Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
January 27th, 2014


I am so blessed!

The MRI of my head turned out to be normal for age.  I really thought it would be, but there was still an anxiousness that comes with any sort of testing.  Being claustrophobic. I think I was more anxious about the test itself than the results of the testing.    It has been a trying month, overall, with people driving me here and there,  the water heater needing replacement, the freezing polar vortex  and two snowstorms, all in the middle of the holidays! I feel as if I’ve been through the wringer (who knows what a wringer is nowadays?). As if I’m being hollowed out – like I’m flotsam and jetsam – like its time to get off the merry-go-round and settle down – if it’s possible to settle down when you’re wobbly with a cane!

And yet, in the midst of it all, aside from gratefulness for such health as I have, there is an immense thankfulness for the family that I have.  The kids grow up, move away, live their own lives, beyond my watch. When we meet again it’s like discovering a new person. They get funny ideas and you can’t imagine how they got that way. But you discover kind hearts. It’s strange to be on the receiving end of the tender loving care. Each one has been there for me, stopping in to see how I’m doing, calling, bringing food,  taking me for the CAT scan, the physical therapy, etc, etc, right up to last night when Mary took her Xanax-drugged Mommy for the MRI scan, then brought her home and saw her tucked unto bed.  How I love those kids!

Here, Terry and I visit Dr. Mashman who ordered an MRI to rule out acoustic neuroma or a small stroke. Dr.Mashman hired me as secretary to Associated Neurologists in the 1970s.
It took me an hour to get this “selfie” of Dr. M from my email onto my blog. As you can see, I’m a devotee of “good enough.” These old brains can’t take too much strain.

Alas, once I get on an even keel, I see some dental surgery in the near future. Such is life. Thanks be to God who plans all things well.


But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go. — John 21:18





January 23rd, 2014


My first episode of vertigo occurred in 1976 when, out of the blue the world spun around, I could not stand, and I was nauseous. By the time I saw a neurologist (who I just happened to work for) that same day, I was fine. Subsequent episodes occurred over the years, the last of which I wrote about after starting this blog. It is certainly bothersome but not life-threatening.

A few weeks ago a different dysequilibrium started which I described as follows for the benefit of medics and relatives.

Today is January 5, 4 AM, 3 degrees outside, and I am thinking it may be of some value to chronicle the progression of my disease.
About two weeks ago I felt unbalanced on a Monday evening, December 23, and called Jack to say not to pick me up for the prayer vigil the next morning as I was feeling dizzy. The next day I felt better, went to mass at St. Peter’s. Called Annette for her birthday. Christmas morning had breakfast at Martha’s and a bunch came here in the PM, Terry, Sierra, Sage, Jeremy, Susana, Selva, feeling pretty OK. Fell on Dan’s back step Christmas morning striking right forehead, slight bruise and abrasion. December 28 was brutally cold and windy but we picketed and I went inside early for coffee, then we all left early for our monthly lunch at Nicks. Felt OK at Nick’s, ordered usual Capellini Florentine. Went to 7:30 AM mass Sunday morning and felt somewhat unwell but followed mass with Keurig Kahlua coffee and waffle at Peg’s. Monday night again called Jack (Dec 30) saying I would not join them in the morning because of unbalance.

Tuesday afternoon went to Dr. Curry with Dan, had an EKG, referred to neurologist, Dr. Habibi, then CAT scan at Medical Arts on way home which was normal. With Dr. Wirz’s help got appt with Dr. Mashman on January 3, referred to Lisa Dransfield same day for evaluation and physical therapy appointments.

When all of this started I assumed it was a return of my usual benign positional vertigo but it is not. It is an all day thing, not just in morning, no vertiginous eye movements. I only feel OK when lying down. Of course, as all of this was going on, Dan also had to buy a new hot water heater to replace the old one that decided to leak all over the place and plow the snow that decided to descend on the driveway. A very busy time for all.



That’s how it all began. Then January 6 I had the beginning of good old-fashioned vertigo with rotation of the ceiling, a sinking feeling in my stomach, and these symptoms would start if I rolled over onto my left side. At least I knew what to do for vertigo and I printed out a copy of the Epley maneuvers from my post ME AND VERTIGO. I did them once a day for three days at which point the vertigo disappeared and I began to feel more like my usual self.

Dr. Mashman had referred me to Lisa Dransfield in the vestibular therapy department and she provided me with daily balance exercises. Dr. Mashman had  also given me a follow-up appointment and although I was feeling better I was not back to my usual pre-episode self.   He prescribed an MRI of the brain to rule out the possibility of a small stroke, which will take place on January 23.  Being claustrophobic I am not looking forward to 45 minutes enclosed motionless in a noisy tube but I’ve been prescribed alprazolam to take ahead of time to help me cope.  That is where were are now.  I would appreciate prayers, dear friends.

January 18th, 2014


Once upon a time I had a good friend, about my age, who had one hip replacement and then another. Then a hip replacement was replaced, and tweaked, and the other one went bad, and it seemed she was forever in the hospital, relearning to walk, with one bad hip or another. One day as I was visiting I commented: I don’t know how you stand it, all this surgery, all this time hurting, all this time in the hospital. All she said was: “I think there are levels of acceptance.”

That was all she said, but those few words told me how she was getting through the long days and the even longer nights. She was engaged in a dialog with her God and saying, as best she could, “Be it done unto me according to thy will.”

The day came when we were told she would soon die and we gathered in her hospital room. She was quiet, peaceful, conversing lucidly, and in a few days joined her maker. All heroism is not on the battlefront. Day after day lives of quiet heroism are lived out around us, unhonored and unsung.

Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

January 9th, 2014


As Bill O’Reilly would say, I am a simple person.   I have never studied economics.  But I have studied people for a long time and I have studied the teachings of Jesus for a long time.  At the most basic level, we are told we should love our neighbor as ourselves.  This means that if our neighbor is without the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, and we can provide these things, he has a right to them.  We are also told that we, as well as our neighbor, have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  These words are not exactly Biblical, but it has been written that we are endowed by our Creator with a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  (The Rescue Movement. for example, rests on protecting the life of our unborn brother, even in the womb, when we know he is scheduled to be killed.)

Much has been written of late about the redistribution of wealth  not just so all will have the basic necessities but so that it will be “fair.”   Some even think it is the role of government to arrange  this, so the rich will not be so rich and the poor not so poor.  To get back to the teachings of Jesus, he says we are to keep his commandments, and these include the Ten Commandments given by Moses.  First among  these are loving God and neighbor, and honoring our parents.  We are not to lie or steal,  We are not to covet our neighbors goods.  It does, then, seems that we have a basic right to “goods” which are not to be stolen, i.e., a basic right to property.  It seems to me it is not the role of government, especially federal government, to take it upon itself to decide that my property should go to some else.

What is nowadays called “charity” is best done at a local level.  People who live near each other are better acquainted with each other.  Christians from the time of Christ have ministered  to each other one on one.  In small groups they have provided food pantries, clothing, care for the aged, ill, and abandoned.  On a local level towns pooled funds for “safety nets” to provide for various needs, which were distributed by people in touch with the situation.   We know that when caring for others is attempted at the federal level, even at the state level, the large amounts of monies available seem to sometimes  tempt the distributors  who keep too much for  “salaries” and take little care of the “little” person.

On the other hand, the little people learn how to “work the system”  when it is not carefully administered.  And politicians are well aware that they can “buy” votes by spreading money around, not as much  out of love as a from quest for power.

it is well documented that Christians do more charitable giving than the average Joe.  Christian charitable organizations seem to be more trustworthy.   Why then would a federal government that has shown little organizational competence seek to shut down Christian charities, which are more hands-on, and try minister to the little guy at the ground level from its perch on high?  Often they are coming from greed, living lavishly, not coming from love.

Throughout the ages Christians have been known not only for their beautiful churches but for their hospitals, schools, elderly housing, missions to foreign countries,  They really believe that God is love, and Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Many wealthy peoples regardless of religion, have a heart for the poor and devote millions to their care, willingly, gladly. Let us appeal to their hearts, not take from their pockets.

Who would you rather have care for your mother, the Little Sisters of the Poor, or the federal government?

IMHO, the world needs more Christians!  Love cannot be mandated.  It must come from the heart.

Postscript – a timely email:


When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no hospitals. Today, one out of five people in this country receive their medical care at a Catholic hospital.

When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no schools. Today, the Catholic Church teaches 3 million students a day, in its more than 250 Catholic Colleges and Universities, in its more than 1200 Catholic High Schools and its more than 5000 Catholic grade schools.

Every day, the Catholic Church feeds, clothes, shelters and educates more people than any other organization in the world.

The new Obama Health Mandate could end all this and the tax payers would have to make up the loss.

Also, all Catholic adoption services would come to an end; a human disaster.

There are more than 77 million Catholics in this country. It takes an estimated 50 million Catholic votes to elect a president. I am asking all of you to go to the polls in 2014 and be united in replacing all Senators and Reps with someone who will respect the Catholic Church, all Christians, and all Religions.

Matthew 25:31-45:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

January 7th, 2014


Leona Choy is only 88 years old but she speaks from years of experience and seems to be once again taking over my blog!  Leona and I have only met online but I consider her a dear friend.  Once upon a time she ministered in China with her husband, she has written numerous books and is working on yet another.  Still she has time to write to me and pray for me.  Leona writes:  “When I say “Happy New Year! Is it a declaration? a wish? a question? a hope?  a superficial salutation? or simply a cultural cliché?  My true riches are my friends to whom I say this.  I thank God that in His plan for our lives, through the invisible needle and thread action of the Holy Spirit, He has sewn you, Dot, into the weaving of my life.  Although we’ve never met in person, we bond before the Lord in spirit.  Wouldn’t it benefit you more if I turned that greeting into a PRAYER for you?  Whatever season of life we are in, we have problems, face decisions, go through changes, confront obstacles, and struggle through life’s inevitable adjustments. You and I have physical, material, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual needs to greater or lesser degrees. And because we live in the mortal flesh of our “earth suits,” as time goes on we can’t avoid health issues.  SO I PRAY the following for you in the Name of Jesus. Then I leave God’s unique and wise answer up to Him. Father-God knows best.”

I pray that you will joyfully let our loving God be God and let Him navigate your life in whatever way He chooses for your good and His glory.

I ask that the Lord will help you and give you His counsel in whatever matters are on your heart and in your mind. I pray for your willing acceptance of His guidance and your obedience.

If there is any disharmony or lack of order in your private life, I pray for you to be open to the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit’s touch to displace any confusion, indecision, restlessness or resistance. May you realize that His grace is sufficient for you and “you are complete in Christ.” (Colossians 2:10) I pray that God will make you whole.

I pray that you may not focus on health issues nor let them define you. May you keep them in eternal perspective as by an act of your will as you set your mind on things above, not on the temporaries of this life.

I pray that you will keep open to the Lord’s healing balm to harmonize any relationships that may be troubling you in your daily round of life. May you be willing to make the first move toward any restoration.

Where you feel weakness or weariness by the length or difficulties of life’s journey, I pray that you will allow the JOY of the Lord to infuse you with His strength both for your sake and for your faithful witness to others. May they see the beauty of Jesus expressed through you in all your circumstances.

I pray that whatever adversity or suffering or challenging experience (or joyful one!) you might go through, you will seize it as an opportunity for deeper spiritual transformation into the image of Christ and growth in your personal faith.

Although we live at a distance, that does not diminish the supernatural power of prayer. I don’t need to be present to touch you and bless you or you to bless me. The Holy Spirit transcends space and time. My prayer reaches easily to Conn. My prayer for you offered in Jesus’ Name is only a conduit. The power is not in the prayer but in the action of the Holy Spirit in response to it. Once prayed, a prayer is heard immediately by God and lasts until God answers it in His own way. It never ends up unanswered in a “heavenly wastebasket” or “divine shredder.”

I am confident that if my prayer for you is off target of your situation or doesn’t cover your need or God’s desire for you, the Holy Spirit will run ahead and edit it so it will reach God perfectly when presented to Him and therefore is sure to be answered! (Romans 8:26-28)

Xin nian kuai le! (Happy New Year in Chinese)

Your friend in the love-bonds of Christ, Leona

Thank you, Leona. I treasure this prayer.