Helping women with chronic illnesses

Special Surprise

The following post is a bit long but please stick with it. There was no shorter way I could think of to do justice to this heartwarming story.


The eye of a thoughtful woman

On Friday I received a very special surprise in the mail. First, I need to provide some background.


For many months now, Jannie Funster and I have had a running joke. I can’t even remember exactly how it started but Jannie started it in a blog comment to me. I’m pretty sure it was on her blog that she started it but she has made references to it in blog comments here as well. Anyway, let me preface this by saying that Jannie is one of those very unique individuals who can make just about anything funny. If any of you are Robin Williams fans like I am, you know how he can turn seemingly “unfunny” things into something funny. Well, Jannie can do that as well.

Preceding the start of the running joke, Jannie and I had communicated “offline” from the blogs, back and forth, via email. Through a combination of what she had emailed me and what she has written on her blog, I knew that she grew up on a farm in Canada and that one of the tasks she had back then was to chop wood. (She lives in Texas now. Some of you may have seen her commenting about how hot it is where she lives this summer).

Anyway, one day when I needed comforting about pain or something… Jannie started this joke about how she was going to play lumberjack and split me some wood and deliver it to me. That’s how she was going to make me feel better. Many times when I posted about not feeling well, Jannie would reply that my wood shipment would be arriving soon, or something to that effect. Other times, when I did or said something that Jannie liked, such as plug her awesome CD, she would come back with, “I’ll be sending you some wood”.


Now, in the months that Jannie has been joking about sending me wood, I had a certain image in my mind (see above). After all, we were discussing an imaginary wood shipment.

Some of the wood jokes were in blog comments on Jannie Funster’s blog and some were here. There were quite a few of these jokes over many months. Then a couple of weeks ago, Jannie posted a blog comment about how she had shipped me some wood. Well, as you can imagine, I thought Jannie was joking around. After all, she is The Funster. She makes it her job to help people find the fun in things. So, I didn’t take her literally. After all, how could she possibly be shipping me wood from Texas to New York? It must be a joke, right? Stay tuned for the answer.

Let me stop at this juncture to inform readers about Jannie’s CD. While many of you have already heard about it on my blog, some of you may not have.


You can reach the site to order Jannie Funster’s awesome CD by clicking HERE.

There is one more bit of background knowledge I must share for those who are new to my blog. (Anyone who is a longtime reader here already knows that I’m a huge Tori Amos fan… See previous Tori posts – or other references such as quotes – HERE if you haven’t seen them already).

So what do the wood and Tori Amos have to do with anything? It’s all connected to the special package I received on Friday.


You see… I was too unimaginative to understand that it is, indeed, possible to ship wood from Texas to New York more easily than I had thought.



The penny is there for perspective. See? She literally shipped me some wood. She even tied the bundle up in a bow. Can you believe it? Is she funny or what?!

There’s more. In addition to shipping me the long-promised wood, Jannie shipped me something that instantly turned me misty-eyed and speechless. (I am sure some of you reading this will know how odd it is for anything to render me speechless).

Yes, Jannie found a way to accommodate the rabid Tori fan in me. This is quite a feat in light of the fact that I now have every Tori Amos CD there is. (In May, my husband got me the long-desired Tori Amos boxed set as an 11th wedding anniversary gift). Jannie knows how treasured music is in this house. So, how brilliant is this? She sent me a copy of Tori Amos Anthology, a 203 page book of sheet music of Tori Amos’ songs (with pictures too)!!! Can you believe it?


She signed on the first page of the book, as pictured above. The fine print is difficult to read in the scanned image but under “Tori Amos Anthology“, it says:

“Her life in music. A compilation of 25 songs from all facets of an extraordinary musical career”.

It is then signed by Jannie —

To: Dear Jeanne
Love: Jannie xo
July 9, 2009

Can you believe it? She had made a couple of blog comments about shipping something to me and I thought she was joking and the next thing I know, I have the elusive wood shipment sitting (in the palm of my hand!) plus the Tori Amos Anthology book I had seen a couple of years back and was planning on purchasing but hadn’t yet.

Could she possibly be any nicer? I think not. For no reason at all, she sent me a gift. A gift that made me laugh and a gift that made me cry (happy tears).

If you have yet to experience Jannie’s wonderful CD, here’s that link to it one more time. I highly recommend it!

Jannie Funster’s music

Jannie Funster is one thoughtful, kind, creative woman who touches many hearts and souls every day. I am very thankful to be surrounded by some unusually thoughtful blogger friends… Jannie included. I am grateful to be supported every single day in my healing journey. I can’t thank Jannie enough for thinking of me and just being so very thoughtful. This was a really special delivery.

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

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Reading: Special Surprise


1 Melissa RalstonNo Gravatar { 07.20.09 at 6:14 am }

J –

What an amazing gift from what I’m sure is an amazing friendship. I’m glad that this had lifted your spirits as I know how difficult the past few weeks have been for you. I know how difficult it must be for K to be out of school and home with you most days when all you really *want* to do is rest. I say want even though I know that what you really want is to be healthy enough to be doing stuff with K, but given your current physical state, rest is what you really need/desire/want physically, even if you don’t really want it psychologically.

It’s so amazing the power of friendship that has developed over the internet. Everyday I am reminded of how “lucky” I am to have chronic illnesses or surely I would never have met half the fabulous people I have. Every day I meet someone new, and it changes me just a little bit more. I’m currently in search of the perfect thing to send back to you after the beautiful card that you have had air delivered to me. Maybe I’ll send it by pigeon, lol.

I do hope that in the midst of your wood and Tori excitement that you are getting rest. With our lack of communication over the past couple days, I’m going to assume that that is what you are doing. Or at least I hope. Things here are holding their own… No better, no worse. Tomorrow is another IV day. Lucky me.

.-= Melissa Ralston´s last blog ..The Fertility Journey: Dreaded Thursdays =-.

2 YayaNo Gravatar { 07.20.09 at 6:47 am }

Oh my gosh! That is so amazing!!!!! And how funny, the bundle of wood, I absolutely love it! That book looks amazing and right up your alley. The people I have met blogging are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. Their kindness and generosity is always amazing me.
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..Friday Fragments/Focus Friday =-.

3 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 07.20.09 at 7:36 am }

Ahhh, shucks and all that jazz.

I know Tori is a very nice person and I sat down at my writing desk one day and asked myself, “What wood Tori do?” And it became clear I must send that book to one who wood deeply appreciate it.


P.S. Our joke started from your comment on one of my “Like A Bord On A Wire” posts over my typo “I give you my wood on this.”

.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Yep, Problogger Darren Rowse And Me – We’re Like This. Like This, I Tell Ya. =-.

4 JeanneNo Gravatar { 07.20.09 at 10:38 am }


The friendship Jannie and I have really is amazing. She is such a fantastic person and I am grateful to have met her. She found my blog many months ago and I am thankful because she is very special indeed! While the last few weeks has been difficult, without a doubt, (thanks to being so ill) it is certainly not tied to K being out of school. She is nothing but a help and a joy and it’s probably easier to get rest with her company. While I’m certainly not healthy enough to do all the things I want to do, I have gotten pretty creative at finding ways to bond with and spend time with her that are restful. Our summer project is reading the Harry Potter books together (out loud to each other). For me, lying down and reading these books is about as restful as it gets. She loves it. So needing to rest doesn’t mean I can’t spend time with her doing something enjoyable. Trust me, I am getting enough rest.

It really is amazing the power of friendship that has developed over the Internet. I too think myself “lucky” to have chronic illnesses (sounds strange, I know… yet, I know you “get it”) because being chronically ill has connected me with many people who are, to use your word, FABULOUS! I never would have met them any other way. Obviously I would prefer to be healthy over being sick. At the same time, I can appreciate how fortunate I am to have gotten connected with so very many kind, caring, and supportive people. I too keep meeting more wonderful people each day and it really is exciting to get to know other people who “get it”. It really does change who we are when we meet others to touch our hearts, teach us new things, and give us hope. As far as the card is concerned, you certainly don’t need to search for something to send me back. The nicest thing you can do for me right now is rest. 🙂

Honestly, I just used regular U.S. mail. If it arrived by air, that was the post office’s decision. Maybe that’s standard procedure for U.S. to Canada mail. I don’t know. I just don’t want you thinking I did anything fancy because I honestly sent it regular mail. Again, what I really hope for you is to rest, rest, rest. I know you’re tired of resting but I also know that rest is what you need right now. Your doctors (not to mention your body) have made that pretty clear.

Yes, I am getting rest, rest, rest. I simply could not rest until I got this posted but I am now back to rest mode. I can assure you. Yes, plenty of rest. Sorry things aren’t any better but glad they are not any worse. Good luck with IV day. You’ll get through it. You’re getting good at this with all the practice you’ve had.



I know! Isn’t is amazing????? Yes, the bundle of wood just cracked me up! Is she creative or what? I just love it! Who could imagine she’d be able to make good on her promise to deliver me some wood? She is a total riot! Yes, that Tori book is absolutely right up my alley! I had seen it awhile back and made a mental note to get it down the line. Before I could even do so, the book just arrived at my house… thanks to Jannie. It blew me away! Yes, the people I have met blogging truly are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known as well. I totally agree. There really is an enormous amount of kindness and generosity in the blogging community. It’s all mind-boggling, isn’t it? It’s constantly amazing me too. Jannie is one of those very special people that I have been blessed to meet since I started blogging. She is truly amazing!



You are too funny.

True. Tori is a nice person. Having met her in person, she is amazingly down-to-Earth and accessible to fans. I just love Tori!

“What wood Tori do?” Oh, Jannie. You just crack me up. Well, you succeeded in sending the book to someone who “wood” appreciate it. You are too funny. What “wood” I do without you? Life just “wood” not be the same. I’m not sure if there is a person on the planet who “wood” appreciate that book as much as I do (though I’m sure plenty are tied with me for first place). You “wood” be hard pressed to find someone who “wood” appreciate it more.


P.S. Holy cow. Is that a photographic memory at work? How on Earth do you remember how the wood joke got started? You are too funny. Well, I’ll remember this act of kindness until I’m on my deathbed. Once there, I will recount how happy I was when my beloved Jannie Funster was featured on ProBlogger. (Readers, see comments on Jannie’s ProBlogger post to put all this into context). I will tell all who will listen about the day Jannie’s traffic shot up to 1,000 uniques for two days in a row. I will tell them, with a smile on my face, about how I won a copy of ProBlogger in a blog giveaway but I already had a copy and how I asked my dear Jannie if she’d like it instead. I will die knowing that I made a bloggy difference in Jannie’s life and (gasp) that I may have even been a stepping stone to her being featured on ProBlogger by Darren Rowse. I will revel in the fact that Jannie’s 15 minutes of fame on ProBlogger may have been tied in some way to having gotten the book first. I will die satisfied that I helped Jannie Funster attain fame… thus helping millions since her music, poetry, and jokes are a healing tonic!!! I will die a happy woman. If laughter is the best medicine, then informing the world about Jannie Funster is an important mission that I take seriously. As far as typos are concerned, your typo posts are hilarious. Jannie, I give you my “wood” on this.



5 AmandaNo Gravatar { 07.20.09 at 2:12 pm }

What a beautiful gift and so funny and thoughtful as well as being so uplifting and kind! Aren’t you a lucky lady?! Glad to hear you received something that really made you smile, which I know can be so hard when you’re feeling really low! Hope you are taking good care of yourself xx
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Changes =-.

6 JasmineNo Gravatar { 07.20.09 at 5:35 pm }

How sweet and thoughtful! I love how the inside joke manifested into reality 🙂
.-= Jasmine´s last blog ..The Vestibular System =-.

7 JeanneNo Gravatar { 07.24.09 at 7:29 pm }


I got a new server today… I thought I’d already replied to your comment before the switchover but maybe I’m remembering wrong. So, if you’re getting a duplicate reply, that’s why.

Yes, I quite agree. Funny, thoughtful, beautiful, uplifting, and kind! Yes, I am very grateful to have such wonderful friends both on and offline. I am very fortunate. It really did make me smile. I really have not been feeling well but I’m actually not feeling what I’d call “low” about it. More frustrated than anything. Saw Dr. today and hopefully we’re on the right track now. Thanks!


8 JeanneNo Gravatar { 07.24.09 at 7:30 pm }


I got a new server today due to problems with too many outages… I thought I’d already replied to your comment before the switchover but maybe I’m remembering wrong. So, if you’re getting a duplicate reply, that’s why.

Yes, sweet & thoughtful for sure. Me too. 🙂



9 JasmineNo Gravatar { 07.24.09 at 9:07 pm }

No problemo Jeanne.
.-= Jasmine´s last blog ..The Vestibular System =-.

10 JeanneNo Gravatar { 07.24.09 at 9:32 pm }


I’m so glad to be off that server. It was nothing but trouble, outages, and even a hacking incident. I’m just so happy to be on a new server. That one was slowing me down in a big way.


11 Peace Sign — { 08.11.09 at 8:56 am }

[…] recently shipped me some wood for my wood stove as blogged about HERE. I figured she should be able to see the chimney of the wood stove that will be burning her […]

12 PoobaNo Gravatar { 12.27.09 at 8:43 pm }

So that’s how you got the Anthology music! I have the same one! I love it, I also have Little Earthquakes piano book as well. The first song I learned how to play is Winter, your daughter would love playing that one!

I think you need to do a You Tube video of your daughter playing the 2 recorders and the piano, that would be amazing! I can’t wait until she tries out the Tori music, she will just love it!
.-= Pooba´s last blog ..Stacy Rocks! Like A lot. No Really, Stacy Is The Shizzle. That’s Right, I Said Shizzle. =-.

13 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.27.09 at 10:13 pm }


Yes, Jannie Funster was the generous person who sent us the Tori Anthology. (You should check out her hilarious blog. You’d love it)!

That book from Jannie was such a nice surprise! I wondered when you said you had sheet music if you had that book too. So, is the Winter version the same in each of the two sheet music books you have? It is so funny that you mentioned having started with playing Winter because my husband just copied that exact song (and only that song) from Tori Amos Anthology hoping that she might start with that. I’m glad to hear it’s a good one to start with.

I am positive she could do it. She is just accustomed to playing what her piano teacher assigns. Period. So, she has this idea that playing Tori’s music is going to be “too hard”. I think it’s because she has seen so much Tori video (some of which is pretty complicated and intense) that she thinks it’s beyond her ability right now. I have no doubt she could play Winter.

As far as the video idea, we don’t put pictures of her online. In a year and a half of blogging, I have seen enough to not feel comfortable posting pictures of her. I don’t know if you’ve read any of my posts about the identity theft incident where my face, my name (one letter off from my screen name), and my blog link were used on Twitter by someone who posed as me and purposely confused those with whom I was connected on Twitter. I actually started a link in my left sidebar called “Why I Left Twitter” and I plan to add to it as I am able. It was quite an ordeal.

I’m sure she will love playing the Tori music. Once she finally gets started on it, we’ll probably have the reverse problem. In other words, she’ll probably only want to play Tori and not want to play the songs she’s supposed to practice out of her lesson book. 🙂


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