Thursday, January 31, 2013

Here Am I, Send Rachel

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Is. 6:8

Lest you think I am shirking my responsibilities or attempting to shrug them off on someone else, let me tell you that is not so. I am simply being a little more honest today. It's a big job and a heavy responsibility, one I am not always certain I can handle. Thankfully, I have Someone bigger who can handle anything that comes along. Without His help I would be totally lost.

Mom arrived here a little over two years ago needing help with her med- ication, someone to do her shopping and cart her around, and a bit of company. She was forgetful and often left us scratching our heads, but we hadn't yet lived with her day to day. Now we realize she needs so much more. After filling her pill box, I hide her medication high in the cupboard, setting it out individually for her each morning and evening rather than letting her take it herself. Not only must I ensure she remembers to take it, but also that she doesn't take a double dose. Quite often I find that although I have set it out for her, she has forgotten it altogether and gone to bed without taking it. Then I go in, wake her up, hand her the pills, and make sure she swallows them. I help her with showers, wash her laundry, and fix her meals. I buy her puzzles and word search books, purchase her Hazelnut Cafe powdered coffee drink, and make sure her prescriptions are filled. I've started making doctor appointments and, this month, have provided transportation to at least four. I check her hearing aides, keep track of her oxygen supply, and carry her tank when we go out. I pay her bills, at least most of them, and attempt to keep track of her finances. I chase her out of the kitchen during nap time, give her "what for" when she messes with the wood stove, and answer repeated questions.

I'm not always patient, I often roll my eyes, and sometimes I long for an escape. That's just being honest, but God is working something bigger in me than I can see. If I always had it easy, I would always take it easy. If I had all the time in the world to do my own thing, I would. I wouldn't grow in grace and I most likely would still think I had it pretty much all together. Now I know I don't, and I also know He's still putting the pieces of my life together the way He wants them. He has a better plan than me.

(How do you like that nice looking loaf of gluten free bread? Have I told you how yummy it is? It's just too yummy. I'll never lose my baby fat with that in the kitchen!)

Just Stuff

Mom's first cataract surgery is scheduled for mid February with the second one following about three weeks later. She should be all fixed up before James and I head to Minnesota for our oldest son's wedding at the end of April. It will be several weeks of daily eye drops starting a few days before the first surgery and continuing on into the recovery process. I can do this. I have done it before and I got to be pretty good at administering eye drops. Still, I am somehow not looking forward to the process. I am, however, looking forward to the end result.

We had spring in upstate NY yesterday. Temper- ature records were shattered, 98% of accumulated snow and ice melted, and it was downright balmy. (I can actually walk down the driveway without fear of losing my footing. The ice is gone.) We knew the warm weather couldn't last. A cold front is blowing in once more bringing ferocious winds and temperatures promising to plummet us back into winter.

These two photos were taken about 20 minutes apart. The morning sun, des- perately trying to shine, was rendered unsuccessful when the storm clouds moved in. With the dark, gloomy, atmosphere and the winds whipping about the house, it will be a good day for a nice, long, afternoon nap. Or maybe a morning one. ;)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

C is for Cry

C is for Cry.

Babies cry. They cry a lot. That is how they communicate.

Little people cry too, especially when they want something.  

Sometimes even big people cry.

I have a headache and would like to cry, but I'm afraid that would only make matters worse. It would probably be better if I just went to bed instead.

For more ABC Wednesday, click here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ordinary Heros

There are times when our offspring embarrass or exasperate us, and other times when they do us proud. I have boys like that. Years ago my second born was on his way home from a late night working at a local restaurant. It was winter and the snowmobiles were out riding the drifts and snowbanks. As Dave and his friend rounded a curve in the friend's car an individual on a snowmobile ran into them. The wounded man lay in the middle of the road, unable to move and vulnerable to approaching traffic. Dave thought quick, and though he knew the injured ideally shouldn't be moved, he gently linked his own arms underneath the man's shoulders, pulled him out of the road, and waited until the ambulance arrived.

Yesterday Ben witnessed another accident. While most people pulled their vehicles around the scene and continued without stopping, Ben stopped his truck, turned on the flashers, and got out to see if the injured woman was okay. Because of his experience riding with the local ambulance crew, he was able to let her know someone was there and ask her a few questions. Thankfully, though she initially looked incoherent, she knew who she was and what had happened. The police officer who eventually arrived on the scene however, was not impressed. He told him to stop trying to be a hero and leave or he'd give him a ticket. He had no idea that Ben has any experience with an ambulance crew and Ben had left his EMT jacket home hanging on a hook. I'm sure Ben just looked like a nosy kid to him, but I still think he's a hero.

Monday, January 28, 2013

That Mother of Mine

It's been a busy month of appointments for Mom. She hasn't been happy to go out to any of them and typically mutters about not wanting to go out, not needing to go, and just wanting to stay home. I can't say as I blame her too much when the weather is as cold as it was Thursday. That's the day I took her out to the Hearing Center. Thankfully the trip was a success. Mom has new tubes on her devices and I am better tuned in to where the volume should be set. Her hearing aides still protest when she gets her hands up by them, but they are much tamer (and quieter) for the most part.
Tomorrow we will be heading out to the ophthalmologist. Mom still thinks she can see just fine (with level 4 cataracts), but since her appointment with her general practitioner, who offered reassuring words and encouragement regarding cataract surgery, she is a little more agreeable. I even got ahead of myself and picked up another new puzzle to do with her, and we've already started it. Puzzles are really the best activity for doing together and I am much looking forward to her renewed ability to see. Maybe I'll even put a bird feeder outside her window.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What a Difference a Week Makes

It's been an extremely cold week with temp- eratures well below freezing, the kind of weather that blows cold through one's clothing and straight to the insides. It makes me shiver from the inside out. We've had wind and snow, fires in the wood stove, and excessively beautiful landscapes. A far cry from my mild weather weekend trek around the bay last weekend.

James and I went out together this afternoon, shared lunch at Appleby's (we remem- bered the coupon this time), had the car washed, and wandered down to the lake again. This time the beach was snow-covered, the wind biting, and the outlet choked with ice and snow. A different kind of pretty.

It's going to warm up again this week, at least that's what they say. By Wednesday it should be feeling like spring all over again. We'd better enjoy it because Thursday will find us right back down to a high of freezing. In the meantime we're expecting a bit of snow, ice, and rain for tomorrow. Well, at least it's never boring.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Browsing Again

What I really love to do in antique shops is browse. Today was a browsing day and I especially loved one little booth at the front of the antique mall. Of all the little nooks and crannies in the entire building, this was my favorite. I didn't buy anything there, just drank in the shapes and colors, and of course, took a photograph. Who could resist? (I think these pictures would make great jigsaw puzzles.)

Before I left home this morning I looked up the place where I bought my last pair of alpaca mittens and found they had a booth in the exact location I was heading. I took the lonely mitten still in my possession (I lost its mate last January) and found another pair in exactly the same size and color. Now I have three mittens instead of one. Better to have an extra, just in case. My hands will be happy again and I have a whole family of mittens rather than just a couple. (Isn't that sweet?)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paintings in the Attic

My father's aunts were painters. They aren't world famous, and they don't show up on the list of American Painters, but their artwork is still treasured. On the wall in Mom's room hangs a painting of an old mill in Ashantee NY. In the bottom corner is the artist's name, H. Torpey. It has been in my parent's possession for many years. Some of Aunt Harriet's grandchildren had never seen it.

When we moved Mom from her own house to ours, a couple more of Aunt Harriet's paintings came along, but rather than be hung on the wall, they were stowed in the attic of our barn. The other day I went in search of them and brought them into the house; two elongated, yellow floral paintings.

I took their pictures. I posted them on Facebook and tagged my second cousins. They were delighted and the father of one asked to photograph them and add them to his "Harriet Torpey Artwork Collection". In March, when they return from Florida, I will take the paintings to his house and we will enjoy a visit. I'm rather looking forward to it.

My online search lead me to another painting. I'm not the only one posting her artwork. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

B is for Books

B is for books (and I am late posting because our internet cable was dangling from the side of the house earlier this week).

One of my Christmas presents this year was a $50 gift card for Barnes and Noble. Although I no longer do much reading myself, I have a daughter who thoroughly enjoys reading classic literature. One of her favorite authors is Charles Dickens. She has read Great Expectations at least twice and maybe David Copperfield as well. On my first trip to the book store I was alone and in search of Les Miserables, and since there was a buy two get one free sale I chose two more classics for Hannah, Nicolas Nickleby by Dickens and Emma by Jane Austen  .

The following Saturday we had even more fun. She went with me and we perused both the classics and the wonderful 50% off sales. Big red circles on the spine of the books told us what was on clearance. We looked the clearance tables over carefully and made our selections. Two volumes of Sherlock Holmes, The Count of Monte Christo, Dicken's A Christmas Carol, and two not so classic books as well. It was like Christmas all over again! I think perhaps Hannah and I have enough reading material to last until next Christmas.

For more ABC Wednesday, click here.

This Week

It's been an unusual week. We lost our internet cable and were without internet access and telephone service for a few days. The cable was literally snapped and dangling down the side oft he house. We had to wait for the repairman to come out in the sub-zero windchill to fix it yesterday afternoon. I felt bad for him but he did have a nice facewarmer thing to wear. Sofie found it rather distressing and let us know she was not liking it, but all she could do was bark and whine from inside the house. Stupid dog.

Ben's car is giving him grief again. He took my van to work Tuesday and Wednesday which left me staying home from Ladies' Prayer and Bible Study on Tuesday. I was more distressed at missing that than being without my van, phone or internet. I will miss it again next week when I take Mom to the ophthalmologist.

Today I have my van and James took Ben to work, or at least to meet someone else who would take him from Webster. I am taking Mom to the Hearing Center. Hopefully they can give me some pointers on how to keep her hearing aides from screeching and squealing randomly throughout the day. I don't know why they don't make noise at Rachel's house and are incessantly noisy here,

It's been rather cold outside this week thanks to a cold, Canadian air mass that descended upon us early Sunday morning. I could complain about the frigid temperatures, but then again Minnesota is much colder than us and so I will refrain. Instead I I shall be grateful for warm clothes, a working furnace, and the woodpile on my back porch. You already know I am thankful for coffee.

Finally, please pray for my nephew Shane who was friends with the young man in Albuquerque. Tragedies of this magnitude are hard enough for adults to wrap their minds around. My heart is grieved for my family members who are personal friends of the family. So much of this story mirrors the tragedy here a year ago that I find myself inexplicably introspective.

Last Saturday we had no snow. Sunday and Monday we had no snow. Yesterday and today have found us back in the throes of winter. Everything is clean and white.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No Service

No internet service until at least tomorrow night, Our outside cable is snapped and laying on the front steps. No fixing that with any telephone technician.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Coffee Anyone?

My stop in Goodwill yesterday found me staring at coffee cups. My husband thinks I have a "problem" when it comes to coffee cups. He thinks our cupboard has too many in it. I think we just need a bigger cupboard... or maybe some handy dandy hooks from which to hang our nifty coffee cups.

However, the cups I found myself gazing at yesterday were not the ordinary, everyday kind. They look just like my favorite coffee cup. Of course, they weren't wearing the magic pink ticket, but still $2 seemed a good price. I didn't take all seven, just a nice set of four (or two sets of two). If nothing else, they'll make nice gifts for someone. :)

I wonder what else I could pack in the box?

I'm wearing my "pink tag" sweatshirt today. It's nice and comfy and says "Miracle Mountain Ranch" on the front and is dark navy blue. I like it. It's a keeper. Last night I sat down to read the book I purchased for $.99, a nice hardcover copy of "Chrysanthemum". What a cute story! I think i know just why my sister recommended it to me years back and I think Petra will like it too. And finally, a little creamer caught my attention. I've acquired a nice little collection of those. They live on my repurposed table leaf shelves and hold things like wildflower bouquets and leftover candy canes, and I like them.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Martha's Day Off

I went out alone today. Not even Hannah was with me. It was a highly unusual occurr- ence. I decided to wander about, lollygag in second hand shops, and take my own sweet time in the grocery store. My gallivanting took me to Webster and around Irondequoit Bay, and today I had my camera along with no one to tell me I should put it away or look at me funny when I took it out.

I stopped into both Volun- teers of America and Goodwill. It was "pink tag" day at Goodwill. I found some lovely coffee mugs, but they had purple tags. Still, they were calling my name and somehow hopped into my cart even though they weren't 50% off. They brought a friendly creamer along as well as a book called "Chrysanthemum".

I found nothing too exciting in the antique shop, just that Fisher Price chicken that caught my eye and left me smiling over a year ago. I did like the two little dogs who were running about and greeting customers, but they weren't for sale.

The antique shop took me to the south end of the bay. Since I'd thought about stopping at the other end, up by the lake, my picture taking started across from All That Jazz. Along the way I took a little detour down a couple of the old roads that twist and turn their way down to the bay shore and found myself not far from the bridge over the bay. It seems not so long ago that Dad took us out in the boat and we went right under it. It was pretty impressive to a four or five year old.

I finally made it up to the lake where the water looked blue green due to the waves. It reminded me of the ocean. Thankfully, it was a rather mild day. Though it wasn't too cold, walking along the pier alone is really not my idea of fun, and the bread I had in the car to feed the birds had grown moldy. I didn't stay long.

I drove across the bridge and past the burned out foundations where the two firefighters died on Christmas eve morning and back into Webster. I think it will always be hard to drive that section of road, and yet perhaps it is good to remember too.

After my stop at the grocery store, I stopped at a second Goodwill where I found just what I was looking for, a dark blue pullover sweatshirt, and guess what? It had a pink tag!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Behind the Times

I just now realized my last post is from yester- day... Yes, I am blond, and it has been a rather busy week. My little darling, in spite of her relapse on Wednesday, is doing a wonderful job on potty training. I think the worst of it is behind us now. (Potty training posts don't appear very popular, so this will be the last I post on this particular venture)

My diet took a little detour this week when I made a batch of gluten free bagels. Those carbs sneaked back in when I let down my guard, but tomorrow is another day. I made a pot of chicken vegetable soup for dinner tonight and was able to enjoy a slice of soft, fresh bread and peanut butter along with it. Soon I will be back to lean meats and veggies again. The water consumption is still going along pretty well even if I do still like my coffee. What I really need is to get off my hinder and do something.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

3X Thursday

I decided to reach back in time and find some questions Kristina wasn't asking this week. I reached back for a photograph too. :)

1. What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator?
2.Whom do you most look like in your family?
3. Do you talk to yourself?

Just Thinkin'

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. 
Philippians 4:8

It comes back time and again, this scripture. When the world seems to have been turned upside down and dropped on its head, God has an answer for our troubled hearts and minds. He's already told us to be anxious for nothing, to bring our concerns before him "with thanksgiving" and that His peace, a peace the world can't understand, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ.

Our society is consumed with gun control. Either they are absolutely for it or totally against it. Either way it appears to be the topic of great conversation. We can't win really. It seems we are doomed either to deranged killers with assault guns or tyrannical dictators who want to take away our weapons, and yet God calls us to relax and think on pleasant things...

Maybe I'll make some cookies.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Adventures in Potty Training

I honestly found it miraculous. Rocky came back from the weekend in underpants and eager to show me what a big girl she really is. For two days we had absolutely no accidents at all and I breathed a sigh of relief, however, as a veteran mom, I know that the job rarely happens without a setback or two of one kind or another, and we hadn't yet had any pooping episodes... until today.

It is a good thing I inherited my father's keen sense of smell because twice this morning I smelled something foul. The first time I was very nice and patiently explained that "poop does not belong in underpants. It belongs in the potty." Then she went and peed in there just to confound me about how to punish or reward her. I decided to be lenient and reward the effort to at least pee where it belonged. The second time I was not quite so nice and let her know I was not pleased with the deposit. No sticker, no MnM's, and no washing of hands under running water. We used hand sanitizer instead. (Hey, some kids just like to play in the water and this was a hint offered me by someone experienced with the woes of toilet training.)

Score today; two for the potty, two for the pants. Hopefully next time the results will be more agreeable.

Update- 12:20 pm  Okay, so perhaps we're having a bit of a relapse today. I suppose I could consider this good in the long run, because I really do know that most kids have one before they are finished training. We had two totally excellent days (hooray!), which made my week a whole lot more tolerable. Must remember to count the blessings. I have baby wipes to clean up messes, a washing machine and drier for wet/soiled clothes, and extra pants and undies for one small child. Yeah, I think I can deal with this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A is for Age

A is for age.

Age is a lovely thing when one is young. We eagerly anticipate each and every birthday and proudly learn to hold up the proper number of fingers to signify our age when inquiring folks question. The turning of years brings new freedoms and responsibilities; we go to school, learn to read, take off on a bicycle ride, find odd jobs, and eventually acquire the skills to move out on our own. We get jobs, drive cars, find homes, and raise families. We make grown up decisions and dole out advice. Then one day we realize that the numbers which make up age are rising much faster than we ever anticipated. We flail for the brake lever but find that life is rolling ahead at full tilt. There is no slowing this barreling locomotive.

It doesn't seem long ago that my own parents neared the fifty year mark. I recall thinking then, "Fifty really isn't so old..." After all my parents still seemed young. Then came 60, and 70. Dad never made it to 80, but 80 was sounding younger and younger with the passing of time. Dad just didn't seem old. It's been three years now since he moved on, and Mom is fast approaching her eighties, but while Dad seemed young and strong, Mom struggles.

I have decided to face the dreaded "mid-life crisis" by refusing to age. (Some of my friends are well aware of this.) I celebrated my 40th birthday with a surprise party (thrown by My Darling and his sister) and it was a wonderful day. I counted the following five years and enjoyed each added one, but when I arrived at the wonderful age of 45, I decided I'd aged enough. The following year I began to count backward and it's been working out great! I don't feel a day over 42 and I'm heading straight for 41 again in March. I can hardly wait!!!

For more ABC Wednesday, click here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Browsing the Antique Shops

James and I ventured out into the warm and sunny afternoon yesterday. I'd wanted to visit a local antique shop and he decided to come along. It was nice to have him for company as we browsed. I often find myself amused at what certain dealers collect. Personality and preference show up on shelves and in displays. Sometimes I am less than impressed, and other times I find myself inexplicably amused and attracted. I had my camera along on yesterday's trip, but left it in the van. Not wanting to discourage my husband's presence, I decided it best to enjoy his company instead.

Oft times my antique store browsing is just that, browsing. I don't typically have anything in mind when I go in, and I usually leave empty handed as well, but yesterday I was looking for a particular item, a pastry blender. I found an old one with a wooden handle and another with a rubbery handle that looked brand new. For those of us who like to mix up our own pie crusts, this simple, little tool comes in very handy. I can't imagine trying to make pastry without one.

Sometime this morning I will be heading up to the post office. I can fill up a one of those flat rate boxes for a very affordable rate. My little treasures are going to be taking a journey across the country to find a home in the kitchen of someone I love. Do you think she might like to make a grape pie?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Potties, Puddles, and Pee

She's almost three, just a few days shy. We've decided she's plenty smart enough, the real question is, will she cooperate?

It's been three days. She has one sticker on the Potty Chart. Score: one for the potty, nine for the pants. We've added MnM's to the incentive list; pretty new underpants, lots of cheers, stickers, and now MnM's. She's one of the most stubborn children I've ever had the privilege to know, and smart as a whip.

I'm pretty sure she can be persuaded, but I am uncertain as to how best to accomplish this feat. (Ideas are welcome.) I'm hoping there is some success over the weekend and perhaps she will arrive on Monday morning miraculously trained, but I know that is not likely, not unless she suddenly decides being grown up is pretty cool after all.

PS. This small child pictured is not the one in question, but another darling probably too long forgotten as she sat on her potty. It must have been nap time or something.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, New Diet

In accord- ance with years past, the New Year has found me cleaning up my eating habits. It's been a full ten days of eating salads, veggies, fruits, and meats along with at least 8 cups of water. I haven't quite given up my couple cups of coffee each day. I intended to but found myself stressed out and decided that if coffee helped, it was better than chowing down on cookies or stuffing myself with Doritos. I will, however, admit to eating that piece of chocolate pecan pie so kindly brought to me by Rocky's dad a few days ago. I did feel just a tad guilty, but I was ever so well behaved when we had brownies and ice cream for Joe's birthday. I ate an apple instead.

3X Thursday

I decided to steal Kristina's game this week. Since I don't know where she collects her questions, I stole those too. But I found my own photograph. :)

1. What are three names you go by, other than your given name

2. What’s your favorite item of clothing?

3. What’s your favorite kind of gum?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

If You Give a Mouse a Muffin

If you give a mouse a muffin, he'll come back after the bananas.

We've had mice several times through the years. A few years ago one had taken to traipsing through our dish cupboard each night and leaving unmistakable evidence of his travels. The only thing edible in there was a stick of butter on a saucer, and we quickly learned to keep it covered with a glass bowl until the eventual purchase of a handy dandy butter dish.

Now that our butter is safe, the resident rodents must find other victuals. Since there were no cookies to be found on the trafficked counter top, the most recent visitor helped himself to a hefty portion of pumpkin muffin. The ziplock bag was no deterrent. Hannah was bitterly disappointed when she found her breakfast tampered with, and I removed all food sources from said counter.

A former blog friend had mice earlier this year and the intruder had a banana fetish. Well, guess what? This mouse also likes bananas. I think perhaps he has an Australian accent.

Z is for Zab's

Z is for Zab's.

About 25 years ago bottles of Zab's Hot Sauce were available for purchase in local (Rochester, NY) supermarkets. I recall the red and yellow labels and a zesty sauce that added some kick to those Zweigle's Hot's that Rochestarians so proudly claim as their own, but I found precious little information when I searched online. I did find this and this, but neither told me much and they didn't have pictures.

I tried asking Uncle Ralph, but haven't heard back from him yet. (He has some great sauces and cooks up a mean barbecue too! I like his Carolina Mustard Sauce best, but they're all yummy, and I digress...)

My search for a photograph of Zab's led me upstairs to my bedroom where a particular box caught my eye. It wasn't a box of photos but it did have a few photos in it. I had struck gold, so to speak, because finding the nearly 30 year old photos was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

When my husband and I were very young, he had a job in a cabinet shop in Fairport, NY and one of the jobs which came through was for Zab's. I believe My Darling built several of these little stands to go in local convenience outlets. Kind of like an old fashioned hotdog stand, isn't it?

For more ABC Wednesday, click here. Who knows, maybe by next week I'll have gathered a little more info on what used to be a really great hot sauce.

Monday, January 07, 2013

I See...

Last night I squatted down by Mom's chair and gently reminded her that she had an appointment with Dr. Lerner in the morning. She looked confused. "I don't think I know who that is. Who is that again?" she asked.

"The eye doctor," I told her. Way deep inside, where she couldn't see, I felt my eyes want to roll, but really it made me sad.

"Why do I have to go there?" she balked, "I can see just fine. Who made that appointment?" She was obviously less than thrilled.

"I did" I said. "You haven't been there in three years."

She balked some more. "What are they going to do?" she queried.

"Check your eyes," I said and I walked away. She wasn't any more cooperative about the whole thing this morning, insisting she could see fine, and still not recalling Dr. Lerner, but getting up and dressed in spite of it all. Thankfully she is fairly obedient. ;)

Not everything Mom says or does surprises or baffles me anymore, but Dr. Lerner isn't stored in her short term memory banks. He did my eye surgery forty-five years ago when I was three or four years old. (He was my age then... Go ahead and do the math. I'm 48 now.) She was still confused when we arrived at the office and he hasn't moved any farther than across the hall since I was a child. Thankfully, she appeared to have collected her recognition of him by the time she was called back into the office.

We spent a long time at the eye doctor. Mom's glasses aren't working for her distance vision anymore. No wonder she keeps taking them off and losing them.

"What is this letter?" the doctor asked Mom.

"Is it an E?" she replied.

I heard him chuckle a little when he said, "This is a test." It's not like he could give her the answer and still find out whether or not she could see it. I found myself smiling just a little too.

Mom can still read things that are close, but she really needs cataract surgery. On a scale of 1 to 5, with five being the worst, she is a 4. As he explained the problem to her, it was obvious that she was not taking it all in. Thankfully, this doctor, who stopped preforming surgeries himself at age 78, has an understanding of "being an old fart and considered useless". "Don't you believe it!" he said. (He obviously has no intention of quitting his practice any time soon...)

I highly doubt that Mom could survive any type of major surgery, but I have been assured that cataract surgery is not a stressful or painful procedure, and since the only activities Mom is still able to enjoy require decent vision, I think interocular lenses are in her near future. She is sure to be hesitant and confused when it actually comes time to have it done. In fact I think she's already forgotten all about it.  Please pray that she will not be too terribly upset with us and that the surgery is highly successful. Maybe afterward she'll even enjoy watching birds outside and doing jigsaw puzzles again.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

The Multitude of Conselors

Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. 
Proverbs 11:14

Last night as James and I talked, I told him how much I really miss both my mom and dad. Dad's wisdom for the family is unreplaced, and Mom is no longer able to give guidance. When I think about it, perhaps the easiest thing in the past three years was letting go of Dad. It put a knot in my stomach, took away all my desire to eat, and left me weeping in the dark of night, but I knew what I had to do. I had to let my dad go. It was his time.

If I grew spiritually by leaps and bounds in the months preceding Dad's illness, the months following left me feeling unprepared and faced with a multitude of unanswered questions. It also found me leaving the church I had come to love and trying to fit into another. Perhaps part of the plan is to eventually come to trust the pastor and his wife as the new spiritual counselors in our life, but can I bare my heart to them, and why do I find myself so reluctant to trust them with it?

Our family issues have not miraculously disappeared, and although I have been accused of backbiting and attempting to garner sympathy for my cause, the truth is that I honestly don't want anyone to think ill of any member of my family. This is why I long so for my dad. He loved us all, and I believe he loved us all the same. An outsider always comes into a situation with a little bit of prejudice, a bit of sympathy for the party with which they are familiar, or maybe the one who knows best how to use words. I am not a winner of debates, but neither do I want to see my own child be the loser. I only want him to see how much he is hurting not only us and other family members, but himself as well.

It's a new year and the last go around has me looking to retreat. I have said and done everything I know to say and do. I've told him I love him, but I am tired and I am done playing the game. I choose to walk away and pray that God and time will work in all of our hearts to bring about the healing we all so desperately need. I can't live my life on a pendulum and I shouldn't have to.

There have been tears, of course, because that is how a momma's heart works, but I will be okay. There is so much to look forward to this year and I can not let myself be ambushed by grief and/or pity. God still reigns. He still loves both of us more than either of us know, and I can still pray. There is always prayer.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Nothing Much to Say

The holidays have all landed on Tuesdays which means there has been no Ladies' Prayer group since a week before Christmas and there is so much to pray about... I am worn out tonight, but tomorrow is a new day and with it will come new gifts and blessings to count. I've been neglecting my 1000 Gifts Journal. I think perhaps it is time to start again.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

New Year's Party

Jim and Michele couldn't be here and in Georgia for Christmas so instead they arrived a few days later and we had two Christmases. We picked New Year's Eve for a family gathering and invited all to come. My sisters came with their families and we had a house full of people.

Last year James' mom was here and she cooked up a feast. This year we had to do it without her. I'd never done it alone before, but we got brave and decided to make tamales. (Good thing I practiced with Grandmanita last year.) Jim, Michele, and I sat down together in the afternoon and assembled and wrapped the tasty treats. I have to say they turned out very good.
I think maybe I'll have to try it again sometime soon.

One Day

As I walk away I know that one day the paths will merge again and we'll all be the better for it.

(PS. I stole another picture from Shelly)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Y is for Yes

Y is for Yes.

I really don't have a whole lot of anything to say this week, but yes, I have made a New Year's Resolution, something different from other years. I have decided to drink more. I know there are a lot of folks out there who have promised to do just the opposite, but I am not much of a drinker, in fact, I drink much less than I should. I could go all day long without drinking more than a cup or two of coffee and that is just plain bad! So, yes, this year I have resolved to drink more, more water (and eat better too).

I do have a second resolution, and that is to be more appreciative of my local emergency responders. I want to set aside enough money to actually give a donation when the firemen come by on their fund drive this year. I want to shout and cheer when they go by in the parade, and I want them to know I am grateful for all they do for us. And, I want to tell them thank you when I see them out and about in town or the local restaurants. If you are a first responder, I want to thank you too for putting yourself at risk to keep the rest of us safe and well, and I want to say "thank you" while you are still here to know it. Thank you.

(Picture courtesy of my friend Michelle. I hope she won't sue me.)

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