Friday, March 25, 2016


So after all I have been through in the past few years, as well as my Hypothyroidism not being regulated (I missed a few lab tests and it ended up being out of range, i've since had my dosage adjusted and as of today am back just within the normal range) I ended up gaining back the weight I lost 3 years ago. At first when I lost my dad and everyone else I was mostly able to stay within a few pounds of where I had gotten down to, then last year it seemed like no matter how hard I tried to lose weight, I was instead gaining. It's been frustrating. It's hard to not see the results you once had, and that you wanted again. It was hard to have worked so hard and to gain it all back.

So before losing the weight I was happy in life. I wasn't necessarily happy with how i looked or how heavy I was, but I was happy and I knew that my body didn't define who I was. I knew that the only person that could change the way I looked was myself, and when I got to work, I was succesful. It was great. I had a positive self image even though i was overweight. So then flash forward to more recently. I had been at this weight before and although i didn't like it, I was happy. Now I am back at this weight and I am miserable. I get so down on myself because I know that I had worked so hard and feel like a failure for letting myself regain the weight I worked so hard to lose. It is frustrating! Now of course some people may say that it's understandable, with all the trials and everything else I have faced in the last few years, naturally for most people weight gain is kind of common. It's true but at the same time, i knew what I had done, and how I did it, I know how hard I worked and how it wasn't always easy. So now it feels like I gave up on myself. I let myself be angry for not working harder to keep the weight off during those trials. I know that the negative self image isn't helping myself currently but it's got me in a funk.

I know that I can lose the weight again, and plan to do so, but it's so frustrating when my knee is hurting and it makes it harder to do what I need to do. I know that is just an excuse, but it's true. Sometimes even just an hour extra on my knee makes me sore for several days, and if I go more than that it's sometimes like a week of pain for one simple workout, or sometimes not even a workout, but just trying to do a normal activity.  So I have been trying to rid myself of some of my negativity. I am trying to remind myself that I am not perfect. I wasn't perfect before and I am certainly not any closer to perfection now. All that is really asked of me is my best. I know that if I focus on the right things and do what I can, I will have success again. That's the plan anyway. I just hate that I was able to be happy with myself before and now I can't. I think I am going to look into some sort of support group or program so that I can talk to people who know how I feel and I can get the support I need. Or maybe it's about finding the right friend who is going thru the same struggles I am so that we can support one another. I know that I can do this, and maybe that's why i am writing this blog post tonight, when i really should already be in bed... I think that it is going to make me accountable. Not only to myself, but to my followers; all 3 of you... if you even still read this!

I am making other changes too, I am trying to be more consistant in my gratitude journal, making sure that daily I am thinking of things that I am grateful for. Without gratitude and recognizing our blessings we really won't go far in life. I am also working on more heartfelt and sincere prayers. I know that not only do I need the blessings of prayer, but there are so many people that I need to pray for. There is so much beyond myself that I need to look for assistance with and I can't get that assistance from my Heavenly Father if I am not willing to ask for it and to wait for His response to my prayers. I need to stop crawling into bed and saying the same prayer that although he hears them all, these probably get stuck on the ceiling because it's the same thing everyday. I am also making sure I put my time into my scripture study. Where are we if we are not studying? If we don't take the time to learn from the scriptures (which is often how we get the answers to those heartfelt prayers) then we again are missing out on a lot. So I started a new 90 day program to read again.

Well if you've read this far, and are still reading, I appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to hear (read) my concerns. Thanks for being my friend and for supporting me. You may not realize it, but you are supporting me. Maybe after reading this you'll be more aware of things. Maybe i've inspired you to be better at something, and then in seeing you do that, it will in turn inspire me and we will have created a secret quiet circle of support and inspiration. If nothing else, like I already said it makes me accountable to myself again. It is the reminder I might need to look back on in order to encourage myself to keep going on a rough day.

Today is the day i remind myself that I matter, that I am a Daughter of God and my life has a purpose and a meaning. Maybe this is the real reason I received a new calling at church being an advisor to the young women and having to teach them once a month. I think it's really a lesson and blessing for me. I don't know that the things I say or do are really affecting them. but I know that I am growing through those lessons. I know that when I am doing what I can, then I too am learning. In fact I get to teach this week. Last month I was giving a lesson on adversity, and in the week and a half leading up to the lesson I was given trial after trial. This month there is a lesson i could give on overcoming trials, but I think I learned from that lesson not to "press my luck" in learning by life for my lessons. I think actually that I might give a lesson on "grace" so that not only myself, but the girls can learn that grace enables us, it gives us strength and power and helps us to endure to the end. Even though it requires effort on our part, it is still a blessing over all. I think I would rather learn through life to give this lesson, than being faced with more trials to give something else related to adversity.

Well I think that's it for tonight. Time for washing my face, brushing my teeth, saying my prayers and headin to bed! It's almost time for the weekend! No more "Negative Nancy" it's time for me to get back to being happy with who I am so that I can keep a smile on my face and move forward with my head held high.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Well life has continued to be a handful of curveballs for myself and my family. I know it's been awhile since I have posted and although there have been good moments and fun experiences, there have also continued to be heataches and trials. Last year my dad's sister (my aunt) Patricia passed away. So after losing my dad, and my uncle we also lost their sister. It really worries me because the oldest sibling my uncle Charles lost all his siblings within a matter of about 14 months. It was hard on the rest of us, but had to of been the most difficult for him! Around the time that my aunt had the stroke right before she passed I was talking to my Uncle Charles and he was being seen by the doctor for chest pains and heart issues. Luckily last I heard everything turned out ok. But it's scary! Now in the past few weeks my grandma on my moms side also had a few strokes, and on Thurs morning she passed away now too. I am thankful for the many years I got to have with her and I am especially thankful that last Sat before she passed I was able to go with my mom to visit her one last time. But even that was a challenge.

  My grandma had gone to the hospital for the second time on the day she was supposed to be going home from a nursing facility after her first stroke. She spent a few days in the hospital and made it clear she didn't want a feeding tube and wanted a DNR signed. She wasn't strong enough to "fight" anymore and wasn't thriving. She went home on hospice and we didn't know how long she had left. So then I got a call at about 10 pm on the 2nd that my mom was sick and Tim was ready to call 9-1-1. Earlier that evening she wasn't feeling well and was having stomach issues. I rushed over to my mom's house, and so did Denise, we had to fight her but eventually got her into the car to take her to Los Robles (after losing my Dad we weren't going to Simi Adventist) So Denise, Tim, my mom and I headed to Los Robles. My mom was fighting us all the way. She was mad and saying that she just wanted to sleep. That she was fine and that there wasn't anything wrong, that it was just a mix of her restless leg syndrome and anxiety. .... well we got her to the ER and they felt the same thing we were thinking... appendicitis. After about 6 hours they admitted her but weren't going to rush her off to emergency surgery at 3 am. During the time in the ER Deann came out as well from La Palma (where she lives now) with her boyfriend Jason. Once we got her admitted, DEann and Jason headed home, Denise stayed with my mom and I brought Tim home and came back to my place to sleep a few hours. (about 4 to be exact) then i was up again and we (Tim and I) were on our way back to the hospital. We got there just in time to say goodbye to her in pre-op before she went in for the appendectomy. We were so glad that we made her go in, even though she threatened some "whoop-a$$" on us. In the ER she told me that she was going to be extra pissed if her mom passed away while we had her there and she didn't get a chance to go see her again before it happened. I reminded her that we would be just as upset if we didn't bring her to the ER and her appendix burst and we lost her! Need less to say it was an emotional evening. The surgery ultimately went well and she was released from the hospital on Fri, so like I said Sat she and I were able to go see my grandma. During our visit my grandma mostly slept, she barely even opened her eyes and when she did we were able to occasionaly get some responses to yes/no questions via slight head nodding only. It was hard to see her that way, but again i am glad I got to go and to tell her I loved her. The foloowing Tues night my uncle danny flew in aand so on Weds night my mom, and her siblings were all at the house with my grandma when she passed early Thurs morning. After that between Thurs and Fri they were able to get everything worked out and on Weds morning are her services. Prior to passing my grandma had already made a lot of the arrangements and pre-paid so that helped with part of it. so i am now officially a grandparent orphan. I lost my dads parents when i was younger, and my grandpa about 12 years ago, then now grandma. Even though we had a little over a week to "prepare" it was, and is still hard.

Sadly though it doesn't seem to just be my family who is struggling with loss, some friendsof the family lost their dad & husband also. As wel as my former captain just lost his mom, and my former Lt's dad isn't doing well either I heard. I also have two friends from high school who lost their fathers a few weeks ago as well. It's really hard on everyone! I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone!

So prior to my mom's little hospital visit, my car broke down, at Disneyland. It was hard, I ended up having to get it towed home and with everything else going on I haven't really had much time to work on it, until this past Sat. Thankfully (there are so many blessings in my life, despite all the trials) my mom has an extra car (she had an extra before, but now she technically has 2 extras since she just bought herself a new car) My car has 215,000+ miles on her. I even wrote the "So Cal Helpful Honda People" to try and get some help with getting it repaired. So far I haven't heard anything from them (the site said that they'll only contact you if they can help you) I didn't ask for a new car or anything, just for some help getting her fixed. In 50 words or less I let them know that I do most of my own repairs and that my dad taught me how to maintain her, but since he passed I have reached some needed repairs that are beyond my abilities. So she's had an oil leak for some time now, I knew it was a pan gasket leak and John and I attempted to fix that one weekend while we were still together, unfortunately after a lot of work and effort, I learned after removing all the bolts and attempting to drop the pan. that you actually have to either lift the engine, or remove the subframe in order to drop the pan to change that gasket. So we ended up putting it back up, which meant it was now leaking worse than before :-/ but at least I was aware and able to make sure she was never low or out. So I have known that I needed some assistance with the oil leak, but that wasn't the problem at Disneyland. After getting her towed home and during the evenings I was able to figure out that I think it's the drive belt that needs replaced (aka serpentine belt) I have never personally replaced a serpentine belt but decided I would at least try, because I do typically do my own repairs and it does save a ton of money. So finally this weekend I had decided I would attempt the belt replacement and see if that was the problem so i could get her running again. In the meantime Tim learned that I needed to also change the gasket and said he could help to do that. I went over to my moms on Sat to do the belt and then look again at the gasket options.... well Tim had already begun draining the oil and  said he felt he knew how to get the pan off, so i waited around while he worked on removing the bolts (aside from the difficult to access ones, it was at least easier this time since they'd been removed somewhat recently) well after all his efforts, he came to the same conclusion that I previously had (and had told him) that it wasn't going to drop. So he had me go get a repair manual, and when you look for the oil pan the first step says to "remove the subframe" grrr.. so by the time I was able to even attempt to look at the belt it was already getting dark and I had church yesterday. So needless to say I was pretty darn frustrated and upset this weekend because I really want my car back.

A lot of people have been telling me maybe it's time to get rid of her. Which is hard to do. As much as I would love a new car, I cannot afford it right now. I am also not quite ready to get rid of my car. Yes it's 12 years old, and has a lot of miles, but she's mine. I have a pride in that. I love that I got to work on her and keep her going all these years, and I think there is some nostalgia of not only being proud that I can maintain her and do most of my own repairs (I even recently made a repair that corrected a problem I hadn't been able to troubleshoot yet, because i noticed a disconnected hose, while simply replacing a filter)I think it's also that i worked a lot on her with my Dad. He taught me most of the things I've done for her. Those memories cannot be replaced. It's really hard on me when people try to suggest a new car... it's like an elderly pet, you don't just give up when they need some extra tlc (yes there are times when you have to say goodbye) but I haven't reached that point yet.

So I recently got to transfer jobs, well technically not jobs, I am still working for the CHP, and am still an office assistant, just a new location.. At the beginning of the month i started working at the Moorpark office instead of West Valley. It is so nice to have a 15 min drive to/from work with minimal traffic instead of 45 min through the valley of stop/go traffic the entire time. With the exception of the fact I am driving my mom's Yukon instead of my small SUV and the gas mileage isn't as good, i will in time be saving a ton of money in gas and the stress of the drive. I loved my time at WV, and I have made a ton of great friends and won't forget those people or experiences, but I was ready for a change. I was getting kind of burnt out doing the same thing day in and day out and just overwhelmed due to system changes and increased requests. I am now learning new responsibilities and am in an office that only has like 1/3 the number of officers/staff as WV did. It's quite a change and somedays I actually have to try and find work to keep myself busy, whereas at WV I had more work than I could complete in a day and was constantly on the phone answering calls and questions. I have been told by several people that I am missed over there, and although i miss the majority of the people there, so far I am completely happy where I am. I love that I am getting to grow by being taught new desks and given more reponsibilities. It's a nice much needed change.

So I am sure there is a lot more I can update on, but it is getting late and although it's been a trying time, and I have also had some good times, there really isn't much else I can think to write about for the moment. I am going to try and be better about writing more consistantly. I always say that, and there have been numerous times I have wanted to write, I just never actually dug out the laptop and done so. Now I am gonna try and do it! I really need to, especially since aside from my gratitude journal, I haven't been consistent with any journal writing either, so this at least leaves some record of my life for future generations to enjoy!

Kiss You At the Gate

I saw you standing at the gate
I wanted to run and kiss you again
We'd already said our goodbyes
I thought you had already gone inside
Then you were there, looking at me
I thought, "Should I do it?"
What would he think?
I thought I would go for it
Ready to run
I reached for my buckle
The moment begun
Then you waved and turned around
The moment had passed
I hesitated too long
I imagined the moment as it were a song
I thought of these lines
I wanted to kiss you at the gate
A moment of hesitation, now I'm too late
So instead here's a poem
Written just for you
A moment sometimes is all we get
Don't hesitate for it goes by quick
Life is but a dream

Renee L Conaway