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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Hazardous Ingredients In Hygiene Products

In the early 1990s, I worked for Christian Book Distributors. They were a forward thinking company that cared a great deal for their employees. Periodically they gave out health brochures. In one of these, I read about Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and how these chemicals were in our hair products and caused hair loss. I went home and checked, finding out that my hair products did indeed have these chemicals in them.

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I did a personal test. When I used them I had a handful of hair, when I used products without them, two or three strands. Needless to say, I watched what I bought for a long time.

Unfortunately as time passed, I became less vigilant. So recently I decided to look these chemicals up to find out if what I read so long ago was true. I find that it’s worse than just a loss of hair.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) are foaming agents called surfactants. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is the worse. These chemicals are found in shampoos, conditioners, soaps and TOOTHPASTE! They can damage hair follicles, skin, give permanent eye damage in children, and cause liver toxicity.

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The Journal of the American College of Toxicology in 1983 showed that 5% concentration of SLS could cause skin irritation. 10 to 30% caused skin corrosion. Some soaps have 30%.

Why would companies use these dangerous products? – They’re incredibly cheap and Americans associate suds with clean. Please google these products and read for yourself then check your health care products and make better choices.

 

Largest Active Volcano in US – Yellowstone?

When our kids were young we were able to take a month and visit most of our country’s major national parks. We traveled to Mount Rushmore through the Black Hills to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, up to Montana and down through the Redwoods and the Sequoias. Ending our trip, we visited the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Cavern. It was all exciting and very interesting.

Yellowstone was fascinating with Old Faithful and other geysers soaring high.

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The numerous hot springs had colorful mineral deposits glowing in their depths.

We enjoyed the woodland and the many vast roaming herds of bison and antelope that live there.

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Little did I know, we were walking and driving on an active volcano. Yes, Yellowstone is an active supervolcano! AND it has erupted! Of course, as you may have guessed. that was ages ago.

But scientists say it is still possible today and may even be overdue. There are two massive chambers of magma miles below Yellowstone. (Magma is what lava is called while it’s still underground.) One chamber was measured in 2013 to be fifty miles by twelve miles. The second, underneath this one, was found later. The heat and pressure, geothermal activity, from these chambers are the reasons for the superheated geysers and springs. If that pressure were to build up, an explosion, much worse than Mount Saint Helen, would devastate several states.

Scientist believe we would have ample warning if this was about to take place. For which we are all so very thankful. So, if you get the opportunity to visit, I highly recommend going to Yellowstone. Enjoy the amazement of walking on top of an active volcano.

Sgt. Stubby – Dog Hero of WWI

Born in 1916 he was an average mixed breed with signs of Boston Bull Terrier. Just a homeless mutt who attached himself to a training unit at Yale University in Connecticut. Little did the troop realize, when they befriended him, how beneficial this little dog would be to the troop.

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He became the most decorated war dog of the first World War. He was the only dog issued a rank and became a sergeant due to combat. He became the mascot of the 102nd infantry division, assigned to the  26th Yankee division. He served for eighteen months and was in seventeen battles.

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Though the regiment befriended him, he had one special friend, Corporal Robert Conroy. Conroy hid Stubby on the troop ship when they were deployed and smuggled him into France. When he was discovered by the commanding officer, he was given a salute and permission to stay.

Stubby entered combat February 5, 1918. He was under constant fire, day  and night, for over a month. In April, he was wound in the leg by a grenade. He was sent to the rear to recover. While there he raised the troops morale. When he recovered, he went back to the front.

That year, he was also injured by mustard gas and issued his own gas mask. With his sensitive nose, he learned to warn the troops at the slightest detection of mustard gas. His dog hearing also allowed him the ability to warn the troops of incoming artillery. He also would find injured soldiers in the trenches and signal for help, while staying with the soldier.

He was once approached by a soldier, who he attacked and held till troops came and found him to be a German spy.

Then he was once more injured in the chest and leg by a grenade.

After the eighteen months, Conroy smuggled Sgt. Stubby home. Sgt. Stubby had been in many newspapers and came home a hero. He marched in parades and actually met Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Warren G. Harding.

In his retirement, he went to Georgetown University Law Center with Robert Conroy and became the school mascot.

Sgt. Stubby died in his sleep in 1926. His obituary was printed in the New York Times.

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Original caption: Washington, DC: Meet up with Stubby, a 9-year-old veteran of the canine species. He has been through the World War as mascot for the 102nd Infantry, 26th Division. Stubby visited the White House to call on President Coolidge. November 1924

 

Quilts of Valor

In 2003, Catherine Roberts’ son was in Iraq. While he was there she had a dream. She saw a young soldier sitting on his bunk. His head hung low in despair. Her heart went out to this young man. As she watched the scene changed. The man became wrapped in a quilt. His countenance changed to hope and comfort. When she woke up an idea was birthed in her heart. Quilts of Valor soon became a reality.

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Their mission statement – The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

Quilts of Valor now has over 10,000 quilters who agree with their mission statement. As of today they have given 133,473 quilts away. These quilts are all top quality, made by women and men around our country. All quilts are either hand quilted or machine quilted, none are tied.

My sewing group has started meeting once a month to work on Quilts of Valor. There are now eight ladies in the group. We have five quilts completed and will be awarding our first quilt in the next week. So many of our service members have had to face the horrors of war. We want them to know, we care.

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For more information go to http://www.qovf.org

 

 

 

Women Soldiers in the Civil War

I have always held a fascination with the Civil War. Having a northern mother from the Green Mountains of Vermont and a southern father from the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, I had a hard time understanding how one country could be fighting against it’s own brothers. I had never known there were sisters fighting, also.

No one knows how many there were, as women were not allowed to enlist. But it is believed to range from 200 to 500, women disguised themselves as men to enter the southern and northern ranks. They had many reasons including patriotism, not wanting to be separated from their loved one, desire for glory and even just a refusal of being left behind.

Here are just a few of the known women:

Loreta Janeta Velazquez. She took on the name of Harry T. Buford. But when her husband discovered her, she was sent home. When he was killed in battle, she again joined the southern ranks. She served as a spy and sometimes commanded troops.

 

Sarah Emma Edmonds. She took the name Frank Thompson. Sarah was born in Canada to a very abusive father who had wanted a boy. She ran away to avoid the abuse and an arranged marriage. To hide from her father, she donned the disguise of a man. Fearing she still might be found, she traveled to the United States where she enlisted into the army. She worked as a hospital attendant, mail carrier, and orderly. She deserted in 1863, due to Malaria and fearing she would be discovered by the doctors. After her recovery, she became a female nurse to the troops.

 

Elizabeth A. Niles. Her husband was called to war on their honeymoon. She fought beside him and was mustered out without the military ever learning of her gender.Niles

 

Frances Hook. She was twenty two when she enlisted. She and her brother were orphans, they decided to enlist together. She continued serving even after her brother was killed.

 

Florina Budwin. She enlisted with her husband and fought by his side. They were both captured and sent to Andersonville prison. Her husband died there but Florina survived. She died a year after her release due to illness.

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This are just a small representation of the women who fought and died for the things they believed. They were, also, great Civil War soldiers.

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.

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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.

 

 

Chickasaw Tribes -American Allies

Not all Indians fought the new influx of European people.  The Chickasaw people had good relations with the new white people. In 1670 the Chickasaw traded with the British. The British traded guns for captured Choctaw Indian slaves. When the French supplied guns to the Choctaw the slave raids stopped. The Chickasaw fought with Britain against the French but had not fought against the Americans.

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When the Revolutionary War broke out, the Chickasaw allied with the Americans. In 1791, they fought hostile tribes in Ohio for the colonists. In 1794, their chief, Piomingo, was invited to visit George Washington in his home. Washington thanked the tribe for their loyalty by giving gifts. A peace pipe was smoked between Washington and the chiefs present. Also a document was written showing the boundaries of the Chickasaw territory, which included the western half of Tennessee, parts of Mississippi, and Alabama. It provided protection for the Chickasaw people against white abuse. Washington also assured the tribe that they would never lose their land. Unfortunately, the following presidents did not honor Washington’s pledge.

The Chickasaw Nation was viewed as one of the five civilized tribes. They had integrated with white people and many were mixed race. Originally from the southeastern part of the United States, they were forced to sell their land and move to the Indian territory of Oklahoma in 1832. This happened as part of the Indian Removal of the 1830s. The Chickasaw people were part of the terrible Trail Of Tears. Unlike the other tribes, the Chickasaw negotiated with the government to sell the land for three million dollars. The government did pay the amount but it took thirty years for the payment to arrive.

During the Civil War, the Chickasaw joined with the confederacy. Owning black slaves, resentment of lost land and suggestion by confederacy of making a Indian state lead to this partnership.

The Chickasaw today are a proud and prosperous tribe. I am proud to say my husband is a member of the Chickasaw tribe.

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Traditional paint. Tattoos were given for bravery.

 

Canis Majoris

Canis Majoris (or in English – Great Dog) is our galaxy’s largest known star. It was discovered March 7, 1801 by Jerome LaLande. It is known as a red Hypergiant.

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This is an actual picture of Canis Majoris from the Rutherford Observatory Sept. 7, 2014.

If Canis Majoris was our sun it would extend beyond Jupiter’s orbit. Our own sun is but a pin prick on the surface of Canis Majoris. An airliner would take 1100 years to fly around the star.

The following clip will give you an idea of the immensity of the universe.

https://youtu.be/1Eh5BpSnBBw