Friday, October 31, 2008

You Find What You're Looking For

I've posted in the past about the disease hubby has. Every single time we go to a doctor (ANY doctor) the first question out of his/her mouth is, "Do you have any trouble swallowing?" MG typically attacks the eyes, throat and lungs. So, it's something I'm keenly aware of.

Tuesday, hubby was sitting at the computer when he suddenly began to choke. Not just a few little coughs, but he was really choking. Since, in our 42 years of marriage, he's never done that before, I definitely took notice. He eventually got his breath and I put it out of my mind. I had a hair appointment, and, while I was gone, he apparently had yet another choking spell. When I got in from my appointment, he was lying on the couch, and I could tell he was exhausted. I questioned him about it, and he told me about the second bout of choking and said it was actually worse than the first time. Well, that time I got a bit concerned. Since I'm aware of the nature of his illness, I wondered if he was beginning to have problems with his throat. I voiced my concerns and urged him to chew thoroughly before swallowing and to tell me immediately if he sensed any problems.

But the whole incident got me to thinking. He's had a lot of sinus drainage going on. His vocal chord is beginning to "come back", so maybe some of the other nerves, etc. in his throat are finally waking up. In other words, I was seeing what I was looking for. The choking was probably no more than a fluke, and I was worrying needlessly. I would like to tell you that I immediately put it out of my mind and never thought (or worried) about it again. But I can't. I can tell you, however, that he was fine all day yesterday and so far today he's been fine.

Have you ever "labeled" someone, and, from that time on, you only saw things in that person's behavior or personality that supported your label? I have - especially when I was younger and hadn't yet begun to mellow. We even do it with our children and grandchildren. This one's the sweet one, that one's the rebellious one, the other one's the sassy one, etc. I'm asking God to help me seek out the good. It will make the not-so-good much easier to deal with if (and when) it comes. I certainly don't advocate sticking your head in the sand and becoming oblivous to the bad behavior of others (including your children), but simply try to find as many or more positive things to praise than you do negative things to chide. I believe, and you may come to agree, that you'll find what you're looking for!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Better Perspective

Okay, I'm feeling a little better about my fashion sense, but the reason isn't exactly laudable. I was on my way into Wal-Mart today when a vehicle pulled up in front of the store and the passenger-side door opened. When I saw this lady getting out, I at first thought (and I'm being honest) that she was dressed up for Halloween. Her cheeks had these huge, red (BRIGHT RED) circles on them, just like a clown. The eylids were smeared from lashes to brow with baby blue sparkly eye shadow. She had drawn on eyebrows with very dark eyebrow pencil. But they weren't the skinny little eyebrows you see sometimes. I mean, these things were HUGE. She either had penciled over very bushy eyebrows, or she intentionally drew them to look bushy. Her lipstick was very exaggerated and the same color as her rouge (believe me, this was much more than "blush"). Her foundation was nearly white, or at least very, very light. To top the look off, she had on a wig that was very obviously a wig. I would have laughed, but I realized right away that the lady wasn't joking around. She seriously thought she looked good! It was a major make-up disaster. So, the next time I go to Wal-Mart, I'm definitely wearing my long jeans (heels or no heels), cuffed at the bottom and a striped top. No one would dare say a word!

Another Fashion Faux Pas?

I have another fashion dilemma. I pulled out my winter wardrobe and put away my summer things. Much to my dismay, I discovered that most of my winter tops are striped. Somewhere between last winter and this winter, I heard that women 60 and over shouldn't wear stripes. Oh, no!! Now, what am I going to do. I'm thinking they meant stripes over two inches wide or something, because I honestly don't think ALL of my striped tops need to be replaced. Getting older and trying to dress "with it" (at least a little) seems to present a major problem for me.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Thanks to all you fashion freaks out there for straightening me out. I've now invested in two pair of jeans that I'll probably only wear half a dozen times all season -- but, you know, it's worth it to be fashionable!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

THe Flip Side

I'm older, so I know my parenting methods don't mesh with many today. However, I was interested to read the blog from Making Home. Check out the link:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So, am I eclectic or just plain weird?

Okay, I'll admit it. My fashion sense leaves a bit to be desired. But I definitely know what I like and what I don't like. Problem is, my taste is often either outdated or not in step with the fashion gurus of this present day (my daughter, for instance). Which brings me to my dilemma.

I'm between an AVG. and a L. when it comes to my jeans. When I'm wearing flats, that's no big deal. But, if I want to wear heels with my jeans, I'm afrad that some who are on top of the fashion scene might think my jeans are too short. I had visited my favorite ladies shoppe recently (Wal-Mart) and had purchased a couple pair of jeans in AVG. to supplement my winter wardrobe. As I was checking out, there was a young woman in front of me who, I thought at least, was fashionably dressed. You know - jeans, t-shirt and some kind of cute, funky shoes. Anyway, I noticed that she had cuffed her jeans on the bottom. Not two or three turns up, but one turned-up cuff. This isn't the first time I've seen this hep fashion trend either. So, when I got in my car in the parking lot, I called my daughter. I told her my dilemma bout jean length, then I told her about the young girl I'd seen. I ended the coversation saying, "Do you think it would look okay, if I buy the longs and they're too long, if I would just cuff them on the bottom?" At first she was a bit confused, thinking I meant those big, huge cuffs that were in style this summer where girls turn their jeans into capris by rolling them up about 10 inches. But I only want about a 2-inch cuff. Being the sweet, loving daughter she is, she didn't want to come right out and tell me that I would be committing a tremendous fashion breach by cuffing my pants two inches at the bottom. Instead, she assured me that, if I thought it looked good, then it MUST look okay! W-R-O-N-G!!

Later that afternoon, daughter joined us at the neurologist's office for my husband's first visit since his surgery. While we were sitting there chatting, the door opened, and in walked one of the most unique individuals I've seen in a while. He was over-the-top friendly. Flashing a huge smile at everyone. You could tell right away that he really thought he had it going on. But that's not what caught my attention. It was the way he was dressed. He had on a short-sleeved t-shirt. (No problem there.) Wide brightly multi-colored suspenders. (I can take it.) His pants were obviously several sizes too large, so he had belted them, causing that "grocery sack" effect of gathering all around the top. (Now I'm about to lose it.) But the clincher was his jean cuffs. Neatly rolled - not once but several times - into a very neat 2-inch cuff. (A mirror image of what I'm going to look like!) I was about to roar in laughter, and daughter was doing no better keeping herself in check.

So, now I'm confused. Is my fashion sense acceptably eclectic, or am I just weird? I STILL know what I like. And I know I absolutely DO NOT want to look like that fine gentleman in the doctor's office! Oh, my. Back to sweatshirts and sweatpants. There are no hard fashion decisions there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Different, but the Same

We have family visiting from out of state, and I love it! Hubby's niece is with her mom this trip, and I am thoroughly enjoying her company. We're very different. In fact, there's probably little about us that you could say resembles in the slightest. She's young and single. I'm not. She's tiny. I'm not. She's blonde. I'm not. She's very adventure-seeking. I'm not. She's intelligent and curious, and I'm not (at least, not very). And the list of differences could go on and on. However, there's one thing we have in common. We each hold a mutual respect and love for the other. I admire her free spirit (to a point anyway), and she admires the fact that she can talk openly with me without fear of retribution. On some issues, we agree implicitly. On others, we probably stand poles apart. But it doesn't matter. That's what family (and some friendships) is all about. You may not be in the same political arena, but that doesn't keep you from talking about the funny people at the last family reunion. Her view of world affairs is much more inclusive (and exclusive) than mine, but I love hearing her tell of her experiences abroad and the passion she has for other nations and people. She loves hearing my time-worn stories of the grandchildren, and I think she sincerely finds them amusing. Is it true opposites attract? It was certainly the case in my marriage relationship. Maybe it's also true of bonds between friends. One thing is for certain, people don't have to agree on every point to have a relationship. They can agree to disagree. In some cases, as with this niece, it isn't difficult at all to pull off. Come again, sweet niece. You can tell me about your expansive view of the world and people in other countries, and I'll tell you about my husband, children and grandchildren (might even throw in a Piper story or two), and we'll have a great time together!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Don and I were watching a movie last night on TV called "Living Proof." It was a good movie about the doctor who invented one of the leading medicines for treating cancer. Anyway, the doctor in the movie ran to relieve stress. As Don was watching, he said very softly, "I sure wish I could run again." My heart ached. How very different our lives are today than they were one year ago. Change comes. Problems arise. Health fails. Dreams are crushed and plans have to be remade. But there are some constants - God's love for us, our love for each other, the love of our family and friends. The list goes on and on. So, while we may have lost some things, we're still rich. And, someday, Don will run again!

Inspiring Church Service

We had a young family (husband, wife, and two girls, ages 15 and 16) at our church tonight. He is actually the nephew of one of our deacons. This couple has felt for at least 20 years that they were called to the mission field, but it seemed like God was taking them down lots of gravel roads before getting them on the superhighway of their dreams. Looking back, they see how every single life change they encountered was preparing them for where they are right now - preparing to go to the Sudan. They're not allowed in as missionaries, so they'll be going in as businessmen. (Thus, the reason God had them start their own small business 8 years ago.) Their presentation was very well prepared, and all four family members participated. It was wonderful to see these two beautifully articulate and eloquent teenage girls speak with such passion about their calling. To be honest, it was a humbling experience just to meet them and listen to them speak. God bless them and all like them who are making such timely commitments. They will be befriending the Arab Muslims there, and God has given them such a heart of love for the people. Don and I both left the service uplifted in our spirits and feeling blessed to have met this special family.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trip Up the River Road

Don and I took a drive up the River Road today. Although it still isn't peak for the colors, it was a beautiful day. Here are some of the pictures from the drive. I took these out the car window, so they're not "1st Niece" perfect, but they turned out looking pretty good.


Okay, I joined Facebook. Why? I don't really know! Sounded like fun, I guess. But, so far, I'm not impressed. Can anyone tell me why my profile doesn't show up on any of my friends' sites when they've already accepted me? They show up on mine, but I don't show up on theirs. Many of the requests I sent out went to my friends, but gave them no option whether to approve me or not and didn't send a pic with it. Also, I created an album, but the only way I can see the pictures is if I go in to edit it. When I tried to send a direct question to Facebook, it sent me clear around the world -- and I don't like that. I like direct answers to direct questions. So, if any of you "techies" out there can help me out, please do so. If you think I'm hopeless, you can tell me that, too!! At this point, FACEBOOK STINKS!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Painted Fly

Since some of the blogs have been about bugs lately, I decided to add my "fly in the paint" story. Today, two of the grands were painting at their craft table in the basement when one of them yelled, "Granny, come here and see this! Come quick!" The other two grands and I went running in there to see the sight you see pictured here. A "drunk" fly had landed in the white paint. One of the girls fished him out and put him on the table, where he continued to walk around. A white fly. A white PAINTED fly! He even walked through some of the other colors and "painted" with his hairy little legs on the paper. Gross!
So, what's our method of "outing" this white fly? Do we squish him? Do we let him continue as the only white fly we know? Or do we frame him and put him out for the general public to gawk at? Maybe he'll still be around at Thanksgiving for your viewing pleasure!

I Can't Remember What I Forgot!

I know. It sounds like a circular statement, doesn't it? Rather senseless. But that's exactly where some folks find themselves in their golden (?) years.

We've had guests in our home since Friday evening. They left this morning to return to their home in KY. This dear lady has always been brilliant, and continues to be in certain ways. But she has the beginnings of Alzheimer's, and carrying on a normal conversation is a challenge. Every time she would see our little dog she would comment, "What a pretty little dog? Now where did you get him?" I would retell the story that I had told at least 10 times before, but it always seemed new to her. She asked about the welfare of our kids and grandkids more times than I care to remember. But one incident struck me as especially sad. This lady has always been a nice dresser and well-kept. When they came in on Friday evening (coming to our house straight from the funeral home, where they were paying their respects to the family of a young woman who died recently) I noticed right away that the lady had a run in her hose that was halfway around her leg. This wasn't a run, it was total deterioration! I didn't want to mention it, because I didn't want to embarrass her. When they came in from the funeral on Saturday (her husband officiated), I noticed that she had the same hose on again. Her husband noticed it when she sat down and pointed it out to her, asking her to be sure she changed into something better before going out again. She looked down at her leg in genuine shock saying, "Oh, yes. I just did that a few minutes ago!" I didn't say anything, but I knew she had been wearing that same pair of ruined hose since arriving at our house the day before. Sadly, she got out of the house Sunday morning in the same pair of hose! This time, when they got home, her husband followed her into the bedroom, making sure that she disposed of the "holey" hose. She was a little miffed at him, because I think she thought he was pointing out flaws. That wasn't his intention at all.

I listen to their interchanges and watch her trying to remember what has been said 15 minutes before, and my heart aches. Why do bad things happen to good people? I don't know - but they do. She left to return home in a dress that was badly soiled down the front of the bodice. That never would have happened five years ago. She had too much pride. Maybe that's the sadness in this whole thing. She has been totally stripped of pride. It doesn't matter anymore, because she doesn't remember from one minute until the next what she's said or done, where she's been or who she's seen. Her long-term memory is still surprisingly sharp most times, but that doesn't help her in carrying on conversations with her family and friends. Her husband said he prays daily for patience in answering her questions time and time again -- the same questions, the same answers. One thing this visit has taught me, friendship transcends all problems. Lasting friendships aren't broken when one becomes "less" than they were before. In some ways, it may even strengthen the relationship. Isn't that a precious thought?

So, someday I may not be able to remember what I forgot. But will you still like me? Will you continue to be my friend? I'm worth it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This Stinks!

Don continues to struggle with the paralyzed vocal chord, so he isn't able to project. I'm getting as deaf as a board, so we're having some real problems communicating. If we aren't in the same room, forget it! Even talking to him on the phone is a challenge. He's doing great in his recovery from the surgery itself, but this stinks!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How Much Is Too Much?

I'm now 60 years old, and it's amazing how you begin to look back and reevaluate your life at this age. What did I do that was really important and what was done for vain reasons? I'm surprised at how my list tallies out.
As a young mother, I was strict with my children. I don't regret that, and I don't regret the methods of correction I used, as a general rule. However, I do regret my attitude with them at times. If I could change some things, I would spank less and empathize more. Yet, God was faithful to honor my efforts, and we raised two amazing children.
As a servant of God, I could always be counted on to do my best. I gave 110%, but often I was just as concerned about how it sounded or how it looked as I was about Holy Spirit anointing. I listen to old tapes of the choir I directed, and it sounds really good. And many times the Spirit of the Lord flooded the place as the congregation worshipped during the choir song. But I REALLY wanted it to sound the very best we could make it sound. Was that wrong?
I taught Children's Church for many years, and I didn't let those kids get by with anything! However, I look back and see how many of those same children are now involved in some kind of ministry, and I honestly feel like I fed into their little lives. If I did anything right, it was in having them work very hard at memorizing scripture. They'll never regret what they learned.
I have, at times, been a difficult wife. I'm strong and opinionated - even more so when I was young than I am now. But Don wasn't perfect either. He was, for years, very wrapped up in himself. Most of the child rearing was left to me in the early years. So, we banged heads on a regular basis. Wish I had been more mellow back then. We worked through those difficult years, though, and have one of the best marriages I know anything about at this stage in life.
I was always busy. Maybe too busy. Even after I started working full time outside the home, I continued to direct the choir, lead Children's Church, play the piano, sing, homeschool our daughter, etc. Could I have done some of those jobs better if I had laid the others aside? Looking back, I don't know what I would have wanted to do without. Each facet of my life has been rewarding, and I would hate to have missed any of those special moments.
How much is too much? That depends upon your motives and methods. In hindsight, I've had a wonderfully full and extremely busy life -- and I don't regret a minute of it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

He That Is Without Sin . . .

Our open forum topic in our class today was divorce. What a touchy subject in this day and time! As it happens, we have some in our class who have experienced the tragedy of divorce firsthand. No one ever comes out of divorce unscathed. That's why God sets such high goals for His kids. He doesn't want any of us to have to endure the heartbreak and sadness that comes with the break up of a relationship. But it happens. So how do we deal with it in our own circle of family and friends. Often, God's grace and forgiveness far exceeds ours. In the case where I'm the grateful receipient of that grace and forgiveness, I'm thankful He's God. But that's not all there is to it. I must also be gracious and forgiving to others who have made mistakes, bad decisions and wrong choices.

I also spoke at length with a young woman this morning before class that is struggling emotionally. She's sad and angry all the time and doesn't want to be around people. She doesn't understand what's happening to her, and, when asked to explain her feelings to her husband or someone else, she's at a complete loss for a plausible explanation. Having suffered from depression for a number of years myself, I was able to love her and minister to her without judging her. I know how lost and hopeless a person can feel sometimes.

Finally, I went early today to practice with a group of young folks (well, most of them in their 20's) who were singing for Morning Worship. Four of them sing together. As it turned out, one of the boys had received a call from another young man in church saying he needed a ride to Sunday School. Instead of the young man coming on to practice and picking his friend up after practice was finished, he opted to go pick up his friend and miss the practice. It was quite frustrating to those of us who had sacrificed to go to church early to get this final practice under our belts before the service. It was so frustrating to the other young man in the group that he has chosen not to sing with them again for a period of time. I got to thinking about that. The first young man definitely should have honored his commitment to come practice. However, that doesn't justify the second young man. We can really control no one but ourselves (and sometimes that's a job in itself), so we're just wasting time in trying to control someone else by punishing them by our actions. The second young man loves to sing. So , who is he really hurting? He was upset; that's a given. But everyone will be better off if he chooses to lay his anger aside and continue singing with the group. The first young man sincerely apologized to me for not attending, and that's good enough for me.

An eventful morning. So many lives. So many problems. So many choices. So many needs. I've botched things up too many times to sit in judgment of anyone else. Lord, let me be there when someone needs my help, my encouragement, or the comfort of Your precious Holy Spirit.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our Little Dog

Some wanted to see a picture of our little Papillon, Piper. Here he is. We adopted him in February. He's a good little dog, but he LOVES to lick.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Love of Family and Friends

This has been a good day. The weather has been beautiful for the last couple days, and that always helps my mood. I love the sun.

I've been playing at being a kid again. One of the grands aspires to be a chef. Some time back, I found a little chef's jacket at the Goodwill, so I bought it. I was going to make white pants to go with it, but daughter suggested I make black and white tiny houndstooth pants (she's seen chefs wear them somewhere - probably on Hell's Kitchen on TV or something). So, I bought the appropriate material and made the pants. Finished them earlier today.

Then I went down to my handy dandy computer and got to work. I made a sign that reads, "Miss Hootie Patootie's Fine Dining." I put a picture of an owl on it. In case you're wondering about the relevance, when this particular granddaughter was tiny, she would shape her mouth in a little "o" and make a hooting sound. She picked up the nickname "Hootie" as an infant, and it wasn't long until her daddy added the "Patootie" portion. After I made the sign, I put together a menu. My trip to Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart came next. I bought some aprons, chef hats, utensils, plates, bowls and cups (mostly disposable to cut down on the cost), some receipt books and some play money. I also bought some food items - single bags of chips, soup, lunch cakes, and a couple kinds of juice. When I brought everything home, I updated the menu to include the items I had purchased. I don't know if the kids will like it or not, but I had a ball!

A niece on hubby's side called from Washington D.C., where she now lives, and we chatted for quite a while. I've always loved this sweet girl, and it seems that we're always able to find things to talk about. She affirms me, and Lord only knows how much I need that sometime!

I just got off the phone with niece when the phone rang again. This time it was my mom saying she and my sis were on their way over to see how hubby was doing. They came bearing dessert - fresh peach cobbler and Cool Whip. Yummy! So, I put on a fresh pot of coffee, and we sat around the table and talked for quite a while.

It doesn't get any better than that, does it? Spending time letting the "child" in you take over, and then visiting with loved friends and family. Some probably think I let the child in me take over too often, but I've always been pretty animated, and I don't usually have much trouble developing a rapport with children. Maybe I'm saying that acting the fool is something I occasionally enjoy! (Imagine that!) No matter. I've had a good day. Hope the grandkids enjoy my creations as much as I did!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Proud as Punch

While Don was in ICU at MO Bap, we were quite surprised to learn that they had no age restrictions on visitors. Therefore, our younger grandchildren (aged 10 and 8) were allowed to go in and visit with him. That might be a problem with some children who haven't been taught properly how to behave in that type of setting or are too young to understand that they must be quiet, but our kids were exemplary. The nurses were all commenting on how well they were behaving, and Don and I were about to pop our buttons!! Our favorite nurse, Katie, went on and on about what sweet children they were. Just what a grandparent longs to hear. Of course, they might not have been so quick with the praise if they knew that our grandchildren are all quite shy and never step out of the box very far. Doesn't matter. We were smiling anyway.

Then, of course, the night before I brought Don home, D came by with my grand-dogs. (I'm told I NEVER mention them, so I must make things right.) Our little dog, Piper, absolutely loves playing with Bella. Livvy, who is actually the cuter of the two, doesn't excite Piper nearly as much as his first cousin. They ran and romped and played - almost like watching children interact with each other. A release for the dogs, and a release for me as well - which is much needed after spending several days in a hospital setting.

Don continues to improve. He did have one leg cramp last night, but that's a huge improvement. It's not unusual for him to have 10 or more a night. He rested better and is still going very lightly on the pain meds. He took one tablet (he's supposed to take two) just before bedtime last night, and he felt like it helped. We go to our family doctor today to discuss Don's problems with his blood pressure while he was in the hospital. They may prescribe something for that. All in all, he's beating all the odds. We stand before God with thankful hearts.