Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dark Dreams at Night


Pay attention to your past
grown up little girl

Listen to your dream world
lest life's denial unfurl

The stairs creaky and weak
with age and disrepair

Don't enter, you'll see it
thine eyes do BE-WARE

When did dark storms come
to flood childs room

I see pasts' haunting anger
and feel foreboding loom

I see the evil spirits
walking down our halls

I hide heart-breaking pain
but searing fear falls

Now dingy earth that lay
deep under my feet

Starting to die and crumble
I must claim defeat

This place admits its unstable
and soon it'll break

I'll dream to make sure
life it won't take

Lets face all the pain
that lies deep within

For pushing away past pain
will only cause sin

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and gratitude. This holiday is a state of mind that can be lived everyday. Being grateful for what we've been blessed with, is a way to live a fuller, more meaningful life. This Thanksgiving I have so much to thank God for and would like to share my blessings with you.

  • God who is always with me and knows every hair on my head.
  • My parents who brought me into this world. For all they taught me and the love they gave me.
  • Our home was in foreclosure but we qualified for the HAMP Program. We found out in September that we will now keep the home we all love so much.
  • I will be seven years cancer-free this St. Patrick's Day. I was given poor odds of surviving the first five years, so this is a mile-stone for me.
  • I have the honor of living with my twin sister and her two children. I am helping Laura raise them which gives me such purpose in life.
  • I have a family that loves and supports me through the ups and downs of life.
  • I have TRUE friends that have my back. After the cancer diagnosis I learned quickly which friends were real and which were superficial.
  • I have new friends that I have met on Hub Pages that mean the world to me. Writing has always been a passion for me but now add good friends to this blessing.
  • The fact that Laura and I were told about Hub Pages and are writing again after many years.
  • I am blessed to have a car to get me and the family from A to Z. Laura and I share a car but it is a blessing. It is also a blessing to have an old car that is already paid off.
  • My two dogs are my little angels. They bring so much love and joy to this home that I cannot imagine life without them. What a blessing we found eachother.
  • I am grateful for the wonderful neighbors in my culdesac. We all watch over eachother's children and gather often to enjoy each others company.
  • I am lucky to have a home-based job which is something I always wanted. Now I can make money and still be home to be there for the kids.
  • My twin sister is in her dream job that uses all the gifts that God has blessed her with. She is a director at a non-profit agency. She inspires everyone that crosses her path with her beautiful personality and compassion. Her soul is filled up every day with God's love as she helps homeless women and their children that are recovering from addiction. What a calling to have in your life and Laura answers it with a deep love and passion.
Thank you for letting me gush about some of the blessings in my life. I hope everyone is having a beautiful Thanksgiving. Thanks again for your important friendship here. You have given me so much:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our Rescue Dogs Really Rescued Us

My Two Furry Babies

I am a proud and blubbering parent when it comes to my dogs. I can't explain in words how much they mean to me. I grew up with dogs as a child, but as I got older, couldn't have dogs due to apartment living. When I moved in with my sister, this changed because she owns a home.

We adopted Joey first, in the summer of 2004. I wasn't at the Human Society when Laura and the kids picked him out. I hadn't had a dog in so long that I was a little apprehensive with Joey at first, but it didn't take long and we were connected at the hip. Till this day, our neighbors comment to Laura about how inseperable Joey and I are. He truly is one of my best friends. He doesn't care what I look like, he's as loyal as they come and always has my back. He gets excited to see me even if I have only been gone a minute or two. He senses when I'm down or things aren't right with me and gives me extra lovin and care during these times. Getting Joey was one of the best things that has happened to me as an adult. The timing on getting a dog wasn't an accident. Laura knew a dog would be just what the doctor ordered. He was there for me through some really rough times which connected us even more. Joey lifted my spirits while I was going through my cancer journey. He also helped Laura's kids get through their parents tough divorce. Joey is an angel that was sent to us for a reason. This beautiful dog had been adopted two differen't times before we found him. Can you imagine how hard that must of been for him. We were the third family to adopt him. The way we see it, the third time was a charm. We needed him and he needed us. We know that Joey the dog was meant for us.

One day last year we were watching t.v. as a family. The local news brings on an animal from the Humane Society every Friday. They were introducing their viewers to a very cute beagle. At the end of the segment, the woman from the Humane Society mentioned that there were some puppies that had just come in and were ready for adoption. She said they were three black labs. We all looked at eachother (we love black labs) and headed out the door to the animal shelter. Unfortunately, the black lab puppies were so popular that everyone wanted to meet them. We anxiously waited around for over an hour, hoping that they wouldn't all be adopted. In the mean time, we strolled up and down the halls looking at other dogs. We found the beagle they were introducing on t.v. but it just wasn't the right dog for us. She was very sweet but a little old and quite the shedder. I'd only played with her for five minutes and had dog hair all over me. We kept checking in with staff to find out if one of the three puppies was available to meet, but to no avail. We finally decided it was time to go, figuring the wait may go on for a while. On our way out the door, we literally bumped into a young couple that was holding one of the black lab puppies. We quickly asked them if they were going to adopt the cute little girl and thankfully, they said no. They lived in an apartment and knew it wouldn't be fair to the dog. We were grateful to know they were just looking at dogs for entertainment value only. The woman from the shelter said that other people were next in line to see the puppy, but since we were right there, she decided to let us go next. It was a sign to us that this dog was meant to be ours. She escorted us into a small room so we could play with her and see if she was a fit for us and visa versa. I will never forget how much fun we had with her in that room. We all took to eachother right away but the icing on the cake was when I looked at her little tummy. There it was, another sign. She had a white patch on her belly just like my childhood dog, Spooky. I looked at my family and said, "this is our dog and her name will be spooky."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First Big Snow Storm of the Season for Minnesota

http://www.you tube.com/watch?v=mN7LW0Y00kE
My nephew Jacob on top right with his friends in the neighborhood
I don't know what it is with us Minnesotans, but the first big snow is always an exciting adventure.  You'd think after so many winter seasons it wouldn't be such a big deal.  This is what a typical Minnesotan does when they hear of a big storm a com in:

  • Get to the grocery store to stock up on needed items just in case one can't get out for a while.
  • Start a nice fire in the fire place so we stay cozy and warm
  • Pull out the bin that holds the hats, boots, mittens, winter coats and snow pants
  • Turn on the weather channel or local news so we can follow the storm from start to finish
  • Once the storm starts we must look out the window as a family and let out loud squeals of joy
  • ,Eventually it's time for the kids to run outside and rouse the neighbor kids for some winter fun
  • If it's a heavy wet snow then they must build Frosty the Snow Man, throw snowballs, go sliding
  •  When they've had their fill of cold and wet snow, they make their way inside for some of Laura and Linda's hot chocolate with marsh mellows, usually fireside

News Bulletin:  This report just in from our local weather station
The First big snow storm of the season is just starting to taper down in the twin cities area. It looks like we could get about 7-10 inches of snow before all is said and done.
Channel 9 local news weatherman Eric Maitland, says that the heavy wet snow is causing several tree branches to fall, in turn bringing down power lines. According to Xcel Energy up to 3,000 of its customers are currently without power across the Twin Cities Metro area.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cancer Diagnosis Leads to Loss of Friends


Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

Haunted House in Mtka, MN
They start decorating October 1st and add something spooky til Oct31st

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Mom and Dad made this such a memorable celebration, that as an adult, I get excited like I'm still a child. I remember like it was yesterday, the great halloween parties we had at our childhood home. We would bob for apples, have costume contests, eat lots of candy and hang out with our friends. The kids in the neighborhood always looked forward to the Rogers tradition of Halloween and fun.

Nowadays, we are the house on the block that goes crazy with halloween decorations. Even the little kids know that it is the fun house to check out. We have scary music blaring as the kids dare to enter our front doorstep. Monsters and goblins of many types are there to greet the children with blinking eyes and blood curdling sounds. If they want some great treats, they have to be brave enough to reach into the witches basket. Laura will eventually creep the night streets with her kids and the rest of the neighborhood children and parents.  I will stay home and give out candy and make the traditional baked pumpkin seeds. The children will gather lots of goodies in their bags, only to come home later and count the treats. There will be candy exchanging going on and scary movies to watch late into the night. The smell of lit jackolanterns fill the night air and beckon the ghouls that run rampid in the darkness.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Caramel Apple Crisp-Tasty Tuesday


  • 4-5 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 c Hershey's Caramel Syrup
  • 1/2 c Flour
  • 3/4 c water
  • 3/4 c packed brown sugar (You can use white sugar but it's not as gooey and nummy).
  • 1/2 c quaker oats
  • 1/3 c softened butter or margarine
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Spray bottom and sides of square pan with cooking spray
  • Layer sliced apples on bottom of pan and drizzle caramel syrup on top
  • Pour above mixture of ingredients, over apples
  • Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until apple crisp is golden brown and apples are tender
  • Best served warm with a scoop or two of ice cream

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Prayed to God for Help and Two Angels Came to Help Me

It was October 11, 1998 when my dear father passed away. It was one of the hardest things I have endured in this life. My mother passed away when I was only nine years old which brought dad and I, even closer. After dad passed away, I felt like a part of me died. The hopelessness I felt was unbearable. In my grief and pain, I remembered a conversation that dad, Laura and I, had one day. (My twin sister, dad and I, called ourselves, "the three muskateers".) In one of our many deep, spiritual conversations, we talked about visiting eachother after death if God would give us this gift. On this night, about three months after his death, as I lay on my bed whailing, I remembered our conversation and thought I would try talking to God about letting dad visit with me.
Through the tears I prayed to God to let dad come visit me. I remember saying something like, "dear God, if it is your will, please let me know dad is around me. Here is my story of what happened that night when I finally fell asleep...

I woke at 10:11AM from a Loud noise that seemed familiar. It was a specific honking of a car that my dad use to do when he passed my apartment. The honk went to the beat of, Honk- Honk - Honk Honk Honk, Honk-ety HonkHonk,HonkHonk. Dad always used this particular honking pattern because of its' history. It was a bell that hung out the front door of my childhood home. He and mom rang the bell to this same rhythm to call their five kids to dinner. I felt like I was in heaven when I heard this. Waking up to my dad's infamous honk had me feeling hope again. I hadn't fallen asleep till early morning, so I joyfully went back to bed, knowing dad was near.

I woke up again to dad's classic honk at 11:27AM. Each of the two times I was awakened, I heard a quiet voice tell me to look at the clock. This is why I am so sure of the exact time. I knew there was something to the time of these honks but couldn't figure it out. I called my twin sister after the second honk to see if she had any idea's. I was babbling on in excitement, knowing dad had visited me but she filled in the blanks.

That night, I had prayed that my dad would come to me or let me know he was around. Little did I know that God had bigger plans for the heavenly visit I requested. Laura, obviously being part of God's plan, reminded me of some important dates. Dad died on October 11 (10:11) and mom died on November 27 (11:27). I squeeled in absolute joy at the miracle God had given me. Not only did he give me the gift of dad but mom as well. In my grief of losing dad, I wasn't even thinking that mom would come see me. I will never forget the night that mom and dad came to ease my pain and hopelessness. Death does not mean the end but the beginning. It also doesn't mean that we still can't feel or talk with our loved ones. I realize miracles like this dont happen everyday and that is why it is an experience I will forever cherish. Mom and Dad knew I needed them both so I could move on.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pieces of Poetry

God's Rainy Lullaby

Pitter Pat, droplets fall

on my window pane

Soft and Warm you speak to me

My cozy friend "the rain"

I smell the rust-like odor

as you touch the ground

You make me feel so peaceful

that rythymic rainy sound

When our saviour calls on me

and surely I must die

I pray I hear my favorite sound

"God's rainy lullabye"...

God's Love

I'd like to tell you how I feel

Our loving God is hope to heal

When life is tough and throws a curve

Do not fret, as God will serve

Life goes on in-spite of strife

We'll grow in wisdom in this life

Even when you lose a fight

God is there to make it right

God Love's You

He knows every hair on your head

So live in joy, let go of dread

Put your hopeless thoughts at bay

and thank the Lord for each new day

Go forth with hope, for God is here

When you live in faith, there is no fear

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Panic Attack Saved my Life

Many of you already know I am a lung cancer survivor after sharing it with my wonderful on-line family. I have often been asked how I figured out I had it, because there is usually no symptoms until it is too late. I was one of the lucky ones that found out in time to save my life. Here is my story...

It was the beginning of February when things started to get wierd. My anxiety was off the charts and I ended up in the emergency room a couple differen't times. The first trip to ER they gave me something to calm down and help me sleep. A week prior to this hospital stay, I was anxious, wasn't sleeping, I was pacing, and couldn't for the life of me, sit down. Finally, my family couldn't watch me suffer anymore and my older brother(Bless his soul ) drove me to the nearest ER at about 2AM. When the medication they gave me, finally kicked in, (it took a while)I slept for the next 18+ hours. Upon discharge from this episode, the Dr. referred me to see a psychiatrist to find out what was going on. I must say, I wasn't real surprised by the diagnosis, which was "anxiety" and "depression." This first trip to ER and the extreme anxiety I had been struggling with the past couple of weeks, was all part of a puzzle that would soon reveal itself. Read on...

It had been about a week since my scary trip to ER. I wasn't pacing anymore and was sleeping pretty normal since starting the anti-depressant. I felt like things were starting to look up and I welcomed this with open arms.

It was the third week in February and things on this particular day seemed pretty normal. It was about 7PM and I was relaxing on my favorite couch, watching the Minnesota Twins baseball game. I made myself one of my favorite snacks, celery with cream cheese. From out of nowhere it seemed, came a blast of that frightening anxiety. I stood up and walked around my apartment. I tried some calming techniques so the anxiety wouldn't build. I was doing some positive self-talk, rubbing my feet into the floor to ground me, and trying to focus on the baseball game on t.v. Nothing was working and my anxiety started getting worse. I was now having heart palpitations and other unsettling symptoms. I was now convinced that I was having a heart attack. What does Linda do when she thinks she is having a heart attack?? She calls her best friend Laura, her twin sister. History repeating itself, I dialed her number and said, "Laura, can you bring me to ER, I think I'm having a heart attack." God Bless Laura and her patience, as many of these episodes turn out to be recurring anxiety. She picks me up and drives me to ER. I told them adamantly, that I was having a heart attack and needed assistance immediately. The normal procedure to assess for heart attack is: X-Ray and Electrocardiogram. Laura and I are now waiting for word on my test results. Have you ever seen two twins that are connected at the hip, waiting for results? Trust me, it wasn't pretty. If taped, we probably looked like two insane women hugging eachother to death. I'm sure the fear in the room was palpable to any who dared enter. Oh, Here comes the doctor with the results...

Noticing that Laura and I were coming unglued, the woman doctor spoke in a calm and comforting manner. She told me that my electrocardiogram looked great and I had not suffered from a heart attack. I gave a big sigh of relief and prepared to hear what I have heard in the past. That it was a panic attack or extreme anxiety. She calmly stated that the x-ray revealed a spot on my right lung. l was confused and asked her what she thought it could be. She explained that in Minnesota, many people get spots on their lungs because of mold that grows here. She said if this was the case, they would have me take an anti-biotic and that's usually the end of it. She asked if I was a smoker and I prouldy exclaimed, "No Way, Never." She assured me that it would be rare for a non-smoker of fourty-one, to have lung cancer and this was probably nothing to worry about. She asked me to follow-up with my primary physician to rule out cancer or any other lung disease. I walked out of that hospital feeling very confident that this was just a little bump in the road. Unfortunately, on March 1st of 2004, I received the phone call that noone wants to get. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this Linda, but you have lung cancer." I repeated back those scary words, to be sure I heard it right. The next thing I remember was hearing a loud thud and finding Laura passed out on the floor next to me.

I will always be grateful that my body spoke to me during those early weeks in February, especially the night they found the spot via the x-ray. My body was telling me things were not right and warning me. I will never complain about the panic attack that saved my life.

"God, I love her dearly, but really, must I go through my twin sister's pain"

Identical twins, like Laura and I, have an uncanny connection and relationship that many find intriguing. I can honestly tell you that my life has been chalk full of great opportunities and fun because of it. In later hubs I will share some really exciting stories about some of these great opportunities.

This special relationship does come with a price because of the very nature of our intense connection. Here is one of my many stories of the down side of twinhood.

As I shared in an earlier hub, I went to ER in 2004 complaining of symptoms similiar to a heart attack. The x-ray they had taken, showed a spot on my right lung. She (the doctor) wasn't very concerned because I was forty-one and a non-smoker. She told me to make an appointment with my primary doctor, just to be safe. Long story a little shorter, after doing another x-ray, it was clear that the spot had grown. I was told to set up an appointment for a biopsy. I could not believe this was happening.

The morning of the biopsy, Laura, the kids and I, said a prayer that the procedure would go safely and smoothly. We got the kids off to school and hesitantly left for the hospital. I checked in at the front desk and filled out all the necessary paperwork. She handed me a pamphlet on the possible complications of having a biopsy. It basically said, that in rare instances, there can be lung collapse. This is mostly seen in the elderly or people with emphysema. Having read that, I was feeling confident that there was nothing to worry about. I am forty-one, I've never smoked, so no emphysema. Ok, I am ready to do this, let's get the dreaded biopsy behind me.

I am rolled down to the operating room after hugging my sister to pieces. I said, "Laura, this is gonna be a piece of cake." It's always harder on a loved one and I could see the fear in her face. They gave me a Very Mild sedative from what I could tell. As the needle was approaching my chest, I prayed it would'nt hurt too bad. I found myself letting out a big scream when it penetrated the lung. It really hurt! Anyway, they wheel me to a recovery room where they monitor you closely. They keep listening to your breathing to make sure it sounds right. The nurse tells me after about twenty minutes, that my breathing sounds a little laboured and I will have to go get x-rayed.

Laura and I are now waiting in the hallway for the doctor, to let me know the results of the x-ray. He says, "Linda, your lung is collapsing from the biopsy and you will need a chest tube put in to re-inflate it. We need to do it now before you are no longer able to breathe." Poor sis is now crying and I put on my brave face. I told her that this was just a little bump in the road and I would be fine. She didn't tell me until after I left the hospital, but she knew how painful it was gonna be. Our highschool buddy was the x-ray tech and told her that getting a chest tube was one of the most painful procedures you can have. He should have known better not to say that to Laura. He was right though, it was excruciating!

Laura is out in the hallway waiting very anxiously for the surgery to end. She clutched her bible close and read the whole time I was in surgery.

Again, I was given some kind of sedative. You don't sleep with it, just relax a little, ya, right. The surgeon's instructed me to breathe out when they said go as it would help reduce the pain. I was given the green light and took a deep breath. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife. I let out a very loud groan. The surgeons who were downplaying the procedure earlier, were now congratulating me on how tough I was. I guess I know what it feels like to be stabbed with a knife. Yes, I would agree I am tough!

I guess in my groggy state, I kept asking for my twin sister. The surgeons were cool guys and knew it would be to my benefit to see her right away. As Laura tells me, the surgeons snuck Laura through a private tunnel for staff, to get me to her faster. The minute I saw her I cried and she held me in her arms. She gave me that sisterly, twinly love that I needed after such a traumatic procedure.

I told you that the twin connection, in all it's joy's, has a down side. When I was released from the hospital and feeling better, she shared this story with me...

She was in the waiting area reading her bible. From out of nowhere she felt like a knife went through her chest on the right side. She looked up from the bible and prayed..."Lord, I love her so much but please take away this pain." And just then, the pain was gone.
Please feel free to listen to the song I dedicated to Laura for always being there for me. Van Morrison's, "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You."http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFF1wJN75Z0

Friday, August 6, 2010

What Can I Do About My Restless Leg Syndrome?

I wanted to write about Restless Leg Syndrome for those who have symptoms but don't know what it is or what to do about it. My journey with this annoying condition started after I went through chemo-therapy and radiation for cancer. The doctors prepared me that I would probably have tingling and numbness of the hands, feet, and legs, due to the treatment. They told me the condition would eventually go away once some time had passed. My hands are no longer numb or tingly, but I continue to have problems with my legs and feet. After doing some on-line research, I realized I was suffering with "Restless Leg Syndrome."

 What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

 Restless Leg Syndrome is a disorder where you have an urgent need to move your legs or feet to relieve the unpleasant sensation. It usually occurs at night when your lying down or when your sitting in a position for a long period of time. I notice my feet and legs becoming restless when I am laying in bed at night or when I'm sitting in my recliner chair.

 What do the symptoms look like?

 Those who suffer with this disorder will use the following terms to describe the symptoms: Creeping, Crawling, Aching, Pulling, Tingling, Bubbling, Restless.

 What can Help These Unpleasant Symptoms:

 Unfortunatley, there is no known cure for Restless Leg Syndrome, but here are some tips that have   helped me.

  • Warm shower or bath to loosen and relax the muscles
  • Massage
  • Gentle stretching exercises
  • Good self-Care (good nutrition, exercise, don't over-do caffeine)
  • Prescription medications are available for people who have severe cases of RLS
  • Taking vitamins or supplements to build your immune system (iron supplements have been known to help with this disorder).
  • Lower your stress as best you can

Monday, July 26, 2010

Love's Power

When your feeling alone till a friend says they care

This is the power of love

When you have very little but you choose to share

That is the power of love

When your child is sick and it causes you pain

This is the power of love

When your feeling sad and a hug makes you sane

That is the power of love

When your day's been tough till your dog licks your face

This is the power of love

When battling cancer and sister would take your place

That is the power of love

Love is a gift that keeps on giving

It is what makes our lives worth living

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Are you suffering from panic attacks

If I can help one person out there struggling with panic attacks, then my personal story about anxiety and panic disorder is well worth it. I have a Master's degree in counseling and psychological services, but having struggled with this affliction throughout my life is what gives me "expertise and credibility" on the subject.

What is a panic attack: The DSM-IV descibes a panic attack as "a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, which comes on suddenly and peaks within ten minutes or so." According to the American Psychological Association, symptoms of panic disorder "last as long as thirty minutes or as little as fifteen seconds." "They can form a cyclical series of episodes that last for extended periods. Often, those afflicted will experience significant anticipatory anxiety and limited symptom attacks between situations where attacks have previously occurred."

intense fear or apprehension
fear of dying
feeling that one is "going crazy" or feeling out of control
shortness of breath, choking feeling or smothering sensation
muscle pain or tension
hot flashes/cold flashes
chest pain or heart palpitations
dizziness or feeling light-headed
de-realization(feeling out of your body)
burning sensation/numbing sensation
hypervigilence (being overly aware of environmental or bodily sensations)
strong urge to "escape or flee"

One of my worst bouts of anxiety, panic disorder and panic attacks, was when I was about twenty-eight years old. Mind you, I suffered from them at a younger age, but it wasn't until my twenties that it became very severe.

One of my earlier recollections of anxiety was when I was about nine years old. I was laying in bed when the feeling came over me. I wanted to flee and get as far away from my body as possible. I wasn't sure why I had this feeling of dread and fear when I was just relaxing in the comfort of my own childhood bedroom. Then there was the time I was about ten years old. I was laying on the livingroom couch watching t.v., and without warning, I felt like I was going to die. I walked into the kitchen where my father was standing. I was sobbing and telling him about the wierd symptoms I was experiencing. He wanted so much to help his little girl, but had no idea what it was or what to do.

The anxiety and panic continued throughout my childhood and peaked in young adulthood. Eventually I was suffering with full-blown panic attacks. I was working at a group home for adults with special needs when the panic attacks were the worst. Here I was, twenty-something and responsible for 8-10 adults and feeling like I was falling apart. One of my scariest incidents was when I was driving the company van with all ten residents. I thought, "OH Man, here we go again," as the feelings of panic came over me suddenly. I felt like I was suffocating, dying, going crazy. I considered pulling the van over but I was on an interstate, where there was no getting off. The fact that I knew I couldn't get off the highway, made the anxiety and panic even worse. I eventually got everyone home safe, but I will never forget it. I felt like I had run a marathon as my legs were sore and shaky following the panic attack.

There were also many incidents in college where my boyfriend would have to talk me down. He was patient and loving and learned that I regularly had these bouts of anxiety. He and my sister became very important to me when I was having a bad panic attack.

Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to anxiety and panic. I have come a long way since the days of constant panic. There is hope for living a good life, in spite of panic and anxiety.

Here are some ideas and tips that have helped me:
Take your shoes off when having feelings of panic or anxiety and rub them into the floor or ground. This skill may sound odd, but really helps get you back in your body.

Self-Care-Get enough sleep, eat nutritional foods, take vitamins or supplements, pamper yourself by taking a bath or a nice walk(anything just for you and no-one else), exercise or move your body and avoid alcohol as this can exacerbate the anxiety

Talk to a therapist or counselor who specializes in anxiety or panic disorder. You can work together to find the best treatment for you. It may include medication, talk therapy, bio-feedback, or other ways that are a fit for you.

See your Primary Care Physician to discuss your anxiety and panic. They may want to rule out any physical problems. (Make sure to keep them in the loop if you are seeing a therapist or counselor).

Get support from friends and family you trust. Just talking about your anxiety can often alleviate the scary feelings that accompany it.

Read articles on the internet-You will realize how common anxiety and panic disorder really is in our society. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Try not to give too much power to the anxiety. I know what your thinking, "Easier said than done" but take it from someone who has learned from experience. I just don't give anxiety the power I use to in the earlier days. Try to focus your attention on something that gets your mind off your mind. Do things that you love or have a passion for. ( I love to garden, walk, hub, read, watch movies and listen to music, to name a few)

Love yourself-You are not bad or damaged because you suffer with panic attacks. Oh, and you or I are not crazy!

Panic attacks can decrease in power as you learn more skills to cope with them. I have gone through several months of remission, many times in my life. Even when it does come back for a visit, I am more prepared with ammunition which I listed above

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lost in the Abyss

Darkness envelopes her wounded soul

Bruises of pain and sadness

follow slowly and steadily behind

Engulfed with feelings of isolation and despair

She slips deeper and deeper into the morbid abyss

Where sinister souls claim their prize

From weary lost minds which hold no sense

She climbs now from her self-induced muck

climbing upward only to spiral back to the tomb of darkness

Escaping the torment for only moments at a time

until the plunge becomes like mocking tones

that delve and penetrate deeper into her sanity

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hope and Help for Depression

Hope for Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in our society.  It not only affects adults, but children and teenagers as well.  As a person in the mental health field, I have seen how devastating depression can be. As a person who has struggled with depression firsthand, I see hope and possible solutions for this particular diagnosis. I hope you find my article on depression, helpful.

Am I depressed?

Here is a list of symptoms that can help you assess whether or not you are suffering from depression.

Change in eating habits-Are you finding that your eating more than usual or that you have no appetite? (weight gain or weight loss).

Change in sleeping habits-Are you finding that you are sleeping too much or having difficulty getting enough sleep?

Change in social habits-Are you finding that you are no longer interested in getting together with friends or family and just want to hide out and isolate? Or are you finding that you are going out more than usual and exhibiting high risk behavior? (ex: heavy drinking, promiscuity).

Feeling alone and self-deprecating

Feelings of sadness or apathy

Losing your temper easily/irritablility


Feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed

Feelings of hopelessness

Feelings of dread

Trouble concentrating or tracking

Trouble functioning day to day (ex: gettting out of bed and doing basic tasks, like showering)

Thoughts of hurting yourself or suicide

Depression or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a common and serious medical condition which makes one feel overwhelmed. The condition can wreak havoc on a person's life and interfere with normal functioning. Depression can occur once or several times over a person's life time. It is estimated that depression affects about 14 million Americans or 1 in 6 adults over a life span.

Here are some suggestions to help reduce symptoms of depression:

Talk to your doctor, health- care professional or therapist if you believe you are depressed. They can assess you for depression and help you decide the best way to treat it.

Excercise, move your body-Studies have shown that just moving or excercising can help reduce the effects of depression.

Talk to loved ones that you trust-talking about your feelings of depression can make you feel better. Many times you will find you are not alone in your depression. Knowing you are not the only one that has felt this way, can have a uplifting effect.

Self-Care-Though you may not be feeling up to pampering yourself, it is important to do just that. Loving yourself enough to take a bubble bath or any activity that makes you feel good. It is also important that you try to have a well-balanced diet and at least eight hours sleep. It can be challenging when one is depressed, but it is possible. As I stated earlier, limit your alcohol use or better yet, take it out of the equation all together.

Remember, Depression is a very treatable condition. If you are finding that your lows are lasting longer than usual, please see a doctor or therapist.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Goodbye My Love

Our love developed out the blue
Most didn't picture me and you
I noticed uniqueness others can't see
I saw your strengths like you did in me
Why is everyone saying your bad
I feel so connected, the loss would be sad
You were my creative soul that needed a muse
We thought love alone would win and not lose
College friends constantly telling me, "leave"
The stories and judgements, there is no reprieve
I beg you to tell me that it isn't true
You promise your loyal and I believe you
Until that day the dorm became hell
They told me you loved her, on my knee's I fell
I swore I would never love you again
I just hope It doesn't make me fear men

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What a Dream I Had Last Night

Have you ever had a dream that made you happy until you had to wake up. Last night I had one of the best dreams of my life. I strolled into the kitchen, all smiles, and the family knew their was something up. I finally admitted that my happiness wasn't just a good night's sleep but auntie was in love.

In our house, we love to talk about our dreams openly. I admitted that I was feeling sad because the man I loved was just a figment of my dream imagination. Living with teens, they had no problem telling me that "it was just a dream auntie."

I don't know if you have ever had those type of dreams that affect your day. I actually felt like I was going through a grieving process once I figured out my lover wasn't real. I was grieving the fact that the man I loved and was going to marry, was just a dream. Not even the best therapist in the world could help me work through this sudden end of a relationship. How dare my subconscious do this to me. How can I work through this?

I am now going to admit who the man in my dream was. At first, I remember him being a good lookin guy that I didn't know. As the dream continued, I realized that the man I loved, was none other than "Robert Downey Jr." Not only was it one of my favorite actors that I have followed through my life, but no, it was much more than that. I found out in the middle of the dream that my boyfriend was "Iron Man." Pretty cheesy huh? Hey, I don't control my dreams, so no judgement please.

I eventually got through my day because of the support of family. They teased me, questioned me, and asked me to talk about the dream. The more I talked about it, the better I felt. I told the kids that this dream man would be the only reason auntie mama would ever consider marriage and moving out.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

Lier Lier Pants on Fire, Hanging on a telephone wire

You show the world your Calculated, conncocted persona

You hide the dark, sick, evil man you really are

Your accomplishment of Naval Seal is just a trick

You took that little girls innocence like it was nothing

All because of your sick, preverse needs

She use -to trust and believe that people were basically good

She use-to believe in santa, the easter bunny and princes'

She now see's the evil that lurks all around her

To keep her sanity and keep pain at bay, she pushes down the event

Until that day on the bus with her teenage friends

You stepped in not knowing she saw you, the wolf in sheeps clothing

"What is happening to me? she thinks to herself"

"She can't breathe, her head is spinning, she feels ill

Her mind goes back to the event that she wanted to forget Forever

Back to the time she was twelve and swimming at the beach

Fun with her friend turned into Nightmare as his brother approached

I don't know you, why did you call me over to the shallow inlet

You make me do things, touch things, for what seemed Forever

Make it stop, Make it stop...Why is this happening to me

All the while manipulating younger brother to dive in the deep end of the lake

So you can hurt a little girl that just wanted to play at the beach

Finally a voice in the distance yells for little Maggie to come home for lunch

She is no longer a prisoner of his ugly wrath and knows it is safe to leave

She runs as fast as she can, away from the monster

Maggie goes home a changed little girl, Never to be the same

Party Wings

Teriyaki Party Wings


1 bag of cut up chicken wings and drummies

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons brown and white sugar

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

1 tablespoon ginger

Shredded fresh garlic


Mix ingredients in large bowl

Marinate chicken for 2-4 hours before baking

Put chicken in baking dish or on baking sheet

Pour some sauce on top of chicken

Bake chicken at 350 degrees for one hour

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tips for Parenting Teens

Tips from Auntie
I know I'm not the only person out there whose pulling their hair out because of teens. Don't get me wrong, I would be a lost soul without my niece and nephew, but lately, my little darlings have changed. The change is a developmental one, called pre-teen and teen. Wow, how did we get here already? One morning as I waited for these two sweet kids to skip downstairs for breakfast, I was stunned to realize that someone had performed some kind of switch. You know, like in the movies, "The Stepford Wives or Body Snatchers." My perfect niece and nephew were now people I didn't recognize.

In past writings I have mentioned that I am helping my twin sister raise her two, beautiful children. It is both an honor and a privilege. As with anything great and well worth it, there is always going to be challenges and struggles. Here are some ideas that may help, as you enter the "Teenage Zone." Good luck and happy parenting.

Talk slow, loud and clear when asking your teen to do chores as they are great fakers. They like to pretend they either don't hear you or they don't understand you. I believe my dad use to call this "Selective Hearing", when I was a teen.

Teens love to shirk chores and moan and groan until your so exasperated you figure you might as well do it yourself, but don't. I like to use the parenting method I call "It is your choice." Now I don't waste my energy begging them to help out. Once I pull the ole, "well, if you don't dump the garbage, I guess we can't go to the beach this afternoon, but it's your choice."

Don't be naive and assume that your teen is listening to you as you speak to them. Recently when I drove my nephew home from school, he pulled the major, Blow Off! This means that they answer you by just picking out a few words from the conversation. I have become a master at knowing when I am being answered, with no real understanding of what I really said. On this particular day, I said that I had an errand to run in town. I thoughtfully stated that I would bring him to Jimmy John's (his favorite fast food sandwich shop) for his after school snack, since it was close by. As I said the words, "Jimmy John's", he suddenly came to life and looked at me. I said, " did you hear what I just said?" He stumbled over his words to make it sound like he did, but eventually admitted he only heard the words, "Jimmy John's." I begrudgingly re-stated the story I had told him. He laughed and apologized for blowing me off.

Know where the teens cell phones, ipods or other electronics are located at all times. In our house we have family time following dinner. We watch t.v., play games or just relax. The rule is that during family time, no-one (including mom and aunt) can be distracted by electronics. Little did Laura and I know that when we thought the kids were being little angels and following the rules, they were up to no good. While we were thinking they were quietly watching a family movie or show, they were really on one of their electronics. I figured this out when I noticed a Glowing Light under my nephews blanket. Busted! He can't get away with this little trick anymore.

Know when to be quiet with your teen as it can be hazardous your health. Lately, when my niece is upset (which is pretty much All The Time), I have learned that the best policy is to stay Quiet and Calm, lest you want to see a little girl turn into a mini monster. Here is an example: Ellie-(in a whining, screaming voice), "where are my new shorts?" Auntie- "I just put them in your upper drawer." Ellie-"Quit yelling at me auntie." Auntie-"Honey, I'm not yelling." Ellie-"I just asked you nicely where my shorts are and now your yelling at me." I now know, that you just stay quiet. Answer the question and quietly walk away, even if your teen is freaking out at you. Added replies from you will just make a bad situation worse.

Don't ever admit to buying clothes anywhere other than the popular, big name stores that teens deem cool. Laura and I have learned that when you buy clothes at sears or second hand stores, you tell the teen that you bought them at Abercrombie, American Eagle and the like. The times we've been honest, the clothes were never worn. Also, when shopping with your teen, Never say you picked something out for them to try on. I always say, "try this on, the cool sales lady thought you would look great in this." When I use to admit it was me picking out an outfit, I would get the big eye roll followed by a rude comment, like, "This is gross, I can't believe you think this is cute."

Don't take teen behavior personally. They are acting and behaving normal for this developmental stage. Stay strong and talk to other parents that have teens or those who have already been through it.

When your having one of those really tough days with your teen, just remember this stage won't last forever. Some day we might even miss all this hormonal drama? and the important thing to remind ourselves is how much we love them.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spaghetti al Pomodoro with Chicken


Spaghetti Al Pomodoro

Boil spaghetti, angel hair or any type of noodle you prefer.

Broil, stir-fry or bbq chicken-whichever you prefer and cut into bite sized pieces. (I use a wok).


  • Spaghetti or angel hair pasta

  • 1 Pkg boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 Medium onion

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • (2)or more 14 oz can plum or whole tomatoes

  • 1 Tsp sugar

  • Dash salt/Dash pepper

  • 8 Basil leaves

  • 1 can black ollives


Put olive oil in pan. Add diced onion to pan and grated fresh garlic. Saute garlic and onion in oil till they get warm.  Add rest of ingredients and cook until warm.
Pour Pomodoro recipe on top of noodles.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese or shredded cheese (to taste) on top of pomodoro.


Ode to Mom and Dick

You were always there for us when twinners needed you,
Your our special adopted mom & dad and dad Dick threw our shoe

Isn't it funny how life tends to go,
when our kids are naughty, now their shoes we throw

We always knew you both had our backs
Whether our day was bright or our world was black

You helped us to get through good days and pain
You loved us through struggles it was never in vain

You mean more to us than you'll ever know
You showed us Christs' love and helped us to grow

Through fires, houseboat, Dougal's and more
our memories stay with us, especially of Lore.

Love Your Second Daughters

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Catholic School Confusion

I pray for the nun that pulled on our ears
She tried filling us with guilt and preyed on our fears

I know she was lost in that day in age
She acted like a monster with deep-seated rage

You made us believe that Jesus was mad
I pity you sister, that makes me feel sad

The powers that be made you feel lonely and small
The same confusion that made nunhood your call

We felt so afraid in the church pew at school
We folded our hands and followed your rule

I wont let mistakes thwart and tarnish my view
My Lord is my saviour and he can help you

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Found My home at BlogSpot

Blogging is where the heart is...

Back in the day we wrote with paper and pen

Who would have known this past time would end

I'd write pages of stories and poems galore

But when I was finished it left my hands sore

Then came computer, it was lap top for me

Now I can write anytime, anywhere, i am free

Soon I was blogging and writing my stuff

I recently found blog spot and can't get enough

Blogging is home and makes me feel whole

The site works my mind and fills up my soul

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Nummy Pasta Chicken Salad

Pasta Chicken Salad Recipe


2 cups (8 ounces) cooked chicken torn into pieces (I use differen't cooking methods such as: grilling, broiling and sometime I even use canned chunk chicken).

8 ounces of pasta (whatever type you have in your house)

1 large cucumber, seeded and cut

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 small white onion, diced

1/3 cup sliced black olives

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Italian Dressing

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional: Grapes (makes a great sweet/salty combination).


Combine chicken, pasta, cucumber, celery, onion, and olives in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, italian dressing, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Add chicken to the chicken mixture and toss lightly.

Chill well before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings

Great recipe for hot summer days-Enjoy!

7. Makes 6-8 servings.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Sad Little Girl

Her legs are like rubber, her head feels confused

The weight of the world crushes and leaves her all bruised

with such chaos at home it seems nothing looks nice

She has noone to talk to or ask some advice

She feels invisible to the world and those all around her

Why cant anyone see me, am I just a blurr

She see's a dark world where there is no sun

Life is depressing with no chance of fun

She wonders if daylight will ever come through

She see's only pain in her little girl view

Her world is so lonely, she doesn't feel strong

I am a nothing and I don't belong

Why wont someone see me and help me get up

I'm slipping away like a half empty cup

I notice kids playing and laughing at school

Why can't I feel good, this world is so cruel

Help me Lord so they don't see me cry

I don't want to live but I'm too scared to die

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Creamy Cucumber Salad

  • 3 Medium Cucumbers (I use my home-grown when possible)
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion
  1. Cut onion into slices and salt. (Set Aside) 
  2. Peel and Cut cucumber, then salt. (Set Aside)
  3. In mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, white and apple cider vinegar and sugar, using a whisk.
  4. Add cucumbers to creamy mixture and toss.
  5. Put in refrigerator and let cucumber salad chill.
  6. Enjoy this refreshing salad.

Ode to the Crab Apple Tree

Majestic crab apple tree

I've missed your graceful beauty and aroma so sweet

I lye under your shaded branches

My special place of solitude and peace

Your time here is much too short

But I am grateful for our time together

Twin Sister Shenanigans

Our First Time Playing a Twin Trick

Looking back at my childhood, I realize that Laura and I figured out Very Young that this twin thing could be a blast! Not only did we realize it would be fun but we also surmised that we could play some sneaky tricks on people. Nothing that would intentionally hurt people, just harmless, good, clean fun.

Our first big attempt at Twin Shenanigans was when we were only Five Years Old. Yep, you heard it right-Two little kindergarteners already using their twinhood to their advantage. So the story goes...

Laura and I talked and giggled, late into the night, in our back room. We were going over our plan to pull off the big "Twin Switcheroo." We discussed details so the morning would go down without a hitch. My kindergarten class was on the first floor and Laura's was on the second. She told me as much as she possibly knew about her teacher and I did the same. She told me that her teacher was a pretty blond and seemed pretty nice. She explained that she thought Miss Backlund seemed to like children. That was a relief to hear! I told Laura that I had a Really old teacher(around 50) which was ancient to me at this age. Mrs. Weebush was a nice old lady that let us do fun things like the game called, "Show and Tell." She also played a game with us where one of us would put our head on her lap while someone else would hide a certain trinket. They would count to 10 and then the child not peeking would go try to find it. That game, I told Laura, was called, Hide and Seek. After going over the final details for the big day, we finally put our heads on our pillows and tried to fall asleep.

Mom came in our bedroom to wake us up like she always did at 8:00AM. "Rise and Shine Linda and Laura." Little did she know what we were up to. Mom had two matching outfits out for us, something that neither of us ever appreciated. Why parents do that to twins is beyond me? I know moms intentions were good but how Annoying! We went through our normal morning routine of eating froot loops and hanging out until it was time to get on the bus. On our ride to school we both had butterflies but nothing that made us want to back out.

I will Never forget how It felt when Laura and I stepped off the bus and started the walk into school. We whispered to eachother whether we should try this switching class prank or not. What if we get caught? What if someone talks to me and I don't know how to pretend to know them? Could we flunk kindergarten if we get caught? What kind of punishment would the teachers give us if we were caught? So many things now started coming into our minds about what we were about to do.

Well, we did it. Laura went to my classroom and I went to hers. No-one was the wiser and we both came out of it feeling Exhilerated! We felt so Powerful! We felt so Sneaky! More and more exciting ideas of how to trick people rushed through our minds. On the bus ride home we laughed so hard our heads hurt. We each shared our exciting stories of the day. After finishing our stories in much detail, we both looked at eachother and said at the same time, "We have to do this again." And that we did, Time and Time again...

(P.S.) If you believe twin tricks stop when one gets older, you are wrong.

Swamp Secrets

Although you're a magical dwelling

With countless wonders to behold

Some only see with blinded eyes

Never finding secret treasures you hold

Some consumed with a damp dark world

Discerning eyes see past this outer disguise

Your vast array of world within world

Remain forever absent from naive eyes

Your majestic fortress of dead and alive

include bird, frog, insect, moss and tree

the list of blessings never cease to amaze

and you humbly offer it to us for free

The rythmic sounds of croaking toads...

The sad love song of the whippoorwill ...

The unique smells of your sanctuary...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Make me yearn to be part of you

The gentle breeze through my window

whispers softly, "believe in me"

Lightly caressing my cheek

                                            Like the comforting touch of a Mother's hand

Others may see you as just a Swamp

But you are my heaven behind the house

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Home-Made Fat-Free French Fries


•4-5 Potatoes (Red or White

•Pam Cooking Spray

•Lawry's Season Salt


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2.Cut potatoes into long slices that are about 1/2" thick.

3.Arrange the cut potatoes on baking sheet in a single layer.

4.Cook for 30 minutes at 325 degrees, then increase temperature to 400 degrees and cook another 30 minutes.

5.You may turn fries periodically to make sure they brown evenly (I don't turn them and they turn out great!)

6.While fries are hot, salt them with regular table salt or Lawry's Season Salt.

7.Optional: Some like to dip them in ketchup while others enjoy drizzling vinegar on the fries.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I couldn't resist putting this on my twincess blog.  Someone sent it to me via email.  Too cute!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"It's a Twin Thing" (Physical Intuition)

My twin sister Laura and I have had many mysterious experiences of the intuitive nature.  Some might call our experiences telepathy, esp or psychic episodes.  Laura and I like to call these experiences "our twin thing."  I would like to share on of my many stories with you:

Heat Exhaustion at Carbone's Pizzeria
It was 1992 as I drove to work at Carbone's pizzeria.  It was one of those excruciating hot and humid days in Minnesota.  As I darted back and forth from table to table, (I was a server) I felt extremely hot and parched.  I had to wonder if the air conditioner was on the fritz.  I talked to Bill who was the owner of the pizzeria, and sure enough, I was right.  He said  the air conditioning wasn't working properly because of the extreme heat and simply couldn't handle the great demand. UUGGHH!  This is gonna be a fun shift, NOT!!

It was extremely busy at the restaurant that night.  I pounded down several glasses of water during my shift but never felt satisfied. 

As the night went on, I started feeling nauseous and my head was starting to throb.  I was twenty- nine at the time and just kept up my fast pace of serving customers.  Big Deal, I kept telling myself,  Of course I feel crummy.  It's about 100 degrees outside, humid, no air conditioning and I am running around like a maniac.  I was very relieved when I closed out the tab on my last table.  I did my clean up duties, punched out and was out the door.

I couldn't wait to take a Cold shower after my six hour shift waitressing.  I was sweaty from head to toe. After my shower, I threw on the coolest pj's I could find, turned on my favorite jazz station and threw myself on the couch.  AAHH! Home at last, I thought to myself.

I didn't have the luxury of air conditioning in my apartment back then and laid there fanning myself with my hands.  I couldn't seem to cool down.  Eventually I would garner a host of unsettling symptoms:  I had a pounding headache, I felt nauseous, my hands were sweaty and shaky and most frightening was the heart palpitations.  I am a master at working myself up to panic and was sure now, I was having a heart attack.  I called my dad half out of breath and talking fast.  "Linda, slow down, what is going on?"  I filled dad in on my night at Carbone's and told him about the symptoms I was having.  I confidently announced, "I know I am having a heart attack."  Dad asked me some questions to assess the situation.  He calmly said, "Honey, I know your not having a heart attack."  "Why don't you drive over and stay the night."   After much banter from me about how unsafe it is to drive during a heart attack, he finally convinced me to come over.

I don't care how old you are, you always feel better when your with mom or dad.  I felt like a little girl as I tore into dad's apartment and into his arms, sobbing.  I was begging dad to drive me to the hospital, just in case it really was a heart attack.  He was always so good at talking me down when I was upset.  (God rest his soul).  He tucked me in on the livingroom couch and gave me that paternal love that I needed so much.  He kept reassuring me that I was not having a heart attack and I would be fine now that I was in air conditioning.  Eventually I was calm and no longer having symptoms.  After going over the days events and symptoms, we came to the conclusion that I had suffered from heat stroke. 

Now to the part of the story that illustrates the strong, psychic, twin bond.   Dad was very familiar with the uncanny connection that Laura and I shared.  He told me I should call Laura and see if she had any inkling I had a tough day.  Laura was at her cabin for the weekend, in Hayward, Wisconsin, with her then husband Brian and Brian's younger brother John and his girlfriend.  As I dialed the 715 area code followed by their number, I noticed dad sitting on the edge of his chair.  He was convinced that Laura somehow shared in my horrible day.

"H e l l o," murmured a man's voice on the other end.  "Is this Linda?" he said confidently, as if he already knew the answer. When I answered "yes" to the question, Brian broke out laughing and announced to the room:  "It's Linda everybody."  Brian told me they were expecting my call and handed the phone to Laura.  I knew I was in for a whopper of a twin story. 

Laura shared with me that at about 5PM she was starting to feel really weird.  Her symptoms were:  Sweaty shaky hands, heart palpitations, naseau, headache and fatigue.  Brian reassured Laura that it was probably the warm weather in Wisconsin coupled with the citrinella candles they lit to keep the mosquitos away.  He said some people have a sensitivity to these candles because of the ingredients.  As the day went on, she started getting really worked up and told Brian she might be having a heart attack.  She eventually excused herself from her cabin guests and retreated to her bedroom.  When Brian checked in on her a little later, she adamantly exclaimed, "You need to bring me to the hospital, I know I am having a heart attack."  Brian continued to reassure Laura that she was not having a heart attack and asked her to come back out to be with their guests.  She eventually left her bedroom and joined her husband and guests.   She started to notice the symptoms dissapate around midnight which was the exact time I calmed down at dad's.
Later, Laura and I surmised that the heat exhaustion I was suffering from in Minnesota is what Laura was experiencing in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the mood to Haiku

A cute soft puppy
Who loves playing and running
And loves to be held
(written by Ellie Arne)

Breathe in summer smells
Fragrant odor of blossoms
Majestic crab apple tree
(written by Linda Rogers)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fill-In the Blanks

Hi Everyone.  Just saw this fun email today and I thought I would share it with you.  When you finish reading my answers please do it for yourself.  Enjoy!

I WANT:  No more war, peace on earth, politicians to be honest and helpful, love and forgiveness for all.
I HAVE:  A twin sister, a loving family and friends and everything I have ever dreamed of.

I WISH:   There was no such thing as Cancer, I still had parents.

I HATE:  The word hate.  Dislike sounds so much better.  (I sound like my dad, God rest his soul).

I MISS:  My father, my mother, my brother, my friend Billy who was killed by lightening, Bill's mom who was like my mom, my friend and past co-worker Virginia who was so special,
my cousins who have passed from illness and car accidents, aunts and uncles and grandparents that have passed, my naieve belief that I would never get really sick or get cancer.

I HEAR:  The wind blowing

I WONDER:  What my niece and nephew will be when their older
                         What it would be like not being a twin (eew, can't imagine that)

I REGRET:  Nothing! Regrets are wasted energy.  I have learned many lessons from the bad choices I have made along the way.

I AM NOT:  Perfect and that is ok with me.

I DANCE:  When I like the beat.

I SING:  Whenever I can.  (I just sang kareoke with my twin sister at a friend's 50th birthday party).  In my younger days I sang for weddings with my twinner and our dear friend Erin.

I CRY:    Rather easily.  Just cried last night watching the Finale of "Lost " even though I never saw one episode when it aired.


I MAKE WITH MY HANDS:   A beautiful flower and vegetable garden in the spring and summer.

I WRITE:  A blog called Twin-Cess Diaries since the beginning of this year.  I'm also on HubPages.  I love writing again and it's much easier online than it use to be when back in the day I had to write by hand in a journal. 

I CONFUSE:  People on a daily basis when I am with my twin sister.  We look and act a lot alike.

I NEED:  Love, the caffeine from my diet pepsi, my daily power walks, my doggies, to lose weight, to win the lottery, to be more patient, my faith in God.

I SHOULD:  Get my garden ready for planting but it's too humid today in MN.

I START:  Every day thanking God for all my blessings.

I FINISH: My day by thanking God for all my blessings.

Friday, May 14, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast

Ellie(middle)and her buddies

As an auntie of eleven children, I can tell you that they grow up so fast.  Don't take one minute for granted as you watch them grow into young adults.  I have been through many life stages with my siblings children and treasure every moment.

I have told you in previous posts that I currently live with my twin sister and her two children, Ellie(12) and Jacob(13).  My twinner has had both kids in a Catholic School from kindergarten to sixth grade.  Jacob is now in middle school for his second year (Big 8th grader) and Ellie is in her last year of grade school at Holy Name.  It seems like yesterday that these two kids were just little babies.  Anyway, last night I attended Ellie's final choir concert as a student at Holy Name.  It was the annual spring concert that Laura and I have gone to for the past nine years.  We both felt very emotional about the evening because we were very conscious of the fact that we were living through another big mile-stone with one of her children.  We stared in awe at these grown up people that recently looked so young and small.  Weren't they just little kindergarteners?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women out there.  Moms, Aunties, daughters, grandmothers and sisters, you are all very important to our children.

It was a beautiful Mother's Day over here.  Laura cooked a turkey and made my dad's famous stuffing and gravy from the turkey drippings.  I made my favorite cucumber salad which is a mix of cukes, onions, mayo, white and apple cider vinegar and a dash of sugar.  We also had the traditional cranberries to round out the meal.  Ellie worked so hard making two pies, pumpkin and cherry.  It took her about an hour to roll out the dough, but it was worth her time.  The pies turned out great!!  She also whipped up homemade mashed potatoes in the mixer she and her brother got for Laura a few years ago.  What a great meal we had.  None of us ate all day so we would be starving for dinner.

Jacob and Ellie spoiled Laura and I as you can see from the pictures.  We received flowers and many heartfelt cards, including one that was HUGE!!  This is such a fun age with the kids because their old enough to understand the true meaning behind Mother's Day.  They gave us the cards one by one, pretending they only had one.  One of the kids would leave the room and come back with another card.  Eventually we ended up with three cards, a target gift card and hand written coupons that said, "five of whatever you want, valid through forever and ever."  How cute is that coming from a twelve and thirteen year old!  Of course Laura and I immediately asked the kids for a back massage and they happily gave us one.  We each have four freebies left.  Hmmm?? What should it be?? 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lunch and Play Day with My Buddy

What a rainy, cold, dreary day here in Minnesota.  It's hard to believe that just three days ago (Tuesday) it was sunny and warm. 

I have told you in past postings that we have a great neighborhood here in Minnetonka.  All the neighbors know eachother and our kids all play together and have a great time.  On Tuesday while walking my dog Joey, I heard a scream coming from the neighbors place.  It was my little buddy Bridgette who is the youngest of six children.  She yelled, "mom, I see Linda, I'll be right back."   Like classic Bridgett, she came out skipping and smiling and had to tell me all about her trip to Disney World.  Soon Bridgett's mom came outside and handed me a gift that they had picked out for us while on vacation.  We watch Strawberry, the family fish when their out of town and they thoughtfully bring us a little trinket to thank us.  Anyway, Marsha explained to me that she was busy cleaning and unpacking from the trip and had relatives coming later from out of town.  I know how it is when your trying to get things done and are trying to beat the clock.  I asked Marsha if my buddy Bridgette could come join me for lunch.  We had such a wonderful time.  She picked out macaroni and cheese for lunch and must have told me ten times that it was the Best Macaroni and Cheese she ever had!  She got equally excited when I told her that I had a special treat for her if she ate a good lunch.  She told me to keep it a secret until it was time for dessert.  She let out a squeal when I brought out the Rice Crispy Bar treat.  After lunch we played with my two dogs and then walked to two garage sales in our neighborhood.  We ended our lovely day lounging in the warm sun. 

It is so refreshing to see life through the eyes of a child.  Everything is so new and exciting.  Kids can teach us so Much!!!  Live life as if your a child, seeing God's beauty and wonder for the first time.  Living in the moment is something that little Bridgette reminds me of every time I see her.