About Me

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I'm married to the most wonderful man in the world, and I have a beautiful stepson that I love with all my heart.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oatmeal That Tastes Like Peanut Butter Cookies...

I love oatmeal.  In fact, it's just about the only cereal I will eat in the mornings, period.  I also love peanut butter (but not as much as my Greg does, trust me).  As I was making my morning oatmeal the other day, I was trying to figure out how to get some protein in my breakfast without adding more carbs, when it hit me--peanut butter has carbs.  Why not add it to the oatmeal?  Yeah!

The final product was yummy--as Greg and I have proclaimed it, "a peanut butter cookie in a bowl."  Here's the concoction for each serving:

  • 1 serving hot, cooked old-fashioned oats (don't use instant--ugh!)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (we used chunky)
  • sweetener of choice to equal 2 tsp of sugar (I used a mix of stevia and splenda, as they are natural sweeteners, but don't mess with a diabetic's blood sugar)

Just add the peanut butter and sweetener to the hot oatmeal and stir well.   It has about 350 calories, 20 grams of fat (GOOD fat), and 35 carbs.  Sounds like a lot, but you get waaaay more than that in a fast food breakfast, right? right.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday Morning...

Another quiet summer morning here at home for me as I wait for Greg to come home from his mom and dad's.  Poor Nadine is steadily growing worse, both physically and mentally.  We are going to the neurologist in Murfreesboro this afternoon to get a report, and hopefully some news on a course of treatment.  Tomorrow we meet with the oncology group.

I'll report when I know something.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Updates on a Wednesday...and a rant about doctors and diabetes!!

I'm home from the doctor in Murfreesboro; Mama and I both had an appointment about our eyesight.  Mama had great news--her eyesight had miniscule changes and she doesn't have to come back for a year--yay! 

My news wasn't great, but wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  There was a problem, but Dr. Cherney felt that since my diabetes was getting under control so quickly that the problem might correct itself without any laser surgery.  I was so thrilled!  The idea of somone taking a laser to my eyeballs was not exactly tickling me pink.

When I think of how long I probably went with my Type 1 diabetes undiagnosed, it angers me so much....I know it went on at least two years because when my gallbladder was taken out my blood sugar was over 600 then.  What did I hear from the surgeon and my then-primary doctor?  "You need to eat better and take better care of yourself, and your sugar will go down."  I WAS eating fine, thank you very much, but the fact is when almost anyone in health care sees a person who is heavy they (like most people in society) assume that heavy person eats constantly and eats the wrong foods.  WRONG.  I guarantee you there are people 1/3 my size that eat 3x more than I do all over this planet.  But do you think those doctors listened to me?  Nope.

Finally, along came Dr. Bryan Chastain, God Bless Him.  He was the man who saved my life, and believed me when no one else would listen.  I went to him because he was Greg's doctor, and he spent time talking to me, asking me questions, and checking out my health to see what was really going on with me.  When he couldn't get my blood sugar under control, he sent me to someone who COULD.  That was the Eskind Diabetes Clinic at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.  Within two months, my Hemoglobin A1C went from 10.8 (dangerously high) to 8.5 (1.5 point from high normal).  The clinic has helped me feel so much better about myself, and feel so much better pysically.  When I think of how long I have felt so tired, so sick, so depressed BECAUSE I was so tired and sick, I want to scream at those other doctors for robbing me of all that time of my life I missed out on.  I feel so sad for my last two years of students for not being "all of me" the last two years of my teaching.  Look out next year's 10th grade--woo hoo!  Now all I have to do is go get some new glasses, and I'll be all set!

Another update...our sweet Nadine is still in limbo.  No news, except that there are two scheduled dr. appointments next week regarding the tumor in her head.  Her mental state drifts in and out--she is lucid one day, a bit lost the next, hallucinating the next.  Her gait is more staggering day by day, and her legs are very weak, as are her arms.  She is having a very hard time sleeping at night, and sleeps fitfully off and on during the day.  We are all trying to be brave and positive, anxiously awaiting the doctor visits and dreading them at the same time.  It's going to be a million years until Tuesday, and yet it will be here too soon.

Please keep Nadine in your prayers...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pardon me Roy, I'm at the Chattanooga Choo Choo...

So I'm at a conference on the new curriculum standards, and I'm staying at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo. It is very nice, and since I booked through hotwire.com, I got the room for a steal. Better yet, the state of TN is going to reimburse me, so it will be free eventually...yay! I am trying very hard to enjoy myself, but there's so much going on at home.

My mother-in-law is having a terrible health scare right now, and I so wish I was back home for that. I talked to Greg last night and told him I was coming home, but he insisted I stay. He said there was nothing I could do if I were here. Still...

The thing is, I just told Greg a few days ago that I had not been able to shake the feeling of dread that came over me all of a sudden one night. I hope that it's just a coincidence.

Please keep our Nadine in your prayers. She is one of the sweetest and most loving ladies I have ever known.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Two Years Ago Today...

The greatest man in the world made me the happiest woman in the world...the best part? Life just gets better with every passing day. There's no better feeling than knowing you've found someone who loves you no matter what happens, who stands by you and protects you with all his heart, who thinks you are way more beautiful than you really are, who calls you his best friend (and means it), and who still makes your heart skip a beat when he walks in the room.

Two years ago today, I was happy and thrilled to become the wife of such a wonderful man. Two years later, I am even more happy to be his wife. That short walk down the aisle was the beginning of the greatest journey of my life.

The song we played at our wedding is linked on my Twitter posts to your right--I tried to post it here, but to no avail.

Have a great day everyone--I know I will!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Not much to update, but here goes...

Hi everyone,

Well, I'm afraid life isn't very exciting right now; I don't have much to report, but I figured since I hadn't posted since Memorial Day, I should remedy that.

The garden is going well--the beans and tomatoes are all blooming, we have little baby squash and baby grape tomatoes, and we've not had to buy lettuce for over a month--yay! The garden makes me so happy and peaceful--there's nothing like going out and playing in the dirt.

I've been doing some spring cleaning since school's been out. I cleaned out the cabinets in the huge coffee table in the living room, cleaned out the buffet in the dining room, and tackled the closet in the living room. Problem is, I hurt my back while working on the living room closet. I bent down to pick up something small, and when I did something popped and OUCH!!! That was Friday, but it's much better and I should be back to normal in another day or so. I've resolved that this will not get me down for long, because I have too many things I want to do to be incapacitated.

Oh, something else that looms on the horizon: I went to get new glasses the other day and found out that I have some retinal damage in the back of my right eye, probably from the times after my gallbladder surgery when my blood pressure and blood sugar were so astronomically high. After all, we don't know how long I was a Type I diabetic before I was diagnosed, and often my blood sugar was over 600 while I was sick. The doctor will probably have to do some laser surgery on the back of my eye, but I'm told it's no big deal--yeah, just a LASER BEAM to the back of my FREAKIN' EYEBALL--UGH!!! Anyway, I won't find out until July 1st, so it must not be too urgent.

Greg's classes are going well, but he's stressing, of course. God love him, I wish I could give him some confidence so he would realize how smart he is. He just knows he's not going to do well, and I (and everyone else that knows him) knows better than that.

Well, back to the grind...have a good Sunday, everyone.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day...I'm counting down!

Good morning everyone,

Starting a quiet Memorial Day here at Chateau Hillis...we've had our coffee/breakfast, and now we're discussing plans for the afternoon.  The in-laws are having a little cookout this afternoon, and then our little guy goes back home to his mommy, stepdad and sister.  I went to pick him up Friday and it was fun having some time for just the two of us.  

I'm literally counting down the minutes, the seconds until summer vacation starts.  I have such plans for my time this summer.  Gardening, reading, planning my lessons for next year, a short trip to Gatlinburg, more gardening, canning, and just enjoying my time.  I am so glad I feel so much better than I did this time last year--last summer was just a blur of feeling miserable and not knowing why.  Turns out, it was the diabetes giving my body such a hard time. Thank God it was something treatable, and not something much, much worse. Now I feel so much better that I can do so much more and enjoy life.

Take care, everyone...I'll be back soon with a "start of the summer" report.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

If I Could, Would I Change Anything?

My friend Dana wrote a wonderful post on her blog about the things in her life she would change if she could, and those she wouldn't change for anything. Imitation, as you know, is the sincerest form of flattery, and while I have a WHOLE PLANNING PERIOD WITH NOTHING TO DO--THANK YOU JESUS!!--I'm going to ponder this concept myself for a moment.

Of course we all know you can't go back to the past (and as we've seen from countless time-travel stories and movies, it's usually never a good idea to do so) but what if we could?

In thinking about this, I know for sure there are things I would never change, and some I regret--

  • I would marry my Greg again in less than a heartbeat. He is the love of my life and the best thing that ever happened to me.
  • I honestly would not change the time Greg and I married to an earlier year...I don't think I was ready to be a married woman until he came along, and I don't know where his heart was before I met him. I had a lot of heartache before Greg, but I had a lot of good times as well. I had times I wouldn't trade for anything. I learned to be my own person, to live independently, and to take care of myself. I learned about all aspects of romantic love--to love someone who didn't love me back, to be loved by someone who I didn't love, and to be in love with someone who wanted to be with me but couldn't. I've traveled, made friends, lost friends, made plans, broke promises, given my all, given up, given in, all in the pursuit of who I was to become. That's who Greg fell in love with. I can't change that, and don't want to.
  • I would have not given my mama such a hard time as a teenager. I was mean, smart-mouthed and awful at times, and I still apologize to this day about my behavior. I hate the way I treated her at times, and I regret the time I wasted that I could have spent with her.
  • I regret not listening to my own heart and mind which were telling me to become a teacher years and years ago. Instead, I listened to my guidance counselors from high school (no offense, guidance counselors) who told me I should be an accountant because I was "good with numbers" and I wound up flunking out and not going back for 16 years. Whenever I think of all the amazing years I could have had working with these kids, it makes me so sad.
  • I regret not standing up for myself when I was a fat little girl and people made fun of me. I was made to feel that I was less-than-human because I took up more space in the world, and I should have just told the people who treated me that way to shut up and leave me alone. Instead I would cry and beat myself up over it. If I had my time to do over, I'd let 'em have it!
And so it goes...all in all, I can't say there's much I would change, because all of it made me ME, which isn't so bad most days.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peace Rose...

These are shots of the first peace rose that has bloomed on the bush Greg and I planted last year...I never dreamed I could grow something this beautiful. Guess I inherited my Ma-Maw's green thumb after all. By the way, if you were going to enter one of these pics in a photo contest, which would it be?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

Here's to the most beautiful mom in the world--
My dearest friend,
My most trusted confidante,
My #1 cheerleader,
and the only person to love me unconditionally.

Happy Mothers Day, Mama.

and Happy Mothers Day to all the moms in the world--

the Luckiest Women On Earth.

May the joys of motherhood always outweigh the sorrows,

and remember that God always sees the sacrifices you make even when others don't.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'm a medical oddity, as usual...

News on the medical front; seems that I am now a Type I diabetic AND a Type II diabetic.  I had always thought that you could only be one or the other, but it appears that in rare cases, it is possible to have one and develop the other. I developed Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent) in about 1990, and my blood sugars since my gallbladder surgery had become drastictly higher and increasingly unstable.  A test for something called polypeptide levels revealed that I had developed Type I diabetes (insulin dependent) as well.  The good news?  Now there's hope for controlling my glucose levels.  The bad news?   More insulin shots.  Yay.  More shots.

Oh well...at least I know I wasn't doing anything wrong.

What else is going on...oh, the garden is coming along famously.  All I have left to plant are my tomato plants and my poppies in my flower bed Greg built for me in the front yard.  When it stops raining so much, I'll take some photos and post them. 

Greg and I bought two more rose bushes, a yellow rose and a red rose.  They are small, but showing signs of new growth.  The pink rose bush, the peace rose bush, and the salmon/pink rose bush (also known as "Nee-Nee's Rose") are growing beautifully.    I've planted a  pot of basil and a rosemary plant on the porch that are both doing fine.  I've also started six pots of other herbs which are sprouting--two of parsley, sage, thyme, lemon basil, and another pot of sweet basil.   The crowning glories are two "sweet 100" grape tomato plants who are already 2 ft tall.

In the garden, we've planted peas, green beans, arugula, two kinds of lettuce, onions, cabbage, spinach, kholrabi, yellow crookneck squash, cucumbers, banana peppers, beets, and carrots.  The only thing that hasn't sprouted are the carrots.  Also we have already picked about three quarts of strawberries from our plants--they are so tender and flavorful! 

The birds have even contributed to the garden, in their own way--all throughout the garden plot there are randomly placed sunflower plants "planted" by the birds who dropped them from the bird feeder while in flight.  Greg and I decided to just leave them there--how cool will it be to have big, smiling sunflowers keeping watch over our vegetables? 

I can't wait for summer...I plan on having garden dirt under my fingernails all season!

Take care everyone...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time to brag about my darling...

I have such good news!!! My Greg has gotten into the BASE-TN program at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. The program is going to pay his tuition to become a licensed special education teacher.  I am SO proud of him!! It took a great deal of hard work and effort for him to get this award, and he deserves every bit of it. 

His goal is to become a comprehensive k-12 special ed teacher, which is where he is meant to be.  The students in that area love him so, so much, and he loves them too.  He has such patience with them, and they think he hung the moon (well, he did, of course!).  When we walk down the hall together at work, they see him and their faces just light up.  The Comprehensive program needs a wonderful, caring man like him.

Have I mentioned lately how proud I am of him? Have I mentioned lately how much I love him? 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Okay, Pity Party is Over...

This was one long stretch of feeling sorry for myself. I HATE when I do that.

If I look at all the reasons I want a baby, there are just as many (if not more) reasons why I don't need to have a baby. My age, my health, our financial situation...not to mention having a child with a man who doesn't want another child. That's not fair.

With the possibility of Greg changing jobs, I would be on my own a great deal of the time. It's hard enough to raise a child with two parents, but with just one?!? There's no way I'd do that to a little one.

I will focus on the positives in life, of which there are many: I have a man who loves me, the most precious stepson ever (who turns 10 TOMORROW!!!), amazing in-laws, a mama who is my best friend, a job that I love so much. Yes, we are broke...VERY broke. But I've never been well-off financially--it's not been much of an adjustment. I am happy, despite having no money.

If a child comes into my life somehow, then I will embrace the blessing. If not, I will be grateful for all the blessings I have.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Baby Blues...When Do They Go Away?

How do you live with the knowledge that one of the things you want most in the world will never be yours? How do you learn not to want that thing?

I pray for peace, for resolution, for realization that I will never be a mom, but the yearning for a baby never goes away. Everyone tells me that I touch kids' lives, that I make a difference, but the problem is I have them for a little bit and then I lose them.

I try to get my Greg to understand why it bothers me so much, but he can't see it. He HAS a child, he IS a father. He vows that it will never happen to him again. He's taken steps to make sure it never happens again.

I love my stepson, please know that. That's what's so painful. I know he will never love me the way I want him to...he can't. I'm not mommy. I'm Charlotte. I'll never be anyone's mommy.

I think about my mom and my in-laws, and how I can't give them the joy of a grandbaby. Hell, Greg's ex-wife has given my in-laws two grandkids, and one of them isn't even Greg's. Don't think that doesn't rip my heart out. I'm glad they love the new baby, really glad--she's a beautiful and sweet little girl. but it hurts so much to know that I have nothing to offer them. I have no money, no babies, no talents...just me. I know they regret me marrying Greg, but I love him so much.
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Funny Video from "Ellen" Show--I love Jesus, But I Drink a Little

I LOVE JESUS (but I drink a little)!

Got a link from one of my students about this...This is an awesome clip from "The Ellen Degeneres Show" featuring Gladys--an 88-year-old Ellen fan who is so hilarious she should have her own show--enjoy!

Ellen DeGeneres ~ I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little (HQ)

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Something I Noticed...

A while back, a long while back, I came to grips with the reality that a man I loved would never love me. I realized that no matter what I did I would never be who/what he wanted. It was one of the most devastating truths I've ever had to face.

It was so painful. I would cry every time I thought of him, which was almost constantly. I would drive past his house any chance I got, just to get a glimpse of him. I would try to get in touch with him every chance I could because I couldn't let go. I prayed to God that if this man couldn't love me, then I needed God to take that man out of my heart forever, to take the love and longing away so I wouldn't be in such pain.

I struggled along as best I could, and went on with life. A couple of months later, Greg entered the picture. The rest, as they say, is history.

The last time I saw that other man, I almost laughed out loud to think of the desperate love I used to have for him. I honestly could not relate to those feelings at all--it was as if someone else had whispered them to me in confidence--as if they had not been my own at all.

It was at that moment that I realized God had truly answered my prayers in the form of my husband Greg. Every day I love him more and more. I know I can count on him to stand by me through anything. I know he thinks I'm beautiful, and I know I am the only woman for him. I don't have to settle for being second choice; I'm his first choice.

I'm free from the past--and the feeling is amazing.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Long time, no post...

Wish I could say I've been performing miracles during my absence from this blog, but that would be a lie. I've been getting by...that's about the size of it.

Not to say I've been completely on autopilot, or completely in the depths of despair...I've just been so busy with the little ins and outs of life that I've not had anything I felt I should report.

I do, however, have an introduction to make--it's a little late, but it's no less heartfelt.

Welcome to the world, baby D.A.Z. We're happy you're here and so happy to meet you. You've been blessed with an amazing family, who will love you more than you will ever be able to know.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Photofunia--A Fun New Look

Ah, the fun you can have with a new website.

See the photo above, in the header of this blog? I would love to say I created it in some photo editing program, but I'm not that talented (or that patient). Truth is, it is the product of a great site called Photofunia which creates some cool, sexy, or downright hilarious images using your personal photos. You select a scene, upload your image, and viola! Instant photographic art. You can then save your created image to disk and use it on a blog, a social network like Facebook or Myspace, as a desktop wallpaper, etc. It's a great site, and lots of fun!