Surgery and Side Effects

I had major surgery last March to reconstruct my ankle. I have CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth Atrophy). It has destroyed a lot of nerves and muscles in my feet and hands. There is no cure and no treatment but new advances can help correct the damages of the disease. Because of the weakness and instability in my ankles, I was walking mostly on the side of my right foot. They cut a bone, straighten the ankle and screwed everything back together. It has been a long year. I no longer have constant pain in that foot and now walk on the sole and not the side. Thank God.

I was prepared, somewhat, for the post surgery pain. I wasn’t prepared for the depression. Facing limitations have always been hard but facing a future with a crippling disease was something I wrestled with this past year. Besides having the surgery, in the last 2 years I have lost the use of my little fingers and most of my ring fingers. This might not seem like a big deal to most, but as a writer it’s hard to adjust to typing with five fingers instead of nine.

I was also following the blog of Julianna Yuri. A precious, precocious little five year old. Her mother wrote her outrageous, hilarious comments. I enjoyed her wit and wisdom. Julianna also had CMT. Probably the worst case known. The sweet child passed away this past year. I felt her loss as if I were a close companion.

But with all this year has thrown at me, I am alive and will continue to go on and adjust when it’s needed. I will try not to mourn the losses ahead but be creative to overcome them.  I face reconstruction of my other foot in the fall but know it will give me more mobility. I wish my dad could have had the advances that I am enjoying. I also know some great writers only typed with two fingers. God is still in His heaven and all is well with my soul.

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My Greatest Regret

We went to Elementary School together, played hop-scotch and jump-rope. She was a beautiful platinum blond with a friendly smile and a kind heart. In junior high I moved away for a couple of years. When I moved back, we were in our third year of High School. We attended Norwich Free Academy which had a school body of about 3300 students. She, being from a well-to-do family, was in the upper crust clique. I was a natural loner and belonged to none. When we ran into each other, our childhood friendship would emerge and we would have wonderful conversations. Sometimes I felt she was dissatisfied with her life. She once shared that she rarely dated. I was shocked. She was gorgeous. She said it seemed guys were afraid to ask.

Thinking of her always made me smile. That is until a couple of years after graduation, when I found out she had died, trapped in a horrific fire in a disco in Connecticut. I realized in my immortal-minded youth, I had never shared the most important information in my life. I don’t believe in forcing God on someone but I didn’t even give her an opportunity to decide if God was who she wanted.

Poems are not my forte, but I  wrote this one to help me deal with the loss of my friend.

Cindy

 By Carolyn Torbett Johnson

 Why did she have to go so fast

Her very life slipped from my grasp

 

I did not realize that she

Was part of mere humanity

That’s gone before us through that door

Marked death to live forevermore

 

But I was blind, I would not see

Her fate it seems had rest on me

 

I always meant to tell the plan

That God gave down to fallen man

I never seemed to find the time

The blood-stained hands I see are mine

 

Why did she have to go so fast

I would have told her at the last

 

I would have told of Jesus’ birth

Of why He came to us on earth

Of heavenly scenes, of beauty rare

Of hope, of joy beyond compare

 

But life is gone, she can not hear

And I am left here with my fear

 

Why did she have to go so fast

Her life is gone, my chance is past

The Promise – Chapter One

IMG_5662For all who have shown an interest in my books but have not yet purchased. I have uploaded a sample for you to view. I hope you will enjoy this true to life story of the orphan train riders.

THE PROMISE chap 1

Books may be purchased at Amazon.com or you may send a check for $12.95 ($9.95 plus $3.00 shipping) to Carolyn Johnson, PO Box 311, Arapaho, OK 73620. If you would like it autographed, please include name.

 

 

All Aglow

This little creature is known as a clusterwink snail.

glowing-snail-shell-deheynThe tiny (about the size of a fingernail) sea snail gives off green luminescent light flashes to scare away predators.  The flashes trick the enemy by making the snail look larger. The thick, heavy, opaque shell acts as a powerful reflector.

The clusterwink snail is found along the New Zealand and Australian rocky shores. When the tide is out, the snails cluster together, hiding under rocks and in crevices. When the tide comes in, they journey out to graze on algae.

Embryos of the snail are incubated in a brood chamber located internally behind the female head. When mature they are expelled into the sea.

Several research studies are being done to learn the biological cause of the luminescence and how the shell works to reflect.

Below shows the snail at rest and in danger mode.

 

snail

 

An Appeal To Heaven

Appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free. Gen Joseph Warren 1775.

Appealtoheaven2

In 1775, this flag was used during revolutionary times. The flag was ordered by George Washington and designed by his secretary Colonel Joseph Reed. It was first used by a squadron of six schooners commissioned by George Washington, who reportedly paid for the schooners out of pocket. These ships were skilled at capturing British schooners.

In 1776, the fleet of twenty-five naval vessels sailing out of Massachusetts adopted the flag.

1885_History_of_US_flags_medThe pine tree was a symbol in New England, dating back as far as 1686. During Revolutionary times it became a symbol of  colonial outrage and resistance.

The white pine in New England grew to heights topping 150 feet. They were sought after for sailing masts. The English king, knowing the value of the trees, placed a mark on the larger trees claiming them for the crown. Colonist could not harvest these trees. They also had to get a surveyor and a license to cut the trees not marked. Not surprising, the colonists did not like being told what they could and could not do with their own trees. In 1775, this anger led to the Pine Tree Riot in New Hampshire.

This was not the only flag, at the time, with a pine tree. The flag that flew over Bunker Hill was red with a green pine tree in the top, left corner.

an appeal to heaven

The words, “An Appeal To Heaven”, was a common phrase in those days. It was used several times in historical documents, including Second Treatise on Civil Government by John Locke in 1690 and by Patrick Henry in his famous, Give me liberty or give me death speech.

In 1968, a United States stamp was issued commemorating Washington’s flag.

 

Books by Carolyn Torbett Johnson

The Promise

Hungry and alone. Twelve year old Jack and ten year old Leah are on their own, living on the filthy streets of New York City in 1908. Unable to find work, they face starvation. In desperation, Jack calls out to God. Read how God miraculously unfolds a plan to provide and protect the children.

Oklahoma Bound

A sequel to The Promise. Jack and Leah have been put aboard an orphan train. They’re thrilled to be traveling to their promise land. But their new found faith will be tested as they cross the country searching for parents and a place to call home.

These books were written for ages 9 – 12 but many adults have expressed enjoyment in reading them. You may buy them at http://www.amazon.com or if you would like an autographed copy, send your request plus $14.95 ($11.95 + $3.00 shipping) to Carolyn Johnson, PO Box 311, Arapaho, OK 73620 (If you want it personalized, please add name.)

Will Jesus Have A Tattoo?

 

Jesus-Christ-Pics-2301Tattoos have never been a big deal to me. You can have them if you like, but I think I would be bored with it after a couple of years. Kind of like wearing the same piece of jewelry.

I had never heard of churches preaching against tattoos till I moved to the Midwest. I do understand the passage in the Old Testament concerning marking your body. But I believe, this  refers to the practice of cutting and heathen markings.

I ran across a scripture the other day, it caused me to really think about the subject. I’d like to get your opinion.

Rev. 19:16 “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

So is ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’ actually written on His thigh or just on His garment? Let me know what you think.

Did Noah Really Save Two Of Every Animal?

956_noahs_ark_4%20(2)

Did Noah really gather the animals two by two? We learned this in Sunday School. But sometimes things in Sunday School have been simplified for children. Noah didn’t board two of every animal. The clean (acceptable for eating) Noah brought seven, the unclean (not acceptable for eating) he brought two. But was it seven, male and female mixed or seven pairs, which would make it fourteen. Also was it two, male and female or two pairs. This is the way my Bible reads in Genesis 7:2,3. This is New American Standard version.

“2You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 3also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.”

I’m starting to lean to the 7 pairs and 2 pairs. What do you think? Grab your favorite version of the Bible, and read Genesis 7:2,3, then let me know.

noah_and_the_ark_with_animals

 

Laminin – A Message From God?

Laminin. Some people think it shows the way to God, others think it looks like a wilted flower.

What is laminin. It is a heterotrimeric (has three units) glycoprotein (proteins that have chains attached to chains). In other words it is a protein made up of three units sticking together. It has an a chain, B chain and y chain. These chains intersect to form a cross shape. The following picture is from Wikipedia:

Schematic_Diagram_of_Laminin_111 from Wikipedia

Laminin can only be seen through an electron microscope. It’s part of the basal lamina which is part of the cell lining. The next picture, from cc.edu. might give you a better understanding.

cc.scu.edu.cn

What good does it do? Laminin binds to other cell membrane and extracellular matrix molecules. The three short arms bind to other laminin molecules to form sheets. The long arm binds to cells, anchoring tissue cells to membrance. Without laminin our tissues would not survive. Dysfunctional laminin is linked to congenital muscular dystrophy.

This last picture is of actual laminin molecules. Snopes thinks the cross shape is merely a coincidence. After all, lots of things in nature are cross shaped.

Personally, I believe in a Creator, a Master Designer and I believe He has left clues throughout nature to point us to Him. So you decide for yourself. Is laminin a wilted flower, a simple coincidence, or a Master stamp.

laminin3 by snopeslaminin2

Pic from Snopes                              Pic from Louie Giglio

 

The Eye Of God

eyeofgodNasa photo from Netiore Archive

Have you ever seen the Helix Nebula before? This is a composite of pictures from Nasa’s Hubble telescope and Kitt Peak National Observatory. Yes, it is real, but the color was added by Nasa. I suspect for more impact, for a cover layout they were doing. Nasa, also, never gave it the name Eye of God. I wonder if the first man to visually see it had to be picked up off the floor. I know I would have passed out.

A nebula is a dying star. The Helix nebula is 650 light years away in the constellation of Aquarius. It’s a trillion mile long tunnel of glowing gases. If our sun died it would look pretty much like this.

Stars like our sun and Helix burn by turning hydrogen into helium by nuclear fusion. When the hydrogen is exhausted, the star starts burning the remaining helium at a greater temperature. When the helium is used up the star dies sending off gas layers around the hot core. The core is called a white dwarf and so dense that a teaspoon of white dwarf would weight more than a couple elephants.

The following is also a picture of the Helix nebula. You will notice a small dot in the center. This is the white dwarf. I’m not sure, but I think this one also has color added. It helps to see it better.

Comets_Kick_up_Dust_in_Helix_Nebula_(PIA09178)

Nasa photo from Spitzer space telescope

I can’t help but be amazed that God would put this in the heavens just so we would be reminded that He is watching over us.

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”    Psalm 19:1