Botox? Um, No Way!

Since October, I’ve had problems with the muscle under my eye spasming – like jumping up and down. It hasn’t been painful, just a little offsetting every time I look in a mirror.

I visited my primary care doctor the middle of November and he had no idea what was causing it. He took a video to send off for consultation. I was referred to an ophthalmologist on the 21st of December. I left the visit with elevated blood pressure.

The doctor is part of an eye surgery practice. When he entered he looked at the paperwork, reading it out loud. Then he stood at a distance and perused my face. “I can see it,” he said. Next, he walked forward and put his hands on my eyelids lifting them. “I can fix the droopy eyelids. Medicare will pay for it.”

What? That isn’t why I’d come. So I replied, “Not interested in doing that. It isn’t why I’m here.”

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll be right back with a botox injection.”

“Wait! What? I’m not interested in getting botox, especially having a needle that close to my eye.”

“Medicare will pay for it. There’s nothing to it. The lady who just walked out had it done. Besides, I’m good at it.”

Can you tell my blood pressure was already rising? “What is botox going to do? It’s not a cure, right?” I asked.

“Well, no. We’ll schedule you back again in three months for another injection.”

“Right. You want me to come in on a regular basis for botox injections. What is causing this eye issue?”

“I don’t know.” He came closer and looked. “But botox will sometimes relax the muscle and it will ease.”

“But it will return and I’ll have to come back, right?”

“Right.”

“So there is no cure. Look, I’m not a vain person. I’m not interested in getting routine botox injections, especially if you don’t know what this is and there is no guarantee.”

“Suit yourself. Come back in a month after you have time to think about it.” And with that he walked out.

I left with my blood pressure at a point that my head was hurting. I mumbled to myself all the way home. He was so arrogant and I felt all he cared about was getting money from Medicare! No way am I ever going back. If I have to have any future eye surgery, like cataract removal, I will not go to this doctor.

My eye is still having spasms, but they have lessened. I’m sure stress causes the problem to worsen like Christmas stress and having a cat with special needs. Now that the holidays are over, I’m more calm.

This week I’ve begun my new yearly focus on Bible study. As such I only colored one picture. I worked on it a couple hours a day for six days. The book is called “The Baker’s Dozen.” I’m now past the halfway point of finishing. It’s an illustrated story book. This is the book I want to finish in 2022.

Looking forward to a quiet week, with the exception of visiting my regular ophthalmologist for my yearly exam. Wishing you all a healthy week filled with many things to smile about. Until next time…

The First Snowfall

Wow! Yesterday we had our first snowfall. A mixture of rain and snow lightly fell on my way to church. As I parked, the snow began to fall in huge, beautiful flakes, floating softly to the ground. I expected it to be gone by the time church ended, but surprise! Everything was covered with snow and it still came down in small flakes. My awesome grandson cleared the windows of my SUV. What a blessing!

This is what remained when I returned home.

The week has been unproductive for me. With the AFIB I lost a couple of days to resting and reading. When I get invested in a good book, I can’t put it down. I read Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin. I highly suggest it. The characters wrapped themselves around my heart and will live in my memory for a long time. It’s a book I could read again.

I didn’t accomplish much other than looking through pictures to use in my book. I am feeling much better today and plan on writing. My fingers are itching to document more memories.

A special friend gave me a bookshelf to hold my canned goods. Honestly, I dislike the wire shelving being used in homes these days. The canned goods bend the shelves and small packages, like taco seasoning, slip through the openings. I’m very grateful to have this new shelf. Now all boxed goods, like oatmeal and crackers sit on the metal shelves.

In my down time I colored three pictures for relaxation. I needed to keep down any stress so my heart could recover. Friday was a good day. I skyped with my daughter who is now settling into her new home in NC. Her views are awesome! She seems very happy and so does her hubby. That makes my heart happy, too.

A new week has begun and I’m looking forward to any opportunities God provides. Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you all a blessed week. Until next time…

Planning With Jesus

After rearranging my home when all my guests departed, I spent a week doing not much of anything. We all need time to relax and recuperate from time to time. I find as I grow older, this becomes more important.

As a birthday present to myself, I purchased a new Bible. It’s a Holman CSB Restoration Bible–Embracing God’s Word in Difficult Seasons. There are 7 Restoration Principles in this Bible:

  • R – Rest and Reflection
  • E – Eternal Perspective
  • S – Support
  • T – Thanksgiving and Contentment
  • O – Other-centeredness
  • R – Relationships
  • E – Exercise of Faith

I began reading the 30 day devotional in the front of the Bible on the 1st of November. In December, I will read Luke, one chapter a day through the 24th. The remainder of the year, I’ll be praying for God’s direction for my word for 2022 and my vision board in my 2022 Christian Planner. This will be my 4th year for using a planner from this company. I use it every day. I write all my sermon notes inside, too.

These last two months of the year I’m reflecting on what has transpired and the hopes I have for the upcoming year. I’m going to be working on Christmas cards a lot this month and won’t be spending as much time coloring. I want to color a couple more fall pictures and then I’ll begin working on some Christmas pictures. And, of course I’ll be working on the historical autobiography book. The past week I only colored one picture. I wanted to experiment with using watercolor pencils my daughter gave me this week. I’m looking forward to trying these with some pictures that have landscaping type of backgrounds in future.

Lifting my cup of tea with a full and happy heart as I look forward with hope to this new week ahead! Until next time…

Using My Christian Planner to Focus More on God than Me

The past week was a quiet week. I did accomplish chores, the big one being shampooing the carpet in three rooms. Otherwise, I spent time thinking, learning, and talking with God. My Bible time hasn’t been as deep as I’d like. I needed to do something to focus me on studying, not just reading.

You Tube has a wealth of information. It’s where I go instead of watching programs on television that don’t inspire me. It’s a place where I learn more about coloring…and now about Bible and Prayer journaling. About digging deeper into scripture to glean insights. I would love to be as creative as some of the ladies, but I’m not that interested in spending a lot of time on “pretty” additions. And I don’t want to spend money on something that could turn into a hobby instead of focusing on God.

I need to remember it’s not about me. What I decided to try is using my Christian Planner in a new way. This type of planner has served me well for nearly three years. (I’m anxious to see the 2022 version which is on preorder.) By adding the tabs I can easily flip to the months. The next thing was to add some stickers to the front to “make it pretty and appealing.” Then I turned to the inside and used stickers and washi tape to embellish the pages. On the weekly devotional/sermon notes page, I decided to change the way I took notes in church. I used a small notebook to capture the thoughts and questions instead of copying notes on the screen. At home, I rewrote and expanded on these in my planner. The weekly layout is now a place to write the to do’s for the week, blog ideas, and a daily reflection. All my appointments are recorded on the monthly calendar page. I’m sure this will expand and change as I begin using it in this new way.

As for coloring and other hobbies, I spared little time. I did glue the puzzle both front and back and this week I hope to glue it to a backing to hang on the wall. Most of my pictures were colored just before I went to bed. I’ve been having issues with falling and staying asleep. My brain won’t shut off. Coloring the mandalas while sipping a cup of chamomile and lavender tea seems to help me unwind. Another thing I’ve started doing is writing in a “prayer journal” notebook while I’m sitting on the side of the bed before turning off the light. I write down the blessings from that day first thanking God. Then I add praise and prayer requests, just talking to God with my words. This seems better to me than just speaking the words and later forgetting the blessings!

And below are the pictures I did color. The first mandala was done with colored pencils. The other two were with markers. The autumn picture I found in one of my older Hanna Karlzon books called Seasons. I’ve been in the mood to surround myself with autumn, my favorite season of all.

I’m lifting my cup of tea now with happy thoughts as I ask God to bless each of you this week. May your heart be filled with peace as you share love and kindness to all you meet.

Kindness, Smiles, Laughter, God’s Light

Often I think about shining God’s light and wonder if I’m truly living this way. I visited my local pet store last week and the minute I walked in the door a lovely young girl smiled at me and welcomed me. She was busy, but kept that smile every time I saw her as I went up and down the aisles. She was also the one who rang up my purchases. Always with a kind voice and a smile. As I left the store, I felt really good. I was smiling and feeling happy about my small shopping trip. I thought about that experience all the way home and realized I’d been in the presence of one who shared God’s light. I’ve had bad experiences while shopping, some which left me so sour, I haven’t returned to those establishments. Church is that way, too. I’m welcomed by happy, smiling faces on Sunday mornings. Not a single person is frowning and no one is treated like a stranger. That’s the light I want to shine to others. Not just sometimes, but always.

God’s light also shone in my home yesterday. My post of weekly reflections was delayed to today. Not because it was a holiday, but because my kitchen light decided to give me some indoor fireworks on Sunday evening and then all four of the florescent bulbs went out! Thanks to children who are willing to give up part of their day, the ballast was replaced and now the lights are working great! God answered my prayers through my youngest daughter and my son in love. My neighbor stopped by to help, too! We had times of laughter and my heart was full with knowing how richly God has blessed me.

Another thing happened…my youngest daughter finished the puzzle while I was supervising watching the electrical work being done. It is such a beautiful puzzle. It’s rather large–26 in. by 26 in. There is no way I’m going to take it apart! It is a beautiful reminder of God’s love. I want to seal it and then have it framed at Michael’s so it can hang on my wall. This was an awesome Mother’s Day gift that will keep on giving.

Though the week was fairly quiet, I did have some times where I felt a little stressed. When this happens, I turn to a color by number book and markers. I pray and commune with God while I color these picture. I did a record number of three! Those are all the mandala pictures below. The first picture is the buddy color picture I did with two of my daughters. It was done with Star Joy oil pencils. It is always fun to see how differently each of us brings the picture to life! The picture just before and the one just after the finished puzzle were done with markers. Just some fun coloring. The next to last picture was colored with my Black Widow wax based pencils. I enjoyed bringing this one to life and especially like how the berries turned out.

That’s all I have for this week. I leave you with these thoughts. Appreciate the beautiful colors in your life and try always to shine the light of Christ with kindness and love. Until next time…

What is Therapeutic About Coloring?

Sometimes I feel embarrassed to admit that I spend so much time coloring. Like when my dentist asked me if I have any hobbies. How can anyone who doesn’t understand the world of colorists, not wonder what I’m talking about? Do they picture an old lady with a box of crayons and a child’s coloring book? Though that would probably be fun. I always loved to color when I was growing up and a new box of crayons made me happy!

Coloring makes me happy. It is my therapy. Coloring takes my mind off things that make me feel stressed. It lowers my blood pressure. It keeps me from snacking incessantly. It is a perfect time for me to listen to a book and escape into another world. It is a time to look outside my window at all the gifts God has made.

What once were long, lonely hours of each day is now filled with creating something pretty out of a black and white hand drawn picture. It adds color to my life, lifts my heart, and I learn something new all the time. Sometimes I watch videos by other colorists that keeps me company and teaches me something new, not always about the craft of coloring, but about life. I’ve made online friends through coloring.

Sometimes I have conversations with God while I color. I realize all these colors are gifts from Him. God loves color and so do I. I love all the colors of the world.

Being a senior, a widow, an introvert isn’t always easy. Others might see me as unsociable. Not true. I’m just uncomfortable with people I don’t know. I miss people, human voices, and interaction. These things can cause sadness, so coloring takes my mind off these things.

Yes, coloring is a hobby, but it is so much more for me. It is therapeutic. It makes me smile. It is a creative outlet. And it makes me happy, happy, happy.

It’s Been an Up and Down Kind of Week!

Good morning! Look at the pretty clouds in the sky. Couldn’t resist taking a picture through my window. There is a frost advisory, but I don’t think it will affect my little area. The sun is already breaking through to warm the day. Yesterday was my grandson’s 21st birthday. I’ve celebrated this milestone for several other grandsons already, and a few more to go. Thank you, Jesus, for your blessings.

What a week! It was cold during the middle of the week, so I spent a quiet week at home bundled in sweat pants and slippers. On Tuesday afternoon our small group met and it was a lovely day. We had a wonderful time discussing the Bible and how we each interpreted the meanings in the scriptures of 1 John 1:8-2:2. Our small group is a women’s group. We share from the heart and there is no judgment, only love. I’m so glad we are able to meet in person again!

Satan has been actively attacking me this week. Oh, how he tries to put negative thoughts in my head, but I’ve been heavily cloaked in the armor of God. Did you know that singing praise songs makes that evil one turn and flee? I have to laugh when I picture him that way! When he grabs me unexpectedly and sprays me with sadness, I just say Jesus and begin to pray. Then I order that nasty deceiver away. So, that has been my week. Fighting the battlefield of the mind. This happens when I spend too much time in my little space alone without hearing another human voice. Looking forward to summer months where I can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and visit with neighbors. God fills my porch with so much love, there is no room for Satan to enter.

But, I’ve been busy with puzzles this week. I also started practicing some shading techniques with markers. Another thing I’ve been battling is getting sleepy and dropping off into little naps. I used to crochet or knit while watching television, but since my fingers cramp and lock when I’m holding the hook or needles for any length of time, I’ve given up that hobby. So I started bringing out a small table and coloring while watching tv in the evening. Yes, it can be done! Without further ado, here is what I accomplished this week with my hobbies.

This cute little girl is from Chibi Girls 2 Grayscale. Colored her with markers. Quick and easy.

Finished this puzzle. I didn’t realize when I read the words “perfect snap” on the box, it meant just that. I picked this puzzle up and held it upright and not a single piece let loose! It was truly locked together! I don’t keep puzzles, so I began trying to take it apart. Ha! It took a long time because I had to pull one piece at a time. I got bored and called my brother to keep me company while I dismantled this one.

Later, the evening I finished breaking down the cat puzzle, I began working on this one. It had less pieces and they were a little larger. I completed this by the following evening.

This is the first picture I colored in Damita Victoria “100 Easy Flowers” coloring book. I bought it so I could practice with makers and shading since no shading is provided in the pictures. I like how it turned out.

This is the second picture colored with markers in the Damita Victoria book. I tried to mimic the picture the way it was depicted on the front cover. Not as happy with this one, but practice is all about learning and having fun.

This picture is in Christine Karron’s newest coloring book, Fairies and Fantast 2 Grayscale. I used multiple media tools: Faber Castell pastel pencils, Copic Sketch markers, and Black Widow pencil sets.

In addition, I finished coloring the picture of the month buddy color which cannot be revealed until the 30th, so I’ll include it in the next weekly reflection post. I’m lifting my cup of tea this morning and wishing you all a beautiful Monday. May your hearts be light and may your joy be abundant. Until next time…

But…Then God Sent Sunshine

What a week…is all I can say about the first full week of January. It’s been a week where I’ve been really happy to stay at home and away from the news and social media as much as possible. Though most of the week was heavily overcast, God did send sunshine! The last days of the week and most of the weekend, though cold, were filled with beautiful rays of warmth from the sun. Sunshine makes me smile and lifts my spirits.

It has been a week of prayer and tears for our country and for several of my loved ones. My granddaughter’s dog had to have surgery and has been severely ill. He was given a 50/50 chance to pull through. However, he seems to be doing good and should be coming home today. When I heard about the surgery, I cried and couldn’t stop until I turned and saw that God had sent fingers of sunlight to warm and paint my front porch. God gave me a heart for animals and for the connection their family has with them. I don’t understand why, but I accept it. I seem to feel for them very deeply, and I pray for them. When God directs our hearts in a certain direction, we should accept and do what we can. Prayer is powerful!

For me, I tried to fill this week with positivity and color. I love looking at an array of colored pencils or markers! Seeing them makes me smile. I open a book and find a picture that is speaking to me and begin to add color to the blank page. Watching the picture come to life, gives me pleasure. My work isn’t up to par with so many accomplished colorists, but for me it is all about bringing joy and having fun. And, shouldn’t we all have these things in our life? No matter what hobby you might have, I hope you find joy and fun in the creating.

I’ve been working on the “buddy color” picture with two of my daughters. I’ll save the “disaster” story about this picture for the end of the month when I can share the finished product. LOL! As for now, here are the pictures I completed this past week.

Creative Haven Rose Windows book, Illustrated by Joel S. Avren. Colored with Caliart Alcohol markers.

Illustration purchased on Etsy at Leanasanjoseart. Printed on tan paper and colored with Prismacolor Premier pencils.

Jade Summer Chibi Girls grayscale. Colored with Beileza alcohol markers.

Sheri Baldy My Besties Fluffy Girls. Colored with Castle Arts colored pencils.

And that is all from me for this week! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Stay safe, and may God bless you and yours. Until next time…