Since I’ve Been Gone

While freezing my butt off on a cold winter day (today) I decided that it had been long enough since writing about my life. I had been waiting for something to happen since my life is so terribly interesting (cough cough) but then realized that in my absence on WordPress that a lot has happened. Too much to really discuss in one post. So, I suppose I will start from where I left off and see how far I make it.

The medication that the doctor had just started me on the last time I wrote definitely does not help with my fatigue, but it really does help with my pain. My average pain level has gone from a 7 (when I started going to the pain clinic) to about a 5. That is a major improvement and makes it worth taking an extra medication.

My car is still functional, although it doesn’t have my complete trust yet, especially on these really cold days. However, it does get me from point A to point B and I have roadside assistance just in case.

My niece and her daughter moved in with me for a short time (about a month). It was great having family here and getting to babysit my grandniece was so much fun! However, I misplaced my trust and got burned by it. My niece had a key to my house and I didn’t have my medications locked up. The very last thought on my mind was that I wouldn’t be able to trust her. I ended up with at least 6 percocet, 20 strattera, and about 30 tramadol missing. It breaks my heart that she would break my trust, but it hurts even more to think that she has a drug problem. I have literally watched her grow from a baby to a woman and she just isn’t the person that I thought I knew…she isn’t the same person she used to be.

To end on a positive note, I had a wonderful Christmas. I had a real tree and was able to get presents to put under it. Family came over and we celebrated for two days with way too much food. It was the best Christmas that I’ve had in years. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!

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I Miss My Car (Sort Of)

 

With all the craziness of breaking my foot I forgot to tell you guys about my car. On Tuesday I went to physical therapy. Afterwards I stopped by the local Sprint store to exchange an accessory, and then I headed home.

Now, I noticed that my air wasn’t cold, but since I was smoking at the time, I assumed it was because it was an oven outside and I had the window rolled part of the way down. Once I was done, and the air still wasn’t cold, it finally occurred to me to look at the temperature gauge. It was all the way at the top! I had a hard time pulling over because of an eighteen wheeler who wouldn’t let me over, but I finally got stopped on the side of the highway. My car was smoking! I was so scared that it was going to catch on fire or something, but luckily it didn’t.

After about 20 minutes on the side of the road the car finally quit smoking. Another 15-20 minutes later M showed up with some coolant for the car (I had let my AAA lapse…I know…my bad).  Even with the coolant, the car still wouldn’t crank up. So, we had to find a mechanic to tow the car.

The next day M talks to the mechanic and tells me that the radiator blew up (I don’t know if that’s really a thing, but let’s just go with it) and that since I had driven it without water in it, that it had messed up the head of the engine. GREAT! The grand total to fix my car: $1,000. It really sucks, but it’s a lot less than buying a new car.

In the meantime, M rented me a car to use. It has been great being able to drive a new (model year) car! Unfortunately, my week is up tomorrow and I will have to take it back. Then I will be without a car until at least Friday. That will suck, but hey, it happens. At least it’s being worked on even as I write this post.

At least by having the rental car I was able to go to my birthday party on Saturday. My grandniece’s birthday was the 14th and mine was the 11th, so my niece decided to throw a party for both of us. It was so much fun! My 2yr old grandniece is an angel and I was honored to celebrate with her. It was the first birthday party that I’ve had in a very long time…I don’t even remember the last time I had a party. But we had a blast! Here are some pictures from the party…

 

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My Week Away From Home

I just spent a wonderful week away from home at my sister’s house. I really needed the time away and I had a great time with my sister, my niece and grandniece, and nephew. I suppose the highlight of the week was my grandniece, who is 18 months old and one of the smartest, most beautiful babies you could ever meet. No matter how bad you feel, a simple look from her big blue eyes leaves you with a big smile on your face. I found that out the hard way.

Towards the end of the week, my sister ended up in the hospital to have a kidney stone removed that was stuck and couldn’t pass. Since I was staying with her, I ended up spending the next two days and two nights with her, my niece, and grandniece at the hospital. If you think hospital beds are bad, try the uncomfortable recliners. Add to that multiple trips all the way to the other end of the hospital to the cafeteria for food and I was more than exhausted. My pride was the only thing that kept me from asking to borrow a wheelchair on the second day. The funny thing was, that no matter how bad we felt or how tired and cranky we were, just having the baby there kept us going. Well, she definitely did for me. To be honest, her mom was a little frazzled by the end of the hospital stay.

I am still recovering in bed from those two days, but all in all the week gave me time to think about things and put what’s been bothering me in perspective. Even though my sister has not always been there for me when I was in the hospital, it feels good to know that I was there for her. It has reminded me about how important family is and how they usually are there for you, especially when you need them the most.

Sitting ’round the Kitchen Table 2

Image credit: eBay.com

Image credit: eBay.com

This week has definitely had it’s ups and downs. The ups were that A) I’m doing better on this new medicine B) M and I decided to work things out, and C) I bought a chromecast which is really cool. Now, the long list of downs. First of all I have been spotting this week. One day spots, then two days without. Two days spots, then one without. The last time this happened, I had a polyp or two on my uterus. I’m praying that this is not the case this time because I really don’t want to go through another surgery right now. I’m hoping that it’s one of two things. 1) Not taking my BC pills at the same time each morning (it only varies by an hour or so, so that shouldn’t be it) or 2) not doing my stretches like I should. These were the two suggestions given to me by ladies in my adhesions group on Facebook. So besides the menstruation-like pains and the severe bloating, my week was pretty good until today.

Image credit: http://briansroom.com

Image credit: http://briansroom.com

M and I had a long talk and we were trying to work things out. While this made me very nervous, it strangely settled my nerves at the same time. He had a list of rules and he knew that any breach in those rules will put us back where we were before. Today was a rough day. I had an appointment at pain management. They called to say they had a lot of cancellations and did I want to go in early. Sure. It was cold, snowing, and I wanted to get back home before it got any colder. Well, what would normally be a 30 minute drive took 3 hours. Every time we chose a road, it was blocked because of a wreck. So we would go another way just to find it was blocked. We tried four different routes before M started to loose it. I decided that it must be the stress of driving on very icy roads. We finally gave up and came back home. My nerves were shot. I took my medicines and a nerve pill and then decided that I would crochet to finish calming myself down. Since it was 7:00 pm, it was too dark for me to see with just the lamp on my bedside table. I asked him to turn the light on because he was closest to it. He conveniently ignored my request. When I asked again, he blew up. Same as old times. He said that he was going back to “his” room where I wouldn’t ask for the light to be on all f*%$ing night long (it was only 7:00!!!) that he guessed that was what I wanted anyway because I am happier with my cigarettes and my drugs. Whoa! Where did that come from? So, once again, I am just a drug addict according to him. I am so very tired of being insulted. I’m done. If someone in his family is reading this, I’m sorry, but I have put up with as much of his self-centered, insulting, bullshit as I can take. I’m done.

I had bought a Chromecast. Since all I have is a digital antenna in order to save money on cable, this Chromecast is awesome because all the cool stuff I can watch on my laptop or tablet can now be watched on the big screen. Well, he decided to take the tv with him when he left the room. So much for my new toy.

You know, when I started writing this post yesterday it was full of good news. Positive things. However, in one split second, all of that has changed. I had to erase most of what I had written to tell you guys about what’s going on now. My good news about M is bullshit now, I can no longer watch the chromecast I bought because I don’t have another TV, and I am so upset that I am physically shaking. Oh, and the icing on the cake is that I don’t know when I will be able to get another appointment with my pain specialist. Since they are only allowed to write the script for a 30 day supply and those 30 days are over, and because like usual no one answers the phone there, I have no idea when I will be able to refill my pain meds. So, now withdrawal…the one thing that scares the shit out of me…is most probably imminent. I need a friend so bad right now. Of course, I know that there is nothing that can be done or said to change anything that has happened. It just hurts so bad – I hurt so bad – physically and emotionally. It’s my own fault for getting my hopes up again on a sorry SOB (no offense to his mother because I love her) who doesn’t deserve my tears. That doesn’t make them flow any slower. I so wanted to write a positive post for a change, but I promised you guys I would be real, so here it is. My real life for all the world to see. I guess I should feel ashamed for “airing my dirty laundry” publicly, but I only have you guys who care about me. I guess that’s it. Off for a good cry now and to try to figure out what was so bad about the freaking light being on. If it was 2:00am I could understand. But 7:00pm…really?

Image credit: http://we heartit.com

Image credit: http://we heartit.com

My New Year

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For New Years Eve I went to my sister’s house. They had made posole, a traditional Mexican soup made with pork and hominy. There was music, but they kept it low enough that it didn’t drive me crazy (it seems I have become very sensitive to loud sounds lately). We ate, chatted, and had a pretty good time. I had one glass of wine so that I wouldn’t feel left out. The plan was to spend the night because even if you’re not drinking, who wants to be on the road for an hour on New Years Eve? Not me!

Well, around 10:00 my sister mentioned that she had been invited to someone’s house for New Years but wasn’t going because I was there. After hearing the pros of going to the other house and her inviting me to go, I told her that I really didn’t feel like it, but that she could go if she wanted. This is why I didn’t want to go:

When I decided to make the trip to my sister’s house it was because I: 1) made sure I could sleep in her bed that night 2) knew that if I was tired from the drive down or if I got tired during the night, I would be able to lay down on her bed to rest 3) knew that I would have a soft, comfy chair to sit in while there.

So, the thought of going to someone’s house who I don’t know, wouldn’t be able to lay down (who wants to lie on a stranger’s bed? Not me!), and didn’t know what kind of seating they had…well, it sounded like a crappy idea. And I told her so. Well, then she started getting sleepy and M said he was going to say we would go to see if that was her problem. To be honest, it worked like a charm. She popped to attention and blamed it on eating a cookie (yeah, right).

Well, when I realized he had gone from playing around to being serious, I started to panic. It was already after midnight, I had had two doctors appointments that day besides the hour drive and sitting up for 3 hours visiting and I was EXHAUSTED! I told them that I really didn’t feel like going but that they were all more than welcome to go. No one seemed to want to leave me behind. I told them I was a big girl, and could take care of myself, and besides my nephew was home. They weren’t paying much attention to me and wanted me to get my shoes on and my sister went to change. This was the point where the panic really started to set in. I was nauseated and my mouth began to salivate like I was about to throw up. My head was pounding and my heart was racing. If they hadn’t finally agreed to go without me, I believe a full-blown panic attack would have began.

They finally left and it took me 30 minutes and a nerve pill to calm down. As soon as I did, I fell asleep…and slept all night! It has been a REALLY long time since I have slept a full night. As soon as we all woke up, it was time to come back home to my babies who had been holding it all night and really needed to be let out.

Today, I have pretty much lounged around and had Chinese food for lunch/dinner. So, that was my New Years in a nutshell. I am still exhausted and know it is going to take a while to recuperate, but all in all I had a really good time (sans the impending anxiety attack).

I hope all of you had a great New Years Eve and Day. How was it? Were you able to celebrate comfortably somewhere or did you stay home?

 

Dear Mama,

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It’s been a very long time since I last wrote to you…10 years almost. I guess the reason why it has been so long is because sometimes I talk to you as if you were here with me. That, and because I know you can see me and are watching over me. To be honest, that thought has brought me a lot of peace over the years…and a lot of grief. I worry that I have let you down. I know that you had such big plans for me – for my future – and that I have failed you in every way possible. I have made a lot of bad decisions along the way that have had a negative effect on my life. I was once again going in the right direction when I went back to school. I knew you were proud of me then. But of course, those negative decisions I made came back to bite me in the ass.

I was so very grateful that you were not here to see the fiasco of ’05. I know it would have broken your heart. Also, I feel I should apologize for not moving with you to Georgia. I should have been the one to take care of you. School could always have waited. I am so sorry that I chose A. and school over you. It was wrong of me and I know you must have been scared and lonely. I should have been there. Also, I felt really bad about signing the DNR in 2003. I know that you never wanted me to have to go through what I went through with that. I felt so bad for such a long time because I never felt I got the chance to say goodbye. You do know I was on my way, right? We were looking for a parking place at the hospital when they called to say it was too late. That was the worst type of pain – the emotional – knowing that you’ve made the decision that kept you from seeing your mother for the last time. Of course now I know that it would have been cruel to allow them to keep you alive just for me, I also know that maybe you chose this time specifically. You wanted me to know that I had almost made it, but you knew the drama that would ensue, so you chose to go early. At least that way you got the eternal peace that you needed. I probably would have been selfish. Thank you for giving me the strength to make such a tough decision. I know you wanted to go, it was time. You were ready for the grace you had been promised. I understand that now.

I talked to Aunt Donnie a bit before she left here to be with you there, and she made me feel a lot better. I’m sure she said exactly what you would have. She asked if I could ever remember a time when you were disappointed in me. I thought for a good little while and couldn’t come up with one. She told me that’s how strong your love for me is. That you were incapable of disappointment in life, so why would you be disappointed in me now? She said that you know I didn’t plan to get sick, that no matter what, you were always proud of me. Always were and always will be.

34482_1363327444808_1280251565_30965876_5705448_nThat got me to thinking about unconditional love. You were my very best friend. You were the one person in the world who has ever loved me unconditionally. Now that I don’t have that kind of love anymore, I long for it. I know now that it’s God’s gift to me but you know, it just doesn’t feel the same. I love you and miss you with every fiber of my being. Please know that I strive daily to be more like you. I’m honored when someone compares me to you because to me, you were truly a gift from God sent to earth. By the way, I have learned how to crochet now. I enjoy it because I feel closer to you as I work with it. I need your help to make the right decisions in my life. Things are really complicated and I would love nothing more than to be able to be in your arms while I tell you all of my troubles. You always did give the best advice, without judging. I need that understanding and I need you to comfort me. Since these things aren’t possible, will you send me the person who is supposed to hold and comfort me? I desperately need that unconditional, understanding, comforting and caring kind of love. If he’s here, teach him what I need. I will always hold you in my heart. I know that I am never truly alone because you are with me. I love and miss you terribly.
With love, Joy

Merry Christmas (To Us All)

It’s Christmas! Whether it’s already the 25th where you live or whether you celebrate on the 24th instead of the 25th, Christmas time is here. Now, I’m ready for it.

I know that over Thanksgiving things were a little harder and I wrote two posts, one entitled Unhappy Thanksgiving (To Me) and Happy Thanksgiving (To You) hence the title of today’s post, Merry Christmas (To Us All). Around the first of this month, I was thinking that Christmas this year would be just like Thanksgiving – completely BLAH! However, I have found that somewhere along the way I started to become more and more prepared for the holiday at hand. I may not have a huge family to share the day with or, I may have a huge family but I am unable to be with them because my illness prevents it (probably both). I have tried to have a more positive outlook than I did this summer when I found out that the adhesions are here to stay. It is my job to learn how to live my life around them. It was a hard pill to swallow (and I have swallowed some doozies in my day) and I did fall into somewhat of a depression. I don’t know when, where, or how, but it seems I have pulled myself out of it. I have learned to be grateful for what I do have. I am still able to eat a Christmas dinner while some people with adhesions are on liquid diets. I have one big someone and three smaller someones to spend Christmas with while many have no one. It may be a little difficult for us right now, but things seem to be looking up. And, I have food to prepare for Christmas dinner while many will go hungry.

My life may not be perfect (hell, it’s never been perfect) but it is the life I have been given. For some reason God thinks that I am strong enough to handle it, so handle it I will! I will also be grateful for it. I AM STILL ALIVE. That’s all we can really ask for anyway, right? The rest is just icing on the cake.

Company 4 Christmas

Company 4 Christmas

For any of you who will be alone on Christmas, there has been a blog set up for you to “chat” with others so that you feel a little less lonely. The address is http://companyforchristmas.wordpress.com WordPress has given me so much; so many good friends. I will take Christmas Day to give back to WordPress. I will be volunteering at CompanyForChristmas on the 25th. I don’t have a specific time set up to go. When I find I have a little free time, you will find me there. Just look for my page Joynpain2 in the sidebar. If it’s there, so am I. If it’s not, I’m sure you will find many great volunteers that you can chat with for a little while until I get back. There are a couple of things you should note. If you are using your computer’s browser, you will need to refresh often. If you are on the WordPress app (according to my trial run) you should get notification almost immediately. I hope to see you or someone you know who will be alone (or even just feels lonely) there.

I’m not a rich woman. Hell, a lot of times I have trouble getting my bills paid. So obviously I don’t have gifts to give to you, my friends. Some of you I have become extremely close to and I cherish every moment that we have “together”. There is one gift that I can give you, and that give I give with my whole heart. I give you the gift of my friendship. It’s not much, but it’s given with love. Merry Christmas everyone!!! I hope that it is truly magical for you and your families.

Rain On Me

While on Facebook the other day I got a message from my sister-in-law. The message she sent was actually meant for someone else, but since the conversation was started, we continued it. She asked what I was doing and I told her I was in bed. I guess it was around 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. She said (note: this is a general interpretation since the conversation was in another language and some things just don’t translate. In other words, it might sound a little funny), “what, are you still sick?” My answer to her was “More or less. I’m actually better after recovering from a UTI.” Her response to that was “when is it not raining on your head?” I tried to laugh the snide comment off by jokingly saying “I know, right? It’s just one thing after another.” I thought that would be the end of it, but then she says “well, just take them [illnesses] out of your body, don’t let them stay” (basically meaning that I have some control over this…possibly that I’m making it up?) Of course, I’m not going to let that slide, so I responded “I would love that, but the surgeon tried that already. He says it’s too dangerous to remove them [adhesions]”

At the time, the conversation continued so I just let it go. Well, I guess I forgot about it. Until today. This is the same one who said to me before: “well, when you hurt, just tell yourself you’re not hurting and you’ll be ok.” Geez, don’t I wish it was that easy? Obviously she doesn’t understand what’s wrong with me, or maybe she just doesn’t care to. I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do know is that I have gotten to the point that I dread talking to her. I know she’s going to ask how I am and I know that my answer will not be “great!” I will no longer go into detail trying to explain my illness to her, but I won’t pretend that everything is exemplary. I will continue to say “fine” or “more or less”. It’s not that I’m pessimistic, it’s just how things are.

In contrast, I got a message from another sister-in-law a couple of weeks ago. She wanted me to know that she had read my blog and that up until then she hadn’t realized how serious things really are for me. She said that she can only imagine the pain that I deal with on a day to day basis. She commended me for making the 12 hour (which turned into 14 hrs. thanks to the dogs) trip to Michigan in August. She said that she doesn’t travel because of how tiring it is, so the thought that I made the trip in as much pain as I am in just really impressed her.

Her message actually made me cry tears of relief that SOMEBODY in this family. I thanked her for making my day. This difference in what these two family members said to me was astronomical – at least to me it was.

If you’re reading this blog because you too are in pain, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re reading because you have a loved one in pain and would like to understand them better, then I applaud you. If you’re reading this blog for the hell of it, then do me a favor and google “what not to say to someone with chronic pain” (caregivers you can do this too). You will find plenty of articles about what to and what not to say to someone in chronic pain. Read one and then store that information. When I did it just now, one of the first to pop up with both lists was mdjunction.com (For what NOT to say to someone in chronic pain and for what TO say to someone in chronic pain Check out these links). Like I said, just store that information and keep it with you because you might someday need it. I wish the first sister-in-law cared enough to do the same.  What she doesn’t know is how incredibly strong I am.

It’s Raining Awards!

Today has been a yucky, rainy day.  However, to brighten my day, I went to church this morning and then figured that after my nap I could work on some of these awards you great people have sent me.  So, in this post, I will cover 3 (yes three)!

The Versatile Blogger Award

The first award that I would like to accept is The Versatile Blogger Award. While visiting the VBA site, I noticed that they have a new badge (button…whatever it’s called), so this will be different from the one given to me…sorry Dr. Rex. I liked this one better! If you get a chance to check out Dr. Rex’s website It Is What It Is, please do so! Her stories will make you laugh, make you cry, and sometimes even make you angry. However, love and peace are the cornerstone of each post published. Let me also say here that Dr. Rex nominated me for the other two awards that i will get to later. Again, plase if you have the time check her out. Now, onto the VBA. The VBA website says:

When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.

Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.

So, now that you know what The Versatile Blogger Award is all about, here are the rules (also straight from the website http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/):

Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So, here are seven things about me:

1. This is the third time I have received The Versatile Blogger Award. Yay me!!!

2. My first pet was a chihuahua named Betty (short for Beethoven…and since she was a girl. No, I didn’t pick out the name 🙂 ).

3. I slept in the bed with my mother until I was 5 yrs. old and decided that I was ready to sleep in my own bed.

4. I was my mother’s only child (and raised as one) but I also have 4 half-sisters and one half-brother.

5. The reason that I was raised as an only child is because the youngest of my half-brother and sisters is 20 years older than me. Yeah, big age difference.

6. One of the aforementioned half-sisters I have only seen twice in my whole life.

7. My yoga mats are pink and green and my foam roller is blue. (Yes I know that is dull, but this is my third VBA…I’m running out of facts)

The second (and third) award that I will be accepting today came to me from Dr. Rex as a “duet award”. The first one is The Imagine Award and the second is the I Am Part Of The WordPress Family Award.

The Imagine Award was started by a good friend of mine at thefibrotasticlife.com. So, I will let Jenn herself tell you all about it:

What is The Imagine Award?

“The Imagine Award” is an award created by Jenn Mulherin (who is the writer of the blog “My Fibrotastic Life!”) in October of 2013. This award was made in order to recognize the bloggers who express their passion and dedication towards their blogs through their creativity.

How is creativity found in a blog?

Just like beauty, creativity is in the eye of the beholder. There are many unique ways which bloggers can express their creativity. Creativity can be displayed through:

Words (such as writing fictional stories or real life experiences, poetry, quotes, using metaphors, etc.)
Pictures (this can include photos, comics, computer-drawn pictures, etc.)
Videos
The layout of the blog page
The degree of creativity is one of the qualities in a blog which not only draws more readers, but it shows how much the blogger cares about their blog. The caretaking of a blog is like taking care of a plant. In order to keep it healthy and growing, you need to feed the blog with your ideas and give it a lot of love.

If I am nominated for The Imagine Award…then what??

In your post which is dedicated to your award…

1. Copy and paste the award to your post.
2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link their blog page to your post.
3. List 3-5 things about the nominator’s blog that you like (which you think are very creative).
4. Nominate 5 other bloggers/blogs which you think display a fantastic use of creativity and imagination.
5. Notify your nominees.
6. Copy and paste The Imagine Award to your blog page.

*If you decline The Imagine Award, that is okay, but please pass the award to a blog that you find to be very creative.

So, I have already written some about Dr. Rex’s blog It Is What It Is.  I like that she uses a lot of visual components to her blogs (which I sometimes fall short on).  Also, she usually has a piece of music from YouTube to go with her posts.  I also like that what she has some elements of love, peace, harmony, or civil rights that underline the majority of her posts (well the ones I’ve seen).

And last but not least is The WordPress Family Award. This award was created by Shaun at Looking For Reasoning to A Complicated World.  He is a great blogger in his own right with tons of awards under his belt.  Again, if you’re looking for a good read, you should really check him out.  So without further adieu, here are Shaun’s words about the award:

This is why I created the Award:

This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I start this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award. Thank you, Shaun @ http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

Rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your wordpress experience and family

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as  a friend, and spread the love

Now, instead of choosing 15 for one award, five for the second and 10 for the third (this post has already taken me hours, I have no energy to do such a thing) I am bending the rules a little bit (no surprise, huh?) and only nominating five people.  However those five people are nominated for all three awards.  So, here they are, my five nominees for these three outstanding awards.  I have greatly enjoyed reading all of your blogs and feel you are like family!  Congratulations to you all!

1.  In Loving Memory of Jody Ann Bales

2.  Bishop Eddie Tatro’s Study

3.  Mountains or Molehills

4.  Having Something No One Can See

5.  GreenGrowsDark