Monday, December 27, 2010

A First For Us

Well, we've never spent Christmas Eve anywhere but home. When the children were growing up, we always stayed home, and allowed them to open one gift. It was always from us, because of course Santa doesn't come until they are fast asleep. It always helped to get them to settle down and go to bed.

This year, we spent Christmas Eve at the hospital with my Mom. She had been extremely sick all day Friday, but was alone for most of the day, and didn't call anyone. By the time Baby Sister arrived for the weekend, Mom was in distress and had to be taken to the ER. After a good dose of Morphine and Zofran, she was much better, but wanted to stay the night. I remember when my father was battling his cancer, he always felt safer in the hospital. And I can understand it too, because if you start feeling bad again, all you have to do is push a button and they bring you the joy juice. 

I sent the rest of the crew home, and stayed with her overnight. Christmas morning the oncologist arrived to discuss some treatment that would help her discomfort, and released Mom. Sister #2 had come by then, and she took Mom home, allowing me to go home to take a short nap, and finish up some cooking. Mom was NOT going to miss Christmas supper, so I had to finish up my list of foods.

We gathered at 4:00 p.m. and did all the cooking, heating up already cooked food, and set out plates, and the necessary things for a meal. Mom finally relented and allowed me to make her famous "Won Tons" as she always calls them. They are actually named "Sausage Stars" and for the first time, I believe I did a pretty good job. Everyone said so anyway. I also cooked a HUGE pork loin the same way I normally do a roast, making gravy with it. My nephew nearly made himself sick on it, he loved it so much. I always make Cookie Dough Heath Bar Pie, and my other nephew told me for next Christmas, he wanted one for his gift. So, considering I was exhausted, aggravated, not in a very Christmassy mood, my spirits were lifted.

It wasn't the Christmas gathering I would have wished for, LeLe and her family couldn't attend for one thing, but I am still thankful we were able to gather at Mom's house and not at the hospital.  So, I can still say God is good!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Greetings!

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas and the happiest of New Years!


Many thanks to everyone who reads my blog and for all the kind comments over the past year.

Sincerely,

Belinda

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Not So Fast

Hold on there. At our last chemo appointment, (the first one of the new medication) the nurse told us Mom wouldn't get sick. Huh? But the doctor said..... Well, we like what the nurse is saying better!!! And this is Wednesday, and she's still not ill. Yayyy.

We met with Mom's primary care doctor today, regarding her pain meds and nausea meds. He's a pretty smart guy, and is trying very hard to do all we need him to do. Good man. We are changing some things up, and trying some new things, in hopes it will make her more comfortable.  I feel I can call his office anytime and will be taken seriously, and they will try their utmost to help in any way.

I appreciate the staff, and so I took a plate of brownies and some potato chips dipped in white and milk chocolate. Ever had those?? Hmmmm, shut my mouth! The mixture of salty and sweet is wonderful.

I did a dumb thing the other day. I dropped my camera. Boo dat. The lens wouldn't focus so I had to go buy a new one. I really didn't want that to be my Christmas gift, but I had no say in the matter, since there was NO WAY I could go through LMW's first Christmas without a camera. I bought a Canon, and so far, I am lovin' it. It's only a 10 MX, but that's five more than I had, and it seems to take better pictures so far. Case in point....

 
Uhhh, Nanna? Needz a litta hep heah......

Yah, dayz all minez. Jealiss?

You lookin' at me?

 Oh yah, I can dooz whateveh ah wants an day jess laffs.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Update

We saw the oncologist a week early and will begin a new chemo medication on the 20th, in an attempt to control the swelling and pain. Mom was so anemic, she needed a transfusion, and she received that yesterday. It did perk her up quite a bit, but according to both the doctor and the nurse, the chemo will break her back down. It will make her very ill, but at this time, she is believing it won't actually be that bad.  I'm hoping she's right, because not only will it be hard on her, but it will hard on us to try and care for her. There is no easy way to watch your loved one suffer that way. We went through it with my father so we know.  Right now though, she is in good spirits and refusing to believe anything but the positive. Good for her!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Learning Curve

We always learn from experience don't we? I've learned that I will tell my kids to stick my butt in the nursing home when things get too hard. I think I've learned that I will not opt for meds that will not prolong my life long enough to warrant dealing with the awful side effects. I've learned that I will need to have hope, yet be practical and face the truth. But, I've also learned that what you've learned goes out the window when your body is attacked and your mind can't keep up.

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another Untitled Post

I have no name for this. I could label it "Dark Post" or "Unhappy Post" or even "Not Really Sure What's Going to Happen Post".... But, the thing is, I feel this dark heavy cloud over me and this will "Not Be a Very Positive Post.

We spent another night in the ER with Mom. She was in a lot of pain, and none of the medications she had at home was doing enough to help. I knew already that the fluid was building back up in her lung, so the only option was to head to the ER. While sitting there, I tried to second guess myself, and questioned whether she really needed to be there, or if we could have called the ER OB-GYN on call instead. Turns out, she did need to be there.

She was given morphine for the pain, and it did help. Unfortunately, it effected her differently than it has in the past. She was pain free, but nervous as a cat in a room of rocking chairs.  The ER doctor decided to do a CT scan as well as an x-ray. I was very impressed with him. He didn't blow anything off, didn't act as if this was all part of the deal and we would just have to get over it, or that we didn't really need to be in the ER.

The X-ray showed the fluid in the lung, and fluid in the abdomen. We knew that too, because that is what the cancer does, it makes fluid called Acities. He wanted a CT scan, because she hasn't had one in 4 or 5 months. The thing is, we don't really know exactly what it showed. The an GYN doc came in once and a team of OB-GYN doctors came in twice and they only mentioned the fluid. The nurse however, mentioned "hematoma". What?! So, I feel we weren't told everything. The doctor(s) did discuss that there would be no draining of the fluids, and that pain relief was the only option. The last time a doctor came in, she had talked for a minute with Mom's oncologist, and she did mention the possibility of another type of chemo med, since the current one obviously isn't helping. We'll find out day after tomorrow.

Folks, this doesn't sound promising. And to be perfectly honest here.....I don't think there is much time left. There. I said it. Mom's brain function has diminished, and she didn't understand anything that was told her. She doesn't understand when I explain it to her after wards, and blocks out what she doesn't want to accept. So, she still believes there is the possibility of a cure, even after one of the doctors looked at her and said point blank..."You DO know there is no cure, and only pain management is possible now?" Mom was so drugged up by this time, she just looked at him with a blank stare. How do you repeat that to your Mom? HOW do you try to convince her the end is coming? Especially when she has denied it every step of the way.

There is something to be said for that kind of attitude. It helps you get through, gives you strength, helps you cope. And to be honest, it's much much better than wringing your hands and wailing all the time about how bad things are. But, how do you deal with a loved one who lives in denial? How do you answer her when she continues to wonder why these things are happening, and trying to find any other reason than the correct one?

I've decided to try to get all my Christmas things in order this weekend. And I've canceled a big family gathering that was to be at my home. I just don't know what is going to happen, or how many times I will wind up driving to the ER at the last minute. Since Mom denies it's terminal, she waits until she can no longer stand it before she tells anyone she needs to go. It usually happens at about 9:00 at night. She thinks she can make it through the night, but realizes late that she can't.  I'm also going to cancel a New Year's Eve gathering I had planned with friends. Things are just too up in the air and unsure right now.

So that is my not so positive post. The sad truth my friends. And I posted it as therapy, and it helps to get it out. I covet your prayers and I will keep you "posted" about how things are going, when I can.

  I have prayed for a cure, a miracle, a healing, but God obviously has said "No." this time. I've thought about praying that she won't suffer, but He said no when we prayed that for my Dad, so I am leaving it up to Him. I guess there is a reason for the suffering, and to be honest, how does it compare with the suffering Christ endured? God is good all the time. He is in control, and He will get us through. I thank Him for that, for the meds, for caring hospital staff, for my siblings to help me in this, for my children's support and understanding. And I especially thank him for LMW who distracts me and gives me something positive to think on. Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.


Right after I posted this, I saw this scripture verse and thought I MUST add it:
"And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." - 1 Peter 5:10

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Life or Something Like It

It's winter, so it's cold folks. Colder in south central Arkansas than normal, but I don't mind because it feels more Christmasy. Unfortunately, we had a little power outage thing going on this morning and it was not pleasant for a while around here. Still, I found some heat to sidle up to, and some painting to keep me occupied until the central heat came back on.

I've been sewing and painting for Christmas gifts. Can't post until after they are given and opened of course. Wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone. 

Life lately has been dealing with illness of one kind or another, and trying to get Christmas gifts purchased before the last minute. I invariably wind up having to shop a couple of days before Christmas simply because I forgot something, or need to get more food supplies. I would dearly love to have it all done two to three weeks ahead of time. That would give me comfort and joy.

LMW is pretty much over his illness and back to his normal happy self. SR and I are still dealing with residual effects, but feel fine.  I went with Mom to see her general practitioner yesterday for a follow up after the lung draining. I heard what I feared I would.... The fluid is building back up. The doctor said that is what it does. You drain it out and it comes right back.  Unless she is unable to breathe comfortably, we won't do anything until we see the oncologist on the 20th. I'm sure not looking forward to that visit, nor having to navigate the week of Christmas traffic, but we do what we have to. A lot of what the doctor said went right over Mom's head, and I'm not sure that is a bad thing. She continues to keep a good attitude and hopes for the best. I would love to have that same attitude if I was facing what she is.  We hope and pray that Christmas will be fairly normal this year.

I've looked at all the pretty decorations on all the blogs I follow and sometimes people just amaze me. And I wonder how in the world they fit all that busy creativity into their lives. Some folks come up with a post every day, and some come up with a new project every day. Some are so quick with their quilting that I don't see how in the world they get anything else done. I guess some folks are just that talented and much better organized than I.   I did get more painted than I thought I would this morning...simply because I could do nothing else until the power returned. Maybe that should happen more often......

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmastime is Here

I keep hearing that Charlie Brown song in my head. And it's appropriate for the decorations in my house this year. I decided not to go whole hog as I usually do, for two reasons. The first is because there just isn't room with all of LMW's stuff crowding up the space. The second is because with his latest ailment, catching it myself and feeling rotten, and being busy with my Mom's latest issues, I just don't feel like it. That's a terrible thing to admit here at Christmas, but it's the sad truth.

My tree is not what I would have wished, and not what I had planned. I wanted one of those crazy decked out trees you see in the Christmas shops. Unfortunately, that was cost prohibitive. I never was able to get the frou frou stuff to go in the top, or get that wonderful wide ribbon to go around and around it. And as small and inexpensive as it is, the poor thing might collapse under all that weight anyway. Still, it's not so bad and I did enjoy making several of the ornaments.





The birds, balls, peppermint candy and the odd peppermint striped ornaments. I really love to do something new each year. It seems to get me in the spirit. I may be a little under the weather and busy, but I'm still in the Christmas mood. I'm really looking forward to watching my loved ones open their gifts. I meant to cut down on my spending this year, but alas, that just didn't happen. And you know, I didn't even tell LeLe for the umpteenth time, that this was going to be a smaller Christmas. I've told her so many times, she just ignores it now. 

Sooo,

Merry Christmas to All!!
May God Bless you and your family this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Now?

I haven't posted much about my Mom lately. Things have been rocking along and there really wasn't anything major going on but, she hasn't felt well for a few weeks. This cancer thing is really cramping her style.

She has begun swelling again, and the chemo only helps for a short time. Before she's scheduled for a dose, her stomach is big again. She's moving a little slower, eating a little less, and having some trouble breathing.

Today she visited her General Practitioner, and he was concerned enough to send her for labs and a chest x-ray at UAMS. Looks like fluid in her lung and it will be drained on Friday. The fluid could be caused by the tumor pushing on her lungs, or any number of other things. Or it may not have ever cleared from her last trip to the hospital for pneumonia. Who knows? The thing is....I believe that at this point, it will be one thing or another regularly, until the end. Yes, I said it. Not pretty, but it's how I feel. I think I'm up for it, I hope and pray I'm up for it, and I believe I can handle it with God's help . I did it with my Dad, so I can do it with her. I just keep repeating that "God will give me what I need as I need it!" And He will.

Just remember us in your prayers. It may not be immediate, but the road ahead is going to get bumpy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A First for Thanksgiving

Well, we did the normal Thanksgiving meal at my Mom's. Had the dressing/stuffing, and all the "fixins" with it. More than we could eat and we all sat in a stupor after supper. Yes supper, not lunch/dinner. (Whichever you prefer.)

But, for the first time in our lives, we helped take care of a sick baby on Black Friday. No shopping, not that I would have anyway. No, the poor child was as sick as he could be. At first we thought it was teething, because his poor upper gums look to explode at any second. But it masked the real issue. After walking the floor with LMW two nights in a row, we were able to take him to the Saturday sick child clinic at his doctor's office. And I made sure I told the staff how much I had thanked God for them. He has the croup and strep. The poor poor child. No wonder he was so miserable.

He's had the first round of steroids and Ampicillin, and he seems to be feeling better. Enough so, that LeLe took him home to try to spend the night. His Daddy had to work today, and HAD to get some sleep, so he and his Mama stayed with us last night. He's/she's/we are quarantined for a day or so. Not that any of us have the energy to go anywhere anyway.......................

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've already listed thanks, but want to repeat how thankful I am for my family. What would life be like without them? I shudder to think. And God has blessed us with countless joy in the person of LMW. There are no words to describe how much love and happiness he has added to our lives.

I wanted to post a short idea for those of you who love flavored coffee, and are trying to cut back on the sugar. I found some things at Walmart that are pretty good.


Splenda has come up with  great flavor packets to add to your coffee, and I found sugar free coffee creamer. Those two things make coffee taste pretty yummy. Not as good as real cream and sugared flavors, but you can't have everything. I decided the other day to try some spices to the mix. Pretty darn good.

I don't own a coffee pot, never having been a coffee drinker, so instant decaf is what I use. I don't drink even this on a regular basis, but when I do decide I want a little something, this works for me. If you decide to try it, let me know what you think.  I believe it's a little better iced than hot, but that's just my opinion.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cool....

After my strange post yesterday, I thought I'd post something a little more fun. Of course, that means LMW....

video

The boy constantly kicks his legs and it's just hilarious. Even when he's sleeping he occasionally kicks. He's so fun!

And here are a few pictures of my Bradford Pear trees in the front yard. After the drought this summer, I didn't think we'd have any color. I'm so thankful we do...

View from my front door.


The beautiful colors and fruit, just waiting for the Cedar Waxwing migration. I hope they don't skip us this year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Antsy

It's the middle of November. The men are heading out to the deer woods in the morning. Yesterday I did some major Christmas shopping, but have much left to do, and I am antsy to get to it.

I'm almost done with my latest project and I can't share it here due to it being a Christmas gift. I'll post after the holidays. . I need another project idea to focus on. If I don't have something in the works, or at least in my head, I get all out of wack.

I can't decorate for Christmas yet. Oh I suppose I could if I really wanted to... but I'd have to wait until the hubs is so tired from chasing deer, that he comes home for a day or so. and can climb into the attic. And who knows when that will be? But he is very close in relation to Ebeneezer Scrooge, so I dare not even ask until the day after Thanksgiving.

I want to paint. I want to sew. I want to plant flowers. (All the mums and pansies have disappeared around town, so I won't be able to put any in the pots in the back yard, as I had planned) I can't, so I sit here, posting about nothing really. That's what you do when you are antsy and no project to get to. Or at least it's what I do.

This post is terribly disjointed. Like my brain. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Honor of Our Veterans


How wonderful to know that the citizens of the United States of America realize the worth and sacrifice of our military men and women. On facebook and on blogs all over, every day women and men are thanking our armed forces for their actions and willingness to protect this great country of ours. It wasn't always this way.

My father was a veteran of both Korea and Vietnam. It's a terrible shame the Vietnam vets came home to such hate and ridicule. My father fought some very tough battles, and saw and experienced things we will never know the horror of. I was 11 when he returned and didn't realize how very blessed we were that he did. Return that is, as so many didn't.  


My Dad even documented his tour of duty with photos he had made into slides. This time for him was so important, and so life changing, that he would bring those slides out periodically, and share them with his family. When we were young, we just sort of shook our heads and endured them, but after his death in 2005, we longed for that time of reflection. He would tell us the stories of what happened to his company, who was killed, who was maimed, who made it back in one piece. If anyone who comes back from war ever really comes back in one piece. They are forever changed, and it never leaves them no matter how old they get.

Now there are both women and men suffering, leaving behind families who love and depend on them. I suppose there will always be war. But at least in this time in history, we will salute and honor them. I wish to thank all those who have or are currently serving in the military. Thank you for your sacrifice and your willingness to go in my place, to protect my freedom and liberty.

Let us not forget those who fought in the American Revolution. If not for them, we would be living under the rule of another country. How blessed we are to be living in the United States of American. God Bless the USA!

In memory of 1st Sgt Arn J. Brown, USMC. 1934-2005
Semper Fi
I miss you Daddy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ever Had One of Those Days?

One of those days when you can't seem to settle? A million things go through your head and you not only aggravate others but also yourself? This has been that day.

Yesterday I received another epidural injection in my neck. This one seems to be working a bit better than the last, thank you LORD. But the aftermath is always a struggle. I was able to sleep last night with the help of some strong drugs, and I feel the residual today. I not only have one, but many worms in my head and I am frantically trying to do, and find out, and figure out every. single. thing.  going on in my head. Very frustrating for my family, I can tell you. And they let me know about it too. :P

I've been to Walmart, washed laundry, done some spray painting, some sewing, internet shopping and countless emailings. My body is so tired I can barely function, but my mind and spirit are still in overdrive.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a calmer day. And of course, LMW will be here, so my focus will have one place most of the day. It will be a relief.

Monday, November 8, 2010

All in a Row

I've decided to list all of my thanks in one post. I think of things I want to list the next day, and then I forget what it was. This way, I can just put them all down at once.

I am on day 8, and already posted that thanks, so I'll start with....

9. My toothbrush. Can't even imagine living without that. I get all yucky feeling when I haven't brushed. I suppose toothpaste should go with that, but I could make do without it, as long as I could brush them regularly. How many people in the world live without a toothbrush, and think nothing of it? It might not be a world issue, but for me it's very important.

10. Doctors of medicine. Lately, I've been seeing lots of doctors. For my blood pressure, for my arthritis, for my neck pain....seems I am borderline candidate for Sjogren's Syndrome, and am now being treated for Fibromyalgia. Can you imagine how miserable I would be if there were no doctors to diagnose my problems, and treat them? I go in today for another ESI, (epidural steroid injection) and I really REALLY hope it helps more than the last one. If not, I'll have to live with the pain in my neck, which is a real pain in the neck!!!

11. My Sunday School class. Our teacher studies hard for us, and the women as a whole participate well, and seem truly concerned about prayer needs and each others lives. It's taken me a while to feel like a part of the class, but I'm finally getting there.

12. My Father. What a man he was. A veteran of Vietnam and Korea. A Marine through and through, but with one of the kindest hearts I've ever known. He was a math wiz, and could create the most beautiful things with wood. He loved his children, and tried to spend as much time with his grandchildren as possible. He did ANYTHING I asked him to. I miss him just as much now as I did when he first passed. It's so hard.

13. Our new pastor. I am amazed every Sunday at what he announces from the Lord. He never makes excuses, he never waters it down. He stands in the pulpit and tells it like it is, like it or not. How refreshing!

14. My Mom. She went to work after being a stay at home mom for 14 years, so we could be involved in school activities. You know they aren't free. There are suits, equipment, dues and fees. With five children to support, she had to help my Dad bring in some much needed revenue.  And because of that, I learned the cooking and cleaning and day to day essentials of taking care of a home. If we wanted to have company over and a clean house, it was up to us kids to make sure the house looked nice. If we wanted clean clothes, it was up to us to do the laundry. We bellyached then, but how wonderful to learn it early on. It has served me well.

15. My sisters. All sisters have their troubles, and their tiffs, but they also have such a strong loving bond. I am so thankful I have my sisters to share my life with. 

16. My Washer and Dryer.....need I say any more?

17. My car. And a new one at that. When my Mom was diagnosed with cancer in 08, we decided I needed something a bit more comfortable than a pickup. So, my loving husband bought me a brand new Hyundai Tucson. And. I. Love. It.  It's small enough that it maneuvers well, but has good space in it.

18. A nice warm/cool home. Not only a roof over my head, but a place to feel safe, comfortable, loved, and creative. I am warm in the winter and cool in the summer with just a flip of a switch. How lucky am I?!!  I have a home that we bought new, and it was so wonderful to have been able to move right in, and not have to repair or remodel. After 9 years, it's beginning to need a little tlc, but it's still strong and firm and safe. Are there things I would change? Definitely, but can I be happy without those changes? Of course. It's my HOME.

19. My computer. How in the world did I function without one so long ago? When I was working at the library 10 years ago...(has it been that long? Sheesh!) we got the first computers around, and I was mesmerized. It was like the computer was a magnet and I was drawn to it whether I willed it or not. I learned so much at that job about the computer. I wish I knew more, but at this point, I don' think my feeble brain could absorb it well enough. But, having the computer has given me so many ideas, so much information I'd have to go to the library to look up, IF they had anything on a certain topic. It's made the creative process sooo much easier at times.
Picture courtesy bing.com

20. My new remodeled back porch. I simply love that place. I love sitting out there and listening to the birds, an watching the ones that are not so skittish of me sitting there. Next Spring I will be so excited to look at the beautiful plants that I hope and pray will be there.

21. My friend in Georgia that I have only been able to spend a short amount of face to face time with, but we still visit almost daily via the internet. Just having someone to vent to, to listen to me, and that I can share my day to day issues with is wonderful. She is always there for me. Even when her computer is reeking havoc, she sends short messages as she can to let me know she's still there and thinking of me. My only regret is that we live so far apart, we can seldom get together.

 Pictures courtesy of bing.com
22. The holiday seasons. Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But I don't like that most folks are beginning to skim over the Thanksgiving part and get right to the Christmas. Here it is November 8th, and my neighbors already have their Christmas lights up.... but back to the thankful part. I love the cooking and family time at Thanksgiving. And I live to give gifts at Christmas. I've gotten to the point where I don't even care if I get anything, as long as I can give. It gives me a purpose and a goal for all the crafts and sewing.

23. I'm thankful we were able to relocate 10 years ago. God blessed us with the selling of our home, giving us the funds to purchase in a new town. It was hard, but it was worth it and we are all much happier, and have been blessed by the move. Things have happened, that never would have if we had stayed in our old place.

24. My Bible. God's Holy Word. Oh, how I would be so lost in this world without His instruction. And to hear how Jesus lived and died. So many in this world have never seen a Bible. It's truly a blessing to own one, and I have several. Some are even put away where you can't see them. Sometimes I am not comfortable with that.


Picture courtesy bing.com

25. And I saved the most important for last. I am thankful that I am saved by grace by the blood of Jesus Christ. The Holy Son of God. The Alpha and Omega. I have hope in Him. I know my Redeemer lives and I will dwell with him forever in Heaven when my time on earth is done. "Oh how sweet to trust in Jesus." Thankful for a God who loved me enough to send His Son to die for my sins. It's just beyond comprehension how God could have sacrificed that much for me, and that His Son would take the pain of my punishment. I am truly thankful.

I hope and pray you have a wonderful holiday season, and that you experience God's joy in the celebration.
Picture courtesy Daniel B. Holeman

Thank you my Lord and my God, for all the many blessings. More than can be contained in a blog.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 8 of Thanks

I'm very thankful for my sewing machine, and the ability to use it. (Even though the bobbin tends to give me fits frequently) How would I function now, without it? Speaking of which, I'm thankful God blessed me with the talent to sew and paint. It has been something that gives me great pleasure, and occasionally, it gives others pleasure too.

I've made countless outfits for my children. I've decorated scores of garments for them, as well as others. I actually paid for buying Christmas presents 2 or 3 years in a row, back when painted sweatshirts were in vogue. I even cut out and painted wooden items for a while. (I kinda miss that.) I'm now sewing items for babies and children, as well as a bit of quilting. And instead of painting on shirts, I'm painting canvases. All the creativity has put me in an emotional place I haven't been in years. I'm very content, dare I say even happy...And all that thanksgiving for crafting, goes with the freedom to stay at home, and not have to work outside the home.

For these things Lord, We give thee thanks.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 7 of Thanks (Sunday)

I'm thankful that I had both my children and my grandson with me at one time for a change last night. And that I was able to watch the Razorbacks win with my son here.  I don't get to see him enough, but I am so thankful for the times I can. And I'm so thankful that my daughter includes me in her and her son's life. Not every parent is so blessed.

Day Six

I have to say that I'm thankful it's Saturday and I could sleep late and can now lounge around in my jammies for a while. It's amazing how wonderful it feels on a cool fall morning, to just relax and enjoy being in a warm house.

Addendum:
Funny how I find myself doing work, instead of laying in the recliner and relaxing.....but I guess I can do it at my own pace, and am not on a schedule.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Five of Thanksgivings

Today my thanksgiving is for the privilege of attending a church where ever and when ever I wish. And I can do so without persecution. I am thankful that my church is close by, and that I get from it what I put into it. We have a new pastor, and he is not afraid to tell the truth, no matter who it may offend. He preaches the BIBLE. And I am very glad of that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ok, I'm In...

There are several folks who are posting about thankfulness, leading up to Thanksgiving or beyond. I thought I'd try. At the very least it will give me something to blog about. At the very most, it will make me really think about how blessed I am.  Since I'm four days behind, I'll give four in this post.

1. LMW..... Oh my word, he is such a blessing. Having a grand child is better than words can describe. Today is his 6 month birthday, and you can read about it on LeLe's blog.

He is the happiest baby I've ever seen, and so much fun!!! Thank you Lord for sending him!

2. My family. (Goes without saying, but I'm saying) They are a true delight to me. They are my heart and my soul and I would be so alone without them. I love you guys! I absolutely love doing for them, was blessed mightily raising my kids. They have both grown to be loving, faithful Christians. God bless them. And having a loyal, faithful, supportive husband is beyond measure. He has sacrificed for us all our days, always putting aside his needs to fulfill ours. He has truly been a wonderful husband and father.

3. The blessing of being able to stay at home and do what I love. God have blessed us financially, just enough that I don't have to work outside the home. Money is tight, but it always has been, so we are used to it.

4. The arrival of November and fall weather with all the beautiful leaves. I love the crisp air, the rainy days, the colors. God is a talented artist to be sure.

So, there are four of my days of Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Busy Busy

I've posted a few things on The Seam Rippers, but nothing here in a while. It's because I've been so busy keeping LMW and sewing/painting. And I've been working on the never ending back porch and yard project. Will I EVER finish? I'm almost there. The only thing left is plants for the planters. Then I will reveal it all, such as it is. It's not a picture in a magazine. It's not what I had envisioned in my dream world. But it's the best we could do on a limited budget with limited energy. I never found any vintage metal "tulip" chairs I could afford. (People must think they are made of gold) I couldn't build up the "landscaping" part with blocks and soil, due to money, time and energy.


 But, it's my space and it will serve me well. It's much much more than we had last year, and LMW loves to sit out there, watching the leaves blow, and the traffic race behind the scrub on the property line.

I have ideas for that property line, and it will interesting to see how much of it actually comes to fruition next Spring. Having lost all of my cedar trees to the drought and heat was disappointing to say the least. I'd really like to replace them, but I don't know if that will happen. I might just decide to put some crepe myrtles in their place. I've been wanting a crepe myrtle for years. We'll see how far we can take it when the time comes.

My birds have been flocking to the feeders. Mostly Cardinals. I'm waiting for the Cedar Waxwings to migrate and stop over to eat my Bradford Pear fruit. None of the other birds seem interested.



In other matters, I've had another injection in my neck, which didn't help at all. My Mom has had another chemo treatment and feels pretty well.

LMW is growing in stature and wisdom. (As did Jesus) He is our light and our joy. He will be 6 months old on November 4. Wow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Proverbs 31 Woman

My friend and fellow blogger Erin is doing a series of blogs on the Proverbs 31 woman. I always enjoy a study of this passage, because it usually inspires me to try harder. None of us can actually live up to this ideal, and the woman described in this scripture is not an actual flesh and blood person. Or at least I don't believe she is. I believe she is meant to be an encouragement to us, just like Jesus Christ is an encouragement. We strive to be Christ like, and we strive to be like the Proverbs 31 woman.

As I was thinking about this earlier, I realized I know a P31 woman. She would disagree, I'm sure. And she will probably be surprised at my thinking.  This is what I see in her:

She works to bring in money to support her family.
She honors her husband as head of the family.
She takes care of the house and home and puts her family's needs above her own.
She's always available for her friends, no matter how busy she is.
She teaches Sunday school and is an active church member.
She does all she can to make her family and her life what it should be.
She strives to be all God wants of her, Even though she realizes she doesn't live up, she doesn't give up.
She is always concerned with "doing the right thing."
She may not always be a ray of sunshine, but she works on it.

Who is this paragon of virtue? No, not a paragon, a simple woman doing the best she can......

My lovely, precious daughter, LeLe.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

That Smell


It has been a long hot summer, and we thought fall would never arrive. I was afraid my maple tree would just drop dead leaves instead of turning, but as you can see in the photo, it is indeed turning. Hallelujah!


The smaller maple in the back yard, did actually drop most of its brown and crumpled leaves. It now has a handful of yellow leaves still hanging on.  It's not very pretty, so no picture is posted. :P

I was in the front yard this afternoon, clearing dead leaves out of the flower bed when I got a whiff of something. I absently wondered what that smell was, but kept working, then swept up the leaves and picked them up to move over to the edge of the yard. As I moved closer to the lot beside my house that is just woods, I realized what the smell was.....it was the smell of the forest in the fall. Do you know what I'm talking about?



Every time I smell that, I'm taken back to my childhood. When I was in the first grade, I walked to school with other school children, through a small wooded area. I can still see that path in the woods, and smell the falling leaves. It's a very comforting smell. That particular smell has been missing this year, I suppose because of the drought. But the rain yesterday seems to have brought it out and I'm so glad. It's still a bit warmer than it should be, but I won't complain. At least it feels like fall now.

Latest photo of LMW....




Guitar Man.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Here.



Rain. Glorious, marvelous, wonderful RAIN. We haven't had any rain in weeks and weeks, months actually. I've mentioned my cedar trees that have died even with constant watering. We've wished for rain, danced for rain, prayed for rain. Thank you Lord in Heaven.

I have to admit, when the weather man said rain, I dissed him. Totally. So I hang my head in shame and say a prayer of thanksgiving.

Life has been monotonous lately. Nothing worth blogging about. But, Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of going with LeLe and LMW shopping. It wasn't too difficult, and he was an angel all afternoon.

Yesterday I gave my mother-in-law my old laptop. She was elated. She's never touched a computer, and it's pretty daunting to her, but she's a sharp cookie and will master it in no time. I tried to be as simple as I could in my tutoring, and made a list of things for her to read over. After I got home, I kept thinking of things I needed to write down for her.  I set her up playing solitaire as a good exercise in using the mouse. She'll have it down in no time. She's very much looking forward to receiving emails with LMW photos and videos.

I've been making a list for Christmas. My children aren't that set on being surprised, so it helps to have their input on what they want. As a matter of fact, LeLe would much rather know what she's getting, and know she wants it, than being surprised with something frivolous or unnecessary. She's a very practical person my daughter.

Now, I will leave the desk, and enjoy the gentle sound of the rain, and the cool breeze blowing through my window. Ahhhhh....life is good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why Worry?

I have not been worried much about anything lately. Just letting life unfold as the Lord wills it. But a friend of mine expressed great worry to a group of ladies the other day and it made me think. Without divulging the reason for her worry, she shared that she has been miserable with worry about a particular matter. And that she is worrying about being worried. She KNOWS God is in control and His will is always best, but asked the burning question....how do you release the worry to God? Sort of a how do you "Let go and let God" thing. None of us could really give her any help on that, and it made me think.

Why do we worry? Those without God worry because they have no assurance He is in control. Those of us who are His children still worry. I've come to realize it is not because we fear He doesn't have the power to fix anything He wants. It's the outcome we worry about. What if He doesn't "fix" it like we want? What will be the result of the outcome? How will we deal with that result? We know and understand without doubt His ability to work it all out to good. We fear the UNKNOWN. It's human nature.

I understand completely God not allowing us to know the end result. We would be tempted beyond our ability to refrain from taking matters into our own hands. We would make choices based on the end result we saw, that would muck things up even more. Personal example:  Had I known I only have one kidney (God blessed me this way at birth) I wouldn't have considered a second pregnancy. And just look what I would have missed!

God didn't give us a spirit of fear, be fear we have. It comes from the deceiver. We just have to continue to ask for strength, and yes....patience. Even though we know that with that particular prayer comes trial. That is the way we learn patience. Important lessons are hard learned, eh?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

About Face......(Book)

Facebook. Social networking. Visiting with folks you haven't seen in umpteen years. Sounds good right? I've been facebooking for a long time, but I really only post things about LMW, and my Mom. Just to share what's going on with her and to brag on the boy. Yes, I admitted it. Facebook is a place where you can brag and others will actually encourage you. That part is fun. The part where folks are getting political and hateful, not so much.

Yes, anyone on facebook has the right to post anything they please. And it is a venue for getting your personal agenda out there. It's a place where you can vent to your heart's content and others will commiserate. It's a place where you can criticize your family, friends, co-workers..... and it's your choice. But, it's not mine.

In the beginning, I wanted to be a part of facebook to visit with friends and family. The longer I participate, the more negative things I see. It's not fun anymore. I don't play the games, and lately all I do is skim to see if any of my family is sharing something I need to know. And that sort of rankles too, because how hard can it be to send me an email or text message? Or wait! What happened to phone calls?

There are so many people who are saying such negative things. It makes me cringe to read it. I just keep going back to my Bible where it tells me not to say anything if I can't say something nice. What?! You didn't know that came from the Bible? Well my friend, take a look in Ephesians 4:29......."Let no corrupt word go out of your mouth, but if [there be] any good one for needful edification, that it may give grace to those that hear [it]." Ohhh my. Shut my mouth, and stop my typing fingers.....

So, for now, I'm going on hiatus from facebook. It's going to be very hard, because it really is addictive. I made it through yesterday without looking. I hope I can continue. The only time I will look, is when I receive an email with a personal private message on there. Then I will go directly to that message answer it and leave.

It sure did free up a lot of time yesterday....

Friday, October 8, 2010

One More Time

Ok, I'm going to try another giveaway. This after I complained about them. BUT, I am only doing the easiest requirements. 

So, it's at All Things Vintage Sheets and I really need some good ideas to use with my old sheets. The ones without paint splatter on them anyway. :P

Good luck to me......and to you if you decide to jump in there too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Giveaways...

I like giveways. Not that I've ever won one. But, if it's not to demanding, I enter. Some of them are very demanding in their requirements. I don't enter those. Why? Well, because I'm lazy. And I want to win something simply because my name is in the pot, not because I jumped through hoops to get there. I want to feel like it's a real win, and not something earned. Does that make sense?

I've entered several giveaways recently, but only the ones I REALLY want to win. And once I even completed all the steps in a multiple requirement contest. Now, I have to admit, that every time you do a thing on the list, your name is entered again, but I still feel that once should be enough. Everyone get one shot, your name in the pot just because you said "yep, I want that too." It is a giveaway right?

I can understand some of why folks have all the extra chances at entering your name. I mean, you wind up following blogs you didn't know about and come upon new ideas sometimes. But some of the time, you really aren't that into the other blogs, and just want that one thing they are giving away.

One day, maybe I'll win something. But, probably not unless I'm willing to spend 30 minutes finding the other blogs, posting on them, posting on the original blog, and posting on my own....makes me tired just thinking about it....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Five

Merciful Heavens! The boy is five months old. I can hardly believe it!

He is so much fun! I never imagined he'd be so all consuming, but he is and I like it. He has two teeth, is rolling over, grabbing things, rubbing faces, watching cartoons....it's totally amazing to me. The next five months will be full of wonderful new things as well. He is such a blessing.

To update you on my Mom, she is feeling very well at present. She has now had two doses of her third round of chemo, and it always makes her feel better. She told me she can even walk now, without back pain. Hallelujah!

I have another injection scheduled for my neck on Monday. I'm looking forward to it, even if getting over it is not a party.

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas and now have a list of creative things that I need to get busy on. Unfortunately, my last trip to the local Walmart was a bust in the supply department. I'm going to have to make a trip to good ole Hobby Lobby and soon!

J and K visited over the weekend and I was so happy to have them with me. I miss them very much. Maybe one day they will live closer. A Mom can dream....

All my babies were here for lunch on Sunday and Nanna/Mom was a very happy person indeed!












The weather has been awesome, with the exception of the desperate need for rain. Maybe the Good Lord will see fit to bless us with some next week. I've lost three trees and am watching the fourth one slowly whither.
I love seeing all the fall decorations on blogs, on people's porches and in their yards. I haven't been able to come up with anything myself though. I need to address that issue post haste!
With that, and one last photos, I bid you adieu.

P.S. We got Grandpa's hand in this last pic. He is a bit camera shy....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You Know....

I have not had any really good blog ideas in a very long time. So, I'll just list some things that have been going on.

1. I've been keeping LMW several days and it's wonderful. He makes me laugh, smile, feel joyful, and he poops on me, but that's ok too. ;)

2. Mom has had some ups and downs with the cancer and other issues, but is holding her own. She was able to have a second round of chemo last Monday, and we weren't sure that was going to happen due to her blood counts. And the stress test she had came out fine.

3. My brother has moved in with Mom to help out. He is a Godsend. Now, if we can just get him a job so he can stay, we will all sigh with relief.

4. I haven't been very creative lately. I've gotten most everything on my long list of things to do done. I can't come up with any really good ideas for making Christmas gifts. There are countless ones out there, but they aren't much good if you don't think your recipient will really use them. There are just a couple I can think of, and I need to be working on them.

5. We are STILL working on the back porch. The man we hired to construct it was very good, but it just didn't turn out as we thought it would. So, SR is having to do some repositioning and reconstruction. I have a little painting left to do on the backdoor and trim as well. And we need to get the landscaping around the porch done before the wet weather gets here. (If the local weatherman is to be believed, we have plenty of time...)

6. I've lost one bush and two trees to the summer drought, and I may lose another tree. I've been frantically watering it, sometimes twice a day, but it still seems to be gradually drying up to nothing.

7. I haven't been eating as healthy as I need to. I just can't seem to stay on track. I must get a grip before the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons arrive.  I have been walking regularly though and using the elliptical some, so that's a plus.

8. We have a new pastor at church and so far so good. I haven't actually met him face to face, and it's my own fault. I can't see the pulpit or stage if we sit on the ground floor, so we always sit in the balcony. Makes it hard to hob nob with most of the members. I do like his wife though. A lot. She is in my Sunday School class.

That's it for now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Like Grandpa

Lately, I've been spending most of my time taking care of Little Man, and my mother. She spent yet another weekend night in the hospital getting a transfusion, but she is feeling pretty well at present.

Friday night Little man stayed all night with Nanna and Grandpa. I wouldn't say we got a good night's sleep, but we managed and it could have been much worse. LM did sleep all night, but wasn't really restful. He wriggled and squirmed and mewed and I wound up with him in the bed with me. I slept in little snatches, but got enough sleep to function the next day. (took a good nap that afternoon)

Sister #1 gave LM overalls at his baby shower. (He wasn't in attendance as he was still in Mommy's tummy) They finally fit now, and we got some good shots of him and Grandpa dressed alike today!


He was a very good boy today and we all three had a blast!

 


Pay no attention to the propane bottle behind us....

When my cousin saw the first photo, she sent me a poem she'd found that was very appropriate:

The Little Chap Who Follows Me!
Author: Unknown
A careful man I want to be;
A little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he'll go the self same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whate'er he sees me do, he tries.
Like me he says he's going to be;
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I'm so very fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see;
The little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go
Through summer's sun and winter's snow,
I'm building for the years to be;
The little chap who follows me.
 Note to self:   That goes for Nanna as well.......