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ZELLAZM's Recent Blog Entries

Jet Lag Chapter ?

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I'm too tired to write much of a blog post, but thought I'd share a photo of me with the two lovely people I spent most of last week with - my dear dad and one of my cousins. We had a good time together in Naples, FL where my dad lives. The week before was very full, too, as I attended my denomination's General Assembly in Orlando. I'll share more when I've caught up on my sleep. I just landed back in Germany yesterday and have been sleeping on and off since then. Mostly on. Hope to be back on a normal schedule soon, but it usually takes me at least 4 or five days.

My AOL email account hasn't been accessible for the past day or so. That means I'm not getting my newest spark notifications, nor am I able to get to the file where I have blog notifications stored. I had intended to get to those when I got back to Germany but it looks like it's going to take awhile longer now.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SJG1953 8/10/2010 2:03AM

    I'm glad things went well in Orlando and that you were able to spend some more time with your family. Get rested up! Oh, by the way, the picture is great!! You do favor your dad! Blessings, Shirley

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FRANNIEDID 8/9/2010 4:23PM

    Get some rest!! You look great (so much like your dad!)

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JANETELIZABETH1 8/9/2010 3:39PM

    Welcome back Michelle...hope you get some good recovery rest time.
Lovely pic...you look very well !!!

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CTEMPLE 8/8/2010 11:08PM

    lovely photo, we are in west Yellowstone Montana tonight, leaving for Salt Lake city tomorrow
Claudia

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 8/8/2010 10:13PM

    Great picture! You look very well, also.

How is your dad doing??

Please take care of yourself. I heard getting up at sunrise and standing facing the sun for a full 10 mins, helps your body re-set itself after jet lag. Worth a try!

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CHRYS13 8/8/2010 7:43PM

    Beautiful picture! How wonderful that you can share time together....

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GINILEE4 8/8/2010 7:37PM

    I'm glad you made it home. Dad looks great and I hope he is doing well on his own. You look amazing my friend. Rest up and get yourself back into the swing of things. Check out my blogs for the next few weeks. Things are beginning to happen. Well maybe not till Friday but it is intertesting. Take care and keep Sparking,

Gini emoticon

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ASMPP1 8/8/2010 6:41PM

    emoticonRest up! There will be time to get to things when you are rested. I am glad you arrived back safely. emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 8/8/2010 5:48PM

    You sure look like your dad in this picture (minus the mustache and beard, of course!)
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NEWLIBRARIAN 8/8/2010 4:22PM

    Sleep tight!

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Packing - Again!?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm just winding up a term paper for a Monday deadline. The prof was very gracious in allowing me such a long extension. It's been particularly hard to concentrate, not just because of the emotions and such --- but because it's been so HOT here.

And then I'll be off to Florida again, leaving Thursday.. It'll be hot there, too, but there will be AC! Although I'm not always a big fan of cold-blowing machines, but wouldn't have minded having one - at least in the car - the past couple of weeks. Today, I heard on the radio that the European heat wave may just be getting started. I think I may start sleeping in the cellar, the coolest place in the building.

I'm looking forward to checking in with Dad and to attending my church's General Assembly in Orlando for a few days from the 26th to the 30th. It's a great time to catch up with people I only see once every 2 or sometimes 4 years.

My SP tracking has fallen by the wayside again. I'm still getting in my daily exercise and eating well for the most part. I know I'll be back to regular Sparking sometime soon but am taking it easy for the time being.

I am going to set a mini-goal for the coming week - 100 crunches a day! I've been falling short on the ST. Here goes...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLFAITHWALKR 7/24/2010 5:30AM

    Living without AC is a different world, that's for sure.

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SARAHTAIT 7/19/2010 8:13AM

    Hope you have a wonderful time in Florida. We could NOT live without our air conditioning here in Georgia-it is not only hot but humid and we would be sweating all the time and miserable. I am so tahnkful for it all the time. Whew-100 crunches a day-ouch!! Good luck with that one...me I will stick to my walking. I am not a crunch girl-more of a stretcher!!!
Hugs,
Sarah

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SJG1953 7/19/2010 3:17AM

    It has been hot and humid here in Kentucky also. It has been a hot summer here so far. I hope your heat wave doesn't last too long. I don't have a/c in my car either and it is very uncomfortable sometimes so I can relate to that.

Have a safe trip to Florida. I pray your father is doing well. Still praying for you as well my friend.

May God watch over you and keep you safe. Hugs, Shirley

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ASMPP1 7/18/2010 7:40AM

    emoticonEnjoy your trip!

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FRANNIEDID 7/18/2010 6:47AM

    It is hot here too, supposed to get hotter this week. I can deal with the heat, it is the humidity that is really making it uncomfortable! You will get plenty of that in Florida! My DH was reading about the heat wave in Germany, hope it gets better soon!

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SONJASTWIN 7/18/2010 12:08AM

    100 crunches a day! That's impressive. My limit is about 30.

Don't stress about taking it easy; you deserve a break. Have a good trip.

Josie emoticon

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CTEMPLE 7/17/2010 6:27PM

    We do what we can, but for me the most important thing is tracking, I can't do it without it, but exercise and the heat are not good partners!
Claudia

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 7/17/2010 6:06PM

    I don't know if it's just my excuse, but I feel very unmotivated in the heat. I don't have A/C, and if I don't have a fan aimed at me, I'm hot and sweaty. I hope you have a safe and wonderful trip to Florida! Keep up those crunches. You can do it!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 7/17/2010 1:48PM

    Enjoy your trip!
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ROZELL99 7/17/2010 10:51AM

  good luck on your goal

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A different kind of work...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

It seems I need to go back to go forward. It's difficult to blog about the little daily incidents of my health and weight-loss journey without sharing something of what I've been through the past six weeks since my mom died. Writing can be therapeutic and part of the healing process, too. So here I am today.

Grief is the context of those daily happenings and it colors my life right now: Gray for the fog that sometimes sets in during those times when I can't seem to feel anything. Green for those times when the word of God or a word from a friend encourages me and gives me hope. Green is also the color of the woods and fields on the beautiful summer days that we're enjoying here in southern Germany right now. That makes it easy to get out and run or walk, especially in the evenings when it cools off a bit. Blue is, well, blue. I haven't figured out what color best describes some of the other emotions. I'm working on that.

Grief is colors, but it's a journey, too, and one that I know is going to take time. Grief is also a place. I know that I need to go there, but sometimes I just don't have the strength. I sometimes just keep busy with work or studying, or puttering around the house. Fortunately, my schedule at the language school is light right now so I can attend to this kind of work, grief-work you could call it. Financially, I really could use more hours but I'm taking the time as being part of God's plan for me right now.

A dear friend who recently lost his son warned me about some of the insensitive things people might say that are meant well. I'm glad he prepared me for that. But people have been, for the most part, very, very kind and thoughtful. Here on my blog, I've been grateful for all the comments and for all the prayers that have been said for me and for my family. I know that God is sustaining me through those prayers and I feel his presence almost tangibly at times.

One example: When we went out on the fishing boat to "bury" the little box of Mom's ashes in the Gulf of Mexico, it was a beautiful Florida morning. On the horizon, there was a line of towering thunderheads as there often is in the summer. They wait out over the Everglades and usually move in about 4 o'clock in the afternoon and dump showers on the coast for about an hour each day. But this was 8 in the morning, and the clouds were waiting. In the middle of one of them there was a fragment of a rainbow visible, something I'd never seen before - and neither had any of the other people who were along for the ceremony. The message to me was that God sends hope in the middle of our storms. Before we headed back into Naples Bay, I prayed a prayer of thanks for this sign of his love and care.

That was on a Saturday morning, just a few days before I left to come back to Germany afer three weeks. Those weeks were busy ones with the planning of the funeral, reunions with family members, and visits and calls from friends. I also spent time clearing a lot of Mom's things from the bedroom, but I had to pace myself on that project. On the day my sister was there to help, it was easier. One day, I dusted and swept Dad's art gallery and spruced up the plants in front . I did a lot of yard work back at their house as well. Keeping busy is good.

In 10 days, I have a deadline for the course I just finished taking. I need to write a term paper and finish some reading assignments. I haven't had a head for this kind of work at all - but it's coming back. And in two weeks, I fly back to the US for two weeks to attend my denomination's biannual international conference. It's in Florida this year, so I'll get to spend a week checking on my dad and taking care of some of the other things that need to be done there.

emoticonThis has been a long post! Gold stars to those who've read it to the end. I'll keep it shorter next time.

P.S. If anyone would like to read the obituary and/or eulogy, send me a Spark Mail and I'll send it to you privately.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLFAITHWALKR 7/14/2010 5:35AM

    So sorry. Yes grief IS a journey and it IS work. The rainbow in the clouds was absolutely beautiful. Something you will always remember.

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FRANNIEDID 7/12/2010 4:36PM

    Michelle, I did not see your blog about your Mom. I am so very sorry for you loss. I lost my dad 6 years ago, and I still miss him. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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BANDMAMAPC 7/10/2010 9:04PM

    Michelle,
I'm sorry that I haven't extended my sympathy to you for losing your mom. I feel awful about that. I just got finished reading your blog and it was beautiful that you can see past the grief and see a silver lining. I lost my dad in 1997 while I was pregnant with my twin girls. I am the only child so I spent a whole month taking care of my dad while my mom was still working. It was hard, but also humbling. You are a strong woman. I admire that a lot. Enjoy Florida and the time with your dad.

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SISTERDEAR 7/10/2010 11:09AM

    Michelle, I am so sorry that you have to go through this. It isn't easy, I know, but we all have to face it at one time or another.

I too lost my mom just a few short years ago, broght my dad home to live with me, then lost him a year later. I spent the last three years of mom's life bi-coastal. They lived in California and we live in Virginia. I treasure every moment that I had with them during that time, as they had moved far from our family home years before.

It's a daily process learning how to go on with life after something so final. I find myself wanting to pick up the phone and ask my mom about something, or think of questions I never thought to ask when I could. You are in my prayers. Rest in God and let Him be your source of comfort.

emoticonSue

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SJG1953 7/10/2010 2:59AM

    Michelle, my heart goes out to you. I lost my mom a year ago today. I was her caregiver and I still miss her so much but the pain does get better with time and with God's help. It sounds like the Lord let you know He is close by you. He knows what we need and provides for us accordingly. I am still praying for you my friend, not only for your pain and grief but also for your studies. Blessings and hugs, Shirley

Comment edited on: 7/10/2010 3:00:19 AM

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SONJASTWIN 7/9/2010 11:43PM

    What a lovely story about the rainbow in the storm clouds. Amazing how support finds you when you need it.

It's so hard to lose a loved one. Healing comes with time. Be sure to be extra kind to yourself during this time. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I am sending good vibes your way.

Take care,
Josie emoticon

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SARAHTAIT 7/9/2010 11:50AM

    I have yet to lose a parent and can only imagine what you are going though. I can only imagine the grief that you feel and the heartache. I appreciate you being open to share it with us as you have...I know that when it happens to me that I will be able to get through it as I have seen you walk through your journey of grief.
Hugs,
Sarah

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REYNJANET 7/9/2010 11:05AM

    Michelle, take it one day at a time! Your rainbow story was so touching! Such hope and encouragement! God knows just what we need.

Praying for you!

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NEWLIBRARIAN 7/8/2010 10:49PM

    Love and prayers may God see you through to the other side of your grief.

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CTEMPLE 7/8/2010 8:26PM

    Ah Michelle so difficult to go through grief, so many people avoid it. The thing is that the sooner we accept it the sooner it becomes a process and healing can do its job. In your case there's never going to be " getting over it" but the pain might be less strong although still there. I'm so glad that your taking tings in stride and slowly doing what you have to do.
As for the paper, if it has to be a middle of the road one instead of brilliant so be it. Priorities are somewhere else, but it heps to have something to focus on, other than the grief.
Claudia

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JANETELIZABETH1 7/8/2010 5:19PM

    You're right Michelle we all work though our grieving processes in different ways and I believe the Lord is leading you though.
How blessed you were to see that little rainbow on that special day....
Praying for you to gain even more strength daily and complete your studies that I know you've worked so hard towards.
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VIVIANJ5 7/8/2010 3:20PM

    My best friend lost her dad about a month ago, and it seems to me that she is going through similar emotions. Not having lost a parent yet, or anyone really close to me, I'm having a hard time knowing what to say to her. She knows I'm there for her, if she wants to talk, but without physically being there to give a hug, or just sit together in silence, I'm at a loss on what I can do.

This is just to say that I'm sure all your friends are there for you, even if they (we) don't always say or do the right things. But this is a very personal journey, and everyone has to get through it in their own way. It seems that you are finding your way, and whatever you feel like sharing, we are here for you.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 7/8/2010 2:40PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
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ASMPP1 7/8/2010 2:40PM

    emoticonYou will make it through. emoticon emoticon

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CHICADEE26 7/8/2010 12:56PM

    Bless you. Glad to know you are taking comfort in Gods arms at this time. You will make it through the Grief Journey one day at a time. It's the precious memories that hurt at first but eventually turn into the greatest blessings. I like OLYGIRL1's comment about the color Purple - I think she is right Purple is for healing. emoticon

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OLYGIRL1 7/8/2010 12:29PM

    I see purple as the healing color. Sort of like a bruise that starts out bluish black and sore, then as it start to lighten to the lighter hues, the pain begins to lessen. I was my mother's caregiver before she passed and she is with me every day in many ways. Good luck with your term paper.

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Mom

Sunday, May 30, 2010

As many of you know, my mother has been struggling mightily with her health over the past few years - COPD, then a serious head injury, hip surgery, carotid artery surgery, two stays in rehab. Last night, that struggle finally ended, quietly and quickly.

She had been admitted to hospice in-patient care for respiratory trouble a few days ago and we hoped she'd improve enough to go home. She had gained weight over the past few months, her memory had improved, and she had begun to use a walker again sometimes instead of the wheelchair. Then a bronchial infection got a hold of her and her body just didn't have the strength to fight it anymore.

I got to speak to her on Friday when she was still lucid, and could tell her I love her one more time. God's amazing grace.

Now I'm packing to fly to FL to be with my Dad and my sister, and to help with all the things that have to be done when someone dies --- someone with a BIG circle of family and friends who live all over the USA. The next week or two is going to be busy --- probably a good thing. I know that I can count on you all to pray for us. Thank you!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICADEE26 6/3/2010 11:09AM

    Praying for you.

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PIANO*LADY 6/3/2010 10:19AM

    Michelle, all I can say is that my heart goes out to you in love and I'm lifting you up in my prayers. I know what it's like to lose your Mom. Take comfort in the fact that she is physically with our Savior now and has a new body.

Love,
Carole

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RURAL3 6/2/2010 12:58PM

    I just got back and saw this Michelle. My prayers are reaching the heavens. I know that our God is big enough to handle your every need. I pray that He comforts you during this time and helps you to draw on Him for your every need.

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SONJASTWIN 5/31/2010 9:54PM

    So sorry to hear this sad news. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Josie emoticon

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_MAOMAO_ 5/31/2010 8:36PM

  Zella, I'm so sorry for your loss. Here's another prayer for you and your family, and a prayer that this world's sad state will be done and we'll all meet again with perfect, restored bodies soon!
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KATHYKIM 5/31/2010 7:01PM

    I am very sorry for your loss - you are in my prayers.


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MOM2KNL 5/31/2010 6:59PM

    Zella,

I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Please know that I will be praying for you and your family as you grieve. Praying that God will comfort you and hold you all very close. He is faithful!

Blessings!
Mich
elle

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NEWLIBRARIAN 5/31/2010 4:01PM

    Will be praying for your travel and time at home. Sorry to hear of your loss.

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BKWHITE3 5/31/2010 12:10PM

    I'm sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers. emoticon

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SARAHTAIT 5/31/2010 12:01PM

    So sorry-my heart goes out to you and your family. Praying for you and your family!!! May God's comforting arms circle all of you during this time. So glad you got to see your mom and tell her you love her....what a blessing.
Hugs,
Sarah

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NOEILAND 5/31/2010 11:53AM

    My heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

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JCOLUMBINE 5/31/2010 11:44AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your family. Safe travels. God bless.

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REYNJANET 5/31/2010 10:23AM

    So sorry to hear of your loss. But isn't God good to take them quietly and quickly without lot of suffering and to give you the opportunity to express your love to her one more time.

You and your family will be in my prayers! May your loving memories help to ease your sorrow at this time!

Hugs!

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FIT4HISGLORY 5/31/2010 9:15AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Praise God for His goodness in allowing you to get to talk with your dear mom one more time before He took her home. Praying for you and your family during this time of sorrow. Look to Him...He will sustain you.

Praying,
Karen

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SJG1953 5/31/2010 1:14AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you were able to talk to your mother Friday. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May God wrap you in His loving arms, give you strength and comfort. Love in Christ, Shirley

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BFITNHAPPY 5/30/2010 10:20PM

    Oh Michelle..I am so sorry. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I know that your strong faith will get you through this.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 5/30/2010 8:57PM

    I am so sorry for your loss - of course I shall say a prayer for you and your family.



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GINILEE4 5/30/2010 8:37PM

    Michelle. I wish you and all your family peace. Know that your Darling mother has her's.

Love Gini

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ASMPP1 5/30/2010 7:18PM

    emoticonSorry for your loss. Will you and your family in thoughts and prayers during this time.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 5/30/2010 4:35PM

    I am so sorry for your loss.
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Comment edited on: 5/30/2010 4:36:17 PM

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LIGIRLATHEART 5/30/2010 4:16PM

    Oh I am so very sorry. I wasn't aware that your Mom has been fighting this horrible illness. I am going to send you a Sparkmail....

Though I've only gotten to "know" you through sporadic comments here and there, and through some of your blogs, one thing that clearly came through was the love you and your Mom shared. Let that love carry you through the difficult weeks ahead.

Will keep you close in thought and prayer.

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VIVIANJ5 5/30/2010 4:09PM

    I'm so sorry about your mom, and thank you for letting us know. Sometimes it is hard to share the sad details of life, but that's what we are here for, to give support and comfort when needed.

I'm sure it was a blessing for you to be able to speak to her one last time. Take care of yourself, and have a safe and blessed trip.








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CHRYS13 5/30/2010 2:59PM

    Sincere sympathy to you and to your family. May God give you peace and surround you with His strength.


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BANDMAMAPC 5/30/2010 2:35PM

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Please try to take care of yourself so you can take care of your dad. Your mother is at a better place and in peace. Prayers for you and your family. emoticon
Pearl

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 5/30/2010 2:34PM

    Prayers for your Mom and family. I am sorry.

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ANGELLACOLE 5/30/2010 2:33PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your family.
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LADY_DONKEY 5/30/2010 2:33PM

    I'm so very sorry. My heart weighs heavy with your sorrow. :-( I will keep you and your family in my prayers. In fact, going this evening... Will pray hard.

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JANETELIZABETH1 5/30/2010 2:30PM

    Oh dear Michelle, I'm so sorry to read about your mum....
Please accept my sincere love & condolences and I pray the Lord comforts all your hearts at this time.
Thankfully you got to speak to her even though you couldn't be there with her.
Praying also for travelling mercies to you.
Love Janet

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Pentecost Roses

Sunday, May 23, 2010


That's what peonies are called in Germany. I just snapped this one in my neighbor's garden. The color didn't photograph too well - the blooms are actually a deeper shade of wine red. And they smell so lovely!

Today IS Pentecost Sunday - happy birthday to the Church! Thank you, Lord, for sending your Holy Spirit just as you promised!

And thank you that the weather finally looks and feels like May and not November. I enjoyed my long run in the woods this afternoon and actually working up a sweat instead of running to keep warm!

My test on Wednesday was tough. I don't know how well I did. I do know that I didn't do a very good job on the last essay question because I spent too much time on the first four. We'll see. At least it's only 5% of my grade. The term paper is more heavily weighted, 45% I think. Tomorrow is Pentecost Monday, a German holiday, so I'm going to start my research for that project.

I had a horrible week as far as eating is concerned. I don't quite know what my problem was, but I found myself eating all kinds of sweets and things. I've taken Spark breaks before where that wasn't a problem. I'll chalk it up to the lack of sleep and exam stress. I'm back on track today and hope that my next Thursday weigh-in won't be too shocking!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REYNJANET 5/24/2010 9:47AM

    Beautiful flower! I'm joining you in a bad week last week. Hopefully with school winding down I can get things back in track.

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FRANNIEDID 5/24/2010 8:59AM

    The flower is beautiful! I find when I don't get enough sleep I have a really hard time controlling my sweet craving! When you get a chance to get rested it should be better!

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BANDMAMAPC 5/24/2010 8:09AM

    You know, it's really hard to be a woman. Going to school, tending to the home, keeping us all in a positive attitude, and keeping fit. Sometimes when you think you didn't do well in an exam, you'd be surprised that you worried for nothing. Enjoy the spring weather. I am getting rain on this end of the east coast.

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CTEMPLE 5/24/2010 7:22AM

    Very hard to go through exams eating well. We can always start again.
Enjoy your spring!
Claudia

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_VALEO_ 5/24/2010 4:32AM

    So I guess I have my answer: you're in Germany right now.
Beautiful flower.

It used to be a holiday in France, maybe it still is, I'm not even sure but I know they took off one of our May holidays a few years ago. I don't really pay attention to that as it has no meaning to me and as a self-employed, well I don't have those days off anymore.

Wish you a great weigh-in and being back on track!

Comment edited on: 5/24/2010 4:33:33 AM

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/23/2010 11:54PM

    Oops I asked how your test went in my comment but I see that it was tough. Hope it all works out okay, timing is always hard and at 5% of the whole not too worrying. All the best with the studying for the term paper. I always found it hard to eat properly when studying, I don't know what it is about it but I think many people have the same problem, too many other things to think about. Have a great week, hugs.

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 5/23/2010 11:45PM

    Wow I had NO IDEA they were called Pentecost Roses. Very neat! Sorry about the exam. You probably did better than you thought . . . and like you said it was only 5%. Stress is probably it, you've had alot of back-to-back stresses with school, voice, etc.

So since it's a German holiday . . . how is it there?, as over here we hear The Church is stagnant in Europe and UK, but then, we are so corrupt here that there are 21 nations sending missionaries to the States! Would be interesting to get your perspective since you're a true believer but also there in person.

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GINILEE4 5/23/2010 9:01PM

    Sometimes being overdone can lead us to do the wrong things because we are too tired to care. I know this means a lot to you and I know you will get back on track as soon as you get yourself reoriented. Take care and remember to use your workout time to help you relax mentaly.

Gini

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ASMPP1 5/23/2010 7:53PM

    emoticon for sharing. That is new info for me. emoticon I am sure you did fine on your exam.

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WATERMELLEN 5/23/2010 7:40PM

    Love peonies -- and did not know the term "Penecost rose" for them. Ours will be in bloom soon!!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/23/2010 5:16PM

    I bet you did better on your test than you think. Thanks for sharing the info on peonies and the great picture. I didn't know that about them either.

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TEXASLYNN 5/23/2010 5:02PM

    We celebrated Pentecost Sunday at church today as well. I didn't know this fact about peonies but isn't it fitting they are so sweet-smelling?

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