Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Lot Like Love

I stumbled upon a sleeper of a film ~ A Lot Like Love last night ~ I stayed up until 1am watching it. What is it about summertime when curfews don't really exist. The sun goes down and time stands still. Reminds me of summertime when I was in high school ~ I was a movie watching junkie!

I have decided that I need to watch a romantic comedy a week ~ I watch way too many shows about crime, violence and death ~ The Closer, CSI, Medium ~ you get the picture. I definitely need to balance myself with more laughter and sappy moments.

Kutcher and Peet were electric on screen. They had a rhythm together like they had know one another their whole lives. What I loved about the plot of the film was that each character could be their goofy selves around one another. Sharing laughter and tears through the years ~ they always seemed to pick up where they left off last time they were together. Loved their spontaneity and willingness to be real with one another ~ One of my favorite scenes was one where they were eating dinner and not speaking ~ but definitely communicating. You will just have to see it for yourselves.

Music To My Ears

In my little corner of the world, I have been buried in medical bills. Between the plethora of doc appointments and a secondary insurance snafu (see link for acronym definition), I need to hire my own bookkeeper to keep everything straight! Every time I get another medical statement in the mail my stomach tightens, my heart beats faster and I get this deer in the headlights, panicky feeling. SERIOUSLY!

Anyway, just wanted to share a small victory ~ make that two victories. I spoke with 2 doctor's offices today regarding outstanding invoice amounts and they both told me to "shred your invoice ~ throw it way ~ you don't have anything outstanding anymore!" ~ true story ~ SERIOUSLY!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


While I was on vacation, I had the chance to watch two movies. Since the kids were in tow, the choices for family friendly films were slim, but we managed to find a couple that were entertaining. First, we saw Ratatouille. The movie short that was shown prior to the movie starting, Lifted, was surprisingly funny! As you know, I am a big fan of the X-Files and Taken ~ every time someone was abducted, they were lifted up and beamed up into the UFO's. They never showed you the alien who was engineering the whole process ~ so ~ Lifted was a funny view of how a teen alien tried to abduct someone.

Ratatouille was a clever movie and so great to have Remy communicate with Linguini without talking. The animators at Pixar are genius's ~ can't wait to see what they come out with next.

So, the must see movie that was on the agenda was The Simpsons Movie. I have to completely agree with the rave reviews! I haven't laugh so hard at a movie in a very long time. Loved all of the puns and Homer isms ~ I was almost clapping out loud when Lisa stumbled upon her soul mate. I might even have to add The Simpson's to my weekly DVR schedule, doh!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Narrow Way

During my life journey, I have moments of feeling like the walls are closing in on me ~ much like this picture. There is only one way through ~ no where to turn ~ the walls are high on both sides. Extreme focus is needed to persevere. I don't particularly like these types of passages, but in the same breath, I know that they will pop up along the way. Press on ~ and keep moving!

Am I trying to hard? SERIOUSLY! Who spends time and energy pushing for spinal and brain surgery? Have I completely lost my freaking mind?? Yes, it's true my brain is sliding out of my head, but SERIOUSLY!! I had a good heart to heart talk with God last night ~ harsh words were exchanged on my part ~ I asked why my path is so unclear and rough right now? I asked him to make things a little more obvious so that I know that I am doing the right thing. His response:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight" ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Hello ~ did I not mention ~ clarity is needed ~ this sounds like I have a lot to learn about 'trusting with all my heart'! So ~ my goal while I am on vacation is to cast my worries and concerns to the wind ~ be still and quiet ~ and renew my trust in the Lord.

Isle of Wight

Have you ever awakened in the morning and as your brush away the haze of dreams from you face, you find a word or phrase forms on your lips. A stowaway from dreamland has risen to the surface and begs your attention. This happened to me this morning ~ ISLE OF WIGHT ~

Isle of What? Have never heard of it before and what relevance does it have to me at this moment in time? I am a firm believer of memories embedded in our DNA. Perhaps an ancestor of mine lived on the Isle of Wight, hundreds of years ago. It's definitely a possibility.

I did some research on this Isle of Wight ~ was it just made up in my mind or a real place. Turns out, it is a island just south of England. At one point in time ~ the island was connected to England. I did a visual search to to see if I recognized anything from the island and found this neat picture of St. Catherine's Lighthouse. Another point of interest is the Needles ~ The island was inhabited back in The Old Stone Age and has many archaeological sites that are rich in geological history.

Maybe I should add this of place that I want to visit and then maybe more will be revealed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

On Holiday

The roads were shrouded in fog this morning on my commute into work. Thunderstorms are imminent ~ the brain tail beats up on me when the barometric pressure is low. It's hard for this Texas transplant to believe that it's really July, because the temperature this morning was 64 degrees. In my mind, summertime = 100+ degrees ~ some things are hard to unlearn.

I can press on ~ I have lots of packing to do ~ we are headed out on our annual family pilgrimage to the seashore. There is something about the endless thundering motion of the surf that balances me out. Maybe it's the cycle of the low and high tides or the powerful crashing of the waves onto the shore that reminds me how small I really am ~ just a speck of sand on this home we call Earth.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Brain Farts

I found this picture yesterday and thought it was very appropriate to the way my brain if performing lately ~

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Truth Is Out There!

Today was not the greatest day ~ everything was blurry, I hit another obstacle with the insurance beast and I had a fierce headache all day long. I was reading up on the daily news on line and a headline caught my eye.


I couldn't believe my blurry eyes ~ so I searched for more news articles with the same announcement ~

The "X-Files" movie is finally out there

The truth is out there! I had almost given up hope that Mulder and Scully might be reunited again. They are supposed to start filming as early as November 2007 with a movie release date of Summer 2008.

Just this morning, I was reading E's blog and she had an X-Files link to illustrate the song "Joy To The World" ~ funny compilation of Mulder and Scully. Syncronistic? You bet ~ E and I are both X-Files nuts! When I got hooked on the X-Files the show had been running for 3 seasons already. I was a little skeptical with themes thick with little green men, government conspiracies and of course a healthy dose of really bizzare plot lines. What drew me in was the univesal theme that there is something bigger than ourselves out there.

I loved the banter between Mulder and Scully ~ the dreamer and the scientist ~ hunches and facts. The connection between the two is electric and most of all ~ they make me laugh! I haven't been this excited about a movie since Return of the King!

Maybe there is hope...


Valley of the Shadow

So this is how it's going to be ~ the message echoes over and over again ~ you are walking through the valley of the shadow...

I tried to get the ball rolling today with the insurance company and called them to find out how to get the process moving with approving my decompression surgery at The Chiari Institute (TCI). They put me on hold for 8 minutes ~ they came back on the line to tell me that my care manger no longer works with the company and the woman taking over my case is in training. (Awesome! It's going to take me an hour long explanation to bring the newbie up to speed!) So they forward me to someone who is 'filling in' this week.

She proceeds to tell me that first, I will need to get letters from two of my neurosurgeons stating that they have read the doctors notes from TCI, refuse to do the surgery and recommend that I get decompressed at TCI. Additionally, I might have to schedule appointments with the doctors in order for them to release the information to me! If anything, my case has become more severe and specialized, SERIOUSLY ~ all of this wasted time and money could be going towards surgery at TCI!

I am a very frustrated ~ thank God I will be going on vacation next week ~ I need a break from my life. I will continue to pray that all of these setbacks are all in God's timing and pray that my rate of decline slows so that I make it to the finish line still being able to walk under my own power.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Quiet Reflections

A couple of days have gone by ~ I have had time to digest "Give me the clay!" The world around me is always spinning so fast (literally) and the noise level is indescribable ~ a not so pleasant side effect from my rouge brain tail. I shouldn't complain, most people with Chiari report hearing loss ~ but then again, have I EVER done anything normally?

My point I am trying to make ~ I find myself bombarded by loud noises and can't seem to find the volume knob to tune it down a little bit. It's hard to even hear the thoughts inside my head. So, yesterday, I slipped away and went for a long walk along the river. My iPod was set to play my inspirational mix ~ I was starting to digest the meaning of the message I had gotten this week.

Something I have learned is that the messages don't come without a sense of urgency. There is a message I need to be receiving, NOW. They come with hidden and obvious meanings. This time ~ I didn't have any clay in my hands at the time of the message and I don't even own any clay ~ so I am leaning heavily on the hidden message within.

The most obvious place to start when I get a message from God is his book, The Bible. When I got home I looked up some verses about clay ~ these are some of the verses that resonated:

2 Corinthians 4:7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. [ Greek We now have this treasure in clay jars.] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

Isaiah 64:8 And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.

Translation ~ relevant to my life ~ I have been formed just the way God intended to ~ rogue brain tails, over abundant collagen gene mutations, connective tissue disorders, cranial settling, tight filum terminale ~ to name a few. Light shining in my heart ~ I could use more of that ~ bring it on. These passages give me a moment of peace, knowing that I am right where I should be ~ nothing more or less ~ just please don't ask me to make a clay pot for you ~ how about a lump of clay?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Give Me The Clay

Just like Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams, I sometimes hear voices, too. I know what you are thinking, she's gone off the map ~ the brain tail has totally taken control! I beg to differ ~ I am at a point in my life where brain surgeries are looming in the future, so hearing voices does not sound to weird to me. Life is full of unexpected moments and I am trying to drink them all in and process them as they come.

Anyway ~ I was saying ~ I hear voices. I see dead people, too ~ but that is a whole other story! Yesterday, I went outside around lunch time to grab a breath of fresh air. It was a perfect summer day, the sun was brilliantly shining, there was a slight cool breeze ~ I was savoring the moment. Then out of nowhere, I hear a voice that says,

"Lacie, give me the clay."

I stop, look around to see who was talking to me. There is no one within hearing distance. OK ~ so God ~ say it again...

"Lacie, give me the clay!"

The second time, the voice spoke louder and with authority.

In my mind I thought, what the heck does that mean???? SERIOUSLY ~ if you are going to talk to me, tell me something I can understand. Then I laugh out loud, I get it, this is some type of parable, something symbolic. Then I stopped, right there on the sidewalk and spoke to the voice, "Ok ~ here, take the clay, you can have it ~ I don't know what to do with it anyway. I am really terrible at sculpting! I can only roll the clay into a ball or make a long snake ~ just not talented at all in that department!" Instantly, I felt like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I have no idea what all of that was about, but I gave it over to God, anyway.

I am guessing that more will be revealed in time...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Is It There If You Can't See It On An MRI Film???

I am beginning to feel like I am stuck in the Matrix.

: If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain

I am a woman of FAITH ~ my belief in the unseen is tremendous ~ I totally get it ~ Faith IS the evidence of things unseen. It's my opinion that the meeting of minds between a woman of faith and a brain surgeon is like mixing oil and water?

I had my appointment with my fourth neurosurgeon this morning. I went there to see if he would consider doing the tethered cord surgery on me. I am following orders from the insurance company ~ get it done locally ~ any doc can do it. So when brilliant neurosurgeon walks into the room (did I tell you that he reminded me of Marlon Brando, right out of The Godfather) he immediately says he can't see the tethered cord on the films. Duh ~ I already knew that ~ and he won't consider doing the surgery until he sees the fancy mathematical equation that the Chiari Institute came up with to prove that I actually have a tethered cord.

Maybe I am naive in believing that the Chiari Institute knows a little bit more about Chiari and tethered cord than the rest of the world ~ that's their specialty ~ but come on ~ have a little faith! So ~ again I am running to stand still ~ AGAIN! I will wait to get the fancy shmancy mathematical calculations from TCI so that I can send them to the Godfather so he can make an educated decision. The good news is that if the Godfather concurs with TCI about the tethered cord, he can schedule surgery within two weeks time.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

He Aint Heavy, He's My Brother

I was a little sister, an only child and a big sister within the span of my first four years. How can this be, you ask? Well, my big brother, Trey, affectionately known by me as "Bubba", received a fatal kick in the head by a horse out in a Texas pasture on March 4th in 1973. I was only two and a half at the time, but I was there on that field that day, I saw everything happening in slow motion before my eyes. My photographic memory captured that moment and I can still see the scene unfolding before me like it happened today.

A part of me also died on the field that day, but his spririt lives on in me. My life has been profoundly shaped by losing my brother at such a tender age. I always wonder how life would have been different if Trey hadn't died so long ago. Would I have chosen different paths in life? It has taken me several decades to make my peace with God for taking my brother from me. I know that it was part of the bigger plan ~ my faith is strong, because it is the only thing that helped me to survive the earth shattering grief!

This year, on July 9th, Trey would have been celebrating his 40th birthday. Thirty four years have passed since he left this earth and yet I still celebrate Trey's life every year. Recently, I have felt his presence nearby when I have been downtrodden and discouraged. I can almost see his face break into a boyish grin, I can hear his belly laugh ~ his faith in me is strong! He encourages me to run a good race in this life. He knows how tough the road ahead of me is ~ but he breaks into a smile and tells me that brain surgery ~ spinal surgery ~ compared to everything I have endured already ~ no sweat ~ I can handle it and it will me make me stronger for being a survivor.

Knowing that Trey is up in heaven, waiting for me to join him one day, makes the burdens here on earth not so heavy. This song is bittersweet for me ~ everytime I hear it, I think of my brother.

The road is long, with many a winding turn

That leads us to who knows where, who knows where

But I'm strong, strong enough to carry him

He ain't heavy - he's my brother

So on we go, his welfare is my concern

No burden is he to bare, we'll get there

For I know he would not encumber me

He ain't heavy - he's my brother

If I'm laden at all, I'm laden with sadness

That everyone's heart isn't filled with gladness of love for one another

It's a long long road from which there is no return

While we're on our way to there, why not share

And the load, it doesn't weigh me down at all

He ain't heavy - he's my brother

He ain't heavy - he's my brother,

he's my brother, he's my brother

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Days Like This Feel Like An Uphill Climb

My Brain Tail has been effecting my eye sight ~ most days, my vision is blurry and sometimes I see double. I just saw the eye doc last week and got a brand new prescription for my glasses. I have worn them now for two days ~ I am not convinced that they are better than the last pair. On the other hand, I can't blame everything on the new prescription, because I have had a bad case of vertigo for at least five days now.

Seriously, I can't stand still without falling over, forget walking in a straight line. I walk around like I am on a Spring Break drinking binge! My co-workers have even asked me if I am drunk, my response, "I'm just buzzed, my brain tail gets blamed for everything!" So ~ I guess I should give my new glasses the benefit of the doubt, maybe when the ground stops moving I'll give them my stamp of approval.

As I wait with great expectation for my appointment with the spinal surgeon on the 11th, I feel like my journey has been a slow, uphill battle. A blog friend of mine just got her decompression surgery scheduled for July13th! She shares similar struggles with the headaches and dizziness. but things have come together quickly for her. I have to remind myself that life is all about timing, God's, not mine.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Mountains Are Calling Me

I can hardly believe that it is July already and I have yet to hike in the Adirondacks (ADK) this summer. Last year, I climbed 3 high peaks ~ this year ~ zip! Then again, it's probably not very smart to go climbing in the rugged ADK while I am dizzy and not good at judging distances. But my heart aches to smell the mountain air and fresh balsam, hear the birds singing, sit on a rock near a babbling brook. The mountains will have to wait for me ~ sometime soon ~ I will return. (Wright Mountain 2006, Phelps Mountain stream 2004)