Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sigh...

God is once again moving in my life. It is an incredible comfort to feel His tender touch. Hard to explain, but I know He is near.

It has been an incredibly trying few months and the challenge is far from over. Without going into details I will just say that communication is difficult when the hearer misinterprets our words and actions. Explanations are futile and there is no backtracking to right the perceived wrong. Apologizing would be an admission of guilt, and no amount of regret can take it all away. Only God can right what is wrong and change our hearts and the hearts of those we love. He has done it before and we must trust Him to work once again.

Mom had a tiring day. The reality has sunk in along with the pain. She needs help to dress, wash, and lift herself out of the chair. Eating and brushing her teeth is a challenge as she struggles to use her left hand rather than the dominant and wounded right. Even puzzles, word searches, and reading the newspaper take more effort and concentration. My heart is softening with each task I do for her, and yet I know that being forced to use her left hand over her right is good brain exercise for her so if she is able, I let her do it on her own.

Bethany, bless her heart, came over this morning to help her grandma so I could go out to Ladies' Prayer and Bible study. I won't be leaving Mom home alone for a while to come and so appreciate my family who is so willing to help. God is good and though a broken wrist in certainly painful and I wouldn't ever wish it on anyone, I believe God will use this ugly/beautiful blessing to draw us into a better relationship and I am thankful.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Violet

Mom did not think she needed to see a doctor yesterday, and was fairly certain we were wasting time and money going to the orthopedic office this afternoon. I told her if she was a good girl I would get her a lollipop. "I don't want a lollipop," she said.

The bones in her wrist were slightly out of place and in need of a little adjustment. Her wrist was numbed and pressure applied while the cast was setting. I am relieved I didn't listen to her balking, but I think she is just relieved to be home again.

Mom was asleep in her chair when Emma came home from school.
"Look," I said, "Grandma is turning into a blueberry just like Violet Beauregard. Look at her fingers." Em grinned. "Do you know who that is?" I asked. She smiled and nodded her head.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"It's Just Bruised"

Sometimes, in the back of your head, you just know something is going to happen, and no matter how careful you are, it happens anyway.

Today was cold and icy. On our way out to the van and into church I kept a good watch on Mom and, though she resists, held her arm as she walked. Even Mom herself had said on the way out that she wanted her gloves on so that her hands wouldn't be cold if she fell in the snow. Coming home was the same. Both James and I felt it, so we were relieved to get home and have Mom safe on the back porch. She started up the steps with her friendly oxygen tank...

Fast forward a few hours. She insists her hand doesn't hurt even though it is swollen and purple. "It's just bruised," she says, "I'll be fine." But though her hand "doesn't hurt," she treats it like it does. She climbs onto her bed to rest for the first time in 16 months. James thinks the hand looks terrible. He thinks she should see a doctor. Ben has been going with the local volunteer ambulance corp for the past couple weeks. "Old people always insist they're fine," he says. I talk to Rachel who has just returned from her Florida vacation. "Martha says you hurt your hand," she says to Mom. "I'm coming tomorrow morning to take you to the doctor." Mom is compliant. I decide to take her to Urgent Care instead.

"I feel decrepit," says Mom when we return home. I help her undress and get into her pajamas. I cook her some scrambled eggs and toast, even though she says she can't eat. Finally Mom is tucked into her bed, her hand and arm gently wrapped in a soft cast to keep her fractured wrist stable. I worry that God is preparing to stretch me a little further, to break through some of those walls I don't wish to scale. I worry, but I know He is my strength. And just to prove it, my lunch date for tomorrow had to cancel, leaving me free to take Mom to the orthopedist for a hard cast tomorrow. (How did He know?)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Such Thing

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch...

Yesterday afternoon James and I went out. We stopped at Mom's house to check on things. I set my purse on the sideboard and tucked the house key inside so it wouldn't get lost. After a few minutes we locked the door and headed off for the bank. While waiting for James, I decided to have a piece of gum. I turned around to get my purse and discovered it missing. My purse was locked safely inside my mother's house, along with the only house key in our immediate possession. The other keys were back home at our house, safe but too far to run home for.


We decided to run our errands and go out for lunch anyway. After a quick stop in Walmart, we found a restaurant we thought offered decent salads and went inside. It was late afternoon and not too crazy. We ordered an appetizer and two salads. Midway though my salad, I "crunched" on something no so crunchy. Upon further examination, I found what appeared to be a small plastic screw. It even had the markings for a Phillips head screwdriver on top. Nothing too disturbing on one hand, but not something one hopes to find in a salad either.

The waitress came along to see how everything was and asked if we might care for dessert. We assured her the food had been good, and quietly informed her of my discovery. She went to tell the manager who came out to talk with us and tell us from whence the offending tidbit came. He was very kind and all apologies, and as expected, lunch was on the house.

(The photographs... yesterday afternoon and this morning. Don't like the weather? Just wait a minute.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Nail Tale






We went to visit Bethany and took our basket of nail polish. It was fun. :)
 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feeling Green

Bethany has been feeling green lately... I have been feeling green too, but I am feeling green with growing things and she is feeling pukey. Poor Bethany.

More of my seeds are sprouting. Even seeds that were supposed to take 10 days to germinate are poking their little green selves up through the soil. How fun!  Now if only I had labeled the jars I would know which one was growing.

I have never grown inside vegetables and herbs before. The only time I planted seeds indoors, they grew a fuzzy mold on top of the dirt and eventually the poor little plants keeled over and gave up the fight. I hope that does not happen this time. Maybe one day before too long I will have cilantro, oregano, and parsley growing in my kitchen along with lettuce and spinach.

I wonder what I can plant next?

F is for Fabulous

F is for fabulous. Fantastically fabulous!

I love weddings, especially this one. :)
Getting married is happy, but getting remarried is fabulous! I smile every time I think about it. (That's because I love these two so much! I'm so glad this story has a happy ending.)

To see the other participants in the new round of 
ABC Wednesday, click here!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nothing, Absolutely Nothing

I have nothing to say. No new news to tell, no big happenings to report. No words of wisdom, no silly stories. I guess nothing to terribly exciting happened today, although we did kidnap a couple of girls this afternoon... well, almost. The ransom note had just been written when their mother came home... I tied her up and left her in the corner and took the girls home anyway.

Well, perhaps I should get off my rear end and do something besides stare at this computer screen...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is it Spring Yet?

It's been so sunny and spring-like that it feels like time to plant my garden. Too bad planting time is so far off... I've decided to make the best of it and put a couple of those Clementine boxes to good use. Don't know how successful it'll be, but I can have fun trying.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gone to Pot

Maybe... perhaps... Do you suppose I could have a turn?

:)

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Cat is Outta The Bag!

Yup, that's right! Just 29 weeks to go and it will be the first week of September. Guess the cat had to get out eventually. Well, there you have it! That's our big news.

Almost

I'm almost convinced she plans on starving herself to death.

This Week

This week is almost over. It's been a good week. James and I have embarked on a fruit and vegetable fast. Actually we have also eaten nuts and rice, so it's not completely fruits and veggies. We had a very nice Valentine dinner at home, with sauteed sweet red peppers, onions, and mushrooms with asparagus. I even threw in a handful of slivered almonds for fun (and protein). It's interesting trying to feed the rest of the family "normally" while we eat somewhat different. Good thing everyone loves salad.


Mom and I have worked on a jigsaw puzzle several evenings this week. I find it extremely beneficial if we can do something together, and we both enjoy this. It's not as easy for her as it once was, but she is still able to accomplish enough to feel satisfied that she is doing it. Now if Aunt Margie asks whether she did the puzzle she brought for Christmas, Mom can say yes.

I must say too, that Ladies' Prayer has been a incredible blessing the past few weeks. Just to pray and be prayed for brings such sweet relief. I am ever so thankful that with God there are no denominational lines between churches, and that I am welcome in this Tuesday group in spite of the fact that I am no longer there for Sunday services.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Year of Blessings

Today marks one year since I began my list of One Thousand Gifts. It has been a year of searching, watching, and hoping. Some gifts have "hidden" out in the open, while others are disguised as something other than a blessing. I often find it difficult to be thankful for the painful gifts, the gifts that stretch me beyond my comfort zone, but I know He asks, even waits, for me to thank Him for even the hard eucharisteo.

I am learning old lessons, and I am thankful He is patient while He works His love into my life once again.

1. The wire wheel moments embedded in my memory

48. Sparkles in the sunlight

340. Tears. The only thing of ours He keeps. Cleansing, healing

838. Raincoats and umbrellas

1317. Tiny, brand new granddaughter

2095. Bowl of cereal shared. (Vinnie and Alex helped me eat my breakfast.)

2314. Rain on the roof

2645. Laughter and memories

2840. Bethany feeling sick (the ugly beautiful)


The last one, yeah, that's a good thing. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Smiling

Valentine's Day is full of stories, but the best Valentine story this year is the upcoming marriage of one of my best friends, my sis in law Lori and her ex husband Dave. Next week, on what would have been their 31st wedding anniversary, they will be remarried. I smile every time I think about it. :)

See? Miracles do happen! But I already knew that.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yes, I do know I am a day late, and probably a dollar short as well, but I do appreciate the man who made me his so many years ago. I let far too many special occasions creep up and overtake me before I am ready, so I thought perhaps I could grab this one by the tail before it gets away altogether, and tell you once again how much I love That Man of Mine.

E is for Ew

My daughter and I were driving home yesterday when I asked her if she could think of any good E words for Valentine's day. She looked at me sideways and said, "Ew..." And so here we are. E is for Ew.

I suppose Hannah was thinking of all the mushy stuff that comes along with a holiday dedicated to love, but after all, she is sixteen... Perhaps when she has a special someone of her own, she will decide it isn't "ew". (I don't believe she really thinks so now either, but don't tell her I said so.)


To see the other participants in the new round of 
ABC Wednesday, click here!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Drippy

It was a drippy-doo-da day! All day long water ran off the roof and down the icicles hanging on the front of the house. It would have been a great snowman making day had it been thought of earlier, and definitely a super duper day for a snowball fight. But then again, I am no longer in fifth grade and I do not bounce back from snowball smacks like a fifth grade. I guess the days of snowball wars are sadly behind me.

The snow was pretty yesterday morning (It would have been a wonderful day to be snowed in.) and today was just as beautiful. Today's sun was bright, the skies blue, and the roads clear (unlike yesterday when I drove out to see my niece in her middle school musical), but today I stayed in, aside from my trek down the driveway to the bus stop. Yesterday I drove over snow covered roads and through white-out conditions, today I stayed home. Go figure. I wonder what tomorrow will bring. I'm planning on going out again.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter Surprise

For He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth';
Job 37:6a

It been spring for most of the winter, but this weekend the snow arrived better late than never. Not to be dissuaded by a few inches of snow, we headed out to to church and found it to be somewhat emptier than usual. No surprise, especially since the snow totals were a foot or more by early this afternoon. Even upstate New Yorkers like to have a snow day once in a while.

I had to smile at what my friend Lorrie had to say about the weather this morning...
"Wow good morning " winter " ~ cant believe its the middle of Feb and you still haven't outgrown your beauty"


My snowman fence left me with a grin too. Looks like it got a little too chilly and they pulled the blanket right up to their chins! (I think that snowman has a rather mischievous smile, don't you?)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Abiding Alone

Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5

Could it be that I am  finally reaching a turning point? After a year of trying to do it on my own, have I made it to the place where I finally realize that I can never do this job without Him? Insufficient, incapable, and inept; this is me. Thankfully, I am not alone. He is with me, and He is all-sufficient, more than capable, and totally competent.

I have learned this lesson before. Wasn't it ten years ago when I wrote the note I would find months later, hidden away in my closet? "This dying to self is no fun. Why can't somebody else die once in a while?" It was a lesson in letting go, and here I am learning the lesson all over again with someone different.

Perhaps God leaves us to ourselves, to struggle and fail, in order that we come to the end of ourselves. Maybe He doesn't want it to be easy. Could it be, like giving the old testament law to the Children of Israel, He has given me this job of taking care of Mom, to show me just how much I need Him, and just how much He loves me? I think perhaps that's true.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
Philippians 4:13

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday

1. Feeding Mom regular meals may prove challenging, but sneaking butter into sandwiches and scrambled eggs is pretty simple.

2. After listening to one of the women at Ladies' Prayer on Tuesday, I decided that for all Mom's paraphernalia (glasses, hearing aides, hospital bed, and oxygen concentrator), I can be thankful she doesn't wear dentures.

3. Alex thinks Grandma makes a good playmate, especially if she will help him put his boots on or read him a story.

4. I am still in love with the morning sunshine that floods my living room around 7:30 am, even if I am fighting to keep my eyes open.


5. A morning shower is preferred over an evening shower.

 6. Little things like flowery, old tea cups can bring a smile to my face.

7. It has been a amazingly mild winter, and I am thankful for little to no snow to shovel or traipse through on my way to and from the car. There haven't been too many snowmen hanging around, but that's okay. Maybe we'll find them next year. (Or paint some more fence pieces.)

8. Some- times the picture I take totally by accident turns out to be one of my favorites. (How about those spider webs?)

9. I still love that framed print at the antique store. I still didn't buy it, (I'm not sure where I'd hang it...) but it still makes me happy when I see the photograph. Something about young love, I guess.

10. I am totally thrilled with the long sleeved knit nightgown I got from Land's End this past week. It's a little bigger than I'd anticipated, but oh, so comfy! Being cotton, it did shrink a little when I washed it, so it doesn't feel quite so huge now. Either that or I put on a few pounds overnight.

11. Thirteen thoughts would be nice, but I'm running out of ideas...

12. We ate leftovers from our freezer tonight; spicy green chile stew that Grandmanita made. It sure was good, and it made me miss her all over again.

13. Tomorrow Leta is bringing the kids over for a visit, the first since Christmas. I am so looking forward to wrapping my arms around their little selves, kissing their soft cheeks, and listening to them play. I need to whip up a batch of cookies, I think.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Bird Food

Hannah and I went out today and on our way home I decided to get rid of the two bags of old bread I had tossed into the back seat the other day. I knew someone who would appreciate stale bread.

When we arrived at the boat launch there was a crowd to greet us. Everyone hooted, hollered, and squawked a grand welcome. Hannah rolled down her window and tossed out a chunk of bread.
The crowd went wild! They even hopped up on the hood of the van and stared at us through the windshield. They sat on top of the van and bobbed their silly heads up and down. They flew circles over our heads.

I got out of the van to face the noisy brood. Here and there were folks not quite so boisterous as the welcoming committee. Surrounded by the screeching pack, this fellow appeared almost docile...

Hannah stayed in the shelter of the van. She prefers not to fight the crowd, though she did toss a few chucks of bread up to some hopeful bystanders. Later she beeped the horn a few times and even turned on the wipers in the hope of convincing the gawkers to stay off the vehicle.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Repurposed Shelves


I have new shelves in my living room. They aren't new in the sense of coming from the store, they are just new to being shelves. In a previous life they were table leaves, and they can still be table leaves again one day, if so desired, however, I do like them as shelves. Stay tuned as I fill them up with photos, artwork, and other neat stuff.

D is for Dessert

D is for dessert, in this case blueberry pie.

Because we have berry bushes, we have a freezer containing more blueberries than I care to imagine. I was happy to bake pies for this past Sunday's fellowship dinner at church. I didn't even have to eat a piece! Though I love dessert, I don't bake often. Dessert isn't good for my diet.

To see the other participants in the new round of 
ABC Wednesday, click here!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Snowdrops

My flower gardens, the outside ones, are sprouting. Is that allowed in February?

Oh, Monday

After a weekend of different activity, different than weekdays that is, Mondays bring a flurry of household chores. I've taken the recyclables to the curb (including that stash of Marley bottles my boys had hoarded away), washed several loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and... ta da! made Mom breakfast; scrambled eggs with red bell pepper and cheese, a pumpkin muffin, and a glass of cranberry/grape juice.

Alex played dishes with Aunt Margie who came to visit Mom, ate his lunch, and has been read two naptime stories, Go, Dog, Go and Peter Rabbit, both good books for little boys. He also managed this morning to scatter the basket of Beanie Babies, disperse all the Cutting Food across the carpet, and drive several small trucks and farm equipment over the windowsills and from one end of the room to the other.


The sun is shining and it feels like spring. Mom thinks it's a long wait for spring, but if the weather we've been having keeps up, we'll be looking for shorts and T-shirts by March. My snowdrops think it's time to bloom and I spotted the "first" robin a month ago. I almost took Alex out for a walk this morning, but I had work to do instead.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Weight a Minute!

My mom has managed to lose another 3 pounds since her last doctor appointment. I can't seem to get the weight off, and she can't keep it on. Something about this just isn't right. Something must be done, and it looks like it's up to me to do it... for both of us.

Because she rises at different times each day, I have left it to Mom to find her own breakfast. It seemed simple enough to me, but she typically doesn't eat breakfast, even cereal, until about noon, just as I am getting lunch for the kids. This throws off giving her lunch and so she typically grabs a yogurt halfway through the afternoon, usually when I am taking a break and Alex is resting. Mom eats whatever we are having for supper, but salad is her favorite and if she is to have seconds, she will go for the salad before another helping of mashed potatoes.

This afternoon I cooked up a batch of gluten-free pumpkin muffins, and I plan to make her eggs at least a few times each week. (She will eat what we put in front of her and she isn't picky.) On the morning when I may be out, I'm hoping to leave her a hearty muffin, a fresh banana, and maybe a big glass of fruit juice. If I can get her to eat a good breakfast at a decent time, then maybe she will get a good lunch in too.

She rarely turns down ice cream or a cookie, just the things I would prefer to keep out of my line of vision. I'll let her eat mine.