Robert Frost

The best way out is always through.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's next...some blog love.

London here I come. No, not at any moment soon, but me writing about it is next on deck. Right now though I have hoped each day to blog about our day to day, my favorite blogs, and some random thoughts. You know. The stuff that bloggin' is about.

Last January through April was a little hard on me. Just to share a bit, after a year of some post-baby, strange symptoms: lots of odd/random skin discoloration, random finger and toe numbness, bothersome pattern like rashes, I checked in with my family doctor (yes I had put it off for a long while) and she and some tests revealed that I have Lupus. I "exactly" have "unclassified autoimmune disorder" with symptoms of lupus/schleroderma. Lupus attacks different organs and mine attacks the skin. I feel fine, if I exercised and ate better I am sure I would feel great. There are so many out there with living with lupus that deal with so much more, so this is not me complaining.
Last January to February the pain in my fingers and hands was at its worst and what kept me on edge each day was the fact that over the holidays of '08 I had a finger wound that grew from the size of a pin head to a mushy, pink open wound the size of an eraser head. My left hand was constantly bandaged and from January to June of '09. I almost never ran my hand under water as the special bandages and the wound would not respond well to water. I am thankfully, a stay at home mom, and at the time Sophia was two and changing her diapers was always a slow process because of my wound, bandages, and general wiggling and mess. Suffice to say I was hypersensitive about my hands and stayed at home nearly all the time. My family probably never noticed a difference in my attitude because they buoyed me up during this time of self imposed home bound-ness. The Lord truly taught me so much about those that must live with chronic issues (as I said I have always "felt fine" outside of the hand issues).

Another blessing during this time was the blog world. Seems a bit odd to type it, but I know this to be true. I discovered blogs in areas of interest, i.e. travel, homemaking, faith, and family, and found daily encouragement. A number of my most favorite blogs are penned by women of faith and wonderful insight. It seemed that even across miles, while I was at home just with Sophia, and not at my best, the Lord led me to some of the best company. And for that I thank each of the dear women (whether they know it or not) for all they have shared. And the bonus of it all is that so many of my dear blog buddies are able answer comments and it is a way to be "pen pals" in the 21st century. Those of us that blog and have come to enjoy this camaraderie might find it hard to explain to everyday family and friends about our bloggy buddies. I know my dear husband who supports me in every way has taken quite a while to be convinced. If anyone has seen Julie & Julia the movie with Meryl Streep (it is great, please see it if you haven't), there is a scene that so heartfully depicts the joy of a friendship come to life from words, ideas, and feelings shared on the page: Julia Child meets her years long pen pal Avis (a woman), in a train station after they have finally planned to meet in face to face, and as Avis enters, they seem to know each other immediately, throw their arms wide and embrace each other joyfully. Such a true picture of friendship.
Now I would like to share a few of those blogs. First, I would like to attribute my inspiration for this idea to two sources: Sally Annie Magundy, who tries each Monday to share new crafty blogs for others to visit (she has such interesting crafts and resources). The other is 84 Charing Cross Road, a tender true story told solely in letters that were exchanged over 20 years between a zesty New York screenwriter, Helene Hanff and an at first formal then friendly Englishman in London who was the manager of an antique bookstore from which she made many special requests (years 1948-1968). In the book you find that each time she requested a book, he would recommend another or visa versa and her interests grew as well as their friendship.

Let's grow some more friendships:

Tongue in Cheek: Corey (American) writes about her life in Provence these 2o some years married to a Frenchman and her adventures, brocante, family, travels, all things French, and has gorgeous photos and a loving outlook. My mom now actually understands blogland because in September 2009 Corey came to an antique fair in Texas that I dragged my mom to so that I could meet this dear woman. The moment I met Corey we squealed with delight and hugged, and chatted up a storm. My mom took to her immediately (of course) and now enjoys catching up with Corey online daily.

Sister one of four and The Rogers Family: a mom and daughter (dear friends Marcia and Lindsey) write sweet family updates and encouraged me so much by being my first followers and commenters (it is such a joy), even though they live near me I have kept better in touch with them via blog and emails--see I AM a hermit.

Here's a power blog alright: The Pioneer Woman, I happened upon her blog as she was just beginning to hit readers in the high hundreds, but now this homeschooling, former city livin', cookbook writin', photographer extraordinaire, and rancher's wife, who lives on a vast cattle/horse ranch in OK blogs daily and lovingly about her life and times....I dare you not to be won over....go ahead...at least try one of her man-pleasin' recipes.
Pleasant Places: Steph is a thoughtful, dear woman of the Lord who I found when I googled my own blog because I forgot my blog address. Hee, it happens. She blogs about her latest reads, antiquing, wonderful homemade gifts and especially, her inspirations: the Lord, and her family. She started at the same time I did, is also a stay at home mom to a same age toddler, and then I noticed that she is also in Texas! and we hope to one day meet up.
Thank you truly, Sally Annie, Corey, Marcia, Lindsey, Ree, and Steph for the encouragement and goodness you add to the blog world. Cheers to all!


A Tale of Two Cities said...

I'm so thankful to count you as a blogging friend. Your honestly, your openness, and your willingness to share what's on your heart all inspire me. I just returned to London today to stay about 10 days, after a long stretch in the US, so I hope to find some new inspiration for blogging amidst this cold and gloomy weather.

Keep sharing,

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hello Jenny, Oh I hope that you are ok. By the sounds of things you have been through some rough times regarding your hands, even though you have been feeling fine. I hope that it all gets sorted soon!

yes the Blog world certainly brings people together, that is how I met my friends in Paris and my friend Carolyn and her husband from Sydney, we all met up in Paris.

I cannot believe that you actually met Corey :-) I love her blog too, and all her adventures with French Husband, what a man he is :-) Is Corey like she comes across on her blog? I can just imagine she is and chatty. Oh I can just picture the scene, the squealing and happiness. Take Care Anne

giftsofthejourney said...

You have had a tough time of it health wise ... I am sorry to hear that. I hope there are better days ahead for you.

I am like Anne in that I can't believe you had a chance to meet Corey! I read her blog too.

Pioneer Woman was a hoot in person It was great to have a chance to meet her.

I don't always get around to commenting myself, but I want you to know how much your kind words have meant to me.

Jenny said...

Thank you, thank you Debi, Anne and Elizabeth. Your comments are kind in the extreme. Also I want to let you know that I will be sending some blog love your way too.

Debi, I can't wait to see what inspiration brings in dear London this time. I will be blogging about our London adventures soon.

Anne, THank you for your concern. My hands are much better than this time last year, Praise the Lord!, and there are still flare ups but my medication seems to keep it a bit at bay. Corey is as fun, gracious, friendly, loving, and kind as she seems on her blog. She was even going to show us around the antique fair herself but as she and I were talking we realized that other bloggy buddies might stop by and miss her (oh, no!).

Elizabeth,I do love me some comments but as you see I don't add much to the blog to comment on and I love reading so many others that I spend my time commenting instead of posting. I was so close to seeing Ree when she was to be in Dallas or Austin (both near)but on both dates family stuff came up so I was glad to read your "meeting Ree" post.

Again, thank you friends.

Mar-Cee-Ah said...

My friend, Jenny ~
YOU are the encouraging one - with each little note or call or blog 'shout out', you make me feel special. I knew you were experiencing some discomfort - but you hid it well during our brief meetings while you dontated items for Miss KJ!! Sorry you're going thru that stuff!! I would like to spend more time in bloggyland - its so much fun to read about other places and so many cool ideas on stuff to tackle!! Keep on sharing your magical writing - you have a gift for that! Give the girls a squeeze from me!

Jenny said...

Aw Marcia. I hope you had a great b-day. I am going to be purging some more clothes so I hope I don't overwhelm Lindsey. Love to you and yours!

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Jenny,
So sorry to hear you've not been feeling well, but when I read about schleraderma I just had to tell you something.
My sister was disgnosed with that when she was 8 years old, my parents took her to a little church in North Carolina and a sweet old man prayed for her.
Slowly she started getting better and within a few months she could use her hands and walk again - the doctors were stunned. The Lord can do miracles!
Your attitude is wonderful and I look forward to all your London adventures. I'm off to check out these blogs. ANd thank you so much for stopping by and your kind comments.
Have a fabulous week Jenny!

Steph said...

Hey Friend!
You are too sweet to me! Thanks so much for that blog love! Yes...we really must meet up some day soon!

I'm so sorry to hear about these hard seasons. Certainly there is always much to learn, but it's so easy to feel tired and alone. Thanks for sharing.

Jenny said...

Mimi and Steph! I am so excited y'all stopped by.

Mimi..praise for your sister's healing! Thank you for that encouragement and the love for the Lord that you keep plainly seen on your blog.

Steph...you are welcome. And I always appreciate your honesty and openness on your blog. Maybe we can meet up this spring with some... antiquing(sp)?

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Hi Jenny!
Oh gosh! I'm so very sorry to hear about your diagnoses. Sending you lots and lots of hugs and an ear to listen.
You're so thoughtful and such a sweetie pie. Thank you so very much for the birthday wishes and for your kind words about my little blog.
I am shy as all get out and never dreamed that I would have a blog but I'm so glad that I started one. People have been so kind and dear and generous with their time and words. It's so very hard to imagine our days, our lives without our blog friends now, isn't it?!
You met Corey!!! You big lucky! You know I had wondered if you were one of the lucky ones and kept meaning to ask you. What fun that must have been!
No doubt about it now, you are a kindred spirit for sure now that I know you love 84 Charing Cross Road!!! One of my absolute favorite books and movies too. Helene Hanff was on the Dick Cavett show (many!) years ago, it was so much fun to see her.
Well I seem to be writing a book here ay yi yi.
Thank you again for being such a dear soul Jenny and I will look forward to visiting all the lovely blogs you've included.
Happy almost weekend!

Jenny said...

Thank you very kindly Sally. And, yes, blogging is a joy and there are happily kindred spirits to be found. I have always liked that phrase. Happy blogging and I am so glad you stopped by to visit!


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