Monday, February 28, 2011

Tornado watch

We are now under a tornado watch till 1pm today.. that means conditions are right for one to form, but none has been seen yet.
Stay safe.. nasty storm out there.

Created perfectly

I don't believe that the human race was formed accidently.  I believe that God alone created us all perfectly and in His image.
I look at the human body and realize that every part works in conjuction with every other part.  It is truly awesome to consider.
All the body's systems work to support the remainder of systems.  We have a thyroid and a pancreas and others that regulate the amounts of certain chemicals in the body to keep it functioning at a peak level all the time.  We have hands with fingers on each one that enable us to do fine motions such as writing.  We have a brain that tells us what movement to make to do that writing and then be able to recognize it  and read it.  We have a nose with nostrils that  enables us to breathe, and lungs that perform a most awesome exchange of gases perfectly every time.  We have ears that are able to hear sound and a larynx that enables us to speak and make sound.  The mouth that is perfectly placed to take in food and liquid that our body needs daily to run at peak efficiency.. a stomach, small and large intestines, liver, kidneys, and the rectum and ureters to remove wastes.   We have eyes to see where we are going, to read, to see our children or our parents and friends, and keep us from tripping over toys and other things in our path.  Memory to keep us connected to each other, and love to bind it all together.
Fearfully and wonderfully made.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Doing my homework ..

With Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker attempting to rein in the unbalanced power of government unions, and given the fierce stranglehold that union members have on their ever-increasing taxpayer-provided benefits, now is a crucial time for Americans to understand the difference between private-sector and public-sector unions. Collective bargaining in the private sphere—where companies face competition—is a world away from collective bargaining in government—which faces no competition, and where unions have a legal monopoly. Heritage Foundation labor expert James Sherk explains why it is time to restore voter control over elected government, and how it can be done.

Collective bargaining by unions takes place very differently in government than it does in the private sector. Private-sector unions have competitors and bargain over the profits they help create. The government earns no profits. Government unions have a legal monopoly and bargain for a greater share of tax dollars. Collective bargaining in government means that voters’ elected representatives must agree on tax and spending decisions with union representatives.

Collective bargaining also politicizes the civil service. Government unions negotiate contract provisions that force workers to join and subsidize their fundraising. These subsidies have made them the top political spenders in the country. They use that money to lobby for higher taxes and protect their inflated compensation.

America can no longer afford these special-interest subsidies. State and local governments should:

Restore voter control over government spending by ending collective bargaining with government unions.

Restore a nonpartisan civil service by ending subsidies for union fundraising and giving workers the choice of paying union dues. Voters should tell the government how to spend their money, not the other way around.

Collective Bargaining: The Process

Under collective bargaining, a union is designated as the employees’ “exclusive bargaining representative.” The employer must negotiate with the union over pay, benefits, and work rules. The employer may not employ workers for anything other than the union-negotiated terms. This gives the union a monopoly on the labor supplied to an employer. Even if other workers would take the job, the employer may not hire them for anything other than union rates.

The Private and Public Sectors. The labor movement grew out of the difficult working conditions of the industrial revolution. The founders of the labor movement saw unions as a way to prevent employers from exploiting workers. They also believed that labor and capital were opposed to one another. They believed that workers and management fought to divide the profits they mutually created. Labor leaders wanted monopoly bargaining power to gain clout to win more of those profits. Competition moderates union demands in the private sector. Unions know that excessive pay makes their employer uncompetitive and puts their jobs at risk.

The government operates very differently. Government employees need not fear exploitive bosses. Since the late 1800s, public employees have enjoyed the protection of civil service laws. The government also creates no profits over which to bargain. Government unions bargain for a greater share of taxes to go to their members. Since the government has no competitors and no profits, unions have little reason to restrain their demands and government has little incentive to resist them. Taxpayers, not government leaders, bear the cost of concessions.

The arguments for unions in the private sector do not apply to government. Up through the 1950s, the union movement recognized and agreed with this analysis. Movement supporters believed, as AFL-CIO president George Meany did, that “It is impossible to bargain collectively with government.”[1] President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed the National Labor Relations Act, had the same view. In his words, “the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”[2]

Strikes Paralyze Public Services. Private businesses have competitors. Consequently, private-sector strikes have a limited effect on the general public. Consumers can buy from another company during a strike. A strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors does not shut down the auto industry—Americans simply buy cars from Ford or Toyota instead.

The government generally has no competition. The public cannot purchase alternative police; alternatives to public education and mass transit are not accessible to everyone. A monopoly on essential services gives government unions tremendous leverage to force concessions from the public. Unless the voters’ elected representatives give in, they can grind large parts of the economy to a halt.

Unions are willing to use this leverage. Detroit public school teachers went on strike illegally in 2006. The teachers union ignored the Michigan law prohibiting teacher strikes. As a result, 130,000 students started the school year late while the union pressed for concessions.[3] The final contract gave the Detroit teachers raises. In December 2005, New York City transit workers went on strike over a proposal to increase their contributions to their pension plans. The strike paralyzed New York City during the busiest shopping days of the year and cost the city an estimated $400 million a day.[4] The government ultimately agreed to a new contract that did not increase pension contributions.

President Roosevelt deplored the possibility of strikes if government bargained collectively: “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.”[5]

Binding Arbitration Imposes Terms. Many states recognize the danger of public-sector strikes and have passed laws that prohibit government unions from striking. Instead, “binding arbitration” resolves disputes between the government and unions. Under binding arbitration both unions and management make their case to an arbitrator. The arbitrator considers their arguments and hands down a contract which is binding on both sides. The voters’ elected representatives may not choose a different plan. The taxpayers must pay whatever the arbitrator awards, which is often quite generous. Studies show that binding arbitration significantly raises the cost of employing government workers.[6]

Representative Government Undermined. Collective bargaining gives unions a monopoly on the labor supplied to government. This takes away the final say on government policy from the voters’ elected representatives. Elected representatives must negotiate with unions over acceptable spending and policy decisions. State and local governments cannot hire nonunion employees to work for different terms.[7] If the government and unions disagree, the union can strike against the public or call in an arbitrator to impose terms.

Collective bargaining forces elected representatives to negotiate a contract with union leaders, excluding all other citizens and potential workers from the bargaining table. Voters’ representatives do not fully control spending and tax decisions. They must reach agreement with union leaders who are unaccountable to the general public. This undermines the principle of voter sovereignty. Union leaders once recognized and opposed this. As recently as 1959, the AFL-CIO Executive Council stated flatly that “In terms of accepted collective bargaining procedures, government workers have no right beyond the authority to petition Congress—a right available to every citizen.”[8]

Inflated Government Pay. Nonetheless, many state governments decided to bargain collectively. As a result, state and local government employees now earn above-market compensation.

In terms of cash wages, state and local government employees’ earnings are comparable to similar private-sector workers, but they receive much more generous benefits. As of February 2011, for instance, government employees in Wisconsin contributed almost nothing to their defined-benefit pension plans, and paid only 6 percent of their health care premiums. In the private sector, workers pay 18 percent of their premiums for single plans and 29 percent for family plans.[9] Including the value of these benefits, state and local government employees earn noticeably more than their private-sector counterparts.[10]

The public pays for these benefits with higher taxes and less spending on other priorities. Some union-funded organizations, such as the Economic Policy Institute, contend that state and local government employees are underpaid. These groups arrive at this conclusion using data from the National Compensation Survey (NCS). The NCS measures private-sector compensation accurately. But for government compensation, it only measures employer pay expenditures—not the value of what the government promises to pay. Thus, the NCS ignores the value of promised pension benefits for which the government has not set aside enough money. It also ignores the value of retiree health benefits.[11]

These benefits systematically inflate government pay. The NCS also omits the value of the strong job security that government employees receive. Studies based on NCS data systematically undercount the value of government benefits, which leads to the claim that state workers are underpaid.

Using Government to Serve Private Interests. Government unions use collective bargaining to profit at the public’s expense in ways that go beyond pay. Unions can negotiate contract provisions that direct public resources to the union. The Wisconsin Education Association (WEA) runs a health insurance plan known as WEA Trust. WEA Trust premiums outstrip those of competing insurance carriers. During collective bargaining, however, WEA presses school districts to purchase health insurance through WEA Trust. Currently 64 percent of Wisconsin school districts do so.[12] Allowing school districts to purchase competitively priced health insurance would save Wisconsin taxpayers $68 million a year.[13]

Collective bargaining also enables unions to negotiate work rules that benefit their members at the expense of quality public services. During negotiations, government unions typically insist on seniority pay and job security. No matter how hard or little they work, they will earn the same amount. This eliminates most of the incentive to shine on the job.

Standard pay regardless of performance also hurts the public. School districts find it almost impossible to reward good teachers or fire bad ones. One study has found that merely replacing the worst performing 5 percent of teachers with average quality teachers would move the U.S. near the top of international math and science rankings.[14] Union contracts that prevent schools from replacing failing teachers hurt children.

Unions further negotiate provisions that benefit them institutionally at their members’ expense. Many government employees oppose their union’s agenda. In the 28 states without right-to-work laws, however, unions negotiate contracts that require government employees to pay union dues or lose their jobs. Unions also negotiate large subsidies for their fundraising. They negotiate for the government to collect union dues through its payroll system. This spares unions the expense of doing their own fundraising.

Without these provisions unions would bring in far less money. Federal law gives most federal employees the choice of belonging to a union. Most choose not to join. The federal unionization rate is only 18 percent—far lower than for states like Wisconsin, where 50 percent of state and local government employees belong to unions.[15]

Politicized Civil Service. America has embraced the principle of a nonpartisan civil service for more than a century. Government employees should serve the public under the law and under lawful direction of elected officials—not the interests of the union or whichever political party the union favors. Collective bargaining in government politicizes the civil service—because government unions negotiate and decide how much voters and taxpayers will pay for government services. To achieve greater concessions, they campaign for supportive politicians to be their bosses. When they succeed, unions control both sides of the bargaining table: Labor and management will collude to raise government salaries at taxpayer expense.

Unions’ special legal privileges give them enormous financial clout. Nationwide, 5.5 million state and local government employees must either pay union dues or lose their jobs.[16] The government subsidizes the collection of these forced dues with its payroll system, raising billions of dollars for government unions.

Part of this money goes to pay union leaders’ generous salaries. Gerald McEntee, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) earned $376,000 in base salary in 2009.[17] But government unions spend far more of their money on politics. In the election year of 2008, AFSCME’s national headquarters spent 32 percent of its budget—$63.3 million—on political activities and lobbying.[18] Local AFSCME chapters spent millions more.

Government-employee unions now spend more than any other outside group on U.S. elections. Of the five largest spenders in the 2010 election cycle outside of political parties, three were unions that represent government employees. AFSCME took the top spot, spending $91 million to elect its members’ bosses. That total dwarfed the Chamber of Commerce’s $75 million, and the $65 million raised by Republican Party-allied groups. As Larry Scanlon, head of AFSCME’s political operation said: “We’re the big dog, but we don’t like to brag.”[19] This spending gives government unions significant political power.

Government unions use this power to campaign for higher taxes and more government employees— in order to increase union membership and the amount of money flowing to the union from dues. They are the driving force behind most campaigns to raise taxes and prevent budget cuts.[20] They attempt to make government expansion the path of least political resistance. If politicians refuse to support this agenda, government unions will use their power to defeat them.

At times they state this openly. A Service Employees International Union (SEIU) representative told California legislators that “We helped to get you into office, and we got a good memory. And come November, if you don’t back our program, we’ll help get you out of office.”[21] Collective bargaining has thoroughly politicized the civil service in many states. Increasingly—and contrary to basic democratic principles—it is union leaders, not elected officials, who essentially decide how much taxes people pay, and how the government will spend those taxes.

A Policy Choice

Institutional collective bargaining was a policy decision made by state and local governments. Labor unions had traditionally opposed collective bargaining in government. During the 1950s, private-sector union membership peaked and began to decline. The union movement then came to see government employees as valuable new dues-paying members. It reversed its stance on government bargaining in the late 1950s. Beginning with New York City in 1958 and Wisconsin in 1959, many state and local governments across the country began to bargain collectively, largely as a result of union pressure.[22]

Many other states concluded that this decision was a mistake. While 25 states have comprehensive collective-bargaining laws, the remaining 25 states limit collective bargaining for some or all classes of government employees.[23] Voters can exercise full control over their government. Some states, such as Virginia, ban collective bargaining by government unions outright.

Restoring Voter Control and a Nonpartisan Civil Service. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has proposed restoring voters’ control over their elected government. He proposes eliminating negotiations over government benefits and work rules, and requires voters to approve any wage increases beyond inflation. These changes allow Governor Walker to reduce the generosity of government health and pension benefits to close Wisconsin’s budget gap.

Walker also proposes significant steps to restore a nonpartisan civil service: He would allow government employees in Wisconsin to keep their jobs without paying union dues. Unions would have to demonstrate support among employees in an annual secret-ballot vote in order to remain recognized as the employees’ bargaining representative. The state government would also end collection of union dues through its payroll system. The changes would remove the special privileges that inflate government unions’ political clout.

Other states should follow Wisconsin’s lead and cease collective bargaining with government unions. Government collective bargaining raises the cost of public services, politicizes the civil service, and directs tax dollars to special interests. The arguments in favor of collective bargaining do not apply to government: The government earns no profits and has a monopoly on its services. Government unions bargain to get more money from taxpayers. This does not serve the public’s interests. Elected representatives, not unions, should have the final say on government policy.

States should also stop subsidizing union politicking. The law should not force government employees to hand over hundreds of dollars a year to unions, and should not subsidize union fundraising. Stopping this would go a long way toward restoring a nonpartisan civil service. American government should once again serve the needs of the people.

—James Sherk is Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation

Thinking about Wisconsin

Perhaps the answer to the problem in Wisconsin is to let the unions have their way, but remove those state jobs from the state powers that be.  Perhaps the answer is to have taxpayers pay 40% of the budget to union jobs, and get on with the other bills using the remainder for the people.
The money could be paid directly to the union and they could use it to buy insurance and health care benefits which seems to be the issue here.-In fact I 've heard that suggested.  Firemen, police, and teachers could be a business instead of under the taxpayers umbrella.  You do well, you make money.. form a union..
I watched that woman faintingly screaming that this decision to have the unions increase the amount they put into their own benefits.. She was the same woman, I would swear, that I saw at another rally across the country.. she's good. actress?   She said the state signed her death warrant because she had cancer and now she'd have to pay for all the treatments herself.  Why?  No one took her benefits away.  Odd.. I believe in conspiracy, and this one is a hoot. 
The funny part was watching her try to get on camera and then doing her drama.. no emmy here.
Just one more thing to add... I may not agree with you, but I would fight to the death for your right to be heard.  LOVE and HUGS

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I'm aching.. really sore all over again today.  Yesterday was difficult and  I got nothing done that required physical labor.  I sat down and worked on family history via photos.  I must have gone through about 500 .. and have a few I can't identify and neither can Wendell.  Trouble is, there are few others we can ask about them. 
It's really important to write names on the backs of the prints.

My blood sugar is evening out.  I'm so delighted about this.  So far, so good.  I ran 92 this morning. 
I think a lot of my pain and soreness is from weather changes.  My meds don't seem to hit it squarely though.  Strange.

How are you planning for your family for when food prices skyrocket out of sight?  Think protein, vitamins, carbs, and some fats too.  Learn how to make bread at home.. or biscuits?
What can you use to replace milk if you can't afford a gallon?

Friday, February 25, 2011


Hooray for Gov Walker of Wisconsin and their congress who were not swayed by thugs in their capitol building.  We live in a representative government .. not a democracy where mobs rule.  AMEN!  Go Wisconsin!  I am in complete agreement with the governor and his congress.  I am so ashamed of the liberal congressmen hiding out so that they don't have to face THEIR constituents who are obviously the angry mob outside the chambers.  There should be a law re  congressmen who don't work for the people of the state.  The state cannot be ruled by mobs.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A big 99 this morning

Glad to report a blood sugar of 99 this morning ..

must be doing something right. 

Laundry is done.  I'm takin' a break for a while.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Throttle the groundhog!

Did you see what happened yesterday afternoon and evening?   Duh... I guess that is a dumb question.  Snow kept coming and coming and coming... till we have 6-7 inches on the ground.  That was what I'd call a 'flash storm'...
Seemed to come from nowhere.
This morning is a beauty though.. sun shining, snow glistening and a brisk 19*.  It feels like a good day.
Son Paul was caught in the big storm of yesterday- I-79 .  Took him hours to get home.. did he say 5 hours?
JJ also got caught on Rt-8 coming out of Butler.  She sat for hours in traffic trying to go south. Tractor trailers stuck on McBride Hill..couldn't go anywhere,  and then rescued by friends.  Now, that's the kind of friends to have.  I'm thankful for cellular phones as she was able to chart her path to friends and family as she plodded her way toward home.
Jane and Joyce were out in it also..took nearly an hour to go a short distance.  Then Paul had to pick Joyce up after work..
I am so thankful that I am gainfully unemployed- retired.  These are the kind of roads that I seemed to always get stuck on.  I remember a year or so ago taking on McBride Hill with my studded snow tires, spinning my way up the hill while others were sideways or worse.  I got to the top of Armco and called the boss to say I wasn't going down the other side of the hill.. and then being told that they were closed that day.. oops!  forgot to tell you. 
No more.  Content and happy to be home.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are you prepared?

Are you watching what is happening in the world? Coming to a neighborhood near you ... soon..  Look out for Day of Rage March 12.  Get to know your neighbors.. :)  Stock up on food and supplies, and don't forget to PRAY- your most important defense.

It's snowing this evening.  I'm so glad Wendell got home before it started.. it's coming down hard.. we have at least 4" now and they say we could have 8" tonite.  Time for spring.  PLEASE!!!!!

Supper needs to get on the table and I doubt it's gonna do it alone..

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy Birthday P3 at Chuck E Cheese !

 Birthday boy Paul

David and Daniel collecting tickets


Cousin Jeffrey

JJ and Joyce

Sabbath evening

Good evening all.  It's , wait.... that's not snow, that's freezing rain.  Yuck.  Wendell has a doctor appointment after lunch tomorrow. Hope it's all gone before that.

I have a new hobby.  Geocaching.  Yesterday I went with JJ and Keith and we located 2 out of the 3 in the area where we were.  Today on the way home from church, I got another one.  It's fun to log onto the geocaching site and put my accomplishments there.
I used my TomTom GPS to locate the one today.  Keith and JJ have a neat little GPS that just runs coordinates.   Mine registers the coordinates too- a surprise to find in my GPS!

Last evening we went to ChuckECheese to help Paul 3 celebrate his 12th birthday.  WOW, is he ever getting old.. hehehehe.  I'll post my pictures in the next post.  Wendell got weary of sitting and decided that we needed to go home.  Pizza was pretty good.. We left before singing Happy Birthday, so of course, we didn't have cake.  A very wise choice for 2 diabetics. 

Making the best of the before it runs out in June.  Have taken the Blairs back to Ireland, 1599.  Happy Day!!.. Unfortunately, I can't get past first base with Grandpa Grove.
Maybe another day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rehobeth Cemetery

Grove twins, unnamed

Rehobeth Cemetery

 Orren Scott Grove 1865-1955   Annie Fowkes Grove 1867-1956
 Blair Grove, son of ML and OS Grove
Age 18 months
 Mother- Maymie L grove
Nancy Grove Smith, 1835-1911

Family History

Wendell and I decided it was time to go to Brookville and find his family there.  We joined the Jefferson County History Center and were welcomed to all the books we could find and a genealogist to help us along.  Fabulous place!   I got the info on his grandmother, but we hit some brick walls as far as other family members.
It wasn't a loss at all, but very informative- I have learned "HOW" to find the information online and to go to other records.
It's fun.
Today when I signed on to AOL, I discovered an email from genforum on Daniel Blair which I'd posted last week.  I have to do some sorting, but we are somehow connected indirectly to Alexander Peden's family..  I feel like I'm reliving Charles Carroll of Carrollton !!!  How fun.  Alexander Peden's Aunt Esther married Brice (Bryce) Blair.. and though I have the line in a pile of papers, I've not had time to untangle it. 
More later on that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

a blessed Sabbath to you.

 It's a beautiful day.  Brisk at 30*, but with the promise of 40* later on.  I plan to go to church to day.  Seriously- I 'plan' my Sabbath.  I find that the excuse of too much snow, snowed in, sick... yada yada.. are too much for me to bear, and as I miss worshiping the King week after week, I am drawn and filled with the desire to attend.  So I start on Monday to pray that all would be in order for the following Sabbath.. and Tuesday the same.  Wednesday I look at weather reports, and Thursday I pray for good health for Wendell and for me.  Then the blitz- praying for good weather on Friday and Saturday , and for good health also.. that we might be in attendance. 
Today is no different.   It's been prayed over and over, and my intention is that I will go, inclement weather or not.    I'm very thankful for our 4WD, but it's a gas hog.   The vehicle runs like a top and bursts through all sorts of drifts without so much as spinning a tire.  It's amazing.  But it's a gas hog.   Today I will attend worship, but I have only a quarter tank of fuel and limited funds.  It's not bad, we get paid on Wednesday.  But the trip to the Valley uses a quarter tank of fuel.. God has provided us with another RP church in our back yard nearly.  It's about15 min away and is the answer for days like today.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

tomorrow is the Sabbath...

Have you been watching the weather today?  Brrrrrrrrrrr... the temperature is 30*, but that wind..  I hated having to go out for the mail!  Our driveway is about drifted shut.
Tomorrow is the Sabbath.  With our gas hog 4wd, low on fuel, and low on funds to fuel it, we will likely be at the Gibsonia church for worship tomorrow.  That'll work.

Friday, February 11, 2011

another update

Happy today.. the medication is working apparently- down 4# .. if you want to know more, check the downsizing blog at the right side of this column.
Thomas is again out and about.  He must be feeling a little better.
Are you watching national and world news?  Please go to Fox and watch for 20 minutes.  :(

Thomas Update

He's out and about this morning. Face doesn't look as swollen, eyes are okay. I did note that in trying to eat dry cat food, he shakes his head with every bite. This leads me to believe he may have a mouth injury. Poor guy. I got 4 cans of Fancy Feast Appetizers this week with a coupon, so he now has the soft food and is eating it with relish. Most of his food was in his bowl from yesterday. I guess he wasn't up to eating after that battle.

Yesterday he was limping pretty much, but today he is walking with out difficulty on all 4. I can't even see the spots that were oozing.

I sure hope that big cat stays away.. Wendell is irate with him..

Not a good deal for the big boy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let's talk Metformin

Metformin is the generic form of the drug Glucophage.  It's used in the US to treat Type 2 diabetes, and is usually the first drug tried where insulin resistance is known.  In Europe, it is a drug used for weight loss.  Let's hope that it works that way for me.
It's a drug that has few side effects and a low risk of hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar).
Metformin is known to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, and shown to prevent the cardiovascular complications of Type 2 diabetes.

Thomas injured

Poor Thomas was attacked this afternoon by a cat that looks very similar to the gray one in this photo.. but that is more than twice as big as Thomas.  I looked at the tracks in the snow- the gray cat's tracks are deep and huge- about 4 times the size of Thomas' bloody prints. 
I had walked out on the deck and saw blood spots here and there and definitely connected to little cat tracks.  A larger spot was by his food dish.  As I looked over the side of the deck, I saw something that I thought was feathers and thought to myself 'good.  you got one of those birds that have been eating your feed.'.. and then I saw the area where a small war had occurred.  No feathers.. but plenty of gray fur.  Thomas is totally black, so this wasn't his.. but unfortunately, the blood was.  He is not a fighter, but he does have lethal claws that should be registered as a weapon. 
I followed the blood trail to behind the old hen house, but he disappeared at that point.  I called to him, but not so much as a meow came back.  I went back inside and told Wendell about it and he went outside.  When he returned , he said Thomas was on the porch and looked like he got the bad end of a stick.  I raced out to check on him.  There he sat, trembling, limping from 4 oozing paws, his tail and fur all a mess.  His right eye is a little swollen, but he looks okay otherwise.   My desire is to seek vet care for him, but I have no way to take him, and then, he's been through enough stress for one day.  He's in his little cat cave now.  He needs to get warmed up and rested.  Bad day for the poor kitty.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Type 2 diabetes

Let's talk about Type 2 Diabetes.  It used to be called non insulin dependent diabetes, late onset diabetes, or adult onset diabetes, but the one thing that is sure, it is the inability of the body to metabolize sugar or glucose which is the body's main source of fuel.
The body requires insulin to regulate the sugar into your cells.  When this regulation is disrupted, one needs treatment to correct it, or life threatening results can occur over time.
At the moment, there is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, but it can be treated and managed so that it does not progress causing complications.  Eating healthy foods, exercising, and weight control are critical in that management.
When I was in nursing school, they taught us the 3 cardinal symptoms of diabetes;
1. Polydipsia- excessive thirst~ as excess sugar is released into the bloodstream, it pulls fluids out of the tissues triggering thirst.
2. Polyuria- elimination of large amounts of urine
3. Polyphagia- excessive hunger.~Muscles and organs are depleted of glucose since it's not being absorbed into cells, causing the body to want to consume food to correct it.  But the foods aren't able to get there because of the misregulation of insulin.
There are other symptoms-
*Some people lose weight as glucose is eliminated from the body in urine.
* When cells are deprived of sugar, the body becomes very tired and many times irritable.
*Because fluid is being drawn out of organs and into the bloodstream, the eyes are affected and blurring of vision can occur.
* Sores don't heal and become infected more easily than the normal person . 
*Acanthosis nigricans is the term given to the brownish velvety skin discoloration usually found in the armpit and neck areas- it's a sign of insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body developes insulin resistance or when the pancreas stops producing insulin.  It is not known why this occurs, but contributing factors may be overweight and inactivity.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas.  When you eat, the pancreas releases insulin to open the cells to permit glucose to enter.  As the blood levels of sugar drops, so does the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas.
Glucose is the main source of energy for body cells.  It comes from either food you eat or the liver produces it.
There are certain factors that increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes:
*Obesity- the more fat cells you have, the more resistant to insulin you become
*Family history
*Prediabetes-a condition where blood sugars rise, but not enough to diagnose as diabetes- it often leads to it however.
* Gestational diabetics carry more risk later in life.

Complications if left untreated even in the early stage of Type 2 diabetes can be life threatening.  Many organ systems are involved including eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys.  Skin and mouth fungal infections can occur as well as osteoporosis and hearing problems.   Recently it has been connected to Alzheimers.

Testing to make the diagnosis or follow the treatment :
*Glycohemoglobin or A1c is a test done that averages your blood sugar for the past 2-3 months.  It measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin on your red blood cells.  6.5 or higher indicates type 2 diabetes.
* Random glucose levels of 200 or more indicate diabetes.
*Fasting glucose levels should be 100 or below.  Up to 125 is diagnosed as prediabetes.  Over 125 fasting is Type 2 diabetes.
* Glucose Tolerance Test can also be done

What can be done?  What treatments are available?
Daily glucose monitoring with a glucometer at home to follow the levels on a daily basis.
Healthy eating including low glycemic index foods, fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Increase physical activity daily

I'll talk about medications in another post.

the Agenda

Today I need to go to the pharmacy and retrieve meds for this sinusitis, my pain meds, and then some equipment for my glucometer. 
It's rather cold- the furnace came on this morning- it rarely does.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


I love posting on Facebook- I love talking to folks in real time every day.. but something is wrong here.  I'm seeing a manic reaction to the Superbowl game that makes me uncomfortable.  I'd be right there with all the fans were it not the Sabbath.  It makes me cringe to think that my friends and family are expending so much energy on a ball game and the players, but have seemingly forgotten the Lord God Almighty.
Imagine a world where the players on FB would be screaming and shouting their love of Jesus... Excited preparation for the Sabbath, with folks posting how they were going to spend the day in worship of the King.  Imagine songs of praise to the King of Kings .. Love and unity in worship of Jesus.
"BIG GAME TODAY- LET'S BRING HOME A WIN"  could be "Great sermon today- 20 converts to Christ!!!"  or "1 soul was saved" !!!
Terrible Towels wave everywhere..  Imagine a stadium full of bowed heads in prayer to God..
Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy- not a suggestion, a command from God who made the day for His worship.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Being aware

It's one of "those" days.  Not bad, not particularly good.  It's one of those days when I have to actually LOOK for God's grace, though it's obvious and all around me.  I'm blinded by my imperfection. I'm feeling well, though I have some aches and pains that are age related and the tail end of a cold that has lasted several weeks.  Those things make me whine, and I'm sorry for that.  Forgive me- I'm so human.
My first thought this morning was not of the beauty of the trees and the snow on the ground, nor of the fact that we don't have 5' of snow backed up in our driveway.  It was simply that I felt cold and it is wet outside, and icy.  Icy- that was the thing that gripped me most of all.  Not that I planned to go out today- I did that yesterday when the ice wasn't such a problem. 
Breakfast was good  'as usual' reminded hubby.  We do eat well for breakfast.  A good start on the day means we can stay on our portion controlled diet better throughout the day.  But once the dishes were cleaned up, I felt worse.  I have a pain in one part of my upper back that won't let go despite pain meds.
It's a dreary kind of day where you know the sun must be up there in the sky because it's daylight, but won't be seen for the majority of the day, if at all.  The ice is melting and it's drizzly.. and cold.
I've been doing a lot of pondering about things lately.   Wondering why things are as they are.  God has this tapestry He's been weaving over the centuries, and I ponder why He let me be one of the beautiful fine threads.  My thread, like so many others before me, is not a long one, but in His hands, I become vibrant and though a very small part, a very important part.  I imagine myself as being that teensy tiny scarlet one in the corner.. (I smile to myself).
My frame of mind improves.  I am aware that in order to destroy viruses and bacteria- those virulent bugs that can be killers, we have to have cold and ice at some point during the year.  Now is a good time for that.. (I think I hear God laughing at me).  He knows me well, knows my weaknesses, and that I'm really not fond of extremes of temperature whether cold or hot, but He loves me and provides just exactly what is needed. 
Even the animals are seemingly slower today.  Deer aren't moving very fast and I saw some laying down in a bare spot back in the woods.  Beautiful animals they are.  Graceful.. timid creatures. 
The diamonds in the snow weren't there today.. but maybe tomorrow.  God shared them with me several mornings this week, and I marvelled at them and called them 'awesome'.  They really were. 
I saw a couple of squirrels too.  Talk about graceful creatures.  They move as though they are riding a wave on air- their tails flowing behind them . 
I return to the inside and am warmed by the little heater in the living room.  I realize that in some parts of the world it is cold and wet, and there is no little space heater to take it away and soothe the body.  I think that I am perhaps unappreciative of the little things in life.  I need to be more aware, more thankful.
We went grocery shopping yesterday and filled our pantry cupboard again, and it overflows onto the guest bed.  I am aware and I am thankful God has given us the means to feed our physical bodies. 
I am aware of God's great mercy and love as I read 'for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.. that whosoever believes on Him, should not perish, but have eternal life"..I believe,  and I am aware and very very thankful.

Friday, February 04, 2011

FotoFriday- RAINBOW

 All week long I looked for something that resembled a rainbow... I took pictures of the prism effect on icicles on my house, but the colors didn't appear in the pictures..
In desperation, I bought these candies and realized that anything other than REAL M&Ms, just don't have the color.  So I put them on my countertop in a crystal cup and this was the result.  I just couldn't get the lighting right.  Serves me right for trying to take pictures after 7pm.  ugh.
Join in the fun on Foto Friday with Elizabeth's blog !

John Piper

John Piper, “When Not to Believe an Angel,” February 6, 1983:

O, how we need to meditate on the horror of rejecting the gospel. Satan does his best with television and radio to create in us a mind that is so trivial and banal and petty and earthly that we find ourselves incapable of feeling what terrifying truth is in this word anathema.
O, how we need to guard ourselves from the barrage of eternity-denying entertainment. We need to cultivate a pure and childlike imagination that hears a word like anathema the way a child hears his first peal of thunder, or feels his first earthquake, or suffers his first storm at sea. The Bible does not reveal to us the eternal curse of God that we may yawn and turn the page. The wrath of God is revealed to shake unbelievers out of their stupor, and to take the swagger out of the Christian’s walk and the cocky twang out of his voice. Don’t skim over verses 8 and 9 quickly. There is much humbling and sobering and sanctifying to be had here. Ponder these things in quietness.



Still pondering things.. so very thankful that God has flooded me with His grace..and mercy. Though I am blessed with material things, they are nothing.  Grace and mercy are the real treasures. 

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Consider the lilies...

28"So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

I was thinking about how God takes care of all of our needs daily- even the ones you might think are mundane.
I also consider that  birds don't sit in their nests all day waiting for the food to be dropped from Heaven.  We need to be planning and industrious.


Jeremiah 1:5   Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart

Isaiah 46:3-4 Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

I've been doing a lot of pondering tonight.  Mostly about why I am who I am and why I am where I am.  I think sadly of the middle east and wonder why I wasn't born there or in China or on some desert isle.  Why was I born in this generation rather than in the 1700s?  or earlier? 
I realize how very blessed I am in a million ways~ I can't even begin to list the blessings.  My life is different from others I know. 
God has given me material blessings suitable for a king.  I think that when I see pictures of the Sudan and asian nations.  I have so much.  I deserve so little and need so much less. 
I am thankful for where I am in the history of the world.  I would love to be around when Jesus returns.  I ponder these things too.
Matthew 24....
20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Coming of the Son of Man
25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

The Parable of the Fig Tree
29 Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

In 1948, Israel became a nation officially.  I have always pondered these last verses and wondered about them- I would be among that generation.. I was born in 1947.  God's word has lasted for thousands of years.  I believe them and trust that no matter what, He is sovereign. 
I sometimes feel rather uneducated against others and their knowledge of scriptures- I don't know enough and don't read straight through, and truly, I have 'dry' times when I don't get to read at all for a while.. but I always feel that 'nudge' to return.  God gently leads me back.
Enough said.  My soul bless the Lord.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I want to discuss blizzards.  There are certain criteria that have to be met to qualify a bad winter storm as a blizzard.
1.Winds of at least 35mph or gusts that are so frequent that you really can't tell whether it's steady or not.
2.Visibility is reduced to 1/4 mile by the snowfall or blowing snow for 3 consecutive hours.
You can check this out on Google if you want- but all the meteorological sites agree on these 2 points alone.
We have had ferocious storms that categorically are not blizzards, but are horrific just the same.
Some folks seem to think this is something new, but blizzards and the ferocious storms that go along with them have been documented since weather conditions have been, and I'm certain it didn't start just there.  In reading about blizzards, I have learned that they aren't that uncommon~ there are many every year that occur in high mountainous regions.
The blizzard of 1888 seemed to be one of the most horrific storms to hit our nation, being called "the great white hurricane".  Between March 12 and 14, the east coast from Maryland to Canada were brought to a screeching halt by this colossal storm by 50' snow drifts.  That's 50 FEET of snow drifts. Major cities were cut off from the rest of the world for 2 days.  200 ships were lost at sea or in harbors, and 100 sailors died.  Since the fire stations couldn't operate, fire damages amounted to $25,000,000- that's in 1888.
50" of snow fell in the northeast, and 40" in New York City alone.

January 12, 1888 brought probably the most tragic of blizzards dubbed "the Schoolhouse blizzard".  It's called this because of the end result of a day that started out warm with folks outside in less clothing than they would normally have worn when an arctic blast suddenly hit.  Temperatures plummeted from above freezing to -40* .  There were so many unprepared for this event, but most of them were schoolchildren who died of hypothermia.  230 deaths, mostly children.  There is a book that was written about this called appropriately "The Schoolhouse Blizzard".
"Some froze to death where they fell, while others lost their lives to the effects of frostbite; some were not found until spring. One teacher actually tied a rope around her class of seventeen kids and led them to the safety of the house she lived in."(1)

1899 brought another major blizzard that stretched from Florida to Montana.
"Sub-zero cold covered every state from Maine to Georgia, and a low-pressure system came up the East Coast with over a foot of snow in many places, with two to three feet in New England. New Orleans became iced over, and Tallahassee, Florida saw the thermometer read minus two, the only sub-zero temperature in Florida in recorded history."(1)

The Knickerbocker blizzard arrived in January of 1922 covering Washington D C with 2' of snow which caved in the roof of the Knickerbocker theater killing about 100 people.

November 11, 1940, the Armistice Day blizzard caught the entire midwest off guard. 27" snow, 80mph winds, and 20' snow drifts.
"Warm temperatures turned bitterly cold in a matter of hours, the winds reached eighty miles an hour, and two feet of snow and freezing precipitation came down." (1)
154 people perished in this storm including 66 sailors on sinking ships on Lake Michigan.
(1) Worst Blizzards in the United States

The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 was one of the deadliest disasters
to that region causing 250 deaths.  This storm was unpredicted, hit with speed and force, destroying 19 ships and stranding 19 more under 35' waves.  Most of these winter storms pound away for 4 hours or so, but this one lasted 16 hours of horror.

November 24-30, 1950, 353 deaths , caused by the effects of LaNina.  This storm impacted 22 states with documented 110mph winds in New Hampshire.  This was known as 'The great Appalachian Storm of 1950".

March 11-15, 1993 ~ "The storm of the century" with 300 deaths.
It ranged from Canada to Central America and brought heavy snow, rain, and tornadoes.  Most of the havoc occurred on the east coast of the US and Cuba.  One area in Tennessee received 60" of snow.

January 2-4, 1999 dropped 22" snow on O'Hare Airport.  In Chicago alone, 18 1/2" of snow fell as the temperature plummeted to -20F.  

January 9-12, 1975~ The Superbowl Blizzard left 70 deaths.
It not only brought massive amounts of snow, but spawned 45 tornadoes. 
Not only did the snow fall heavy, but the winds were heavy as well, sometimes gusting between 30-50mph, which then created 20 foot snowdrifts. In the end, 70 people were left dead; 12 from the tornadoes and 58 due to the snow.

So I really don't understand how the global warming folks get their information.  I believe they all grew up about the same time as me, but somehow they dropped out and this is the result.  They say our blizzards and weird weather today are caused by GW.  I doubt it.  Weather is as predictable as clockwork.  God promised seasons one to follow another and there has never been a time when it didn't happen just as He said it would.  Over my lifetime, I have experienced   very severe winters to very mild ones, very severe summers to very cold ones.. I remember them well.  There is a certain rotation to weather events and seasons. 
I also remember a time, I believe in the 70s, when we were told by the weather prognosticators that we were entering a new global deep freeze and we were all going to die.  Imagine.  And people believed that nonsense.  It's only been 30-40 years, and here they are again spreading the news that the sky is falling.. er.. the globe is warming and we will all burn up and die. 
What we need here is some verification of their facts before they present them, and then trust that the Lord is in control, no matter.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Ice is coming

It's Tuesday evening and there is a threat of ice tonite.  Wendell has an appointment tomorrow to have his knees injected for the 3rd dose of Synvisc.  I'm trying to convince him to switch his appointment to another day, but he wants his shots.  Okay.  We shall see, but I can't crack a half inch of ice off the KIA- it's bad enough clearing snow from it.

Feeling tired and weary tonite.  Still am behind on housework.  I seem to be coughing less and wheezing less, but my energy levels are dragging.  I have a doctor appt next Tuesday.
My insurance company says they are reinstating me, so I feel a lot better about things.. just wish I felt better physically.

I think I'll head to bed early tonite..