Friday, November 21, 2008

URGENT Prayer Request for my Daddy Dear

First I come to you asking for your forgiveness for my absence from these pages but I come to you with an urgent prayer request for my Daddy that I will explain after explaining my absence.

After Shelly's death, I found it most difficult to create cards as I had very little creative spirit left in me for quite some time. Things kept happening in my life that kept me from the task of making cards and filling swaps and to tell the truth my heart sadly was not in it one bit. It seemed so trivial to make cards and care about those things in light of all that I was enduring in my life. I still owe one swap out to a group of women on Splitcoast Stampers and I promise you all (if you are reading this) that I will still fill that swap as soon as I am able. Things got so crazy that I had to step back and set all of these types of things aside and just walk away from it for a time.
This was originally supposed to be a blog about cards and yet it has become a blog about my life. It has also been very difficult to read as most of the news has been extremely morose and tragic. This year has been one of the worst years of my life, filled with sadness at every turn. I wish I were writing about fun things and bringing joy to people's faces, like I once did.
Things I once thought were tragic in my life, like the possibility of losing my house (which never sold during the summer, so we are still suffering financially over having to retain it), or even having a painful disease such as RSD, have become quite trivial in comparison to all the loss that has taken place since the beginning of the year.
First off in January, as my blog reflected, the life of Ryan Maseth filled my blog pages with the story of his tragic death in Iraq. His family, still mourning his loss, are still searching for answers to the reasons for his death and hoping to protect others from suffering this same horrible death by electrocution. I pray that Cheryl and her family get answers, restitution, assurance that no other soldiers will ever die the way that Ryan has, but most of all I wish them peace.
Next came the deaths of 2 people I also knew and cared for, as my nephews grandparents both perished in an accidental carbon monoxide poisoning incident. They left the car running in the garage by mistake and both of them died in the house together. Their family lost both the mother and the stepfather in one fell swoop and it was so sad to behold.
Then came my surgery for my second incurable disease achalasia. While it was bothersome to learn I had another illness that will progress to a point of losing my esophagus. I will deal with that if and when it happens. For now, it is not my focus once bit. The surgery corrected the terrible choking fits I was having where I couldn't breathe... so for that I am grateful. My health matters are nothing compared to the painful life losses I have had.
Next came the prayer requests that all of you are well aware of for my friend Shelly Tomasic who was also Ryan Maseth's aunt (so this family is suffering in ways we could never have imagined having lost 2 members in 6 months). She suffered a return of her breast cancer that eventually led to her death in June of this summer. Shelly's death truly tormented my spirit. It's so hard to comprehend why such a loving soul must be taken from our presence... when she shed such light and joy and the light of Christ into every one she met. My love for her since we were 9 years old and our friendship through the years was one I will always treasure. Her loss has left a huge hole in many lives and I am still learning to live with the sting of her leaving us, even if I know that through her faith in Jesus Christ she is in heaven. I know that I will one day see her again and in that I have hope.
Next came the death of my friend Capri Walker, a fellow Angel Mom (we are a group of moms who have had the death of a child - Cappy lost 3 children). Capri was only 51 years old. She lived in Kenosha, Washington where she was brutally murdered by the neighbor boy - age 14 and his 15 year old cousin. They broke into her home to steal an X-Box and her cell phone and wallet. When Cappy came upon them (they thought she wasn't home), they beat her to death with a baseball bat. I am still dumbfounded at this senseless murder of a wonderful sweet woman whom I once went away on a retreat with in the Smoky Mountains to share the loss together of our children. Many lives were destroyed that night in an utterly disgusting display of human evil.
Still reeling from that death, I learned another friend from my former bible study group, who had recently beat cancer, had died of a sudden heart attack. The irony of beating the cancer only to succumb to a heart attack is another blow to my psyche, so hard to comprehend. Her name was Kathy Hall and she was a sweet and wonderful woman who will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
My former leader of our Pittsburgh TCF chapter also passed away this summer. He was a kind man and I consider he and his wife to be friends. Even though we knew David was going to pass and he beat the length of time that the doctors originally gave him, his death still added to the pain in my all ready tear-filled life.
All of these things had led to a somewhat depressive state and an inability to be creative. When I tell people about the year we have had, it almost sounds unreal. How I wish it were and I would wake up and find it to be just that. But it's sadly a reality I pray no one ever has to face.

Now I come to you with the most important prayer request I will ask of you...
Above you see a picture of my father and me at a recent wedding we attended. His name is Tom Dolby and he was recently hospitalized because he was having trouble breathing. After finding a tumor on his lung, he was diagnosed with inoperable, incurable lung cancer. I have cried buckets of tears over this diagnosis as Daddy was already dealing with bladder cancer. I wish he didn't have to go through this painful disease. I wish NO ONE ever had to suffer from cancer. I am certain it touches the life of every living being.
My prayer request to all of you who are still out there listening... is to please pray for a miracle for him. Pray for him to lean on the Lord in this difficult time and pray for a miracle to release this cancer from his body.
My focus for the next year will be to attend to my father in any way he could possibly need me. I want to be there for him and let him know he is loved beyond words and that he isn't fighting this thing alone. We are there with him! Standing in the gap in prayer and love. We are praying hard that he can beat those odds and get this horrible cancer out of his system. Please fight with me!

Please pray with me, forgive me and let me know that you are still out there listening.

I hope one day this blog will return to what what it once was ... and that is to become my creative outlet for card making and other artistic endeavors. For now though... this life has been interrupted by tragedies and a need to love and care for those whom I lost and those who need me now.
Love you all. I missed you and hope to post more soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A poem for Shelly Tomasic

I knew a poem would come for my darling friend Shelly. I just knew that in the days just after the loss of this precious life, the emotions were far too raw and the impulse to write had vanished in the weight of the sadness.
I wish I could have read this at her funeral, though I was honored to read the scriptures. I want everyone to know just how precious she truly was to me. I hope someone is still out there wishing to hear more about her, for her life was truly worthy of our devotion.
I miss her so much and can't even bear the thought of our world without her beautiful soul in it.
Thank you for sharing in my love for my dear friend Shelly.

The poem...

Our Shelly

What beauty was bestowed
upon such a lovely soul
within as well as outward
God's grace imparted
so many
glowing attributes
that one could not help
but to immediately
fall in love with

Our Shelly.

With one look into
her lovely blue eyes,
her kind spirit shined
and we
who were lucky enough
to have glimpsed
those sparkling eyes
saw peering from within,
a delicate radiance
reflecting her kindness
beaming eternally
from the soul of

Our Shelly

But ah,
it was her smile
that warm, inviting smile
that beamed before
each friend
and even towards strangers
and ever more so
at the sight of
her cherished family
a smile that shined so bright
it could illuminate the world
a blessing from above

Our Shelly

It was a
precious treasure
to receive that heartfelt smile
and to share
in the cheerful laughter
of memories we made
and joyous times
we shared with

Our Shelly

Great lessons
we are left to learn
from a teacher
such as her
unconditional love,
and above all
her spotless Christianity
taught to us
ever always by example
to live her life as He did
every day a walk with Jesus
worshipping Him in praise
never waivering from that path
thankful always for His love
devoted to His word
even to the end
no one loved her Lord
quite like

Our Shelly

Treasures she has left behind
in the path she laid for us
for it was a wonderful gift
to be
in the devoted circle
that surrounded her
in this affliction
the many loving friends
and family
privileged to be a part
of tending to her needs
by their faithful hands
embracing her with love
as together we cared for

Our Shelly.

Little did we know
how short our time
would be
to love and tend to her
and to gather up
sweet moments
and precious memories
we shared with

Our Shelly

Oh how our tears
stream earthward bound
for the sadness
that befalls
our own world
for we have lost a luminary
that simply
cannot be replaced
for no light I know
shined brighter
than the faithful heart and soul

Our Shelly.

We who were blessed
to share in this precious life
should yearn
and strive to be
a genuine reflection of
all that she esteemed to be
remembering her always
by trying to be more like

Our Shelly

May she live on forever
through our own thoughts and deeds.
We who too believe
in the God that she adored
know one heavenly day
that worlds of pain and heartache
will then be washed away
by the promises of her Lord
when our earthly time is over
and our Father calls us home
that one sweet glorious day
we will be
forever reunited with

Our Shelly.

For now,
each one of us remain
here on this earthly plain
forever changed
by her genuine embrace,
her joyful laughter,
her beauty and grace,
her Christ-like demeanor,
her sweet humility,
having felt
her absolute love
the likes of which
we may never see again
and the never ending light
that shines on through us
forever and always
touched by

Our Shelly.

written by her friend
since we were 9 years old
who is still loving you and missing you
my dear Shelly,

Tammy Tobac ~ July 11, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shelly Tomasic today entered heaven...Funeral Arrangements

Shelly Tomasic - We will love you and miss you forever.

Double click on the photos for larger version.
To save a photo to your computer, right click on it and save it for yourself on your computer.

Bill & Shelly

A family of 6 ~ A family who loves one another so deeply.
Ally & Sam, Will holding Gabby and Shelly & Bill.
Shelly and her children ~ the light of her life.
The Tomasic Family

Shelly Tomasic

- Our amazing, beautiful, perfect friend
& Faithful Sister in Christ,

Perfect, Loving Wife to Bill,

Loving & Devoted Mother to Ally & Sam,
& Will & Gabby,

Adored Daughter of Mary Ann & Paul Link
& Paul Pribik,

Kind & Compassionate Sister to Debbie,
Cheryl & Paul, Jr.,

And Beloved Friend to hundreds of us
who love her and will miss her always,
passed into heaven this morning ~ June 21st, 2008.

The heavens today receive a glorious soul.
Shelly today meets Jesus, the devotion of her life.
We know all pain and cancer have ended.
The many tears shed here will be tiny mirrors
that reflect the love that we have for her.
No one was more faithful
in her fight against this disease.
Rest now in Jesus arms my dear friend and be well.
Until the day we meet again.

Isaiah 57:1-2
The righteous are taken
and no one ponders in their heart;
devout men and women
are taken away
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken
to keep them from all the evil in the world.
Those who walk uprightly
enter into My peace;
they find My rest as they fall asleep in Me.

"To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons
and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to give of one's self;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm
and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived
- this is to have succeeded."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shelly has succeeded,
for she is everything that the poem above embodies.
She has touched so many of us.
I wish I could be more like her,
she was the most Christ-like person I have ever known on this earth.
Never an unkind word for another living soul.
Though we are heartbroken here, those of us who love her,
we know through the promises of her Lord and Savior,
we WILL see her once again if we only believe.
Our faith would be of the utmost importance to her.
I know for a fact
that Shelly would not want one person
to be angry with God
or to lose their faith over her passing.
I ask for your prayers over all of Shelly's family and friends.
Shelly is at peace, and we will shed our tears
at the thought of a world
without such a wonderful human being,
so loving and so beautiful as her in it.
If only people in this world
could show 1/10th of the kindness to each other
that she shared with all who crossed her path,
the world would be a fabulous place.

Like Shelly who never said Good-bye, only See Ya...
Yes my friend...
One day I will see you in Heaven.
Till then I say I love you and will miss you forever and always.

Funeral Arrangements
for Shelly Tomasic
Shelly L. (Pribik) Tomasic

Age 43, of Shaler Twp. on Saturday, June 21, 2008. Beloved wife of William R. Tomasic; loving mother of Alexandra, Samantha, William III and Gabriella Tomasic; dear daughter of Paul Pribik Sr. and Mary Ann Pribik-Link and Paul Link; dear sister of Deborah Hopkins, Cheryl Harris and Paul Pribik Jr.; daughter-in-law of William and Joann Tomasic; also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Family to receive friends 2-4 pm & 6-8 pm Monday and Tuesday at the BOCK FUNERAL HOME, LTD., 1500 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 am in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Glenshaw. Friends invited. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Shelly Tomasic Fund, c/o FNB Bank, 100 Federal Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Look to the Heavens  clouds heaven love memory miss rip sky you
imikimi - Customize Your World

Thursday, June 19, 2008

God understands when we lose someone we love...

This video is of a phone conversation between a young boy and a CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) show. It's so simple and yet so wise as the man says back to Logan. I felt it perfect timing to share it.
Just listen....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Please pray for Shelly

At last I share with you a picture of the angel that you have all been praying for, my darling and dear friend Shelly Tomasic. I ask your continued prayers for Shelly. She has taken a turn for the worse and has spent much of this week in the hospital. She has now been taken to her sister's home and hospice has been called in. Only immediate family will be permitted to visit with her now.
Shelly asked for me on Sunday and I am so grateful that she did. I got to sit at her feet and to hold her hand, kiss her head and tell her I love her. She of course replied that she loved me too, as we always did.
I still cannot fathom why such a beautiful soul as Shelly has been allowed to suffer with such a hideous disease as the cancer that ravages her body as we speak.
She is one of the kindest people I have ever known. No one in my life emulates Christ more than Shelly. She is a walking light of Christianity and the world needs more people like her.
I ask that you continue to pray for her that God will be merciful in either granting her a miracle or at least that she wouldn't suffer.
I ask you to pray for Shelly's children and husband as they must be at her side during this difficult time. I ask you to pray for Shelly's parents and siblings as they know all too well the pain of loss, from having lost their family member Ryan (the Green Beret) in January. And last but not least I ask you to pray for us her friends. Anyone whose life is touched by Shelly's will be deeply devastated at the turn of events of this week.
I wrote this poem earlier in Shelly's illness and I still pray for that miracle now. I thank you all for your prayers now and in the future.

Lament for Shelly

Oh faith you are a fragile thing
when prayers are left
to our imagining
and answers we beg and desire
and pray to You with fervent fire
seem to lay in useless dust
removing from me all my trust

for I cannot begin to comprehend
a God who'd let a life like this end
a God who could heal by His mighty hand
a God who has the power to against it stand

to stand upon the word of God
that she so fervently believes
A God who has the power
to remove this sickening disease

I pray in endless pools of tears
for Shelly and her family's fears
Why must this faithful servant be tried?
We're sending angels to her side!

With every prayer be lifted high~
Surely You won't let her die!
What is this battle you allow??
I pray a miracle come to her right now!

I thank You in advance I pray
as I await that glorious day
when You will do as we desire
and take all cancer with Your fire!

I pray they one day view a scan
and they who are but mortal man
will say, "It simply cannot be!"
as Shelly will be cancer free!

And Lord, all glory will be yours
We who pray, we will adore!
Adore the One who healed our friend.
Who dared not let her sweet life end.

Your Name will then be lifted High!
Hosanna to our God, we'll cry!
All glory laud and honor be
to You Oh Lord, Our Majesty!

All Hail the King of miracles
The King who brings out cancer cures.
The King who loves his servants fair.
The King we know is always there.

For faith is but a fragile thing,
when left at the throne of you Our King.
We must now wait upon Your will.
Know You are God and then be still.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Off to the Big Apple!

My best friend since 5th grade, Pam, is having a Sweet Sixteen birthday party for her daughter Taylor this weekend in NY, where they live. Happy Birthday Taylor!!!!

With all that has been going on in my life I thought I was unable to go to the party, so I sadly mailed back my RSVP with a no in the checked box.
Pam called me Monday to say she just couldn't plan her seating for her table and not have me there. So she got her income tax check and she is buying me a train ticket to head to NY for the party!
Wooohooo! Wasn't that super nice of her! Thanks Pam, here's to you!
Can't wait to relax on the 9 hour train ride and head out without worrying about swaps that are late, calligraphy orders that are late, or keeping a perfect house for a potential buyer.
I get to get dressed up in a gown and feel like a queen.
And just have fun and visit with my friend. That will be me on Friday night. LOL Just kidding. I don't drink with my medications.
I am so looking forward to this trip. I leave tomorrow! So hopefully when I return I will again have some cards to share with you as well as trip photos!
Hope everyone has a fabulous week and a fun weekend!
I am off to the party first thing in the morning!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Boy am I tired! Packing up is hard to do!

I haven't been around for days, due to our preparing our home to sell. Here is the link: Our Home West Deer (3 BR, 2Bath, one whirpool tub, swimming pool, office on first floor, huge dining room/kitchen on 14.5 acres in West Deer Twp., PA-if anyone is looking!)
My home was built by my darling husband just 5 years ago. We lovingly picked everything that went into and where every room would be. It's been so hard to know that soon it will no longer be ours. It takes so much energy, both mentally and physically to pack it all up. (Everyone should buy stock in the Rubbermaid company, because I think we bought them out of bins!) For about a month and a half now, we have been packing up the personal things and clutter and putting them in plastic bins (so the mice can't get in from the garage). We painted all the walls beige (insert giant yawn in right here - the artist in me abhors white and beige walls!). We got beige carpet for all over the house, which while it does look very nice, is still one of those things that make me yawn. Most of my pictures (which I LOVINGLY chose for my home) have all been packed away along with my favorite little knick knacks and such. The hard part is when everyone comes into the house and tells you how great your home looks without your things in them. I find it rather insulting and have grown rather weary of hearing it from everyone (including my own children) who comes into the house. For me has been like slowly erasing little pieces of me, with every package that disappears into the garage. Left in the sterile beige environment, ripping down all of my wallpaper borders and things that made my home mine, has made me a tad depressed. I refused to let them paint over my boy's Coca Cola Polar bears mural (it's on this blog if you want to see it), hoping that some child who may move into the house will love it as much as my own children first did when we moved in here.
Tonight, after a full day of cleaning, we had our first showing. We were down to the wire here! The people were pulling in as we were taking that last bag of garbage out the door. We were still mopping and wiping toilets right up till the moment they walked in. What a nightmare!
I hope it sells quickly so we don't have to continue to live in this bland world of beige for much longer. Plus keeping it clean for potential sellers is going to be a nightmare for my 2 boys! They are messy little beings!
Speaking of my children, they can have it like this for a while, but the next house, it's back to my colored walls and carpet. I have told them, that when they grow up, they may decorate their homes however they choose. But as for me, I have waited all my life for my dream home, and to now have to give it up is so hard. The new home will be my fresh canvas and the creativity will flow once again. The artist in me will NOT be stifled! It's my home...and I will make the new one a world of colors once again.
The hard part is just not knowing where we will end up. It's impossible to look, until we have our own home sold and under agreement. So I have been gathering homes to a list, but not making appointments until we know for sure. It's hard to have your life in such upheaval, not being able to find so many things when you need them and not knowing what is around the bend. I look forward to the day when at last we will be in another house, where I can lovingly make it into a home. My home.
I think I will share a card today that is in my SCS gallery so some of you may have seen it. But I haven't posted it to my blog. So here goes.
This is a card I made back in March for my Birds/Bees Swap. I love this bird stamp, it's so detailed. I had stamped it on shimmery white cover stock, so the coloring was a bit tricky. But I still like how it turned out. The BG is cuttlebug swirls and the word hope is stamped from a SU set. The ribbon is shimmery too. They took a very long time to color, using the prismacolor gamsol technique. I added a few stickles to the flowers to dress them up. I wanted to share the hope card, because ...I need a little hope right now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day - You are going to LOVE this video!

I want to wish all of you wonderful women out there a Fabulous Mother's Day!
May you rest and retreat and be swept off your feet!
May you be pampered and made to feel sweet.
May you get flowers and breakfast in bed.
May you feel joy at the cards you have read.
I pray you know of the treasure you impart
with each loving gesture that tends to your heart.
Not only the love of your family too...
but the love of your friends as I say... I love you!

Now...for a laugh and a moment of truth.... ENJOY THIS VIDEO! You are gonna love this!

Friday, May 2, 2008

THANKS are in order to several folks!

First of all let me say a HUGE THANK YOU TO!! TO MISS GINA K! If you go to her blog you will see the winner of a set of MEGABILITIES Scalloped Rectangles...and guess who it is! It's ME! I can't believe I won those! How truly exciting. Gina K. is such a generous Blog Candy giver. What a blessing it was to receive that on a day when I was having a lot of pain from my RSD and just feeling blue from all that's going on in my life right now. I will be sure to let you know when I get them by posting a card or two made with them.

Then there are some RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) that should have been posted long ago. I vow not to give up until I have thanked them all! It may take a bit of time...but here are a couple of cards I got when I had my surgery! (I also have cards from folks who sent one to me with Shelly's cards - how kind those SCS girls truly are! I will post those at another time.)
The first one is from sweet Jessica (Jlazarski on SCS). She sent me my favorite kind of card of course, the House Mouse! Isn't he adorable? I am itching to buy that stamp after seeing this card. Click on it for a close up so you can read the mouse's sign. It will make you laugh out loud!

The second one is from Asela! After I won her blog candy of a complete set of her clear stamps for Easter which you can see here: Easter Stamps Winner
I was so excited and I did use them several times, to make everyone in my family an Easter card with, plus I used them in an Easter swap too! But guess what I did...sent them ALL OUT without PHOTOGRAPHING one of them! What a goof.
When I thanked her for the winning stamps, I had mentioned then what a great highlight to my day it was, because I had been recovering from my surgery. She kindly sent me the lovely get well card above enclosed with my winning stamps...and what a beauty it was! I had to share it here. It's even prettier in person with the little glitter and rhinestones and everything. Just an amazing card and I was honored to get it! Thanks Asela & Jessica for thinking of me and sending such great cards!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

RSD - I have it. What is it?

RSD is the name of the disease that has a hold on me. I felt the need to explain it as I have mentioned it to so many of you. Plus, getting awareness out for this disease is helpful to preventing it from taking hold in some folks who catch it early enough.
It stands for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. There are 2 names for the disease now, CRPS-Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome being the other. Most people tend to use RSD interchangeably. I know I have mentioned it to people ...but I am guessing most people don't really know what it means. You may have heard Paula Abdul, of American Idol fame, mention that she suffers with it. She seems to be the most famous person we have who has said she has this disease from a cheerleading injury years before.

HOW I GOT IT: I was burdened with RSD after simple arthroscopic knee surgery for a meniscus tear. It is through no fault of the surgeon, but more a way that my own body reacted to the surgery. Most people heal in about 4-6 weeks with no issues. My healing after surgery was often going in the wrong direction, with swelling to the extreme, and redness and the inability to even have a sheet touch my leg at the time. I was in physical therapy and working on it several times a week only to have it continue to worsen. In January of 2007 I was diagnosed with RSD after my surgeon referred me to a pain specialist who made the final diagnosis, that I may have RSD for life. It can go into remission but no one knows how or what causes it to go into remission. Anyone who has this is constantly in prayer to have remission come upon them. It is a disease of the nervous system, that the body sets up a pain loop from the brain to the injured area, that never shuts off, even though the extremity may be healed from the surgery. The pain is not imagined pain. It is very real. Some people think because the brain is involved, that it is therefore "all in the head". This is not true...this actually causes physical things to happen to the affected areas causing the pain. There are times when I cannot even have fabric touch my leg or arm, it is that painful.
Below is an explanation of the disease taken from RSDSA(Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association) . Just click on the link if you would like further information or know of anyone who is also suffering from this disease.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a debilitating progressive disease of the Autonomic Nervous System. It is a chronic multi-symptom condition which is often characterized by severe burning pain, pathological changes in bones and skin, swelling, diminished motor function, and extreme sensitivity to touch. It can occur in one, two, or sometimes all four extremities , and be in the face, shoulders, back, eyes and internal organs as well. RSD involves your nerves, skin, muscles, blood vessels and bones. Although it usually occurs after trauma (minor like a sprain or major like a car accident or stroke), infections, surgery, or repetitive motion disorder, it can sometimes occur without any apparent cause.
If diagnosed quickly and treated properly, RSD can go into remission. Periods of remission can last weeks, months or even years and often will continue until an additional injury or trauma to the body causes the RSD to become active again. If treatment is delayed, RSD can spread to the entire limb or other parts of one's body and the changes in the bone and muscles can become irreversible. Unfortunately RSD remains poorly understood and often times is misdiagnosed. This is why it is extremely important for all of us to learn as much about the disease as we can and to educate others, including our family members, doctors, media etc.
While not every person has all of the same symptoms, the major symptoms that most RSD'ers
have are:

  • 1: Constant burning pain which is often described as having a hot poker being stuck into you. The pain is known to be out of proportion for the type of injury suffered. After the injury or trauma, the sympathetic nervous system seems to react abnormally and send incorrect messages throughout the body.
  • 2: Inflammation while not always present, presents itself as pitting or non-pitting edema.
  • 3: Skin changes which include, but are not limited to, temperature changes, skin or tissue atrophy, increased hair and nail growth or hair and nail loss, dryness, rashes, increased sweating, and an over sensitivity to touch.
  • 4: Spasms in the muscles and or blood vessels, tremors and dystonia.
  • 5: Diminished motor function and the eventual development of dystrophy and/or atrophy.
  • 6: Bone changes
  • 7: Emotional disturbances including insomnia, depression, concentration and short term memory difficulties.

For many of us, one of the hardest things to adjust to is never knowing how much pain the day will bring. We can wake up feeling (and looking) fine but within a matter of hours find ourselves bedridden once again. Or we feel well enough to do some things one day (household chores, running errands, or even going out to socialize with friends or family) and as a result of having a "good" day, we are bedridden in pain for the next 2-4. The little chores which used to take us a short time to complete now take endless tiring hours as we often have to stop for breaks before we are done.
Our activities play a huge part on how we feel and we must learn to make changes in our lifestyles to accommodate this. We need to learn to avoid activities which make our pain flare. We need to learn to set our daily priorities, set realistic goals, and most importantly learn to pace ourselves and rest when needed.
We also need to take into consideration the outside forces which will affect the way we feel including noise, crowds, weather and barometric changes, temperature changes, etc.
As hard as it is, we must try to find new interests and hobbies which enable us enjoyment without taking too much of a toll on us. We need to try to keep as active, mentally as well as physically as we can.

is in my left leg, left arm and often my left eye twitches at various times through the day. I recently broke my baby toe on my right foot and I fear that the RSD is moving over there. It has remained purple for 2 weeks now and the pain is spreading now up the right side of my foot. Any new injuries can have the RSD move into that particular area, so we must be careful about treating new injuries as well. My skin has all ready begun changing on the left leg, hair loss, and shiny thin skin is on my leg. It often turns a light purple when I am in a flare up all the way from the thigh to the foot will change color.
I am on a mixture of heavy pain medications including lyrica, oxycontin and vicodins. I am grateful for the Lyrica, for it has truly helped me to have a more normal life. But on days when the rain and cold set in and the barometric pressure is high like today, you will still find me suffering, despite how much pain medications I take. I also have a new friend who just moved here from Philadelphia, who sadly also has RSD and has had it for 14 years. I am grateful to have someone to share the path with who truly understands.
There are many wonderful people out there....millions of us, suffering with this disease. Little is being done to understand it or treat it. We are often treated with medications that were created for other diseases. It is a baffling disease indeed. Thanks for taking the time to read this and understand why when I have a few bad days and can't post or create cards, you now know why. This smiley holds the orange ribbon for RSD.

Monday, April 28, 2008

At last....some cards! And meet my cute hubby...the cards are for him.

This blog was first created to post cards, wasn't it? We all have times in our lives, when life surely gets in the way of the things we love to do and want to do. Hobbies take a back seat, to duties and health problems and friends who need us. But I am going to do my best to try to keep this blog moving along again. So back to the fun of creating and cards!

Last week was my darling hubby Brian's birthday, on the 24th. Isn't he a cutie? I think he is. ;o) People often ask him if he is a certain television star that is on the TV show "Grounded for Life" as well as some other shows and movies. The actor's name is Donal Logue and you can check him out by clicking on his name. He does look a bit like him and we always get a chuckle when some waitress asks him for the table near us, if he is that man. hee hee... He'll always be a star in my eyes. *swooooon*
His birthday was on the 24th, which was also the day Anna Wight's (Sweet&Sassy) baby cow was born! You can check out the glorious photos she took of her new little heifer here: Sweet & Sassy - Life on the Farm. I just thought it funny that he got to share his birthday with Anna's long awaited arrival of Dixie's baby cow.

We celebrated with my husband by taking him out to lunch with his Mom, Sister, Brother & Co-Worker and our sons too (because it was take a kid to work day too!). In the photo are L-R, my 13 yr. old Zane, me, my DH Brian, his Mother-Pearl, his brother-Lenny and his sister-Donna So he had a yummy lunch with family and friends. Uncle Lenny beat me to the check, so THANKS FOR LUNCH LENNY! Jim (his co-worker) took the picture. Shane, my 10 yr. old, is off flirting with a girl from his school in the parking lot. He won her a bunny playing the games inside. He's my little flirt! I will have to show him another time....when he's not so busy playing "Romeo".
My Mom took Brian and us out to dinner on Friday. THANKS FOR DINNER MOM!
My boys made him cards too. Shane's is sort of was a large piece of cardboard, hand colored and he had taped it to the door. I am sure it's here somewhere.
Zane however got into the cardstock and cutter and stickers and did a little creating himself. I like his eye for design. His card for Dad has clean and colorful look to it. He also took the time to write Daddy a poem. (I must admit to feeling a bit neglected and cheated in that regard because for my birthday I got NOTHING! LOL Shane made me a card, but Zane is Daddy's boy).
But I do want to share his art and poetry with you all as it was quite good!
First the card, on orange and green cardstock with cut rectangles in vibrant colors and he used alphabet stickers to say happy birthday. I love the clean simple layout and look of this card. I think he has a great eye for design and thinks outside the box!

Here is Zane's poem:

I thank you for everything you do
Especially when it is just me and you
Thank you for playing catch and cleaning up our mess
You even prepare us for our tests.
But there is only 1 more thing I have to say
You're the best Dad in every way.

Isn't that sweet??

And here is my card for Brian...I hadn't made it when we went to lunch and so I let him pick the color he wanted. I was surprised when he said PURPLE! It's my favorite color, but I was just sort of shocked that he wanted a purple card. So I scooted on home, before he got home and created a purple masterpiece just for him!
This card is done on purple DCWV CS and DCWV DP, and purple mulberry paper. I trimmed the edges with my gold metallic calligraphy marker. The curly wired trim is a ribbon that has purple beads on it. I found it at Pier 1 Imports at an after Christmas sale for 15 cents a spool! I bought every one that they had. They were so fun and funky! The purple ribbon had gold edging (that led me to do my paper in those edges too). The image is from the Stampin' Up - Lovely As A Tree set and was stamped in elegant eggplant ink. There are gold brads in the corners and the trims on the corners were a rubbery sort of sticker from Dollar Tree's scrapbooking line. They were plain white and I colored them in with the same gold pen and purple permanent Bic markers. He just loved it!

Thanks for the prayers for Shelly & now a prayer for you....

First off....let me thank you all who took the time to enter for my blog candy, by leaving such kind and thoughtful prayers for Shelly. I will be printing them out for her to take with her on her trip to travel to Mexico for a special treatment. Shelly is on my mind constantly and I can't tell you how much it means to know that you are all thinking of her and praying with me and sending in cards. The cards that have come in by the handfuls daily are a glorious testimony to the beautiful hearts of the women who post on Splitcoast Stampers. What wonderful, compassionate women you all are. I am so grateful for the day I discovered that site. It has literally changed my life. And getting to know all of you has been such a huge blessing to me. I consider you all friends and am grateful for these newfound friendships.
Give yourselves a hand for the wonderful compassionate women you all are, as I now say a prayer for you....

Heavenly Father,
Bless each woman who has taken the time to stop in the middle of their busy lives, to say a prayer for my dear friend Shelly. I thank you for letting me get to know these women by the cards they have sent and the prayers they have left here. They have richly blessed my life as well as Shelly's. I pray you will bless them and their families with good health, happy children, happy homes, peace, bliss and joy always. May they always have enough stamping supplies and room to create, so as to bless other's lives with their glorious talents and gifts. Amen.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pretty Parrot Picks Prize Person!

OK, I got a little carried away with those "P"s. LOL But you can tell by my name that I love BIRDS! Feathers in Feathers&Ink is most definitely for my birdies as well as calligraphy quills.
I had actually created a little video for you all to see my parrots actually picking our winner for the blog candy. I put all of your names on little slips of paper and folded them in half and put them in a box, then offered them to the birds to pull one name out. The cockatoo girls were the ones who did the picking. They are in the picture above. The one in the foreground is in need of a new home. Long story, but if you are interested or know anyone who is have them contact me!
When I have more time I will publish the videos to YouTube and you can see them there.
Mico (my umbrella cockatoo) and my favorite bird in the house was permitted to select our winner. You can thank Miss Mico Pie for choosing your winning slip!

She pulled out our winner and it's ~~~da da da daaaaaaaaaaa ~ LENA ~ SCS-Tackertwosome! CONGRATULATIONS MISS LENA!!!

Your prize will be mailed tomorrow, as it is in the box all ready. While I was cleaning up my office, I put it all in there after photographing it. Just email me your address and I will get it out to you.
Enjoy all the goodies. We may even throw in a feather or two (you can use them on cards!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Blog Candy - Just leave a prayer for Shelly

And Prayers for Shelly are all I ask...

I have never given away blog candy. So now's the time!
And as a way to get as many people as I can
praying for my dear friend Shelly,
I ask that you leave a prayer for her
on this post or your get well wishes for her.

Many of you who know me, know about my dear friend Shelly who is suffering from breast cancer that has spread. Shelly is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy and she could use our prayers!
She is a faithful wonderful mother of 4 beautiful children and a loving and devoted wife to her hubby Bill.
Shelly has never complained once through this entire struggle with this horrible disease. She still even worries about me and my health issues. She is a loving, kind & devoted woman of God, who prays regularly and loves everyone she meets. Everyone loves Shelly! She has the sweetest soul you would ever want to meet.
She always stands on God's word that He WILL HEAL HER of this! I ask that you stand with us and declare to the heavens that a miracle will come to Shelly and all of this cancer will be reversed.
Man doesn't have final say, doctors don't have final say....God has final say!

Many of you have all ready sent a card to Shelly via the Splitcoast Stampers web page I have created for her.
If you haven't done so and would like to...please visit this page
for further information to send a card to Shelly to lift her spirits. Click on the link here:

For the blog candy...please just leave a thought or prayer for Shelly and I will print them all out and give them to her the next time we meet which is Thursday for healing church services.
I will take as many comments as I can up until Saturday afternoon and will pick our winner that evening.
The number will be picked randomly.

Blog Candy Package contains:
A handmade mini lunch box made by myself in purple and green.
Using the Priceless set by Stampin' Up and it's filled with little goodies for your cards inside.
(This was from a swap from last year and I got back one of my own. So I am passing it along to you!)
A set of 8 mini bags of yarns and threads for your cards in black, black and white, white,
purple variegated to white, purple, pastels, baby blue and variegated browns.
A set of 12 tassels mixed gold metallic and white threads.
A magnetic notepad with chocolate pattern on top.
A magnetic weekly day planner for your desk in a paisley pattern.
A set of Hallmark Frames & Shapes by Marjolein Bastin from her Nature's Sketchbook line,
which includes 3 sheets of adhesive backed shapes and 4 paper frames.
Avon Naturals, peach lip balm. A set of 3-dimensional wedding stickers in ivory and purple and glittery!
And last but not least!!! ~ A CUTTLEBUG DIE CUT - The one called ~ STAMPS
Which has 4 stamp images - Square, Oval, Circle and Rectangle.

Good luck to everyone...thank you for sending your heartfelt prayers heavenward.
I thank you all for being a part of this and for blessing Shelly with your prayers.

At last! A post and a creation!

Well I finally got a small break in the calligraphy action. I have never seen such a busy wedding season in all of my 23 years of doing calligraphy! I am not complaining...just wish I had more time for personal things like stamping along with having orders that bring in $.
This item is called a Grunge Tag, ala Tim Holtz.
It was made for a swap hosted by my friend Deb on Splitcoast Stampers -dcoder.
I had such fun making this tag as it was my first creation from scratch in quite some time. It was great fun picking out papers and thread and pins and eyelets! It is somewhat hard to see in the photo but the top and bottom or on the elephant, left and right, is stamped in Cosmic Copper.
The entire tag was run through an inked cuttlebug folder - "Mesh"
using SU Orchid Opulence, using a tutorial I found on Paper Pleasing Idea's blog (Julie Buehner). Edges were then inked in SU Elegant Eggplant.
Rolled over impression with brayer on back as well in orchid.
Elephant & giraffe images are from Stampin' Up set - "In the Wild", stamped in SU elegant eggplant on white 110# cover stock.
Corners paper pierced (just got my paper piercer set from SU and I LOVE IT!) and edges dragged through
Cosmic Copper Brilliance Dew drops.
The designs on the ends were stamped using the Stampin' Up Sculpted Elegance in Cosmic Copper on
Stardream Metallic Shimmer (lilac shimmer paper!), and attached with copper eyelets.
Embellishments include purple safety pins & purple oyster shell button tied with copper shimmery ribbon.
Multicolored Bernat Bling Bling Yarn for the tails and background of tag.

I took a lot of photos today of things from past swaps that were never posted, so look for some more posts upcoming! I am back in business and hopefully can keep this little ball rolling!

Thanks for waiting for me!

Blog Candy will be coming up soon too! So stay posted!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Missing in action is all I can say.
Calligraphy orders and my flaring RSD have left me with little time to play with my blog and my cards. Some lay trapped in the camera. Some I forgot to photograph, like my parent's anniversary and my nephew's birthday. Alas...they are my hobby and sadly the hobby comes second. With the bit of energy I have had lately...I have only had enough to complete the necessary tasks. Some folks have thought they were no longer getting my blog, but I had to explain that it was because my poor blog has been left in the dust. They didn't miss anything at all, for there was nothing to miss.
Please don't unsubscribe though! I plan on revving it back up soon!
Stay posted!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Coca Cola Polar Bears Mural I did for my sons.....

I just thought of something I could share with all of you as a blog entry....
As we prepare our home to sell, it saddens me to leave behind this mural that I painted for my sons' room when we first moved here. I loved painting this room for my boys in our house 5 years ago. I still am not tired of it and really hate to leave it behind.

I refused to let my husband paint it beige like everything else in the house he is slapping beige paint on. LOL. I am hoping that perhaps some child (or an adult like me who will never grow up! LOL) will come here and fall in love with it, like my boys once did as they shared it with their friends.

I loved the Coca-Cola polar bears and thought it was something that could carry them through to their older years. It took me 8 days to paint this mural. I combined the bears from several posters into one big mural that takes up the entire wall.

The moon and the stars and the Northern Lights in the sky all glow in the dark at night. All day long the paint that glows (I used glow in the dark puffy paint), picks up the sunshine from the window and at night it comes to life! The outlines of the bears, the outlines of their bottles and the tops of the mountains as well as the shimmer in the water and the edges of the ice all also glow in the dark.

I wish I could take it with me! Someone said we could cut out the drywall and take it with us...but I doubt my dear hubby would care very much to do that! I guess that's the problem with painting murals...there's no way to save them but to share them in photos. So that is what I am doing here...sharing them with all of you. Pull up a coke and enjoy!

Poor Neglected Blog & Drowning in the Chaos!

I started out with such wonderful hopes and intentions of keeping this blog going and up to date. I enjoyed sharing life with everyone. I especially enjoyed sharing cards. I have been making some cards, but haven't had time to share them or post them to the computer or photograph them for that matter!
I hope to get some of the swap cards I have created over the past few weeks posted soon. It's been taking a very long time to recover from the chaos left in the wake of my surgery.
We are readying our home to sell and cleaning up rooms and painting. (not me painting! I do murals not big brushes. LOL). I feel like I am drowning in the clutter I have created from my craft items and such. Just like the cartoon on the left! That's me and my stuff all over the house! My poor hubby is trying to pack things away and I am the total packrat! God bless him as he tries to get us to downsize. What a monumental task that is! I am helping when I am physically able.
Plus I had lots of calligraphy to catch up on during my recovery time. I had 6 orders when I went into the hospital (more than I ever have of course!) So I have spent the past few weeks catching up on calligraphy and swaps, while helping dear hubby and dealing with flare ups of my RSD. Needless to say, it's been slow moving for me.
Here is another great cartoon which describes me to a "T" as well....

Sadly the blog had to be pretty much last on my list as I only had enough energy to complete the "necessary" tasks with deadlines. Then I would become sleepy from just doing those things. So.... here we are... a whole month later! I can't believe it's been that long since I posted. So though there are no new cards, there will be soon. And though I haven't posted, I still care about anyone who is still out there listening! HELLLOOOooooo to you all and hugs and love across the miles. See you soon with some cards!