Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Buckle your seatbelts… change of direction coming.

From now on this blog Is just going to be about me today and where my last journey is taking me around A new corner. I can no longer type with both hands so I'm using a dictation app which is sort of goofy doesn't work weLL BUT BETTER THAN nothing please forgive typos and clunky formatting
If you would prefer ALL upbeat BETTER SCHOOCH ALONG there're a lot of others out there who are wonderful at that

But this is just my story :

I’m a left-handed artist who is now Learning to except complete loss of Left sidE. Yeah I'm still in the HEY THIS AINT FAIR PHASE. And my dear sister Karen SAID something to me the other day that really helped : she said it's okay to cry ITS OKAY TO CRY! And I said well that's good because I've been CRYING A LOT lately.

SO there you go the last gRAND adventure.

My heart is broken for so many people HURTING  around the world right now. PLEASE BE Aware now, THAT IF TALK OF GOD makeS YOU UN comfortable that's okay I understand BUT YOU ARE Still welcome here WITH open arms right now GOD is the only thing SOLID that I have to hold onTO.

GODs been so kind to me and Never rejected me but always been there for me NO MATTER HOW much I GOOF UP.

THIIS  is so hard on my sweetheart OF 43 years Jim. He is taking such good care of me AND DOES everything everything everyday LATE INTO MANY NITES. I am so blessed to Have been married to him all these years what a guy.

 A Couple of days ago HE WAS so tired, AND I said a prayer, God how can I love him betteR, he deserves better. And I was so surprised to instantly get a reply OH,I didn't hear a voice I'm not that crazy but I DID heAR an IDEA: I was reminded OF AN old hYMN CALLED Learning to lean…  the whole point OF THE IDEA IS TO LEARN TO  LEAN ON JESUS, NOT SO HARD ON MY JIM. IT MADE ME FEEL LIKE GOD WAS REALLY RIGHT THERE AS I SAID MY REQUEST , AND IT WAS SWEET THAT I GOT SUCH A FAST ANSWER 
Learning to lean

I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power than I've ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus

Learning to lean
Learning to lean
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power than I've ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Sad, broken-hearted, at an alter I knelt
I found peace that was so serene
And all that He asks is a child like trust
And a heart that is learning to lean
Learning to lean
Learning to lean
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power than I've ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Learning to lean
Learning to lean
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power than I've ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power than I've ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
I'm learning to lean on Jesus

Songwriters: Jeannie Vee Clattenburg



Thursday, January 16, 2020

Jan 16th.... Celebrating and Learning

I can’t believe it’s been this long since I last posted. Oh well. 2019 was a rough year, health wise. But somehow (to my amazement and gratitude), I’ve finally passed the 200 lbs lost mark. 

206 to be exact. Highest weight 460. Current weight 254. Final goal 199.

Gee. That amazes even me. It took years, but I’m finally there. I was thinking today… at first I felt really proud of myself. Yet found there was also a sadness. If I had only done this sooner….You know, all those regrets.

 So please, kiddos, don’t do as I did. Do it sooner, not later. I need to just accept that disappointment over waiting so long, and then get on with being happy about the progress. What’s the cliche we throw around? Progress, not perfection. 

No Time to Monkey Around
by Retta

I discovered a lovely new artist on FB that I am following. Pat Butynski is her name. She is going through some rough times herself, but still makes wonderful art. She has this ability to be in touch with and honest with her feelings  (grief over losing her Mother last week, and her own heath issues).

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve really learned how to integrate the down times, and feel them, and still have the Joy. So I tend to focus on only the Joy, and try to ignore the hard stuff.

 But she writes beautifully of this. I’m listening Lord. Teach me.

 Grabbing a cuppa sunshine - 6” x 8” mixed media rough sketch study 
by  Pat Butynski

 Later Gators,


Edited to add: I realized today (Sunday the 19th) that I wrote here I had "waited so long". Uh,,, no. I tried repeatedly all my life. Just with methods that didn't work for ME. So, let's just say I regret not having found MY way sooner. It's true. And I like that better. :-)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

May 11th... Slower than Slow and Gratitude

It’s been going glacially slow for me these last months. Just when I get going, seemed like I hit another speed bump in the road. 

I feel like Tim Conway in this funny video. Everything is slow motion!!

Still bouncing around 261. Still haven’t busted through to that fun goal of 200 lbs lost. Well, I suppose 199 lbs lost ain’t bad… ha ha, ya think?!

But it IS frustrating to be stuck again. Been hard lately.

  • Had a sad, sad event. My big brother, Phil, passed away in February. I miss him so much. It catches me unawares at times, and hurts all over again.
  • Had minor foot surgery. Ended my "get up and move more" plan.
    • Had a bad fall that injured both shoulders. One is better, the other has a date with an xray soon.
    • Had bad news for Joey. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Needs insulin twice a day. She is so small, and to check her blood glucose from the tiny veins in  her itty bitty ears is very stressful… for her and for me. We almost lost her, she got so emaciated before we got it under control. She is slowly getting her mojo back, gently and carefully.
    • Had a minor stroke a couple of weeks ago. Affected vision, hearing and speech. Vision and hearing back to normal. Speech better, just a stutter occasionally when trying to say words now. 

    But... I am truly thankful it was minor. My brain has a date with an MRI soon. I, too, am slowly getting my mojo back. Gently and carefully, too.

    Joey, our girl Mini Schnauzer, 
    laying against Jim's pillow, her
    favorite place

    My goodness! This is the first time I’ve put all the "drama" together in one list like this. Holy cow, no wonder I’ve been crying at the drop of a hat. Sean Anderson wrote in his blog today: 

    This pain intolerance or intense pursuit of feeling "normal" again reminds me of the pattern I've had with emotions, stress, and food my entire life. Not wanting to feel uncomfortable or flat out refusing to feel uncomfortable or feeling any feelings if those feelings create resistance to feeling "okay," makes sense to me.My deeply ingrained pattern involves avoiding all conflict and accompanying feelings. Avoiding natural feelings of life stunts emotional growth. Avoiding the feels doesn't make 'em go away, it just sets 'em on simmer, below the surface--constantly bubbling up in everything we do. Feeling feelings and working through them instead of around them, changes things dramatically because it encourages real solutions instead of band-aids.” (please go here for the complete post) 

    I sure can relate to what Sean wrote. Totally. I’m not gaining weight over all this, but it makes for some rocky feelings to process.

    I have a verse I am trying to memorize thanks to all this drama. 

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   (Philippians 4:6,7)

    I must admit, the hardest part for me is to avoid getting stuck in the problem, and to focus on that Thanksgiving part. But when I do… the Peace comes. And I so want more of that Peace. 

    Joy Comes in the Morning

    Continuing the Journey with a (most of the time) grateful heart,


    Sunday, September 16, 2018

    Sept 16th... Wild Ride and Doing Great

    A quick update to let the world know I'm still alive n kicking.

    The surgery went just fine.
    Was a wild ride for awhile, but I'm doing very well now.

    I recently realized how close I am to cracking the "lost 200 lbs" mark, and I'm starting to get excited about that. I'm sitting at 271 right now, having started at 460. So only 11 more pounds to go for a fun number to achieve! Still mostly doing the ketogenic diet. Trying to move more, now that I don't have as much to haul around, ha ha.

    It's been hard. And I still goof up now and then. But overall, things are going in the right direction. I'm so very thankful.

    Still on the Journey,



    Thursday, August 30, 2018

    Aug 30th Finally, Progress!!

    Just popping in to say hello. 

    I am finally scheduled to have my surgery for endometrial cancer this Friday. At last! I’ll be glad to have it over with, and get on with the healing. It’s going to be Robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery. Smaller holes drilled into the tummy, faster healing time, so that’s cool. 

    I’ve been working hard these last few months on weight loss and getting healthy for the surgery. I can gratefully say that for the first time in THIRTY THREE YEARS, I am in the 2’s!!!!! This last Monday I busted through the barrier and hit 297. Barely into the twosies, but if it has a 2 in the front… I’ll take it!!!!

    Good news also about that leg wound that was being stubborn to heal. There were 2 wounds, and I started going to the Wound Clinic a YEAR ago. The littler one has finally closed up 2 weeks ago, and the bigger one is now only about 1 1/2 inch diameter. Huge progress. Yay!

    One of these days I’ll get a new progress pic put up. Just not been a priority. I’ve not really had much to say. I’ve been watching a tv show that both irritates me (cuz I see my own flaws in the behavior of the people on it) and inspires me, called My 600 LB Life. And today the doctor on the show, Dr Nowzaradan said to a lady who was still in the “excuse phase”: 

    She can SAY whatever she wants, but I’m interested in what she DOES.

    Ouch. I think that is why I’ve been so quiet on my blog. What’s to say??? I just needed DO it, not jabber about it. (Edited to add: that's aimed at only ME, no one else. I needed to DO, not just talk about it. I think that since I was writing/talking about it, I somehow felt like I was DOING something. I finally got the message that they are not the same, ha ha!)

    Anyway, that’s about it from smokey Oregon. Hugs to all,


    Friday, January 12, 2018

    Jan 12rd.... Not Dead Yet - Every Day is a Gift.

    If you ever want to be humbled a bit, just go back and re-read something you wrote years ago. When things were a little easier. When you were still losing weight, albeit slowly.

    Photo credit HERE

    I did that today. Ugh. What I read was true, and I still agree with it. But... it felt shallow. Like written by a sincere newbie. Oh...... oops. That's what I was. :-}

    So, I'll cut myself some slack, and just learn from true parts. It's HERE in case anyone has some time on their hands.

    It's called "What's Wrong with Hard?". Good article. Except if you ask me today, after almost 2 years of one serious medical thing after another, and being totally exhausted over it all, I'd say:

    Enough already!! I'm ready for a break!! I've had enough of Hard. Give me some Easy for a change!!

    I read this line and found myself irritated: "I think that when something is hard, we have to perceive that WE ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO MEET THE CHALLENGE."

    And I've felt so worn down, I realized when I read that sentence, that I was NOT thinking of myself that way.  I was NOT being thankful and appreciative. I was NOT leaning on the Lord for strength and patience and endurance.

    I was just NOT... you name it, I was not.

    I have another birthday looming on the horizon. For my birthday, I am going to do an internal inventory. And change those attitudes that need changing.

    Every Day is a Gift. 

    With gratitude I still have another chance at this journey,


    PS: around here in Southern Oregon are several farms that raise alpacas. So we are trying to find one with winter hours where we can see these adorable critters in person.

    Saturday, September 23, 2017

    Sept 23rd... Knocked Down Again, Gettin' Up Again

    Yesterday was tough. I felt beat up, beat down, and ready to “accept” that this was the way it was. This was it.

    I felt like I was becoming a professional patient, with 2 to 4 medical appointments a week. It drained all my energy just to keep up, with nothing left over for my hopes and dreams. 

    I asked someone about it, and they gave me logic. Well, when you get older, this is just the way it is… that kind of thinking. I felt defeated and in tears.

    This morning a thought hit me: but what does God say about it??

    I thought of verses that say things like “He will renew your youth like the eagle”. And “You will bear fruit even in old age”. But the doubts… oh the doubts. Was this for me? Even me? In spite of all my screw ups?

    I opened my email this morning, and saw my Daily Promise, a newsletter I get with a verse for each day of the year. Of all 365 days, guess what I got THIS day??

    “I will enrich your life and renew your youth like the eagle’s.”

    That’s just too much coincidence for me to ignore!

    Then, I happened to stumble on article (some link to another link to another link…) that had me in tears. The good kind. Here is one paragraph:

    “Life will never be flawless. It will often slap us with humility and failures.
    It’s a series of ups and downs. Getting smacks and punches are inevitable.
    However, the desire of getting up should be stronger than those jabs.”

    Link to whole article:

    It tells about people who overcame adversity, even older people who achieved their dreams in spite of everything.

    And it encouraged me. Greatly. If you need a shot in the arm of Encouragement today, I’d highly recommend carving out about 10 minutes to read and absorb this wonderful article.

    "A Hope and a Future"
    by Retta Stephenson 

    This journey to health is not a straight line graph. Mine, at least, has had lots of ups and down. I'm so ready for some ups!

    Continuing the journey,


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