Thursday, December 31, 2009

Un-Named Post

I just couldn't figure out what to name this post. So, it is un-named.

Last week, after Mom had her weekly lab testing, we were told she needed a transfusion ASAP. She felt fine, and we couldn't really understand the hurry, but the doctor was pressing pretty hard to get it done, so we went along with it. Instead of just going on up to UAMS like we normally do, we thought (I thought) it would be easier to just run over to Malvern to get it done. Less traffic, less hassle, more peace. Well, that was a big FAIL. What normally would have taken 3 to 4 hours, took from about 12:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. They had countless steps they had to go through, being a much smaller hospital, so we learned a valuable lesson.

Mom's platelets are just taking a real beating from the chemo. Even after the transfusion, she still had to postpone her second treatment. We knew this might be an issue, and I discussed it with the oncologist before we even started, and then again with the nurse when she rescheduled the treatment. I don't know how things are going to work out, because she wasn't even able to take the last treatment, last go around due to this problem. God is in control, and I'm not worried, but just curious as to how it's going to play out. Mom, of course, feels fine and refuses to back off from anything and everything she wants to do. One part of me says, "You go!" and the other part of me wants to keep her wrapped up in a cocoon. That won't happen with MY mom, I can tell you that right now.

Auntie is still in the nursing home doing rehab. It's going to be a very very long drawn out thing. At this point, we don't know if she will ever be strong enough to return to the assisted living facility. We really do want that to happen. The local nursing home is good, and I don't criticize it's function or operation. But simply being a nursing home is such a depression thing. I have to make myself go. If I ever have to live in one, I hope to goodness my mind is gone. Because listening to the ones there who aren't happy is heartbreaking.

I keep feeling like I'm in limbo. As if I have to wait until the new year begins to start working on any projects. I haven't been too keen on housework either. And it's obvious by what my floors look like right now. I hope to get back into the groove in a couple of days.

One thing I've been contemplating for a while now, is changing up the decor in my bedroom. I've had this spread and shams for about 6 or 7 years now, and am ready for a change. I just can't really figure out what to do, that will look elegant but not too classy, and have it go with antique furniture.

I'd like to make a duvet cover for my comforter, simply because of the cost. I'd like new shams and pillows, and new drapes. I've decided to make the drapes a different fabric than the shams this time. But don't know what I want.  The color of the current comforter is ok, but the fabric is terribly wrinkled and nothing I try makes it any better. I made the mistake of washing and drying it and it came out in terrible shape. I refuse to pay the cost of having it dry cleaned though. I've contemplated making a cream colored duvet and trying to "decorate it up" somehow. But like I said, I just don't know what I want to do. And I don't know whether I want the comforter to have a pattern and the pillows to be solid, or the other way around. I watch the hgtv shows religiously for ideas but so far, I got nothing.

So, I'm open to any suggestions. I've looked online for ideas, but haven't found any that I really like. And I'm a very visual person. I have to see it before I can picture it in my bedroom. Please feel free to offer advice and any ideas you have. I need help.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 09

We had a great time together last Saturday. That was when we could all be together at the same time. Lots of good food, although everyone but SR and I had already had our fill of sweet potatoes and green beans. I think I outdid myself on the chicken and dressing this year. Don't know what I did different but it sure turned out good, and it was the only dish with only one serving leftover.

We exchanged gifts and everyone seemed to like what they received.
I'll post a few photos....

I don't know what is going on with the blog thing, but it won't let me post descriptions directly under the photo. So, you'll just have to figure out who is who.  Pictures are of J and his girlfriend K, SR, LeLe and Mabe, and SR's parents with J.   No photos of me, I was holding the camera.
I wish we didn't have to wait all year for Christmas.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

SR and I were finally able to relax this afternoon. (Christmas Day) Yesterday, Aunt was moved from Little Rock, to the local rehab facility. We went to make sure she was ok last night, and she was extremely tired, but ok. We went again this morning and she was doing pretty well. And then again this afternoon and she was doing a lot better. We were able to wheel her down to the lunchroom and she was going to eat by herself. What a relief. SR has just about made himself sick worrying about her.

Looks like J will be here tomorrow, unless there is a last minute catastrophe in Russellville. I'm so looking forward to tomorrow afternoon when we can be together as a family with him, his girl, LeLe and Mabe, and of course little man, who can hear but can't see us.  I looked at the gifts under the tree so long, I realized there was something just not right. I finally figured out that I labeled one of girlfriend's gifts to J. Glad I found that! Whew! I filled the stockings a little while ago. Yes, they are all grown, but I still fill stockings. And I still make sure I spend the same amount of money on each one, and try to have the same amount of gifts to open. I know it doesn't matter to them any longer, but it's ingrained now, and I'll never be able to stop it. 

SR and I drove around Sheridan after we left the rehab place, looking for anything open. The local Day and Nite and Fina convenient stores were open. We stopped at one and got a little snack. I've not cooked anything today but a hot dog in the microwave, and I don't plan to. I'll be doing plenty of it tomorrow.   I've been reading on facebook about everyone's celebrations and good eats.  I'm so hungry for something good!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Very Strange Christmas

I've been all fired up about this Christmas. One reason I suppose is because I am no longer tied to work, and could enjoy the process of planning, shopping, and decorating. Another is the excitment of  our grandbaby boy. No, he isn't here yet, but I still shopped a little for him. 

My two children and their significant others were planning to come on Saturday for our family gathering. That may or may not happen due to J's work. He works as a lineman, and with all the storms, he may have to stay home and be on call, if not go out to restore power to folks. I hope and pray he is able to come and we are able to be together like we want.

We have been so caught up in being at the hospital with Aunt, and we didn't know if she would still be there on the 25th.  Surprisingly, this morning we were informed she would be moved to the rehab facility here in Sheridan. We originally planned to spend Christmas day with her in the hospital, so we are kind of lost as to what we will do now. We still plan to go see her tomorrow, but will not be spending a long period of time with her. It's not as easy when you have a room mate, and the staff at the rehabilitation place has an agenda.

Both children were tied up for Christmas Eve and day, so SR and I are resting from the long week. I can't remember a time when there wasn't a plan to go somewhere for a big get together.  I spent this day cleaning the house, and then going to help Aunt get settled. Then I was bored. Nothing really good on tv, SR is completely worn out from everything, and I haven't been able to concentrate on a book or project.  Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and there are no plans other than the short visit to Aunt's new digs. It just doesn't seem like Christmas to me at all. I see everyone's posts on facebook, and watch all the commercials about it, but it's just not connecting in my brain.

I hope things get back to normal soon. This is just weird.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One of Those Nights

Ever had one of those nights when things just went a little haywire? I had one last night.

I was able to stay home yesterday, and let the in-laws stay at the hospital with Aunt, but I didn't rest much. I went to the doctor with my Mom, just for routine lab and there were other issues the doctor wanted to deal with, so that was an all day affair on the phone for me.  I did some Christmas cooking so I wouldn't have it all to do on Saturday when my kids will be here and we will have our immediate family gathering. Got the dressing and dessert done. Those were the two biggies, so I'm good to go right now.

I rented two movies the other day, thinking I'd watch them on my portable DVD player at the hospital. I watched one, and decided it wasn't a good idea, because I got so involved with the movie, I didn't pay close enough attention to the patient. They were due back today, so I watched one last night. I  didn't realize it was past my normal bedtime until SR pointed it out, and I wasn't finished with the movie. So, I stayed up and finished it. I'll review it below.

Anyway, I was late getting into bed, wasn't really resting well with a million things on my mind, but finally did fall asleep. At 12:20 a.m. I received a text message on my cell. I had to read it, because my phone dings every 15 minutes if you have an uread message. Wide awake now, so I took a sleep aide and got back in bed. Hunger pangs kept the pill from working so I got up to get a sip of milk.  On my way back to bed, I stumbled over a potted plant and spilled dirt all over my bedroom carpet.  I was awake enough to clean it up then, but would have ruined SR's sleep, so I left it till morning. What a mess.  It did clean up pretty easily, surprisingly enough, and I moved the plant to a place where it can't be stumbled over again.

I don't know, but the movie I watched might not have been the best thing to watch before bed. It was Seven Pounds with Will Smith. It was a good movie, but very dark and sad. Six people and his wife were killed in a wreck he caused reading a text message while driving. All through the movie you see his pain and self hate, but he is desperately trying to help seven people. He donates money, a lung, part of his liver, bone marrow, his home, and in the end, his heart and eyes to help those seven people he deems a good person and deserving. He sets up the donation of his heart and eyes with a dear friend who knows his plans, then he commits suicide.  It was heartwrenching and I guess that was not the best choice for a bedtime story.

I'm staying home again today, trying to rest, and will go back up to the hospital tomorrow. Aunt is much better and we hope she will be well enough to be moved to the local rehab facility soon. I appreciate the prayers of all my friends and readers out there. They are a great comfort to us.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It Continues

I thought I'd let those who are interested know what is happening with our great aunt. We have spent every day this week at the hospital with her and everyone is very tired.  She has a  spot of pneumonia in one lung, and they found a little staph in her blood. So, she is on IV Levaquin and another anti-biotic I don't know the name of. Where that staph came from is anyone's guess. I felt she had the beginnings of pneumonia earlier, and expressed my belief to the nurse that she was getting a wet cough , but was shot down. Hm, well I'm not as stupid as I look, eh?

They've had to move her IV several times, and today her arm was so swollen I asked them to do something about it. They decided to place a PICC, which is similar to a central line or port. It is in her arm, just above the elbow, and the line is supposed  to travel through a vessel, over her shoulder to her chest, and into a larger vein there. Michelle can explain it better I'm sure, but that's a layman's description. Problem was, her vessels are blocked in places, due to being crimped from age, and other issues, so it took the nurse three tries to actually get it far enough into a vessel to work. It's not over her shoulder, much less to her chest. But, it will allow them to draw blood, and inject medication and hook up the IV, without having to stick her any more. Her poor hands and arms are horribly bruised.

Doing this really threw her for a loop. It hurt, it frightened her, we couldn't be in the room, and she just didn't understand what was going on. She has enough presence of mind that she knows what you are saying, but doesn't always understand it. If that makes sense. I explained why they did it to her twice, but she just didn't understand. I felt so terrible, she was so miserable and frightened, and we had to leave right after that. What she does understand makes her fretful and she worries herself sick about it. She keeps replaying what she has gone through over and over in her mind. It makes her restless at times.

SR and I are so confused. At this point, we don't feel she will be ready to leave the hospital, even if it was to go to a nursing home, for a while yet. We don't know if she is in her last days, or if this is something she can come out of. And I guess we aren't supposed to know, because God has it all well in hand.

Her doctor asks me as many questions as I ask him. He seems to think I have a better understanding of what is happening than he does or something. But, he seems sincere in his attempts to help her recover and is not ready to throw in the towel yet. 

I have a feeling that we will be spending Christmas Day at St. Vincent. And if so, that is ok. I refuse to allow her to be alone on that day, and I also refuse to allow my husband to be there without me on that day.  This has been the strangest Christmas I have ever experienced, but I know God has a plan and there is a reason. He is teaching me to rely on Him, and trust Him to give us all what we need when we need it. It's kinda hard realizing you are actually living out scenarios that you have only read about or been told about. And you think it won't be hard to rely on God during these times, but it is, and I have to keep reminding myself over and over..... You are God. Work Your will. I trust You. Give us what we need, when we need it. Glory be to God.

Friday, December 18, 2009

What Do You Think?

Ok, here's the thing. SR's aunt is in a bad way. She's a bit up and down, but more down than up and for a while this week, we weren't sure she was going to make it. Still might not. But, while she was up, she told me about a dream she had when she was so bad. She said every time she went to sleep, she dreamed she was searching for her sister and mother. Both passed on years ago. I asked her if she found them and she didn't. I asked her where she was searching, and she told me she was in a group of people she didn't know. ? ?  So...tell me what you think? Hallucination? Near death experience? Near near death experience?

While you mull that over, please pray for us. She is terribly ill and I fear her body is shutting down. The biggest problem with that, is that her mind is still able to function when we interact with her. Some times she seems in a trance, but if you get close to her and talk to her, she will respond normally, and sometimes even seem perky. She is a tough cookie, and very strong willed. She will not go easy into night. Pray that SR and I receive supernatural strength because we are both exhausted and it looks like it will be a while before anything changes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In a Whirl Wind

The last several days have been pretty chaotic. SR's great aunt became seriously ill, and was admitted to St. Vincent's in Little Rock for treatment.  She is 94 years young, and there are issues with being that age, but this was a serious thing. Fortunately, she seems to be improving and the doctors (there are several on her case) feel it is a result of an antibiotic that was causing her kidneys to fail, and her bone marrow to cease production of platelets. Scary stuff, I tell you!

I've also been on the phone a lot, trying to coordinate all the doctors that are treating Mom for her multiple issues. Her primary care doctor has been seriously concerned with her blood counts. She has begun chemo treatments, and her renal doctor is unreachable. At first we were pleased with the renal doctor. His bedside manner was great, but the more I thought his lack of explanation, and the less we heard from test results, the less enamored of him I became. It's been a month since Mom saw him, and his office has failed to contact us at all about her blood work, or ultrasound on her kidneys. They have also failed to fill a request from the PCP for a copy of the report of her visit and testing. I called and was not able to speak directly to the nurse, but left a detailed voice mail and asked to be called back. No result.  Having worked in a medical office, I understand they get behind and are busy. But this borders on rediculous.  I am going to call again and see if I can get any result. If not, I doubt we bother with this doctor again. 

Mom saw the rheumatologist this morning, and due to the kidney issues, was unable to receive her 3 month Boniva injection. Fortunately, this doctor is on top of things, and requested labs to check kidney function.  If those levels are better, Mom can start up the Boniva again in 3 months.

In between calling doctor's offices and going to the hospital, I was able to go with LeLe to the OB's office yesterday. I got to hear the heartbeat and meet the doctor. He seems like a fun guy. (That should make labor and delivery interesting.) I was blessed to be included in the visit and I know her mother-in-law will want the same opportunity. It was a short visit, but important to me all the same.  I'm looking forward to after Christmas when I can start focusing on making baby boy things. It makes it a lot more fun to know what gender to plan for.

I was unable to attend my Sunday School Christmas party and I'm sure I missed out on great fun there. But, I hadn't had time to buy the dirty Santa gift anyway, so I guess it's just as well I was at the hospital.

I thought that since I had gotten all my Christmas shopping and sewing/painting done early, the two weeks before Christmas would be relatively calm. It never seems to happen that way. I can't believe it's only a week away now.

If I don't get to post again, let me tell everyone Merry Christmas! I haven't had time to address any cards, so there won't be any this year. I don't normally get but a handful anyway, so I don't imagine anyone will really miss mine. Ha!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Now We Know

LeLe had an amazing ultrasound yesterday and now we know the gender of our baby. It's a boy!!  You can go to her blog and read all about it.

The technology now is simply unbelievable. We are so excited and can't wait to hold the little man. And now we can make better plans for his nursery and wardrobe. It almost makes me wish this wasn't Christmas, so I could start buying lots of fabric and things. But since we've spent more than we ever intended, it will have to wait until we recoup from all the Christmas purchases.

I won't share the baby's name on my blog, until and unless she does on hers first. It's her news to share and I don't want to steal her thunder.  It does my heart so much good, to see her so happy and excited. She doesn't always have a lot to be excited about, and I'm so thankful God has blessed her and MK.

MK's Mom and I discussed the possibility of the little darlin' being red headed. Considering there is a bit of red on MK's side, LeLe is red, her father is red, her grandmother is red, her brother is red..... well, you get the idea.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Update

Another busy weekend. Mom is doing ok, but I can tell she doesn't feel very well. She always denies feeling poorly, but I can see by her movement and her face how she really feels. She's been having a bit of nausea, which is to be expected, and she's having to force herself to eat. She came to Sheridan today for lab work, and wanted a Hardee's Thickburger, so we got her a Little Thickburger and she couldn't finish it. Her stomach is still a bit swollen, but is going down. There's a lot of fluid build up from the cancer, but hopefully it will continue to lessen as the chemo works in her system.

We've been trying to plan a Christmas gathering that won't wear her out. She was in pretty bad shape Thanksgiving and I have been concerned with the crowd that would be at her house and the cooking she will try to do. We've opted to just have snacks on Christmas afternoon, but I'm still concerned about the crowd and what she will insist on preparing. I think I will go early and leave, so there will be less folks at one time. It's what I feel is best, and after getting on my face before God this morning, He is assuring me this is right.

I finished up all the purchases for Christmas so, other than finishing up some sewing and putting money in envelopes, I'm done! Yay! I can really enjoy the next couple of weeks without the stress of last minute purchases.

We find out Thursday what our little bundle of joy is. I can hardly wait! LeLe has been feeling the baby move now, and it's so exciting. Just think, next year, he/she will be big enough to tear the wrapping paper off the gifts and get into the tree. Hot diggity dog!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It Just Keeps Coming

I thought I would rest today. Ha. Funny that. I felt the deep need to TRY to finish Christmas shopping, gather a few odds and ends, get stuff on the grocery list and do a little (little being the key word) house work. I intended to work out, but there just wasn't enough time, nor energy. So, by lunch time I was already worn to a frazzle.

Then I started trying to work on Christmas plans with the entire Brown clan, and information on when Mom is having a port for chemo, plus the possibility of a wheelchair. So, phone calls and emails dominated. The port will do you phrase that? Installed? Added? Put in?.... on the 30th at 10:00 a.m. When that is finished and she comes around from the anesthetic, she will go on down to the chemo lab for treatment. It will be a very long day. I talked to her PCP about her need to have labs every week to watch her white cell count, and the need for the wheelchair. UAMS is a very large place, and we will definitely need that chair on the 30th.

I kept thinking I needed to rest, but just went right on working on things. When I finally decided I needed to lay down, or fall down, I got on my lovely soft bed and lay my weary head.  Unfortunately, the phone continued to ring and so  I really didn't get any rest at all. Oh well.

Talked to Mom twice today. She had a rough night, but is feeling a bit better today. Her knees are hurting pretty badly, and she is woozy-headed. She forced herself to eat, because she knew she needed to. I am planning to go tomorrow, to make sure things she needs done, get done, and feed her. I hope to make something for supper tonight that I can take down there tomorrow.  I feel torn between needing to be home and needing to be there for her. At least the first few days after chemo. There's just so much to do right now with Christmas coming.

OH! Christmas Tree

I tried to find a definitive origin of the Christmas tree. There are so many opinions and so much information that I couldn't find anything solid. Wikipedia suggests it was pagan in origin...or started in Germany, or the popular belief with most Christians is that Martin Luther began the tradition with candles on the tree to imitate the stars in the heavens. So, you must draw your own conclusions.

I haven't finished with my tree yet. That is highly unusual, but I intend to do so today, come what may. In the meantime, I will show you two ornaments I made when my two children were very small and I had a band saw and plenty of wood.

I can't tell you how many years ago that was, but the kids were the age the ornaments appear. I'll keep them forever and no matter how my tree is decorated, they will be on it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Trying Day

How do I begin? .....

My mother has not been feeling well. She hates to admit it, but fortunately, she had an appt with the oncologist today for a 3 month checkup. She also had an ultrasound scheduled at 9:30 to check her kidneys. My sister and I took her to UAMS for her first appt, then out to Garden Ridge, Hobby Lobby, and IHOP. Then we ran back to UAMS to meet with the oncologist. We though she might possibly have a urinary tract infection. That is what we hoped. Not so. A CT was worked into an already tight schedule in the radiology department, and it was after 5:00 before we left the hospital. We ran out to Sonic to get her a burger, then home. By the time I finally got back to Sheridan, it was only a little while before the doctor called with the results.

Her cancer has returned. It is rather spread out, and the CT didn't show whether it is in the lymph nodes. There is also something going on with her bowels, but I don't know if it's inflammation or cancer. One good piece of news is that the CT showed her kidneys to be fine. Don't know yet what the ultrasound shows. I'll need to call the renal doctor and talk to him about everything.

The treatment will be chemo, and we will find out tomorrow when it starts. The plan is for every 28 days, but considering her blood counts always got really low last go round, it's anyone's guess at this point. I understood the doctor to say she would lose her hair, but Mom understood her to say she wouldn't. I'll have to ask the nurse when she calls tomorrow.

Mom took the news as she takes everything. Just sort of shrugged her shoulders and basically said, "Bring on the chemo!" She is a real trouper and is always optimistic about this. Bottom line is, God will work His will. He is in control. I'm very glad too, cause I'd just mess everything up if I was the boss.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ode to Joy

Check  this out.

I just had to share, and didn't know how to add video from you tube to my posts.


Thanksgiving Pics 2009

We ate too much, laughed too hard, and worked on Mom's house a little this Thanksgiving. It's what we do. Brother was here from Chicago with his daughter and new grandson. We all held the baby as much as possible. Poor little guy didn't get to rest in a bed much.

Little K Man.

Grandpa and K

Great Grandma and K Man

K in the cradle Papa made for his last grandchild.


More of the K man.

Grandma's 2009 Decorations.

Fun in the kitchen.

Isaac's favorite place to be is in the floor.

Some of the grandkids.

Too full to move.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful Four

Ok, I found this at Supah's blog and decided not to wait till Monday.

1. I've been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.  That fact intitles me to a personal relationship with the Father and I can go boldly to His throne, thanking Him for His blessings and asking for His help. Amen and Amen.

2. My family. My husband has been loyal and supportive for 32 years. God bless the poor man. My children are the joy and light of my life. My extended family is disfunctional, (isn't everyone's?) but they are a comfort to me.

3. My church family. Eventhough I have struggled with joining in, there are people there who consistently try to draw me in, and support me.

4. My day to day life right now is just about what I always wanted. I can stay home and do homey things, craft and sew and cook for my husband. I don't have to get up at a certain hour, be someplace at a certain time, and stay there until I am allowed to leave. What a blessing!!

There are countless other things to be thankful for, but the title was Thankful Four. I can always list more later.... The awesome Thanksgiving food is coming to mind at this point.....I can't wait!

Friday, November 20, 2009

On My Mind

Check out Seam Rippers to see what I've been up to.

There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything I want to do done. I find that by mid afternoon, I'm so tired my middle back is achy. What is up with that? All kinds of projects go through my head and I just want to do them all at once. I can't remember ever being this on fire for sewing and painting before. Once when the kids were little, I painted almost every day, but I didn't lay in the bed at night thinking of things to do. Maybe after Christmas is over, I'll settle some, because a big part of all this is making Christmas gifts. But then, I'll be consumed with making baby gifts. And you know what? That is ok. I LIKE being this way. It gives me something positive to focus on. I haven't had that in a long time.

In fact, I believe God is answering my prayers with gusto these days. I think I was in the valley of the shadow for a long time, but I'm climbing out day by day. I am more involved in church activities and women's ministry. That was hard for me, as I tend to stand back and only halfway commit to anything. I look forward to our Sunday night Bible studies now, when before I couldn't make myself go to church on Sunday night. I'm enjoying our Sunday school class and the women there. I've been helping with Operation Christmas Child and have tried to be an active helper, not someone who stands on the sidelines wishing there was something I could do to help. It is really amazing how God will bless your efforts, and change your attitude when you are willing to do your part. He can only do what you allow Him to do.

He is also answering some medical issue prayers for me. Nothing major, just little aggravations that He had agreed to lessen for me. I'm still working out, but have come to grips with the inability to lose weight. If I can keep from gaining, I'm going to focus on that and just try to relax about it.

I'm so pumped about Lele and Mabe's baby. I wish she felt better, as she is dealing with constant headaches. Please help me pray about that for her. They are renovating her office at work, and we believe all the dust and debris she is breathing may be playing a role.  She is taking a much needed break this weekend and I hope she enjoys her time with Erin.

All this has been swimming around in my head, so that's a load off my mind....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mom's Visit to the Renal Doctor

A while back, Mom's rheumatologist did routine lab, and it showed Mom was anemic. She didn't know why, and she suggested we check with the oncologist. Her office faxed the lab results, but the oncologist never responded, so we visited Mom's PCP. She did more labs, and they came back with wacky levels, so she made an appointment for us with a nephrologist at UAMS.

Today we saw a Dr. Shukla. First off, let me say his staff was extremely pleasant and polite. That in itself is unusual. We didn't have to wait long at all for the doctor to come into the exam room. Another nice thing. He was very personable, young, friendly and fun. He read her chart and looked at the faxed labs, before he came to speak with us. I can't say I've ever experienced that with a doctor. Anytime we've/I've been to see a new doctor, they haven't looked at the chart until they enter the exam room. Another point to Dr. S.

He told us that Mom has level three kidney disease. The anemia was an indicator, and she has half the normal kidney function. He was not terribly concerned at this point. But he scheduled an ultrasound of her kidneys and drew more labs and will see what the results of those two are, before deciding how to treat. He told us there are five levels, and she is middle of the road.

I looked online for information and found the first two levels have no real symptoms and are not treated. He also mentioned that to us. Level four begins dialysis. Level five is kidney failure. We are not going to borrow trouble right now, and take it as it comes. He did tell her to discontinue any pain med other than tylenol. The anti-inflammatory meds and pain meds are not good for kidneys and are a real no-no for kidney patients. That is good to know, considering I was born with only one kidney. So, I will try to stop any pain med I might take, and stick with the tylenol.

Her ultrasound is scheduled for November 30. She also has a regularly scheduled appointment with her oncologist for that day, so we will see what her opinion of it all is. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Before I go any further, let me state firmly that what I am about to post, is NOT a ploy for kudos, pats on the back, or atta girls. So, please don't make it about that....

Today is the Friday of the month that I help get food ready for our church pantry. There is a serious need with the economy like it is. This morning, I went as usual, but was only able to stay for a short while, because J was coming into town and I didn't want to miss getting to see him. He was running through on his way to the deer camp. (Deer season starts tomorrow in case you didn't know that) If I didn't stop and come home, he would have gone on, and I never know when I'll get to grab a hug, so I left. I felt guilty, but I wanted to see my boy.

After he left, I ran errands, and went to the gym to work out. For the first time ever, there was only me in there. All the men must be on their way to the deer camp too... Anyway, when I got home, I had a message on my voicemail about OCC boxes needing to be wrapped. So, I ran down to the church to grab about 20 of them. I feel better now, knowing I was able to deflect my guilt by helping out with this. So, I find myself tired from all the running around, but sitting at the kitchen table wrapping box after box for some poor child who has nothing.

The reason I tell you this, is because it reminds me of what it really means to "die to self" as we are supposed to do. I recently came to realize what that really was, after years of reading it, being preached to about it, but never really understanding. It means you do something you are too tired to do. You do something you don't really want to do. You do it when you would rather be doing what you want to do. That is picking up your cross. I would much rather be sitting on the couch resting with a good book. Or sewing. But these children have NOTHING. How much trouble is it really to me, to wrap boxes?

I don't know why I felt that I had to post this. Maybe God was prompting me, but I had to stop wrapping and type this out. I just had a need. So, today while the weather is beautiful, and I am free to do whatever I want, and have whatever I need, I am sitting at the kitchen table wrapping shoe boxes. Wrapping.....wrapping.....for a child who will be overjoyed to receive a shoebox filled with God's love.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Not Wednesday

Time for another rendition of

What I am not.

1. A Brainiac.
Oh, I'm smart enough to function and I'm not stupid, but the older I get, the less I know, understand and remember. I would really love to be super intelligent. Enough so that I was able early on, to start an exciting career I loved. But, I think I have enough common sense to realize that maybe that wouldn't have made me happy. And God made me like He wanted me.

2. An Early Riser.
I don't do caffeine any longer due to the side effects, but I can understand some folks not being able to function before their first cup in the morning. I have to drag myself out of bed and sit in a stupor for a little while before my body and mind come fully awake. I think that is the biggest reason I don't like working. If I could go in at 10:00 and leave at 4:00 or 5:00, I might be able to deal with it a lot better.

3. Perfect.
I've tried all my life to be perfect. And all my life I've known you can't be. Only our Lord is perfect. But for some strange reason, I still tried so hard that I was miserable a lot of the time. It finally sunk in the other day when I was reading my daily devotional that God doesn't need me to be. He loves me however I am, whoever I am, whatever I am. Yes, I'm to strive to live up to His expectations, but he doesn't expect perfection. What a relief! Now, if I can just keep remembering that....

4. Passionate.
Nothing really moves the earth for me. Many people are passionate about their work, their hobby, their ministry...I'm not. For the longest I have feared there was something wrong with me because of that. But, I'm beginning to understand that I don't have to be passionate. I can be content, I can enjoy things, I can be committed, but I don't have to be so involved, so driven that it's all I focus on. There is nothing wrong with that, and I kinda wish there was something I was passionate about, but I'm ok with it now. And, I have a sneaky suspicion that I will become passionate about a little person who is yet nameless and away from us just now, but loved already.....

5. Entertaining
No, don't place me in the center of attention. I freak. My face, neck and chest get blotchy red. I used to be able to sing at church. I sang in a quartet and duets with my mother-in-law. I can't even stomach the thought now. Stage fright incapacitates me. And in a group setting, if I say much, if everyone is looking at me and listening, I get all flustered and the blotchy plague appears again. At home, if someone is coming over for a visit or to eat with us, unless it's the kids, I feel I have to entertain folks, and am at a loss. I have no idea how to be a hostess. I'm constantly worrying that my guests are uncomfortable or bored. My mind tells me to be myself and just let it flow, but my heart frets. I guess it's because for so many years, SR worked the evening shift and we never had guests unless it was friends of the kids. I got out of practice and never recovered.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Other Stuffs

Check out The Seam Rippers..... I've been busy. I've been on a mission to get some sewing done. And as I go, I am experimenting and learning. I've also been working on Christmas gifts and am still pumped about all of them. Makes me happy to know I have projects for folks, and the time to actually enjoy getting them done. No pressure trying to get to it after work...:)

SR was on vacation last week and we spent a lot of time just running around. As I posted, we visited the Hot Springs area, we spent some time at the deer camp in Rison, and went to Little Rock one day. It was hard to see him go back to work this morning.

I have an appointment with a new doctor tomorrow. Since my personal nurse practitioner left town, I felt that I just wanted to start over with someone new. It's just a regular medication refill visit, I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall Day Trip to Hot Springs

SR and I spent the day in Hot Springs and the surrounding area today. We were in search of fall colors and needed to do a little Christmas shopping. We first visited Hobby Lobby, then the mall, and made a little detour through one of the larger antique malls. We intended to eat at Outback Steakhouse, because I never have and wanted to. But alas, it was closed, so we wound up at Applebees. And it was really good food!

I created a slideshow of some places we drove through. A lot of the leaves that were still on the trees were brown, but periodically, we spotted a nice area with more color. We drove up the mountain behind the bath houses, up highway 7, and then explored Glazypeau road.

As we headed out of Hot Springs, we stopped at DeSoto Park and I took pictures of a really beautiful bridge and waterfall. We also stopped at a very small, run down junk store. The owner was extremely friendly, and pointed out a spring that was rocked in, right inside his store. He then showed me the spring in the mountain, behind his store. As we were leaving, he was offering to show others where he dug up a bucket full of arrow heads. I suppose his main objective wasn't to make a dollar. You don't see that often.

We then headed back toward home, via highway 5 and Benton. It was a really beautiful day and we enjoyed it so much.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Letter to Hal O. Ween

Dear Hal,

I really don't want to hurt your feelings or cause you any pain. But I feel that I must be honest with you and so I am writing this letter, in hopes that it will cause you to explore your inner self. Maybe you will sift through the seeds of your orange life and come away with an understanding of what you really are.

Oh Hal, you are so very entertaining. I see your withered hand, motioning me closer to the bags of candy at Walmart. I see your dark colored apparel displayed, and your tools of deception and mayhem. We love to be afraid. You love to take advantage of that. It's rather entertaining to pretend we are evil. But, let me ask you something Hal. Do you really truly believe that given the chance, we would want to actually come face to face, with a real live zombie? Why would we want to come within touching distance of a real ghoul, vampire or ax murderer? That is just insane.

You do succeed often in your quest to bring us down to your level. We eat tons of food that is harmful to our bodies. We delight in evil and destruction. And for two or three weeks, we are dedicated to fantasy. Today is the culmination of all your plans. You will be celebrated as countless children go door to door, threatening harm if they aren't given what they want. Countless youth will take sadistic pleasure in the spreading of toilet paper. But....but tomorrow, what will be left Hal? Candy wrappers on the ground. Trees wrapped in white. Deflated pumpkins and ghosts. Rotting Jack-o-lanterns.

Do you feel it? Do you feel the breath on your neck? Yes, you had your day in the sun, or moon as it were, but there is something fast on your heels that will blow you out of the cesspool.......

The Christmas Season. Oh yes Hal. You may have one good day, but Christmas has a SEASON. As soon as you have spent your day of ghoulish pleasure, you are over. But the Christmas season is more than just a day. And this celebration my friend, is one of glory and light and happiness. Would we like to come face to face with an angel? Of course we would. And we all wait for the day when we actually see Jesus! What a celebration!!! You Hal, are about death and unhappiness. Christmas is about joy, peace, expectation, life and salvation. There is no comparison. For the next two months, we will eat, breathe, and sleep Christmas. You are finished. The babe in the manger has overcome. And you know what Hal? A few select folks may think about you from time to time through the year, but we try to think about Christ every single day. We honor Him every Sunday. We live for him. Can you say that? No, I don't think you can.

So Hal. Enjoy your day. Take advantage of your short time. Tomorrow you will be a distant memory.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Five

1. Rain Rain Rain. Where is Noah when you need him? The amount of rain this year has been unbelievable. I'm not complaining, just stating fact. The forecast looks to be awesome though, so there is hope!

2. My mother gave me a bucket load of fabric on Wednesday. She had two large rubber containers full of the stuff, and allowed me to go through it all and take what I wanted. Ya Hoo! I was afraid she would have some really lame prints, and she did have a few. But for the most part, they are all great for quilting and a couple of baby projects I have in mind. Thanks Ma!

3. I've really gotten excited about sewing and painting again. For the last couple or three weeks, I've been in a slump and not the happiest person in the world. I started trying to figure out how many Christmas gifts I could make, and the creativity began to pour. I have so many ideas in my head, there just isn't enough time to do them all. It's like my brain can't decide what to do first, and if I don't get it all done right away, I'll forget it.

4. My nephew got married last weekend. The wedding was short and sweet and very country. The bride wore old battered boots under her gown. Her toddler niece was pulled down the isle in a wagon. (very cute) The groom and groomsmen wore brown western shirts, wranglers and boots. No one was ushered in except the bride. No wedding march, just country music. Very unique.

5. The Christian mentoring program I have been participating in, is coming to a close. After the first couple of weeks, I could see it wasn't what I thought. I stuck with it, and it got easier, but still didn't seem like what I had expected. Yesterday was the next to last meeting with my mentor and I realized how good it really was for me. No, it wasn't what I'd wanted, but I made a great friend I wouldn't otherwise have made. She and I agreed that it really didn't turn out she was a mentor and I a mentee. It was more like we mentored each other. And that's fine. At this point, I don't feel I need mentoring, but am not ready to be a mentor either. I'll see how it plays out and if the program continues after the first of the year.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Not This Week

No thoughtful Thursday today. My brain is mush. I haven't slept well in several nights and my entire being is bogged down. I have had little spurts of energy and excitement, but they fade quickly. Last night I got up two times to take more sleep aide, then was awakened by the phone when I was finally resting well. Fortunately, it awakened me from a very strange dream that I was glad ended.

So, no thoughts on this day. Other than fuzz.

I am however thinking a lot about Christmas, but won't post that thought until at least after Halloween.....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Not Wednesday

I am not....

1. A Gourmet cook.
I do ok. I can cook beans and potatoes, hamburger casseroles some soups, and even chicken and dressing. A few really good easy desserts, but a gourmet chef I'm not. I can't grill either. I'd like to be able to, but I'm afraid of the fire, and afraid I will ruin a good piece of meat in the attempt. I sometimes think I would like to take cooking lessons, and maybe then I could get my egg whites to stiffen up enough for a pie. I tried a tuna casserole last week. Epic fail. Now, some folks don't like tuna at all, and I have to eat it disguised with other things, but I thought I'd try since it's so good for you. I could barely eat it and SR couldn't eat it at all. We just can't do the cooked tuna thing.

2. Mean.
I like to be nice to everyone if I can. And I like everyone to be nice to me. If you can't be nice, be quiet, pretend to be nice or go away.

3. A shopper.
I can deal with short shopping expeditions if I have something specific I'm looking for, but I can't do the shop-till-you-drop thing. About the only time I can spend more than a couple of hours is when SR and I go to antique malls. And still then, I have to take a break from time to time and I get enough real quick. And I hate grocery shopping with a passion.

4. A Hoarder.
When the kids were small, I did have quite a bit of clutter, but it didn't consume the house. It never really occured to me to get rid of something. When we moved to Sheridan, I had to purge a lot and since that time, I am the purge queen. I want it clean and clear. I want my closet organized. I like chachkey's as much as the next girl, but I don't want them everywhere I look.

5. A Leader.
I'm a darn good follower. I can lead children and I love them, but adults tend to intimidate me. I feel like a child around other adults a lot of the time. That would be a good topic to discuss with a counselor....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday


I have always been a sentimental person. I have some jewelry that belonged to my great aunt and my great grandmother and I cherish it. One particular broach is a beautiful cameo and it's just awesome. The other pieces aren't something I would ever wear, but they mean something to me and I'll pass them down to my grand daughter if I ever have one. But, I was never really into digging into the past.

My mother-in-law had that drive. While I worked for her at her dress shop, she would have stacks of correspondence and paperwork that she had painstakingly obtained through what was then the only way to get it. Snail mail. She spent hours and hours writing and requesting certificates and documents proving who her ancestors were, where they lived and died and who their parents were.

In my late 30's when I began working at the county library, I caught the genealogy bug. There was one whole room dedicated to ancestral research and I stayed in that room as much as possible. Most folks try to work on one lineage at a time, but I couldn't stick to just one. I searched and dug for every scrap of information I could find on every line I had. I would stay on the microfilm machine for hours.

I now have notebooks full of documentation and information. I desperately need to organize them for future generations. I haven't been able to go very far with some of my lines, but for others I've found someone else who has done so online. It's amazing what the internet has done for genealogical research. One day, maybe my children and their children will be blessed by my research and what I've found.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amateur Attempt

Professional, I am not. But I've been very restless the last several days. I can't seem to settle at any one thing, so I walked around my yard taking pictures of colorful flora. These are what I came away with...

They aren't anything to write home about, but it filled a little time. And I love trying to capture God's autumn colors with my inexpensive little camera.

What Not Wednesday #3

I don't know how many more of these my poor brain can come up with, but here are five more things I am not.

1. Imaginative.
I can't really come up with good ideas. Give me one and I can run with it, but I have a real problem with thinking outside the box. I just have to see it to understand, or use it as a jump off point.

2. Stupid.
I may be naive, but I'm not dumb. I can be fooled, but not because I have no sense. Just because I trust folks and take things at face value. I am not college educated, but I like to think I have a good brain and common sense. I know a little about sewing and painting, and I think I'm a pretty fair hand at the english language and spelling. (I use spell check constantly, because I can't stand the thought of misspelling a word.) I can create a budget and stick with it. I can use tools when needed. If I don't know something, I can sure google it. When I worked at the county library, I was a minor whiz at the computer, but it has passed me by now and I do well to blog. Things change so quickly with electronics.

3. Thin.
I am definitely overweight according to health care gurus. But, I am not globby or unsightly fat. Would I like to weigh 100 pounds again? No, I would look sickly. Would I like to loose 10, 15, 20 pounds? Of course! I'd love to be one of those beautiful women on the diet commercials who stand there in their bikini bodies looking so svelt. Never happen. I'm too short, too dumpy, too old and my body just won't cooperate. And I sure can't get all my meals in the mail. But, at age 51, I'm trying to accept who and what I am, and how I look. Try being the key word here, and it ain't so bad.

4. A Spendthrift.
I don't spend much money. Boy, would I love to, but you can't spend what you don't have. And even when I was working, and had more, I didn't spend much of it. I just learned the habit of saving. Sure is a good thing since I have to really watch the budget now.

5. A Clothes Horse.
I've always cared about how I looked and dressed and never wanted to look like I just grabbed any old thing to put on. But even though I love nice clothes and shoes, I don't buy many. At one time, when I worked for my mother-in-law who owned a dress shop, I had more clothes than I could wear and spent more than I made on them. I look back on that time and wonder what I was thinking. Yes, you have to dress the part when you are selling clothes, but I didn't need all that stuff. I wish I had realized that a few nicer pieces are all you really need. (thank you Stacy and Clinton) Since that time, I usually wear something until it falls apart or is so out of style that it's embarrassing. I frequently purge my closet of things that no longer fit too. I don't hold on to something hoping to get back into it. I only own 16 pairs of shoes, three pair of them are worn out boots. That may sound like a lot to a man, but to a woman, that's nothing. I figured out last Sunday that one pair of shoes is about 12 years old. There are no holes in the soles...ha! a funny... and they are still servicable and not shabby. Thus they are still worn.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Beginning to Look Like Fall

With all the rain we've had, it's taken a while for the trees around my place to begin turning. I noticed a few turning as I drove up Hwy 270 last Saturday. The mums on my porch are blooming.

The maple tree in my front yard may or may not turn into a flame of color as it usually does, but it's beginning to have some darkness to the leaves...

We usually take an overnight trip in the fall, to see all the leaves, but I doubt we do that this year. I'll miss it.

OCC Kickoff

Good Monday morning dear readers.

Yesterday our church, First Baptist, Sheridan, kicked off our annual drive for Operation Christmas Child. This program was started by Franklin Graham, in order to reach children all over the world for Christ.

Basically, you take a shoebox, wrap it in Christmas paper, (leaving it able to be opened) and you fill it with goodies. Coloring books and crayons, toothpaste and toothbrush, small toys and stuffed animals, school supplies and anything you think a child who has NOTHING might like. The boxes are then gathered, checked and sent to countries all over the world. You can track your box, and find out where it eventually ends up.

The wonderful woman who heads this up for our church, pointed out yesterday that this is not just about giving a child a Christmas present. It is about SALVATION to that child, and making sure that child's name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. A video we watched informed us that one box, one little shoebox, was instrumental in bringing two entire villages to Christ. There was also a situation where a child's mother was dying from malnutrition, and somehow, someway an IV bag and money got through the check points and it saved this woman's life. Only God could have done that, as each box is checked four times and this was not something that would have been allowed. Last year we were told of a box that held a pair of shoes. The child that wound up with that box, could not attend school simply because she had no shoes. God is still in the miracle business folks.

This program has touched my heart. So many children are in such need. Yes, we have needs here in the US, but there are so many local programs for us, and nothing for these children in third world countries. I plan to pack boxes for boys from age 10 to 14, since I feel that is what God wants me to do, and I fear most folks would rather pack for ages 5 to 9 since it's a little easier and more fun.

You can visit the OCC Site by clicking on the link above. Search your heart and see if God would lead you to participate in this program. It doesn't take a lot of money, since the boxes are small and the children are happy with anything they get. If you are interested, but don't know what to do, contact me privately and I will help in any way I can.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Smooth and Easy

I've been wanting a blender for a very long time. I just wouldn't spend the money to buy one, even though they aren't expensive. I found a used one in perfect condition at a local flea market and took that little jem home.

My first try at using it was a success. I wanted a smoothie. So, I broke up a banana, tossed in five or six cut up strawberries, a container of plain lowfat vanilla yogurt and the juice from one orange. Wow! Talk about good! I get my fruits and it's something that seems like a dessert. The next time, I'll make sure to use lowfat, sugar free yogurt. I need to be watching my sugar intake.

I'm going to try to use some pineapple, fat free milk and whatever else I find that's handy the next time. I would love to find some good vegetable recipes to use. This seems to be a great way of getting the food I need, in a form that I can enjoy. And it is a great snack.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday


Millington, TN, Camp Lejune, VA, Bethesda, MD, Shreveport, LA, Rison, AR, Oceanside, CA, and Bethlehem, PA.

I can still replay little snippets of memory. Such an innocent time in the life of a child. We were happiest in Shreveport. My mom was especially happy there. I don't think she ever got over leaving. I went to four different schools in LA as we were in transition. And from time to time, we were back in Rison, and I attended school there too. The following are scenes that play in my head when I think back.

Popping hot tar bubbles in the street, with a stick, on a hot summer day in the trailer park.

Having the measles and looking at all the bumps on my arm. I was outside in the side yard of our mobile home.

A very unpleasant visit to the dentist, in which I refused to allow treatment. My mom felt sorry for me and bought me a coloring book on the way home. Much to the aggravation of my Dad. He didn't feel I should have been rewarded for that, but I had been to the dentist so much, my Mom understood that I'd had enough.

Wanting to go swimming but something was wacky with my ear. It felt like a butterfly had gotten in there and was fluttering around trying to escape.

Riding my bicycle through a trailer park singing out that my middle name was Jane and something quirky about Tazan.

Letting another child talk me into taking a shortcut through the woods to school, and winding up late.

Sticking my head out of the trailer door to see a kid from my class, sticking his head out of his car. His mom had hired my mom to do some clothing alterations.

Watching my mom on the phone while hearing that her grandmother had passed away.

Playing tea party with another girl and drinking so much water I thought I would explode.

Climbing the mimosa trees in the back yard.

My first Barbie. She was the one with the short curly blonde hair.

Creating a "spook house" with my brother, in the garage.

Walking home early from school, in the rain because I was feeling sick, and my mom didn't have a car to come get me.

The history teacher assigning us art projects.

Not understanding math.

Wearing my hair flipped up for class photos when all the other girls had straight normal hair. My Mom was really into doing me up like the 50's.

Seeing the Pacific ocean for the first time.

Cooking out on the beach with the girl scouts.

(California was the biggest disappointment. Just not a friendly place for kids. Not on base anyway. The ocean was nice though.)

Ice skating in Pennsylvania, singing "Where oh where are you tonight" as requested frequently by other kids.

Babysitting most of the little kids in our apartment complex.

Being "adopted" by a wealthy older couple who tried to act as grandparents. Pearls given to me by them, when we moved away.

My Dad still feeling the effects of Vietnam.

Seeing Dad in his dress blues and his uniforms hanging in the closets.

Finding pornagraphy in the complex trash bin. Oh my. I received quite an education in PA.

Working with my Dad at "Toys for Tots".

I don't have a great memory. I've lost so many experiences I wish I could remember. But, I am thankful I still have these small videos in my head.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Not Wednesday

Here is another installment of what I am not. I don't know how many of these I can come up with, but posting only five at a time helps keep it going. Some are good things and some are not so good, but just the truth as I see myself.


1. Aggressive.
I back down in a heartbeat. Any time I've ever come up with an idea of something I wanted to do, that might take a bit of effort, any little negative comment makes me back off. Whenever I've been verbally attacked, I just clam up. I've never thought fast on my feet and can never come up with a defense in that kind of situation. On the positive side of that, it helps me get along with most folks. Someone called me passive aggressive once. Does that count?

2. Mathematically Minded.
Oh, I can add, subtract, multiply and divide, but I'm so very thankful for calculators. I can make change, but am always terrified I'll make a mistake. Numbers just never did compute in my brain. I barely passed Algebra in high school, and even the instructor advised me not to take Geometry. Dealing with money has been a big part of some of the jobs I've had in the past. I always despised that part of it and even decided not to go back to a job that I really kinda liked, mainly because of the big money thing.

3. Inspiring.
I am a good person, and I don't feel like a lesser human being, but I have never really done anything that would inspire someone else. I've not accomplished much in my life that someone else would want to emulate. The only thing I can really claim was worth much, is raising my two wonderful kids. They turned out so great and I did have a little to do with that. It was hard with their Dad working the evening shift all their growing up years. I had to be Mom and Dad a lot of the time, but at least we knew Dad would be there when we needed him.

4. Disciplined.
I have so many ideas in my head that I could do. And I've had so many goals I thought I wanted to meet. Unfortunately, I've never been disciplined or devoted enough to do what it takes to accomplish them. It's like it's just too much trouble, even though I know it would be worth it. Maybe that goes with last weeks number 5, energetic what not.

5. Selfless.
I'm all about me. The purpose of life is to serve God and put him first. I struggle with that daily, hourly, minute by minute. Selfish is my middle name. At least I can admit it. And I ask forgiveness every single day for it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloweenie Thoughts

I've never really been a big fan of Halloween. Of course when I was a child, I loved the candy, but dressing up wasn't one of my priorities. You just had to do that for the candy.

One year, my mom dressed me as a cat. Uh, well, it was her idea of a cat anyway. With little money, we had to improvise as best we could. Mom had permed my hair to a frizzy wave and it tended to fluff out from my head (not in a good way), so she just put two "pony-tails" on the top of my head where cat ears would stick up. She used makeup to paint a black cat nose and whiskers, dressed me in a black turtleneck and stretchy pants, and pinned some kind of tail she made, from who knows what, on my behind.

The main thing I remember about that particular Trick or Treat trek, was being made fun of. I even remember one older kid asking me if I was SUPPOSED to be a cat. As a child I was rather shy, so I just nodded my head and tried to disappear. I can't remember how my brother was dressed, but I know it was another simple idea from the mind of my mother. He was having the time of his life, because nothing bothered him and his main objective was candy. Period.

That isn't the reason I don't care for Halloween. I wasn't scarred forever or anything. I guess it's fine if you like dressing up and eating free candy. But I have never really gotten comfortable with celebrating ghouls and goblins, devils and ax murderers. I even stopped taking my children to the school Halloween Carnival at one point. I've since mellowed a bit about that. Mostly I think it's harmless unless you really get into the horror and evil of it. I wish we didn't have to go through all the candy, making sure some nut case didn't put a razor or drugs in something.

Wikipedia says Halloween has its roots in the Celtic Festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday of All Saint's Day. It is largely a secular celebration but some Christians and pagans have expressed strong feelings about its religious overtones. I've been preached to about it from former pastors, with their viewpoint being that its origins are pretty sadistic. I don't know, but I imagine if my grandchildren care about it, I will be more of a participant. My children didn't get to trick or treat much, because we lived out in the country, but I did carry them into town once or twice to experience it. It was just easier to buy them a big bag of candy and call it a day. If that scarred you LeLe, please forgive me.

My brother was born on Halloween. We could always tell....... *wink*