes after me". Then also Jesus Christ had one. Make no mistake about it: Christ was crystal clear on what His purpose was. And, indeed, He had a personal mission statement. And what was it? There are a number of places where Christ talks about His "purpose," but it seems to me that all these places could be easily and simply summarized in this one statement: "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). That's it! Nothing fancy. Nothing complicated. Nothing all that profound. And yet it is, of course, profound, if you were to really pause and meditate upon it for a second or two. This "Son of Man" is none other than God, Himself. And yet His divine purpose—His divine mission—was, and continues to be, to seek and to save the lost. Why this divine Being would desire to seek and save those who are lost—and those who don't even care to be found—is almost beyond comprehension! And yet this is the reality of Christ's mission, His purpose, his all-encompassing reason for being. As we all celebrate this Holiday with our Family and Friends let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas... the one Holiday that celebrates and yes, promotes in it's own way the true mission of Jesus Christ!
Posted at 11:49 am by sonyaparga
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Power of Prednisone Rescues Christmas!
Well it has been way too long since I have written anything so I am back once again to at least attempt it! LOL... Are you ready for Christmas? Now for me that really is funny! You see I had foot surgery the end of October...then just after Thanksgiving and up until the last couple of days have been fighting the worst Rheumatoid Flare ups since last winter as well as an intestinal bug and the worst cold of the season! But Prednisone to the rescue! My Rheumatologist gave me a 2wk prednisone burst pak and boy is he on my Christmas list this year! I now have 5 days to accomplish what I usually accomplish in 30, but thanks to modern medicine marvels I think I just might make it! Actually I had a few things done thanks to a wonderful daughter and fantastic husband that do so much for me when I am down.... But now I can actually accomplish the rest while feeling half-way decent! Woke up this morning at 7am...and actually got up! Then by 8am had already made a batch of Candy Bar Fudge as well as a new recipe for Maple Fudge Cookie Bars! I can't remember the last time I was out of bed by 7am, let alone had cooked anything by 8am! That is unless I had a doctors appointment that morning! LOL.... So here it is now 9am and I am trying to plan out the rest of my day!... LOL, the rest of my day! Lately just getting 2 batches of cooking done would be enough for me to have accomplished in one full day! Now I have another 12 hours to do more, and what is so fantastic is I actually have energy to do it! So now what to do???? The turkey is already out of the freezer to thaw... don't want to bake the pies too early so those will have to wait another day or two... Angie already finished wrapping the Christmas gifts for me....The Tree is already up and the nativity is already set out (Angie helped me do that last week).... Christmas cards (or at least most of them) are already sent (I just didn't write up the usual letter to include this year....will post it as a note on fb for family/friends to read)....what else is left???? Oh yes.... gotta go make that husband of mine some coffee and maybe some bacon and eggs this morning...boy will he be surprised!
Posted at 09:17 am by sonyaparga
Monday, November 29, 2010
Have you ever had to ask someone to button your shirt, zip your pants for you or even just to tie your shoes? I have! In fact just yesterday I asked Angie to help me more than once to zip my sweatshirt as I prepared to go outdoors for one reason or another. I am a proud woman, but over the past 10 years I have many, many times had to swallow my pride as I asked one family member or another to help me out in some of the simplest of everyday chores. I love to cook however I no longer use difficult recipes, no longer make my rolls from scratch as kneading the dough just causes me too much pain. I cheat with any recipe I can anymore...using pillsbury pie crusts rather than rolling out dough. Buying from the deli counter and 'doctoring' the cranberry salad so it will taste like 'Grandma's' old recipe is the norm anymore in this home! The one thing my family will not let me change however are the mashed potatoes... in our home holiday time is time for 'Aunt Teresa's Cream Cheese and Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes' made totally from scratch! However, because of RA, this year without my son's help I would probably still be cutting the potatoes up! Having family and friends around to help with Thanksgiving dinner is not a burden for me, it is instead a blessing! And yet still with all the help I ended up. once again, a few days after our Thanksgiving Dinner waking up to the worst RA Flare I have had in the last 6 months! (My last flare was just after returning home from my California after my fathers death in June) I woke up the other morning with extreme pain in what felt like every joint in my body! My wrists were in agony, enough so that I once again donned the very sexy wrist splints I wear as little as possible. My back felt like someone had cracked it in two. My hips and knees, as well as my shoulders hurt like a dagger was shoved into them and every movement was agony. In addition to all this the foot I had surgery on 4 1/2 weeks ago would not stop pounding and there was a searing pain that decided this was the day to streak across the entire foot (healing nerves was my doctors explaination). A hot shower to try to heat away some of the agony was not allowed as I had orders from the podiatrist to wait until the next day. He had just pulled the "9 inch" nails from my toes a few days earlier. Of course they were not nails but surgical pins and and instead of 9 inches long they were only about 5-6 but extreme in my opinion just the same! As I pulled on my jeans in an effort to get dressed I asked myself, is this really worth it and almost opted to just stay in pj's. Unfortunately because I was watching the neighbors dogs across the street staying in pj's was not something that seemed appropriate to cross the street in! I mean, have you seen me in pj's? Finally dressed and in my jacket I reached for the doorknob, OUCH! Just turning the knob felt like I was stabbing my wrists with 100 knives! This was not going to be fun! It only took me about 40minutes to cross the street, open the neighbors door, let their smaller dog outside for the day and feed both dogs before I headed back home. Once home I dropped onto the bed with a sigh of relief, only how many more hours before I had to go back and let the dog back in? LOL.....And somehow I keep believing and telling myself that one day soon I WILL go back to work! I was diagnosed 10 years ago with Rheumatoid Arthritis, my son was diagnosed 23 years ago at 5 years old! Back then none of us I don't think really believed it was RA that Danny had, even the doctor at that time told us that all we could do for any pain relief was use basic anti-inflammatories and ace wrap his wrists/hands when they hurt... no one else in the family had been diagnosed and I had no idea that the everyday aches and pains I felt were RA too! Many people think of arthritis in a degenerative or inflammatory sense – their bones ache and their joints just are no longer as flexible or pain-free as they once were. But beyond the daily limitations of "wear and tear" osteoarthritis, there are many forms of arthritis that are more serious, even deadly, such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the common arthritis that often comes with older age. RA can affect body parts besides joints, such as your eyes, mouth and lungs and even your heart. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from your immune system attacking your body's own tissues. No one knows what causes rheumatoid arthritis but the National Arthritis Foundation continues to work on research that someday will hopefully lead to a cure. In order to do this the Foundation must rely on grants and donations. I encourage all of my friends and family that read this to seriously consider supporting at least one website/organization that donates to Arthritis Research as they go about their Christmas buying.
Posted at 07:00 pm by sonyaparga