Tuesday, November 22, 2011

First Stroke as a Warning

One Week ago today, I was bustling around my house getting ready to go to a dinner at my church. I needed to take a pumpkin pie out of the oven first, and it smelled almost done. When the timer went off, I carefully tested it and removed it, setting it on the counter top to cool. Then I walked into my dining room to get my purse and a box to put the pie in. All of a sudden, my right hand started to tingle, then so did my arm. In a few seconds my whole hand and right arm up to my shoulder went numb and this sensation proceeded up my neck and cheek and over to my lips on my right side. I suspected a stroke coming on, my first ever. I had read about signs of stroke many times, so I really was pretty sure what was happening. I called my husband, Chuck, and immediately lay down and took two aspirins. I called my doctor and got through to him immediately. He told me to be driven directly to the emergency room. My husband got me there within 30 minutes from the onset of the symptoms.

They took me into the exam room immediately after they took my blood pressure which was extremely high--about 220 over 130. They gave me medication to lower it intervenously and got it to come down a lot, but it remained high for quite awhile. The symptoms went away quickly, except that I couldn't raise my right leg more than two inches off the table, and my smile drooped on the left side. I stayed in the hospital for two nights and they did more tests including CT scans and an MRI and sonograms and heart monitoring. There was no bleeding in the brain or visible damage to the brain,and my heart is OK. They diagnosed it as a transient ischemic attack or TIA. My doctor said it could have been a mild stroke also which started from the brain stem and wasn't included in the MRI test and was probably caused by a small blood clot that blocked a vessel on my right side. Anyway it was a warning to me to get my blood pressure under control and learn to deal with stress better. I now have a couple of more medications to take to help with this.

I am also to start using my CPAP machine every night again. I had discontinued using it due to the inconvenience, but I now realize that was not a wise thing to do. Apparently, it helps to even out the blood pressure when used to prevent the sleep apnea from causing sudden spikes in the blood pressure. I promised the doctor to do a better job to keep get my blood pressure lowered.

I am so thankful that it wasn't a big stroke. I am looking forward to enjoying Thanksgiving with our good friends and neighbors, Hal and Dee Jones. I think my son, David, will join us with one of his friends.

I am glad I am able to do my normal activities as usual except that I get tired more easily and am slightly weaker on my right side. I have been able to sleep better during the night since I came home from the hospital and have been taking new medications also. I did a short workout at the gym today also, and was able to do most of the exercises one step lower than usual and about half the time as usual. I hope to be able to build up to where I was before this event.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Making Money at Home

Today I started to research this topic by going online and reading as much as I could get my hands on about affiliate marketing and ways to advertise my website effectively. I was astounded by the amount of information out there for the asking. I learned a little about SEO or search engine optimization; such as, Cost per Click, Cost per Action, and Pay per Post programs. I learned a little about writing reviews and articles, posting messages on forums, and posting ads on blogs. All this was a little mind boggling, to say the least, but non the less quite interesting. The one thing that stood out to me after getting through a lot of hype and sales jargon, was that there is no "get rich quick" scheme that really works. Whatever you do in affiliate marketing, takes time, effort, and some capital before results can occur. DO CHECK OUT MY WEBSITES BY GOING TO www.mygenonline.com/jwalrath There are great buys there for everyone.

Aside from this effort to become informed, I have been busy with the usual routine of housework, keeping up with my e-mail, practicing piano, and painting watercolor pictures from the many pictures I have taken recently on our camping trip to Zions park and from my sunrise walk around the neighborhood this past week.

I am looking forward to seeing my grandson who is arriving from Hawaii and entering the Missionary Training Center in Provo next week. He is so excited about going on his two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Life is good!

Monday, September 19, 2011

What I'm Doing and Why I'm Doing It.

This past summer I came to the realization that my retirement funds will probably not last me until I die as long as I feel so strongly the need to financially assist my grandchildren along the path to independence.  I still want to do some traveling while my health is good, so I explored some possibilities for generating increased cash flow.  I found a company, My GenOnline, which would allow me to run a small affiliate marketing business from my home using online marketing.

I selected three marketing areas that interested me and which I thought  my friends and family could use to purchase some things they might need.  I can earn commissions based on what my customers purchase through my website at www. mygenonline. com/jwalrath.  To log on just use jwalrath for user ID and jwalrath for password.  This provides access to my three sites.

Have you ever booked travel arrangements online?  My site offers several affiliates for making travel arrangements online:  Orbitz, Hot Wire, Cheap Tickets, and Travel-Ticker.  Prices are very competitive.

Have you ever shopped for presents for your family (grandkids and kids) online?  It is wonderful!  No more driving across town to the mall to shop, wrap and mail presents to them.  Just select a store from many offered on my site and have them mail the gifts directly to your loved one!  My site offers Walmart, Macy's, Office Depot, Petsmart, World of Beauty, Nokia, Hanes, Footlocker, Time Life Music & Video, and several others.  I can even shop for my glasses and contacts online at Pearl Vision, Lens Crafters, and Sears.  I can also buy a $50 eye exam from many doctors in my location.  Prices are generally lower than in the stores, and you won't have to pay for gas and parking.

Do you have need of health insurance at competitive rates?  One of my sites offers coverage as low as  49.95 a month.  The companies offered are:  Select Health, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and Altius Health Plans.

It will take some time for my name to become known and my sites to become recognized through key words which my advertising counselor is providing on the internet.  Therefore, I wanted to let all my family and friends know about it also.  Word of mouth is one of the best advertisements there is.  It is my hope that  you might consider purchasing what you may need once in awhile on my site and pass the word along to your friends.   This would help greatly to get me started in my new online business.  I am so excited about it.

Here is my family in Hawaii that sparked my interest in developing more income in my retirement years. The grandson at center back, is leaving next month to serve a two-year self-supported volunteer mission for his church.  I would like to contribute to this worthy cause financially.  I also have four other grandchildren currently serving missions right now and one in college and would like to help them also.

We loved Hawaii and the wonderful people who befriended us while we were there.  Our Hawaiian friend, Geno, taught us to paddle board and entertained us with beautiful home made Hawaiian music.  It was sure fun!  I hope people enjoyed this blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pre-Christmas Trip to See Family

We drove to Mesa, Arizona to visit two of our families there and attend the special school events of our grandchildren that were occurring.  The oldest granddaughter in these two families graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Elementary Education and her state certificate to teach in grades K to 8th.  We were sure proud of her.  We also got to witness and enjoy her sister's Jr. High School orchestra performance and later her piano recital, which were both outstanding and very enjoyable.  After that, we got to attend Chuck's son's family's school orchestra performance.  That was also fantastic.  There were 108 children playing violin all together, in tune, and with enthusiasm.  What a treat!  What a joy it is to see our families progressing and enjoying life.

We returned home to Utah so that I could attend the dress rehearsal for a choral concert in which I was singing as a member of the Ivins Stake Choir, "Savior of the World".  We performed it on Dec. 19 and again on the 23rd.  Our director was an accomplished vocalist who not only directed us, but also performed the part of Joseph, in the Nativity Play that featured other fine vocalists playing other key roles in the events leading up to Jesus Christ's birth in Judea.  I thoroughly enjoyed singing in it because for a change, I wasn't doing the accompanying on the piano.  Instead, we sang with recorded orchestral music from our church's website shared freely with local units.  Our director had the knowledge to operate all the electronic sound system to produce high quality background accompaniment.  I thought it sounded great!  The soloists did an excellent job, not only in singing their parts, but in portraying the characters; Joseph, Mary, Zacharias, Elizabeth, the Angel Gabriel, and supporting characters who interacted with them.

This Christmas season, we tried to focus on the Savior and less on gifts.  However, I did complete a project which I gave as a personal gift to my children from me - - my life history and that of four generations of my female progenitors.  I typed it, ran copies of it, and put them in sheet protectors in three-ring binders.  I barely got them in the mail on time to arrive before Christmas.  It was quite a project to complete during our trip to Arizona.  My husband also wrote, printed, and mailed out about forty Christmas letters telling of our activities for this past year along with our love and best wishes to all.  These letters are intended for those we seldom see, who live at a distance from us.  We treasure our friends and extended family, most of whom live far away now.  He did a great job.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Getting Prepared" Project

During the week prior to Thanksgiving and following Thanksgiving, I felt impressed to update our preparedness supplies after hearing what Glenn Beck on the Fox News program had to say.  He predicted significant price rises on food and other commodities in the coming months and urged us to get prepared for this by laying by food storage and getting out of debt.  We're OK on debt, but we needed to replace some food items in our existing supply.  So guess what!  I bought all the great meat specials I saw that we could use and pressure canned them in pint bottles.  I did up some beef, turkey, chicken, ham, and white beans with ham.  I also did beef stew and turkey ala king.  Now we can make up main courses using up our staples like rice, pasta, and potato flakes combined with the meats I put up.  Now, if I can just learn how to use my cast iron dutch oven properly and be able to cook without gas or electricity, I will feel well prepared to do meals in an emergency or shortage situation.  I went to the local preparedness market and looked at a sun oven and hand wheat grinder.  I need a hand wheat grinder now in order to make cracked wheat.  My electric mill only does fine flour, not cereal, and we like hot cereal.  The sun oven looked really good because we have lots of sunny days down here in Southern Utah, but it cost over $200.  I can buy lots of charcoal briquettes with that.  This may sound a little "over the top" to many of you, but it was actually fun for me, and I feel more secure doing all I reasonably can to be prepared for hard times ahead.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Reflections

Today was a quiet Thanksgiving Day for me.  I didn't have a dinner to prepare or company to host.  Instead, Chuck, David, and I went to our neighbor's home for the feast.  These are the same people who went with us to the Death Valley Roundup a couple of weeks ago.  They are very good friends--Hal and Dee Jones.   Dee is my Visiting Teaching companion, and we have enjoyed this calling in our church to tend to the needs of and visit and share Gospel centered messages with three women assigned to us.  One of the single women we visit was also invited to come to the Thanksgiving feast today.  She came and we all enjoyed it.  David enjoyed the meal and promptly fell asleep afterward.  Dee's granddaughter and her friend came down from BYU to visit during their break also.  I made three pumpkin pies for it.  We had turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, bean casserole, fruit salad, rolls, and appetizers.

Right now in this stage of our life, we find ourselves more and more on the outside looking in during holidays as our children and their children gather for their own holiday observances as families.  This is partly due to the great distances involved during the difficult and frequently hazardous driving conditions at this time of the year, and part is due to each family's need to have their own time and space to enjoy.  We understand this, and now look back upon those times we have enjoyed being part of these gatherings with deep nostalgia.  It goes without saying that we need to always be mindful of the blessings we enjoy and sometimes take for granted as we go thru life.  Those moments often pass, never to return, without our even realizing it.  We are deeply thankful for the many years we enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.  We have been blessed with wonderful memories and a heritage of family values which are now being passed on to our descendents.

49er Roundup at Death Valley

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Our trailer is the tiny one in the middle.  Our Minivan pulls it just fine. It has all we need.

Old Western Costume Contest
A pampered pet

Country Western Singers, the Kuddabin BrothersAdd caption
We took our trailer out on its second voyage.   The Honda Mini Van was our towing vehicle.   This time we went with friends, Dee and Hal Jones to Death Valley, California to participate in the annual gathering of RVers to observe the country western traditions of days gone by and enjoy the performances of western country performing groups, art festival, and other activities.  We had a lot of fun.  The Furnace Creek Sunset campground was the site where we camped.  The weather was pleasant, although windy at times, and we enjoyed being with our friends sharing the events.  I enjoyed the "Pampered Pet Parade".  Most of the old people we saw had small dogs in their motor homes and trailers; hence the opportunity for participation in this event.  I enjoyed seeing the little dogs all dressed up for the parade.  Our little camping trailer was dwarfed next to the gigantic motor homes most of the people had, but we did just fine in this self-contained setting with no hookups for five nights and six days.  We will plan to return next year.