Thursday, September 6, 2012


I've been missing from action for a while, haven't I?  August was somewhat of hectic month even though it was SO extremely hot and dry that you really didn't want to do do a blog post.  Or two.  :)

But, truth be known, I've been in a slump for a while.  A good long while.  Normally, I'm not one to open up about those things you'd just rather not talk about but I'm at a place now where I think that I need to open up a bit.  Not only to help myself but maybe help someone else reading this can also relate.  So, can we sit and have a chat?
Our living room where we invited guests to sit and chat with us.
Oh, before I get started...the pictures I am sharing were taken shortly after we built our home in '06.  I wanted to have a bed and breakfast and we were going to use part of our home to do so.  These photos were used on my website.  You'll see the connection in a bit, I promise.  Anyway, a few years ago, I had major back surgery that really set me back physically.  Shortly after that, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.  So, I closed the bed and breakfast.

As a result, my physical health has been making a gradual and steady decline.  Plus, the prescription pain meds was causing some unwanted side effects.  Sleeping long hours, no energy and constant pain prevented me from getting out and about (not even going to church!).  I have become quite the recluse.  There has been no desire to cook, garden, craft, scrapbook and even cleaning house have taken a back seat.  My 'get up and go' and got up and gone. :/ 

Along with the physical decline, my mental, emotional and spiritual well being have all suffered as well.  I have to admit that I deal with depression from time to time.  No suicidal tendencies, but just not enjoying life.  I refuse to take medication for it because I already deal with adverse side effects from the other medications I take.

My farmhouse country kitchen!
Several months ago, I realized that wishing and hoping that I would get better wasn't going to make it happen and wallowing in self-pity wasn't helping either!  It has taken me this long to finally admit that I was allowing the devil to win the battle and I needed to get back on track.  My God is big and, with His help, I can overcome these obstacles.  That's the first step.  It was time to pull myself up by my boot straps (or as others would say...put on my big girl panties) and do something about it. 
The Dining Room where breakfast was served to our guests and chatting that would last for hours.
Little baby steps are taking place.  I have joined a gym to use the heated pool for gentle exercising.  I recently started going to a nutritionist who has gotten me started on vitamins/minerals such as magnesium and Coq10 to deal with the pain.  Several months ago, I started decreasing some of the pain meds and am almost at the point now to start decreasing some more.  Our plan is to get me back on track with the use of the vitamins/minerals, good nutrition and weight loss.  Goodness knows, I haven't been eating like I should and it's amazing how the body suffers when there is a deficiency.
Now, I'm sure you're scratching your head and wondering what all this has to do with the photos I'm sharing.  It's not just because I am wanting to do a little mini-house tour.  I love being able to show you our home as God has blessed us immensely.  No, I'm sharing with you because this is what my home USED to look like. Beautiful and uncluttered rooms. 

The Playroom ~ decorated with vintage childhood toys and books
When there's no energy and no desire to keeping your home looking like this, it becomes cluttered, unkempt and really dusty! I am embarrassed to admit it but that's what has happened.  I have forgotten how to do housecleaning in an orderly fashion without wearing myself out. Seriously. Some of the medication side effects are fatigue, memory loss and brain fog but I think a good part of it is because I am so overwhelmed about where to start and what to do.
The Keepsake Room ~ decorated with memories of Grandma and Grandpa
I remember reading a blog post some time back about a book that gave tips on simple, organized housecleaning. You know, something along the lines of the embroidered teatowels. Monday is for..., Tuesday.... and so on. Anyone remember the name of the book orsomething along that line?

You know the commercial about the medical alert thingy where the lady says "help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"? That's me. I've fallen into a deep hole and I'm needing help on knowing how to get out.

My life has become discombobulated.  I want to be able to sit out on my porch swing and enjoy the blessings that God has given me and to enjoy the life that I have.  And this is why I wanted to have this chat.  I could use your help.  First and foremost, I covet your prayers.  I need prayer warriors to lift me up and help me stay focused.  Secondly, with the brain fog and memory loss, I've forgotten (or thrown out the window!) alot of what I know about housecleaning, organization, nutrition, etc.   I need help in getting the light, way back in the recesses of my fogged brain, to come back on and for me to say, "oh duh!"

You, my blogging friends, are such a blessing to me and I so enjoy your friendships.  Thank you for being part of my little blogging world.  I pray you have a wonderful day!~

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Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, Velma...I really feel for you. I have gone through some hard times, physically and emotionally and have felt depressed during those times. I found that getting active and back to my previous self helped immensely. I would suggest that you make a weekly list of all the things you want to cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. Designate your chores to each day of the week and cross them off as you do them. Only you know your physical restrictions, so don't beat yourself up if you don't accomplish something. Everyone will survive! You will be amazed and happy as you see things fall into place and that will lift your spirits!

I am sending many prayers your way. Thank you for being so honest and open!


Mary Ann said...

Velma, I'm remembering you in my daily prayers starting today, and wish you the best. There is nothing as bad as chronic back pain, so I can commisserate!

Carol said...

Thank you for sharing what is going on so that we will know how to pray.
Count me in as a prayer warrior.
Patty at Lemon Lane Cottage was talking about a book called Home Comforts, The Art and Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelson.
I checked it out of the library, but was a bit disappointed in kind of made me feel guilty and I keep a very organized and clean house. is excellent, and a lot of people use it.
The thing is to just do something each day, and try not to get overwhelmed. Because there is always housework to be done!
Your home is lovely, and God has blessed you. He will help you, and nothing is impossible with Him.
Blessings, Velma. I will be praying for you. I've already started.

vintage grey said...

Hi Velma! Thank you for sharing and opening your heart! I will be keeping you in my prayers! Have you ever heard of Jordin Rubin? He has some great books on, one called the Maker's Diet for healing your body, and a couple others. Also, you can check out a book called Nourishing Traditions. Take care! xo Heather

Patty@Lemon Lane Cottage said...

Hi Velma, First off, thank you for inviting us into your home and your heart. As Carol mentioned I was working through the book Home Comforts to try and get myself back on some sort of organized cleaning schedule as my life felt out of control, I was fighting depression and I thought if I could just gain control of my physical surroundings maybe my emotional health would benefit. The book got me back on the right track but was a bit overwhelming so I substituted it with other home organization books to keep me motivated. It has taken me months but my home is returning to a cleaner more manageabe state and now having a few friends over doesn't send me into quite as big a tizzy! You are so right that diet and exercise need to go hand in hand with decluttering and these things take time so don't become discouraged. Even one clean drawer or corner of your home will give you a sense of accomplishment.
The most important aspect of your revamp and the most necessary change is spiritual. Our God is huge and His grace and love are immediate and all consuming. Lean first on Him in the stillness of the morning and he will guide your day and give enough strength to move forward. I will keep your journey in my prayers. If I were to suggest a book it would be Ann Voskamps one thousand gifts. It will bless you immensely. Patty

My Vintage Mending said...

Miss Velma I have to tell you you are not alone. This is something I deal with regularly. Having had a bout of it most recently and taking a more proactive approach. I feel better and take each day journey. I have used the fly lady in the past for cleaning. She is funny and quick to get to the point. I make a list of things every day, meal plan and have a little tub of 4 cleaners I carry from room to room to get my cleaning done. Simple works the best. I send you tons of prayers. Please don't hesitate to ask if you need anything....smiles...Renee

Jenny's Heart said...

I can completely relate. My husband is the one suffering, but being his care giver and the only one working wears me out. The house is a mess and so are my emotions most of the time. God IS great and He will see you through. We are trying to get back to a version of the "normal" us.
I agree when things are not how you want them it does discombobulate you. Thank You for sharing and know you are NOT alone in this.
PS. If you reopen the B&B please let us know!
X's & O's

Kerin said...

Oh Velma,
I wish I could hug you through the computer!
Thank you for your honesty, and heartfelt words.

I know you can do this!! All the creativity in you, is still there, and the you that made your home so lovely, inviting , and welcoming is still there!
You will be able to get 'the old you' back ... I just know it.
Baby steps. And prayers... lots of prayers. I will be praying for you, and so will everyone else.

You are already making great strides!!
Our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us, and he will bless our lives. He will bless your life!

Do your best, and our Heavenly Father will make up the rest; that is his promise to us.

One way that I speed clean, is to
#1 fill the sink with hot, soapy water and load the dishes in it to soak.
#2 Take a laundry basket and gather up all the laundry that needs washing.
#3 Take a garbage sack and gather up all the garbage in the house.
By the time you take out the garbage, the dishes have practically washed themselves, and you can start a load of laundry.
Etc.. etc.
Sure is a great way to jump start daily cleaning.

I'll be thinking of you, and praying for you, and know that you have the desire to change things and you will suceed!!

*hugs and smiles.

Darlene G said...

Dear Velma, So sorry to read about your sadness. I can feel how heavy your heart must be. It sounds like you have taken a couple of steps in the right direction, God is #1, a gym, #2 and a nutritionist. You just need to continue down the path you have started. I'm sure there are mornings you want to stay in bed and not face the world and be strong, so stay in bed, but just once-in-a-while. The rest of the time get outside and walk and pray and eat right. You are in my prayers. Let us know how you are doing.

smcfarland said...

Oh, Velma - how I relate! Fly lady is very good. I use Cynthia Ewer understands that nothing is perfect and there will always be housework - it's never 'done'. I found her through Organized Christmas.

I have a bad back and sweeping/vacuuming just aren't something I can do. Hubby did it for me before his back surgery. Now my Roomba does it :)

After the loss of my parents I had to learn to purge and never look back. That may be a good place to start. What I would have put in a garage sale 10 years ago now goes in a Goodwill box and when the box is full it gets dropped off. Trash or Goodwill is the only decision I let myself make. If you can focus on one room a week it will get done. I promise! Once the clutter is at bay then you can look at cleaning. There's no good way to clean around clutter :(.

You are on my prayer list - right next to Hubby - and I want you to let us know how you're doing. Please!

smcfarland said...

Oh! And Velma , start in your bedroom so you have a great place to retreat to! When my girlfriend remodeled her 3 story house she started with her retreat on the top floor so she had to look at the mess going out the door every day and THAT kept her motivated . It took 2 years but it DID get done.

Dorinda said...

Hi Velma - Oh my dear, you and I have a lot in common, and my heart goes out to you because I truly know just how you feel. In May 2004, at the age of 45, I suddenly found myself unable to get around the grocery store without feeling like I was going to collapse, working as a nurse in a cardiology office was so difficult I could barely get up in the morning, etc. After seeing my regular dr with no answers I saw a rheumatologist and was diagnosed after many tests with Polymyalgia Rheumatica and secondary Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Since then I had a horrible fall and fractured my skull, sustained a traumatic brain injury, so I can't work, walk with a cane, and now after having been on prednisone for so many years, my teeth are falling out. Great for a 52 year old woman who used to be a gymnast and cheerleader!! I completely understand what you mean when you say your get up and go got up and went...I wish I knew where mine went too!! I watch church online or on tv because the only mass my husband and I could attend with his work schedule was 7:30 am and I just can't get up that early as I am up and down all night in pain. I have kept an attitude that I didn't want to give up any of the things I used to do, i.e. fancy decorating for each holiday of our home, baking dozens of different kinds of cookies for the holidays, etc. I tried and would find myself up late or in tears on the holiday because I was so exhausted and in so much pain I couldn't move. I now know that I just can't do it all anymore, and believe me I am a very stubborn woman!! I prayed to God about it, too. I do the things that are the most important to me and my family and that's all. I am blessed to have a very helpful husband who helps me around the house with a lot of the heavy cleaning. I sort of see how I feel each day and that sets the tone of the day. Plus, I find that if I do some of the chore and then rest about 15 minutes or 1/2 an hour, and then go back to it, it works out better for me. I just try not to be so hard on myself. I also got a kitchen stool to sit on while I am making dinner because all of a sudden I will be unable to stand so the stool solves that problem. I know this is a LONG comment, I'm sorry! I just want to reach thru the computer and give you a hug and tell you it will all be okay. If you want to email me to talk or complain or vent or whatever, please do. My email is I would just love to hear from you, I'm sure we could help each other through our times when we need a friendly word or two. I shall pray for you and for your health, Velma. Please take care, and hope to hear from you!! Hugs, Dorinda

Lois--Huckleberry Lady said...

Hi Velma,
Your home/B&B is just lovely. It was so inviting!!!
You sound like your on the right track with the gym and nutritionist so keep up the good work. Giving you a hug and will lift prayers up for you.

Kerin said...

Hi again Velma :)
Just popping by to say 'hi', and let you know, I'm thinkin' about you.
I hope you had a nice weekend, and I pray this coming week is a great one for you, my friend.


Cindy said...

Hello dear Velma,
I'm so sorry to hear what has been going on in your world, and please know that I will pray, too.
My husband has battled with everything that you've mentioned, so I've seen it from the other side. He is doing much better right now, so there is hope, dear friend, through prayer, exercise and good nutrition.
I was going to mention the Fly Lady, but others have so that's all I can say along that line. It would be good though if you could hire someone to come in and do a thorough cleaning before you begin to keep it up yourself. I know that's costly, but then you would start on top of the game at least.
I pray that you have a wonderful day, enjoy the sunshine!
Hugs, Cindy

Melinda said...

I am sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time. But you are on the way back and that is the first step! Just take it a day at a time (those baby steps) and
don't be too hard on yourself.
Ask for help from your family--I know this is a hard one, no one wants to have to do this. But I am sure that they'll pitch right in.

Blessings and prayers for you.

M :)

Anonymous said...

I joined a gym 2 years ago and it sure helped my depression. I love going in the warm pool for water exercise.
Gives me some where to go and something to do


Erica of Golden Egg Vintage said...

Oh Velma-
I just feel terrible for you right now! I've read all the comments, and so many women have good advice and have also gone through the same thing. With my R.A, and Fibromyalgia...I can totally relate. Often my clean clothes never make it to the closet or dresser! I wear them right out of the basket. Cereal is on the menu lots of nights, and I have to rely on my parents to take my dog for her daily walk. YOU are not alone, and I'm so proud of you that you came forth and said how you're really feeling! I think you are right on track with your warm pool and nutrition! As soon as I get this cast off...I'm heading to a warm pool, and I'm trying to eat better. Though right now it's really hard!
I will be praying for you to feel like your healthful self again real soon!
Erica :)

The Polka Dot Closet said...


I had no idea you were in a bad place, I sure did not pick up on it Your house is gorgeous, clean or cluttered. I can see where a house that size would be overwhelming. The only thing I can say is one step at a time. You have my prayers and my support!



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