Monday, April 30, 2007


Well, that's exactly what this post is about. Free information...on your cell phone. Most of the cell providers charge up to $1.50 for each info call for a number. But there is a service that all cell phones can use...dial 800-free- 3411 ...(800-373-3411) and you can get your info calls for free. I have used it and have the number entered into my phone......well, actually one of my boys entered it into my phone...but same difference! :) But since I never have a phone book with me in the car...this should save me scadds of what will I do with it all?...HMMMMMM.........?

Friday, April 27, 2007


tonja's backyard 003
Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens.
I have learned it is possible to grow through all kinds of trials. Two verses that mean a lot to me...I have thought of them often through the last week...

"Be joyful always; pray continually: give thanks in all circumstances."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Because of God's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Hi friends. We just got home a little while ago from the hospital. Don has TMJ which was the cause of the face and jaw pain. He'll see an orthodontist for that. As far as the spot in the brain...still no definitive answer. It is definitely abnormal, but the Dr. here doesn't know exactly what it is. So, we are being sent to Birmingham, where they will do more testing.

I thank you so for your prayers and concern. Please continue remembering us. Don is taking full advantage of this being "sick" thing, and I've about had enough. So, if you hear that he is back in the's because I had to intervene and teach him a thing or two. :) He seems to forget that he doesn't have that little button to push and summons help. Oh, he did like to use that. And ordering up whatever he wanted to eat? Well, that just will not work in this house.

Seriously, I thank God for you and the way you have lifted us up. Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Hi, my friends. I have felt your prayers, and I thank you from my heart. Don is still in the hospital. His headache is better. And there is some question as to whether the cause for the ear, and jaw pain is TMJ or trigeminal neuralgia. However, this doesn't explain the severe head ache. They have done 2 CT scans and a MRI. They told us yesterday that they have found some type of lesion deep in the brain that could or could not be causing the pain. The DR's. are split as to whether this is abnormal or just a benign bone growth. So today he is having a bone scan...and this will show us if the head has a "hot spot" which would indicate a tumor. In my 'gut', I really don't think it will be anything to worry about. I think when they begin to do the scans...all they will see will be a typical male brain....quite a bit smaller than the female brain...with a large area programmed to hold a remote and sit in front of the tv., a large area that requires 3 square meals a day (this will probably be quite lacking in his case) and an area that longs to be on a boat in the middle of a lake with a fishing pole. Oh and the "love the Lord" and the "ride my motorcyle" area will be lit up nice and bright. :) Whatever DOES show up...we can handle. God has already seen into his head and knows all about if this is what we are up against...He knows that we can do it...with HIS strength, of course.

It is such a comfort to know you are praying for us. My son Adam is staying with him in the mornings, so I can go to work. We have our big spring musicals in a few weeks. So it is so nice he can help me out.

I will let you know as soon as I can get to the computer and post again. I thank God for you.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Just a quick note to ask for your prayers. My husband came home from work with a severe headache Wed. night. He took everything we had available to us and nothing worked. We have lots of migraine in our family and we thought that was what he had. We finally had to go to the ER last night about 10:00 and they kept him and finally admitted him about 6:oo this morning. They have run 2 CT scans, but nothing is showing up...and he is still in severe pain. He is NEVER sick. So, please pray for us. I know he is in God's hands and we pray He will guide our doctors. I'll update you when I can. Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, April 20, 2007


bee sunny
Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens.
1. Be outstanding in your field.

2. Hold your head high.

3. Spread seeds of happiness.

4. Feed the birds.

5. Keep on the sunny side.

6. Grow up!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Recently I went to a luncheon at a lovely establishment about 15 miles from my home. Now I live in a smallish town...but this is what we would call "out in the country." It was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed my short trip there. When I was going through the even smaller town where this luncheon was to be held, I had to cross a set of railroad tracks. As I approached, I noticed the crossing bars were down and the lights were flashing. The train was not moving, but I had plenty of time, so I didn't mind the wait. Looking around, I noticed a run down gas station on one side of me and a convenience store on the other. In a few minutes a young man with a large drink, a bag of chips and a sandwich came out of the convenience store. He walked past my car and motioned for me to go around the bars and go on across the tracks. Now I am a fairly intelligent woman, even though I admit that there are some mysteries about this world that leave me puzzled. But this I do know...when the bars are down and the lights are flashing at a railroad do NOT cross the tracks. So, I smiled and nodded and stayed right where I was. I mean did this dude think I was some sort of imbecile who would take his word and cross the tracks? And why was he telling me this anyway? Like I would believe some stranger in dirty clothes who ate his lunch at the Zippy-Mart. No, thank you...I'll sit right here and wait like I was taught to do long, long ago in drivers ed and in countless reminders by my parents. So, I sat...and watched... Imagine my surprise when this man strode up to the train, swung himself up into the front, gave 3 toots on the whistle, and took off down the tracks! And ...he waved and tipped his hat as he passed my car.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


It saddens me so to hear of the senseless shootings at Virginia Tech. My son called me at work to see if I had heard about it. Then when I got home we watched it together. I have another son in grad school in Birmingham, and I tried to imagine if I were to get the call those parents got. They need our prayers. I feel for the family of the shooter. How reviled they will feel. I pray that they have a support group to help them as well. Then last night I heard the inevitable "blame police" start up about how so-and-so should have done such-and -such. My personal feeling is that unless you are walking through that tragedy, you have no right to comment. I am sure the president of VT has second guessed himself enough...but that was a situation he had never experienced before...and I feel sure he did his best. There is only one bad guy in this situation...the shooter. Sure, lessons can be learned on how to deal with this type of episode in the future....but pointing fingers now is uncalled for. May God give them all peace and understanding.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I am a music teacher in a Christian Preschool. We have K-3, K-4, and K-5. Our school is connected to a fine church here in town and leads right into a terrific Christian school. This is a job that is perfect for me. First of all, I think the Lord gifted me to work with preschoolers. And, this is where I feel most comfortable...sharing the beautiful world, and lessons from God
with them. I love the freedom to pray with them and talk about the Lord anytime I want. But, we do have FUN. We sing, dance, play games, paint to music...whatever strikes us. I learned long ago that in order for them to "let go"...I had to "let go". So goodbye inhibitions and pride. In my classroom...its all about the kids. And fun is had by all. We have about 300 students, and we have 2 programs each Christmas and in the spring. It's time for our spring practices to begin. This year our theme is The Floating Zoo. So songs about Noah and the ark are constantly running through my head. There are very few programs that are published for preschooler musicals. So for the last 20 years I have written and compiled my own programs. This entails lots of work going through musicals and putting together age appropriate songs. Sometimes I just write my own songs if I can not find the right one. I have a friend who wants me to have these published, and that may be a possibility in the future. One of the teachers at my school got this in an e-mail and gave me a copy. I though I'd share it with you:

Everything I Need To Know...I Learned From Noah's Ark

1. Don't miss the boat.

2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

4. Stay fit. When you are 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

5. Don't listen to critics. Just get on with the job that needs to be done.

6. Build your future on high ground.

7. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

8. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

9. When you're stressed, float awhile.

10. Remember, the ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there is always a rainbow waiting.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


While doing some file cleaning, I ran across this poem that I wrote for my neice and her husband. My sister has 2 daughters, and they are both beautiful girls. Lori is in grad school and Tara lives here and is married. She married a guy who is MR. Outdoor Life. He has her fishing and hunting and such. Well, when the family heard that she was going deer hunting with him...we were quick to voice our opinions. At least, I was. Now, I have an aversion to deliberatly causing harm or pain...let alone any creature. But, I also know that that sentiment is not shared by everyone. Sweet Will, her husband has been most understanding of my vocalizations about his lifestyle. He assures me that all the deer they kill are used for food. Which really does nothing to ease my feelings...not as long as there is a Winn-Dixie in the near vicinity. But, I digress. The fact is...he took her deer hunting...complete with her head to toe camoflage outfit and gun. No...she did NOT look cute. I have always thought she and I were very much kindred spirits....BUT..she liked it! And not only that, she killed a deer! And then did the whole blood ritual ....and they made a PICTURE...and delighted in showing me. :0
So, I wrote this for them:

This is the story of terror and fear
That happens when hunters named Tara are near.

Deer Mommy always said, "Stay close by my side
When Tara comes around...there's no place to hide."

But I did not listen, my heart would not stay.
I just lost all my senses when sweet Will came my way.

My Papa would tell me "Those boys are no good..."
But, I'd forget his warning when Will entered our woods.

His face looked so kind that it was difficult to see
That fierce female warrior crouched in the tree.

But behind him she was, just waiting her chance
To turn my demise into her victory dance.

Sweet Will could not stop her, though I'm sure he tried
When Tara gets the's "Bambi...Bye-Bye".

She stood...then she shot...then jumped to her feet,
"Will, oh sweet Will, I've shot us some meat!"

Now what is left of me is hanging at your place.
My meat's in your blood's on your face.

My story will be told in woods far and near:

P.S....they still speak to me, too.

Friday, April 13, 2007



Hard to find
Always lifts you up
Never lets you down
Never leaves you hanging
Always close to your heart

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Funky Shoes

Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens.
I found these shoes at the mall. Aren't they just the cutest? I have confessed my shoe obsession to you before, and it hasn't gotten any better. When I saw these, I just had to have them. One of the kids at school (age4) said, "Mrs. Owens, you got everything in the world on your shoes!" And that's about the truth. Of course, I didn't NEED them...but they sure make me happy when I wear them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens.
Several years ago, I went to visit my Granny, who lived in North Carolina. She died at the age of 91. She was a flower expert. Oh, the beautiful flowers she had in her yards. Always, she tried to teach me about the different varieties of plants she was nursing along. She said to me that day, "Tonna (that's what she always called me), did you see my high geraniums? I have worked so hard on them and they are really putting out." I told her I hadn't noticed them in the yard. So I went out to look. Of course, I was looking for a new variety of geraniums that were taller growing. I couldn't find anything that I didn't know. So, I went back in to tell her. "Well come on and I'll show you where they are." Off we went to the side of her mobile home and there it was.......CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IT WAS? wasthe lovliest bush of HYDRANGEA!!!!

Isn't that the sweetest story? I can't ever see hydrangea bushes without thinking of her. I just know when I get to heaven, she will have some new "heavenly" flowers to show me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Good morning, my friends. Hope your Easter was all you hoped for. My plans went a little awry. On Saturday, I went to our church Easter Egg Hunt. Great attendance, and fun had by all...well, by the little ones at least. We adults thought it was way too cold. But the kids didn't seem to mind. God was gracious to send beautiful sunshine for us to warm up in. I stopped and picked up a few groceries and came home to wait for Ian to arrive from Birmingham. As I brought in the groceries I sort of twisted the wrong way and I felt a twinge in my upper back. Nothing too bad. Visited with Ian and then he left to go visit the rest of the family. When I got up Sunday morn, my back was still just a little sore...but nothing to complain about. I am Preschool Director at our church, so my morning was full...with babies to soothe, and beautiful clothes to admire( even if they had their winter coats on top) , snacks to fix and all the other 1000 things that come up. Plans were to go to my son and DIL for lunch with all the family. As usual, mine was the last car in the parking lot. I got in my car to leave, and PAIN...PAIN....PAIN!!!!!!My back was screaming at me! I couldn't move, I couldn't get out , I couldn't finish getting in, just PAIN! Thankfully, my cell phone was in my purse, which was still in my lap. I called Donald, my hubby. He was already at son and DIL's house. He and Ian came to my rescue. I am not one who cries...but I did then. We managed to get home and I have been in bed since. Staying drugged on muscle relaxers and pain meds. Today, I am able to move my arms a little and walk around, but I am not going to overdo it. I believe that sometimes God puts us flat on our backs, or in my case...flat on my stomach, when we refuse to get the rest we need. So, here I am. At least I have lots of stuff on the dvr that I have recorded and never have enough time to watch.
But, this was not how I planned for my Easter holiday to go. Hope yours was lots more fun.

Friday, April 6, 2007


Originally uploaded by Perfection Photography.
May you experience a glorious Easter with those you love.


Thursday, April 5, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens.
Today, I'd like to share with you the story of my sweet boy, Alex.
I tried very hard to have another baby after Adam was born, but it took surgery and fertility treatments to become pregnant. But 8 years after his brother, we had this beautiful blond haired, blue eyed cherub. He was a sweet baby, and quite different in temperment from his older brother. Alex was a very contented child and could entertain himself for hours on end with a few toys in his pockets. As a matter of fact, when he got up in the mornings, he would put 3 or 4 things into his pockets and that is what he would play with that day. So, no matter where we went, he was content. It always amazed me at the
things he would say and ask. He was so inquisitive about things that most kids wouldn't notice. When he was 20 months old, I had another son,who was born with severe birth defects and heart trouble, so I lost a lot of time with Alex because so much of my time had to be spent with Ian. (I'll tell you Ian's story later). Also, my oldest son, Adam was diagnosed with cancer when he was 4. (I'll tell you his story later,too). Since treatment for Adam was ongoing, I had to leave Alex with my sister for weeks at a time to be with Adam in the hospital about 200 miles away. Ours was a crazy life there for a while. But, back to Alex. He was different from his brothers. They were very agile and quick, and Alex was always a little clumsy and not quick to try new things which required physical dexterity. Nonetheless, he was a great student, had lots of friends in school and church, and was a very happy boy. He just did things on HIS timetable. When he was in the 8th grade, I got a call at work from a dear friend, a teacher at his school, telling me to come get him. When I got there, He could not walk straight and his vision was doubled. He said it happened suddenly, as he was walking down the hall. We went straight to the pediatrician, who sent us straight to the hospital. Immediate cat scan showed off to the hospital in Birmingham. After several days of tests, we were told his cerebellum showed signs of atrophy. Well, the doctor told me this and left. Without saying anything else. I came home to my pediatrician and the journey to find answers began. No one could tell us why this happened, or what the prognosis was. Now, my training is in nursing, so I have a little medical knowledge, but this was way above anything I had ever even heard of. Apparently the doctors here were in the same boat. We were sent back to Birmingham to another doctor, who tried some medicines , to no avail, and finally he sent us home with no real answers. This is when I decided to do my own research. After tracking down several leads, we ended up at the University of Michigan with a doctor who is a specialist in ataxia disorders. They did extensive testing on Alex and we finally got some answers. He has cereberllar atrophy with ataxia. There are portions of his cerebellum that have just died. No reason...they are just gone. Since nerve impulses travel through the cerebellum, these messages will not go through...there is a break in the connection. His optic nerve is damaged, which means his vision is extremely poor. He sees double all the time, so he wears prisms in his glasses. His eyes also jump all the time, too and he has lost most of his peripheral vision. His balance is also affected. He walks like he is drunk and has to use a cane. Even with that, he still has trouble staying upright. He also has a wheelchair he uses on occasion. Sometimes, his speech can be affected, causing him to have trouble getting words out and causing his voice to be very soft. His fine motor skills were expected to become involved...but Praise God!, they have not. He has great dexterity in his hands and is able to use them very well. And since he loves the computer...his lifeline...this is such a blessing. We then ended up at a doctor in Jackson, Mississippi, who is a specialist in cerebellar atrophy, and he has tried to narrow down his exact disease, but it continues to be a mystery. We know lots of things it is not....but not exactly what it is. We do know it can be genetic...but his doesn't seem to be. It can be a spontaneous mutation. These symptoms do not usually show up until middle age...but his started very young. The disease can progress or go into remission or stop completely. His seems to be stopped for the time being. Thank-you, God!
The most puzzling thing about Alex's condition is the severe pain. He is in constant immobolizing pain. Mostly in his head, neck and shoulders. We have been to pain clinics, and pain centers all over the U.S., and no one has been able to help. We have tried hypnosis, acupunture, massage therary, and every drug known to man. Nothing stops the pain. We would try voodoo if we thought it would help. This is what keeps him homebound. He is not embarressed or ashamed to use a cane or a wheelchair, and would love to be able to be out in the world...going to school, living on his own. But the pain is like a monster that has him its clutches and won't let go. We continue to search out new treatments and doctors. We will go anywhere and try almost anything. We pray daily for wisdom and guidance.
I often wonder why God has not healed Alex. Actually, we don't even ask for healing anymore. We ask for relief from the pain. Because he can deal with the disease and its limitations. It is the pain that holds him hostage. I know in my heart of hearts that he belongs to the Lord. He is a Christian and loves the Lord. And I know God loves him more than I do. But a mother's heart is torn in two when she sees the suffering of her child and she knows there is nothing in HER power to do. I trust God above all. I know He has Alex in the palm of his hand. But I also get weary sometimes and that's when I have to tell the Lord that we've reached our limit. I complain and cry and get mad...and God loves me right through it all. Out of the blue...Alex will have a good day, where the pain is lessened, and he can get out for a while. I have dear friends who pray for us daily and who are ready at a moment's notice to "take me away." I have my sweet Mom and Dad who live a few blocks away, who are always ready to assist. My dear sister, who Alex loves so much, is only a call away. My oldest son, and his wife, have stepped in to assist Alex when I am away. Adam is a great comfort and help to his brother. We have a wonderful church family who holds us up in prayer. We have a thriving business, which God continues to bless, so we are able to pay our bills. Alex's meds alone cost about $800.00 a month. My husband is a good provider and a stabilizing force in our home. So, God continues to bless...even in the storm. I want it to be whomever reads this...that I trust in God completely...even though I don't like my circumstances...I trust Him to control our lives. He does what He said He would. He gives me strength, and He meets our needs. He lets me cry and complain and moan and groan...and holds me like a child and understands. He is God and He is my Rock. I will continue to Praise Him.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

New Shoes

I need a new pair of black shoes. Really. I do. Now I will admit that I have a shoe habit. There is nothing that can lift your spirits like a new pair of shoes. They can save a perfectly rotten day. And since I am in the process of trying to get my weight down, it's the only thing I'm allowing myself to buy at the moment. Back to the shoes. I looked through my closet and I only have 16 pairs of black shoes. Now, if you are a fashion savvy person, this number will not shock you. I have black tennis shoes...3 pair: 1 with tan trim, 1 with grey trim and 1 solid pair. Then I have 2 pair of flat mary jane type: 1 with white trim, 1 solid black. Then there are the heels: 1 pair is very strappy-low heel, 1 very strappy- high heel. Next are the casual shoes: 1 pair flat mules with rubber sole, 1 dressier pair flat mules with regular sole,and 1 pair loafers with tan stiching. Next comes the sandals: 1 pair with stones on the top, 1 pair with a white flower, 1 pair with a tiny kitten heel, 1 pair with a wedge heel, 2 pair of espradilles (cause I liked them so much) and 1 black pair with pink and green flower. Oh, and 4 pairs of flip flops. Oh! I just remembered. I do have a pair of black and white polka dot heels. O.K....just don't go back and count. I'm feeling convicted here...and I didn't even mention my 2 pair of black boots. And have you seen those shoes where you buy the sole and then buy different tops that snap onto the of the tops I got is black, monogrammed in khaki. You know, fashionable ladies, that different outfits call for different shoes. The wrong pair of shoes can just ruin the look of the most carefully put together ensemble. My husband thinks that if the shoes are the same color, they are the same shoe. Oh, those sad male minds. Don't they realize that it's the subtle differences that make each pair a necessity? Of course they don't. Oh well, as I said in the beginning of this post: I need a new pair of black to the mall.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Thank-you, Tracey, for the award. I am so loving my new blogging adventures. And I am so happy to know someone out there in Blogsville enjoys reading my pitiful offerings. Now, if you read me this morning, you know that I am sooooo lacking in computer skills. Well. I have just had a lesson on the fine art of linking to other sites. Now, I hope I get this right. If not I'll try again. Go ahead...I hear you's o.k. I can take it... :) Tracey has a wonderful blog, and I have been blessed by her insights. Find her at Show Me State of Mind.

Now, first, I am supposed to link to this post. It is the original post about the the award. Thinking Blogger Award. Now, I will be honest with you. I can not read this. Every time I go there, it freezes my computer. It happens even with the expert who is teaching me. So, I hope you have better luck than me.

This is a new friend I have made recently. I noticed her first because she is from AL. also. I enjoy her sense of style, and she shows great pictures of her decorating and gardening. She's a yard sale fan, too. Seems we both like the art of taking something old and turning it into a new found treasure. Her name is Rhoda. Find her at Southern Hospitality .

I have been mostly a lurker on this site, but I absolutely LOVE her thoughts on travel. She has just returned from a trip to New Zealand. I know it must have been wonderful . I knew I liked her when I saw we shared an affinity for heart shaped rocks. She is a jewelry designer and artist. Her name is Nina and you can find her at Ornamental .

Next on my list is Southern Heart . She is also a recent find. But she has such a beautiful blog , with a lovely sense of style. She seems to have a real sense of appreciation of the beautiful things in life. I always look forward to reading her.
Next for me is A Walk in My Shoes . This is such a beautiful blog. She writes beautiful poetry, accompanied by lovely photographs. She has just gone through a crisis with her son, and it has been heart touching to go through this journey with her.
And, this blog, It Coulda' Been Worse , makes me laugh. Her name is DeeDee, and she writes about various topics. Her slant on the everyday occurrences is delightful. I look forward to seeing what new has happened in her life and her humorous take on it.
O.K. ,ladies. Thanks for feeding my mind and spirit. Blessings to you all. Consider yourself tagged.....



Now imagine the Pointer Sisters singing, instead of ME, and you'll know how i feel!
I GOT TAGGED!!!!! My friend, Tracey, tagged me and I am beside my self with excitement. I'm SOOOOO excited I just don't know what to do!!!....No, really, I don't know what to do. See, I'm one of those computer illiterate people from darkest Alabama, who survived the first 52 years of my life without benefit of this technical marvel. However, I DO have 3 computer geniuses that came from this very body, who are teaching me how it feels to be a part of a new universe. SO, as soon as I get one of them to show me about the links and all that stuff...I will do all those things Tracey said. One day, I just KNOW I'm going to be able to do it all by myself....but until then...thank goodness for smart children!


Monday, April 2, 2007


I AM in shape. Round is a shape .

I've reached the age where just hauling my fat around is considered a workout.

When she signed up for the exercise class, they told her to wear loose clothing. "Who do you think you're kidding?" she said. "If I had any loose clothing, I wouldn't be taking the class!."

It is no accident the STRESSED is DESSERTS spelled backwards.

When dieting remember this: What is on the table eventually becomes what is on the chair.

I wouldn't call myself fat...Let's just say...NUTRITIONAL OVERACHIEVER!


(These delightful quips are from Barbara Johnson's book, Humor Me.)

Sunday, April 1, 2007


1. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

2. There is no such thing as too much candy.

3. Some body parts should be floppy.

4. Easter bonnets came tame even the wildest hare.

5. The grass is always greener in the other Easter basket.

6. Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.