Posted in Beliefs, ramblings, Random, Randomness

I am Dayton Strong

The morning after Memorial Day, I’m outside chasing my dog at 4 o’clock in the morning. The sky is full of stars and the air is perfectly still. I breathed a sigh of relief because I made it through the holiday without any major incidents.

Then the news comes in that morning about George Floyd and his murder by the police officers. Protests begin to erupt throughout the United States and the world.

The year before, our communities of all races, nationalities, genders, and sexualities came together to lift each other up. Now a year later, the city that had celebrated unity now could have been torn apart.

         As I heard the news that weekend, I heard that one of my favorite historical buildings had been vandalized during the peaceful protest that ended with rioting.

         I cried out, “No, not the Victoria Theater”

         There had been another protest of sorts in my town the year prior. The KKK had been allowed to hold a gathering in the downtown area just down from that Victoria Theater. People came to protest them being allowed to hold an annual meeting in our town. Fortunately, nothing had been destroyed during that protest. The city had come together united.

         Two days later, our city was hit by a tragedy that could have broken us apart just like the KKK meeting.

         On the night of Memorial Day 2019, the dark sky full of stars was expansive. There was a stillness in the air which was sort of like a foreshadowing. I was outside with my oldest, Nick. We walked around the yard letting the soft freshly rained grass tickle our toes with our words floating in the air because he was trusting me with his teenage secrets.

         We were laughing because we in the middle of a tornado watch. In our part of Ohio, it was common for us not to take those tornado watches seriously.

         After some time outside, we went in to get ready for bed before our last days of school. Anticipation of summer lingered in our good nights.

         Even though I had gone to bed, the thought of the tornado watch hung over my head like a bee trying to find a flower to land on. I kept scrolling Facebook to see status updates from my local friends and meteorologists. Suddenly the words, “I think a tornado just went over my house. The are police surrounding it looking for damage,” jolted me out of bed. No longer tired, my adrenaline was heightened. I began to pray. Worry filled my thoughts.

         Then I saw the words “Tornado hit Trotwood!”

         I bolted out of bed like I was suddenly shocked by an electrical shock screaming, “The sh- – just got real.” Tears flowing down my face. Breathing was hard at that moment.

         As I gathered everyone for us to head to the bathroom, there was a sense of urgency in both my voice and actions. “NOW! Move it! Let’s GO!” could be heard throughout our tiny ranch house.

         My husband, Todd, refused to budge from the living room. His stubborn self was skeptical about there being an actual tornado even after me yelling about a tornado hitting Trotwood. He wanted to see it on the Weather Channel before he believed it. Finally, after getting confirmation, he reluctantly headed to the bathroom

         Our walk-in closet sized bathroom barely fit all four of us plus our almost 15-year-old dog. Will, my youngest, took one wall while holding the dog. Nick sat in the bathtub with his swim trunks on. Todd sat on the toilet. My back was to the bathroom door. There was no room for anyone to move around as we played the waiting game.

         We heard the wind beginning to pick up outside. It was a ghost howling in the darkness. After a few moments, the hail began to hit our house. The pinging of tennis balls being hit at a gym wall unsettled us. While the rest of the family relied on sound to know what was going on outside, I felt the force of the wind and the hail since I was against the bathroom door.

         As quickly as it had started, it soon was silent outside.

         In the silence, my phone began to beep. People were texting me letting me know they were either okay or were praying for me. We were not alone in that bathroom. God was with us.

         Minutes that felt like hours in that tiny bathroom. Every time we thought it would be safe, another ding would go off on all our phones. Tornado watch extended for another half hour. More waiting and worrying.

         Then we were given all clear. Our adrenaline was sky high at that point, but it was after midnight and we needed our sleep because we didn’t know what was waiting for us the next day.

         Sleep evaded me that night. I would cat nap for a little while and then would wake up remembering what had happened earlier that night. At 3 o’clock in the morning, I decided to take a walk around the yard.  There was a calm in the air. No indication of the damage Mother Nature had caused a few hours prior. As I breathed in the sweet summer air, a sense of peace filled my heart because I was alive and safe.

         Our communities came together during the days and weeks that followed the tornado. People from all over came to help remove all the debris and tree limbs, feed the volunteers and victims, and to provide food and clothing to those who lost a little or all. All races, nationalities, sexualities, and genders came together to help each other.

         Now 52 weeks later, our Memorial Day is marred by another tragedy. I’m left to wonder again is Dayton going to come together like we did the year prior or are we going to be fractured?       

         Then I remember that I’m Dayton Strong. In the last 52 weeks, we’ve had a KKK meeting, the 15 tornadoes ripping through our area, a mass shooting, Covid-19 and now the Black Lives Matter protests. We will come out of this stronger and a more united community. I am Dayton Strong. My city has taught me to be resilient.

Posted in Beliefs, ramblings

No More Silence

This is not a new feeling that I’m experiencing right now. Over the last few days, there has been unrest in the United States over the heinous injustice to George Floyd. Unfortunately it’s not an isolated incident. It’s an ongoing battle where the blacks rightly so feel injustice from whites.

As a white middle aged woman, I have had the privilege to grow up and adult without having people judge me and treat me as less of a person because of the color of my skin. It’s not to say my life has not been hard and I’ve had to struggle. The color of my skin was not the reason for my struggle.

I was a junior in high school when the LA Riots occurred. Far removed and actually quite sick with mono at the time they occurred, I didn’t realize the significance of the riots. Did I agree with people rioting and causing property damage? No, but people need to speak up and use their voices. I said use their voices not cause property damage. As my 16-year-old says, they are only hurting their area and it’s going to cause corporations to come in and take over.

I was born after the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s being a child of the 70s. I didn’t know the unrest of that time. I remember learning about the political changes of the 60s in a history class ironically named the 60s. People stood up and used their voices against the unjust treatment of black people.

Little did I know that less than 10 years after that class, I would be given the opportunity and privilege to teach in a school where I’m the minority. The majority of my students who I call my children are African Americans. I’m scared for them.

Twenty years into the game, I’m saddened by the continous treatment of the black population. People are scared for their lives just because of the color of their skin. Why? African Americans are human. They bleed just like everyone on this earth. They breathe just like everyone on this earth. They dream just like everyone on this earth.

Some of the best people I know are African American. They are beautiful, talented, Godly, and the most giving people I’ve ever met. My life has been blessed by having them in my life.

I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that we need to love our neighbors as ourselves.

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Black lives matter. They shouldn’t be judged by the color of their skin. God does not discriminate. He made all of us out of his image. We are all precious in his sight.

We need to use our voices. We need to come together as an united front to combat the evil that is among us.

I won’t be at the protests, but I will use my voice to let people know that what we are doing is evil and will not accepted.

Traci

#blacklivesmatter

#loveyourneighbor

#prayforwisdomandguidance

Posted in Family, Pictures, ramblings

An Ode to My Grandpa

I’ve been de-cluttering my house.  While I was cleaning up, I found many photos of family and friends.

One of the photos I found was of my grandpa in his favorite chair.

1.  The mug probably had coffee in it.

2.  Near the coffee mug is a white dish.  That is his ashtray for his pipe.  The smell of pipe tobacco reminds me of him.

3.  He probably had a Reader’s Digest somewhere near his pile of books.  He loved the Word Power section of the Reader’s Digest.

4.  There was chocolate hidden near his chair. Grandpa enjoyed his chocolate and sweets.

5.  The photo looks like it was taken in the winter.  During the spring and summer, Grandpa would look out the window to watch the birds that flew to their bird feeder.

6.  The dog on his lap is Dusty.  We got her when I was 11 years old.  The other dog was Dallas.  Dallas died a few months after Grandpa’s death.

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I love and miss this man everyday.  Thanks for being a hero to me. 

Have a magical day,
Traci

Posted in Misc., ramblings, Recipes

My Kitchen Reorganization

As I mentioned in my June 3 – Monday Menu Monday post, my aunt came into town.  While she was here, she helped me reorganize my kitchen.

I did not take photos of my kitchen before she organized my pantry / kitchen.  So, these are only after shots.

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Previously, there were two plastic 3 tier shelf.  We reduced it to one 3 tier metal shelf.  The other 3 tier shelf was located where the Sprites are located.  It made the pantry space be very tight.  The pantry is also our laundry room, so it was hard for us to get clothes in and out of the washer and dryer.

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When we moved in, Hubby installed these shelves.  We made one the grains and broth shelf.  Another one is the pasta and other convenience shelf.  A third is the Thanksgiving/ holiday shelf.  The items on that shelf are only used during the holidays or for big family dinners.  Finally, one of shelves is for some of the bigger items and my bread machine.

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On the left-hand side of the photo, you see a wooden piece.  That is our set of cabinets for all plastic ware and cleaning supplies.

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This corner cabinet holds all my baking supplies and some of my smaller appliances.

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We had a white cabinet located in this spot.  My mom decided to get us a new cabinet.  This is our breakfast/ snacky foods pantry.  The boys can quickly get them food when they are hungry.  Teenagers are ALWAYS hungry.

 

We also cleaned out the fridge, freezer, and chest freezer.  The baking pan area was cleared out.

I reorganized the coffee and tea cabinet, the former spice cabinet that is now the sauce cabinet, and the miscellaneous cabinet.

The dish cabinet was freshened up.  Around Thanksgiving, I reorganized the dish cabinet.  It has pretty much stayed the same except for a few stray dishes.

Above our cabinets is an area where we can store some of our memorabilia.  We pulled all the memorabilia down, washed them and the area, and decided which items we wanted to go back up above the cabinet.

I must go through the cabinet with all the cups and mugs, decide what to do with our plastic ware, and get a 4-tier wire shelf for our bigger appliances that we use on a daily/ weekly basis.  We are also going to repaint the kitchen.

Once all of that is done, we’ll be done reorganizing the kitchen.

Have a magical day!
Traci

 

Posted in ramblings

Vegetarian Diet

As you know, I’ve been on a primarily gluten free diet.  Actually I was eating gluten free from June until a week after my gallbladder surgery.  I’ve only had a few foods that have had gluten in them – a small piece of pretzel, half of a Hawaiian roll, and some of a tortilla.

This week I read about people who have a gluten sensitivity – not Celiac – should try sprouted wheat bread instead of just gluten free bread.  I’m going to try eating some sprouted wheat bread to see if it bothers me or not.

Anyway this post is not about my gluten free diet.  It’s about the fact I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet for the past month.  On the 12th of February, I had some delicious sausage.  The sausage made my gallbladder mad so I had another attack.  On the 14th of February, I decided that I needed to go meat free.  My last taste of any meat was on the 13th of February.

I could take and leave meat at times.  Sure there are times that I miss the convenience of eating meat especially when I am out and about.  I don’t really think I miss the meat.  Just the convenience of being able to get something quick to eat.

Until you begin eating vegetarian/ vegan do you realize how much of the standard American diet relies on meat?  There are so many more choices.

For example, Hubby was looking at restaurants in Louisville because we are going there in 10 days.  He told me a restaurant had a vegetarian choice.  So what was it?  Fried green tomatoes – I’m like that is a NOPE.  Number 1:  It might have a breading which means gluten.  And Number 2:  I’m not a big tomato eater so that won’t work.

Then yesterday he tried to tell me that I could eat the rest of his beef lo mein.  I used to love shrimp or chicken lo mein before I went gluten free.  I have not had Chinese from a Chinese restaurant since February 2017.  He told me that I could just pick the meat out of the dish.  Again I am like NOPE.

So what do I eat?  Well, I am a work at progress with my food.  Sometimes I eat healthy and then there are times that are not so healthy.  Because just like with the Standard American diet not everything that is available to a vegetarian is healthy.  There is a such thing as vegetarian junk food.  I love to get a pizza from Mod Pizza or Rapid fire and load it up with all kinds of veggies but that is junk food.

So join me on this journey I am taking with my eating.  I have linked up my Instagram on the right sidebar.  When I have eaten something healthy, I will share it on Instagram.  I will also share the not so healthy foods that I am eating.

The one benefit from eating this vegetarian diet is that I am losing weight.  I was losing it prior to my illness.  Since my surgery, I have lost 7 pounds for a total of 36 pounds lost since February 2017!

Happy eating,
Traci

Posted in ramblings

My Favorite P!nk Songs Part 2 (The Truth About Love Album)

P!nk’s last two albums are my favorite of hers. I have so many songs that I can listen to on repeat.

“Are We All We Are” is just a fun song to listen to in the car. When the song begins to play, you can’t help but to sing along with her.

“Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” is another fun song of hers.

The video and message from “Try” leaves me breathless. “You’ve got to get up and try, try, try.” Don’t give up on your dreams.

After Tanya died, I would drive my car and cry to this song. I wish I beam up and see her just one last time. Whenever I hear this song, I just start to tear up. Instead of a blackbird, I saw a Monarch butterfly. That is why I now I have a Monarch butterfly tattoo.

Another song “The Great Escape” reminds me of Tanya. There are times I wish I did not allow her escape to her pain. Life was hard for her.
After her death, people tried to smooth over my pain. They did not understand the pain I was feeling. The pain I still feel when I think about my sister.

“Just Give Me a Reason” is so beautiful.

“True Love”

Posted in ramblings

RIP Mr. Gally – Part 2

Once I got up to 2 North, the aide who drove my bed to my room, tied my gown for me since the ER nurse never did that for me.  I was checked in to the room, vitals were taken, and questions were answered.

I finally was able to get some sleep after being awake for 23 hours.

3 and ½ hours later, I was woken up by one of the nurses I believe or room service.  I was a little out of it.  Both showed at about the same time, so I don’t know which one woke me up.

Anyway, I ordered my breakfast.  I know I was out of it but did the best I could when ordering the meal.

The Surgery

The room service young lady was back about a half an hour later and told me that I was not supposed to have any food or liquid because my stomach needed to be empty.  I was confused so she got the nurse.  The nurse had just been told that I might be able to have the surgery that day instead of on Sunday.  She was waiting for confirmation.

Since I couldn’t eat and nothing to do but wait, I decided to do my sub plans.  I was almost done with my schedule when all the sudden an aide came into my room.  He was ready to transfer me to the surgery.  The surgery was going to occur within the next hour.  They needed to get me prepped for the surgery.

I had to call Hubby to tell him to get his butt down to the hospital.  The phone call woke him.

Then I had to call my mother-in-law, so she could take care of the boys for us.

Since I did not have any more time, I made a post on Facebook telling everyone that I was going into surgery, so I could have prayer or good thoughts.

I was wheeled down to surgery area.  The aide was excellent because he talked to me the whole way down so that I wouldn’t be scared.

Once I got down there, it was a matter of them asking me questions some of them repetitive by multiple medical personnel.  They needed to make sure I didn’t have any jewelry, dentures, etc.… that could be lost or cause problems during the surgery.

I also spoke to the anesthesiologist and one of his assistants.   They needed to make sure I was aware of the risks of the anesthesia.

One of the gentleman who was going to be helping with my surgery lives in the same town as me.  He does not live that far from where I do.

Finally, the surgeon came and told me about the procedure that was going to be done.  After she talked to me, she prepped for the surgery.  While I was waiting I got to watch two medical personnel bring in a portable x-ray machine and attempt to give another patient an x-ray.  (I did not see the patient just the machine and the gentleman.)  I also watched the clock in the middle of the room.

I was wheeled into the operating room.  All I can remember is how cold it was in the room, being rolled onto the operating table, my name being said, and then it was lights out for me.

I woke back up where I started the surgery.  They needed to make sure I woke up from the anesthesia.

After a little while in that room, I was wheeled back to my room where Hubby was waiting for me.

The gentleman who lived in the same town as I was the one who wheeled me back, so he and Hubby spoke for a few minutes about the town.

The Rest of Saturday

As I said, I wheeled back to my room.  Hubby stayed for a while and then left so I could get some rest.

I was in a lot of pain, so a lot of medication was necessary.

The plan was for me to go home that evening.  Since my pain was not manageable by Saturday evening, it was decided that I would spend the night.

I had to call my mother-in-law, so she could make sure to get the boys to Sunday school the next day.  Hubby was also called so he could bring me a much better pillow than the one I had in the hospital.

Once he came, I finally got up to go to the restroom, something I had not done since my surgery.  We also took a lap around the floor.  It hurt my abdomen, so I only took one lap.  Otherwise I would have taken more laps.

He stayed for an hour or so and then left so I could get some rest.  Oh, and he made sure I had my Gatorade before he left.

The Rest of My Stay

The rest of my stay was not very exciting.  I slept, attempted to eat, finished my sub schedule, and texted friends and family.

On Sunday morning, I met with the surgeon.  She told me that my gallbladder had an infection when it was taken out of my body.  It was a good thing I had the surgery on Saturday instead of later in the week.

Finally, I was discharged from the hospital.  I was wheeled to my car where I put the seat back as far as I could, so I could lay down while riding home.  We got home 2 minutes before the boys did from church.

Kisses were given and asking me how I was doing before then ran off into their rooms.  Teenagers and almost teenagers.

The happiest member of my family was our dog.  According to Hubby, he walked up and down the hallway looking for me.  He stays close to me when I’m in the living room and follows me to the restroom to make sure I am okay.

Thanks for reading about my hospital stay. We really appreciated the nursing staff in 2 North.  They were really helpful especially since my IV pole kept going off.  I had to call them 10 to 20 times because it stopped beeping.  It was because of where my IV was located.  If I bent my arm a certain way, it caused a kink in the IV line.

 

 

 

 

Posted in ramblings

RIP Mr. Gally – Part 1

Mr. Gally (May 1975 – February 24, 2018) served Believe in the Magic Traci well until his illness that probably began in late January 2017. During his last 13 months of life, he caused her problems such as nausea, headaches, and just pain. On the night of February 23, 2018, he decided that it was time for him to leave her body. After causing her excruciating pain that night, it was finally time for him to depart. At 11 am on February 24, 2018, he was lifted out of her body weeping. He served her well for 42 years and 9 months.

Week Prior

Okay in all seriousness, last week was painful.

On Sunday the 18th, I went shopping with my mom. During our major shopping trip, I had no problems. However, once I got home, the pain started in my back and would not let up. It began in my lower back and then climbed up to between my shoulder blades. Fortunately, I had a chiro appointment on the 19th so that helped with the lower back. I knew the pain between my shoulder blades was my gallbladder acting up. It continued to hurt until mid-day on the 20th. The rest of the 20th was uneventful. I even took a walk with the dog while the boys were at Scouts.

Then the 21st happened – I almost went to the hospital that evening because I was in a lot of pain. It died down so that I could get some sleep. I still felt crappy when I went to work on the 22nd but there were no real flare ups during the day except for my usual nausea after eating.

During this time, my safe foods were no longer safe for me to eat. I could eat potatoes with no problems. That was the case no more. I ended up pains afterwards and couldn’t even finish them on the 22nd.

On the 23rd, things began to change. My abdomen was bloated by the time I left work. I ran errands, ate dinner, and then tried to sleep. Sleep eluded me. Every position I tried caused pain so at midnight it was decided that we would go to the hospital.

The Night

We start to leave about 12:15 and get one exit down on the highway before Hubby decides to head back to the house because we forgot my ID and insurance card. He seemed to find the bumpiest route back to the house even though it is a road I have traveled on many times before.

Then it was back on the road to the hospital.

We finally arrived at 1 am. Since I was already in the system, we did not need the ID and insurance card. I was also taken straight back to a room. Room 9

Since I had drunk water on the way to the hospital, the first order of business was the urine sample. As soon as I walked out of the bathroom, my nurse met me. At that point I was in pain but not as much pain as I was going to be in. We talked about the beach scene that have in the ceilings in the ER room. After she did my vitals, I rarely saw her for the remainder of the time I was in the ER.

Next up was the nurse who drew my blood. I had warned the nurse that it is hard for them to find my veins, so she sent in the nurse who was skilled in using an ultrasound to find veins. Hubby watched as the needle entered my vein. I on the other hand, watched him look for the vein but did not watch the needle enter my vein. (I ended up with no bruise on my arm which is amazing. The last 2 times I had an IV put into my arm I’ve had a nasty bruise.)

Then began the waiting to see either the doctor or even the nurse. At one point I had to go to the restroom, so we called for the nurse because I was hooked up to all kinds of machines. The ER doctor came in before the nurse. She wanted to touch my abdomen which would have been a disaster. She left and was going to come back a little bit later. The nurse finally came, unhooked me from the machines, and allowed me to go to the restroom. However, she did not tie up my gown. Luckily, I had on my pants. Unfortunately, I had hold the gown shut while walking through the ER.

When the doctor came back in, she listened to me. At first, she wanted to give me medication for the gallbladder and allow me to come back for the procedure. I expressed my concern because of teaching. She told us that she would be back in ½ an hour, but she never came back.

In the meantime, we turned the tv on and watched Dave Chappelle and HGTV. Hubby watched me become progressively more distraught and in pain. I was in tears and balled up. He called the nurse and kept peeking out looking for her. She popped her head in at one point and nastily told us that the medication was on call. (I understand the ER is busy and there were more urgent patients than me. However, I was there because I was in pain. Check up on me occasionally.)

The resident surgeon came in at the same time as the nurse came in to give me medication. It was decided my gallbladder was going to come out either that day (Saturday) or on Sunday. It depended on when the surgeon could get me in. I was going to be admitted to the hospital.

While she is explaining the procedure, the nurse was administering my medication and asking about my pain level. Since I was trying to pay attention to the resident surgeon, Hubby answered for me. She did not like him answering and rudely asked me about my pain level. I understand she needed to hear it from me but there could have been a better way to ask me.

After finding out I was going to be admitted and that the surgery was probably going to be Sunday, Hubby left me, so he could check up on the boys and get some sleep. (The resident surgeon called the surgeon to see what her schedule looked like before Hubby left.)

I waited about 15 minutes or so before I was wheeled to 2 North and much better nurses. Oh, and as I was being wheeled away, the nurse popped up next to me and asked once again about my pain level.

Join me in another blog post about my surgery.

Posted in ramblings

Another Health Update

I’ve discussed my health on previous blog posts.  Every since November 2017, I’ve had abdominal pains especially after I eat especially after meats, greasy foods, or big meals.

I went to the Emergency room in early December because I had the pains for five days.  They told me that I was low in potassium, dehydrated, and had a stomach virus.

Continue reading “Another Health Update”