Friday, November 28, 2008

Poor Baby

I had blogged earlier about the "performances" the great-grand kids were going to do for Thanksgiving. Our Little Buddy was going to do a crawling demonstration. As it turns out, he wasn't fully prepared. Here's how it turned out (in reverse order, for some reason)-

Great Day in the Morning!

I had a great aunt on my dad's side (she and her sister helped raise my dad and his siblings when their mother died. The children were aged 6, 4 and 2.)who used to use the phrase, "Great day in the morning!" any time she was excited about something. It quickly caught on in our family, especially if she had just visited. She was from the south and had a deep southern accent. She drew the syllables out to where, by the time she was finished saying it, you were excited yourself!

That's the way yesterday was. The grandkids had helped me set up tables the day before Thanksgiving. We put an 8-foot table in the garage for the kids to do their annual craft on, then we set up the 6-foot table in the basement and had to open up the kitchen table enough to insert four leafs. It was a lot of work, and Don wasn't able to help. We've found out, though, that he's quite good at supervising!

My sis and her hubby arrived first, and she was all about helping out. I had things nearly finished, but the offer made my load feel lighter. Then the rest of the family started arriving. Let me just say, I have a TERRIFIC family. My mom, at 82 years of age, had made a huge pot of chicken and dumplings (along with other yummy things). The nieces and nephews and their little ones began showing up, as well as our own kids, grandkids, and my brother and his family. By the time everyone was there, we had about 30 people at the house. It was wonderful. There's never any bickering or arguing. Everyone gets along beautifully. The older kids love helping the little ones. Even the little ones seem to enjoy the atmosphere and excitement.

When people began to leave, our son and his wife began to throw themselves into getting things put back in order, putting tables and chairs away and picking up trash. They have no idea how much I was dreading the thought of having to get it done. Before they left, the house looked like OUR house again. Sis and her hubby stayed around after everyone else had left. She helped straighten the kitchen, then we sat and chatted for a while. I felt like I should jump up, clap my hands and shout, "Great day in the morning!" Just like Aunt Betty used to do. Nothing beats having a good family. And I'm certainly one of the most blessed in that area.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 61st birthday, and that seems impossible. Yesterday I was a kid, riding my bike or rollerskating all over the neighborhood. I think it was last night that I was a teenage girl. Feisty. Outgoing. Loving to sing with my sis and our friend. Going to Youth Camp and Campmeeting at Sunset Hills. After graduation, working at Johnson's Music Store in downtown Granite before marrying my sweetie the next summer. And wasn't it this morning that I was cradling a precious baby boy in my arms? Such fun. A child raising a child. This afternoon it was a beautiful, olive-skinned, black-haired baby girl. A few hours ago, that baby boy joined the military, met a lovely young woman, and began a family of his own. My precious baby girl married, divorced and began making her mark in the world as a sophisticated young woman. So, when did I get old? Not that 61 is "old", in the most accurate sense of the word, but I used to THINK it was. No more. I remember all the yesterdays, and sometimes long for them. Dating that dark-haired young man who always treated me with such courtesy and decorum was exciting. Now he's balding and paunchy, but he still loves me supremely. And we still have such fun being together. Our children have grown into wonderful people. Our son brought a lovely daughter-in-law into our lives, and we have five grandchildren who bring such sunshine to every day (and two granddogs!). So, happy birthday to me. Life is good. I'm content where I am. My 61st year is going to be a great one!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Waiting for Thanksgiving Day

We're going to have SO much fun on Thanksgiving Day. I always plan a craft for the children, because our house isn't very large, and, unless the weather is unusually nice (which it rarely is), we're stuck inside all day. This year, besides the craft, I decided to have all my mom's great-grandchildren (except for Jordan, who is almost 19 and doesn't want to "perform") do something. It's going to be quite a soiree. Our oldest granddaughter plays flute, the next girl plays violin, and the youngest triplet plays clarinet. Their younger brother plays piano. They've been preparing for their Christmas concert at school, so we're going to turn that into a Thanksgiving performance for the captive family that will be coming to the house thinking they're going to get to eat, veg and leave! One niece's children will be giving an art demonstration, break dancing and yodeling (unless they change their minds and come up with something else equally entertaining). The second niece's little girls will be reciting their ABCs, counting in Spanish and singing Joshua Fought the Battle. Our little guy, whose performance skills aren't honed as yet, will be giving a crawling demonstration (we hope).

Hope your Thanksgiving Day is half as much fun as ours is going to be.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well, That Was Easy

We're already home, and things worked out quite well - for me, at least. There were 300 people there, and it was going to be a long wait in a long line. Since hubby is having problems standing for long periods (or short periods, for that matter) of time, we didn't feel like he could probably stand in line as long as it would take to get seated, get our food, etc. So, we opted for a nice dinner at Ravanelli's. Only thing, I baked a Pig'Lickin' cake to take along, and I won't be getting one piece of it. It's one of my very favorites. The coconut cream pie I had at Rav's was a nice alternative, though.

What's that scripture about "all things work together . . ."?

I Don't Wanna!

Tonight is the annual Thanksgiving dinner at our church. I should be excited about that, anxious to see all my friends. But I'm not. For some reason, I'm experiencing all those old feelings of not wanting to be around large groups of people. That horrible feeling of insecurity. Not sure I belong anywhere - especially HERE. Rationally, I know this is all a bunch of bunk. I should suck it up and have a wonderful evening. Wish it was that easy. In fact, maybe it is. I'll spend the next few minutes preparing myself emotionally (spiritually?) and do my best to spend the evening with a smile on my face, even if I can't muster that glow in my heart. I've learned in the past few years that, if I can fake it well enough, I can sometimes fool even myself.

A change of attitude. A change of heart. A change of perspective. A wonderful outcome. I won't settle for less.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm Proud to be an American

My patriotism is a near spiritual experience for me. I love my country. I revere and honor the men who have given their lives for our freedom; I respect the men and women who are now serving. I am not too shy to approach service men and women in public places and thank them for their service to our country. I don't pretend to be well-versed or overly bright about our American history (or anything else, for that matter), but I've read the books of Peter Marshall and others that cause me to think our forefathers were men who acknowledged God and were intent upon keeping His precepts and laws as they knew them to be. If you don't agree with me, please don't expect me to discuss the matter rationally. I'm almost as passionate about my country as I am about my God and my family. Do I think we've made perfect decisions? Hardly. Do I think we live in a eutopia? Not in the least. Am I thankful I'm an American? You betcha!

A friend sent me the following link. It's a children's and high school choir along with the school orchestra. I was touched. If we could get our kids and young people as passionate about allegiance to their God and country as they need to be, we'd avoid a lot of problems that loom in our future -- no matter who is President!

Please take time to listen and thank God you're an American. Not everyone has our freedom or prosperity, even though we're experiencing hard times. We have not yet resisted unto blood.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We're Blessed

Don's last few days have been very difficult for him. His legs are increasingly weak. So much so, in fact, that he couldn't even walk up the steps from the garage to the kitchen carrying a McDonald's bag and soda the other day. He had to set everything down, get himself up the stairs, then let me go back and get the stuff. His voice is no better, and that's beginning to frustrate him as well. He's mentioned the surgery a couple times lately, but I'm not ready to go there yet. I was so weary and teary Sunday and had stopped in the vestibule of church to chat with a couple lady friends. I was immediately humbled. One of the ladies, several years younger than I, had lost her husband a while back to a several years' fight with diabetes. She, herself, is legally blind from the same illness. But spunky! My goodness, she's spunky. The other lady's husband was injured in a motorcycle accident and lay in a coma for three months before passing from this earth. She faced all kinds of ups and downs during that three-month period. As I talked with them, I felt so blessed. I'm weary. Don's weary. But, he's functioning, and I'm still able to live a somewhat normal life. We've had to greatly limit our activities, but we're still able to spend wonderful time together. In fact, I believe we've become closer than ever, if that's possible.

I turned my heart God-ward after my time talking to my friends. I asked God to bless each of them, as only He can, and to give them the strength they need to face every day. I'm sure either of them would give all they own to spend one more day with their loved one, even if he couldn't walk and talked with a raspy hoarse voice. Don and I are going through a trial, but we're blessed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A New Day

It's raining outside, but it's amazing how much brighter a day looks after a good night's sleep. We spent yesterday morning in the doctor's office again, and I was done-in yesterday afternoon. But, by yesterday evening, I could feel myself getting stronger - in every way. I know from personal experience how much our physical affects the mental and spiritual (and all combinations thereof). When I'm so exhausted that my bones ache (been there?), I should know to expect a collapse in the other areas of my life as well.

But I'm now seeing the sunshine again, and I feel like I can actually get on with my housecleaning today without having to push myself to get it done. Hubby's outlook is always so bright; I need to aspire to be more like him.

Let the raindrops fall. Today I have sunshine in my heart!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm Tired!

I probably shouldn't even be posting tonight, because I feel exhausted - physically, mentally and spiritually. Don's condition has worsened the last few days, and he's fallen twice. The first time he wasn't hurt, but the second time he was going out on Saturday morning to get the paper and fell in the driveway. He hit his head in the left eyebrow area and bled quite a bit, but it isn't serious. The grands were here, and it was a bit upsetting to them to see him hurt, but they handled it well.

I don't mean to complain, because I'm thankful that he isn't in pain and that his illness isn't terminal. But I'm feeling so physically drained. Seems like I have twice the work to do, because I have to help him with everything. He can barely get up the stairs empty-handed, and it's nearly impossible for him to go up stairs with anything at all in his hands. Therefore, I'm having to tote everything that either comes or goes. His spirits are good, but mine are sagging.

We go to the doctor tomorrow for lots of blood work. They're intending to start him on a new treatment since he's worsened since his thymectomy (a disappointment to us and the doctor). It's a bit radical, but it's kind of our last straw. It's called IVIG. We'll go to the hospital for five days in a row for 5 - 7 hours each day. He'll be transfused with immunoglobulin for those hours. They're hoping this treatment will help kill off all the extra antibodies he has in his blood. We'll see.

Okay, I'm done. Now it's time to go upstairs and try to get a good night's sleep (which has been increasingly difficult because he has leg cramps all night long). Tomorrow will surely be a brighter day, and I'll feel stronger. Just needed to unload a bit.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Great Post

Please check out the "Bring the Rain" blogspot that I have referenced on my site. She has an excellent post about "Seven Prayers a Day." It would be worth any mother's time to read it and practice it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Life Is a Hoot!

Last evening, hubby had two different music gigs to go to, so Mom and I decided to go to the funeral home for the visitation of a friend who had died recently. The crowd was huge, so we waited in line for quite a while. I love seeing old friends and chatting, though, so that wasn't a problem.

On our way home, I noticed Mom start digging in her purse about 1/2 a mile from her house. I knew she was probably looking for her keys. She continued digging, but wasn't coming up with anything. I pulled into the driveway and said, "What's wrong, Mom? Can't you find your keys?" She said, "No, and it shouldn't be that hard. I pinned my key to one of my zipper pulls, but I can't find it anywhere!" She continued rummaging in the purse, getting more frantic all the time. I finally looked down to see if I could help. I could. She was trying to find HER keys in MY purse!! We laughed to hard we nearly peed our pants (you'll understand that reaction when you get a bit older). It's been a while since I've had a good belly laugh like that, and it felt plumb good!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kids Say the Oddest Things!

Today was a very busy day for hubby and me. First of all, our younger grandson spent the night. We love having him with us, but he didn't know what kind of Sunday he was going to be in for! To get the day off to the perfect start, we forgot to change our clocks. I was slipping out of bed at what I thought was 7:30 to shower and get ready for church. Grandson lifted his head and looked at me, and I knew he was already raring to go. About the time I was getting myself ready for a good wake-up shower, I realized that it was actually 6:30 in the morning. Whew! That's early for an old lady! Oh, well. Too late to worry about it by then.

We never eat at home on Sunday mornings, because we pick up donuts for our class at Farm Fresh on the way to church, and someone else always brings goodies (we have a sign-up list). So grandson had a perfectly nutritious (?) breakfast of donuts and milk. After he spilled his entire cup of hot chocolate on the carpet in our classroom, we settled in for the lesson (which he dutifully took notes on during the whole class!). We left our church right after class and headed to my mom's church for Reunion Sunday. The singing and preaching were good, and we enjoyed the service. After a wonderful dinner with Mom and her church folks (including some of our pastors from ages ago and my sis and her husband), we headed for home. Don was there about 15 minutes before he had to leave for Nursing Home Sunday. He arrived home from the nursing home in time to rest about 45 minutes, and we had to go to the funeral home to pay our respects to the family of a 42-year-old man who had taken his life by overdosing on drugs. Pretty sad.

I didn't realize that our grandson had never been to a viewing before. When we walked in, we told him to sit on the back pew and that we would join him in just a few minutes. We walked up to the casket (grandson informed us that MOST people call them coffins), spoke to members of the family that we knew, and went back to the pew to join grandson. He was very polite and quiet and seemed to not be disturbed in the least by what was going on.

We got in the car to go to Culvers before taking him home, and the questions started.

GS: Granny, that was kinda weird.

ME: Why, honey?

GS: Well, I could see that guy's head, and it looked like he was smiling.

ME: Oh, really? I didn't notice that.

GS: Granny, did he have any clothes on?

ME: Sure, honey. He had on a nice white shirt, a tie and a dark jacket.

GS: Where'd he get them?

ME: His family probably picked them out for him.

GS: What if they didn't pick him out anything. Would they just bury him naked?

ME: I never thought about it, but I don't think anyone would be buried naked.

GS: Then, is it against the law?

ME: Well, I don't know that's it's really against the law, but I've never heard of it.

GS: Then, somebody really COULD be buried totally naked?

ME: (Conceding defeat) I guess they could, but it would be kind of sad.

GS: Why would it be sad?

ME: Because it would mean their family must not have loved them very much.

GS: Do you have to pay money for the clothes?

Well, as you can see, this conversation ended up being a rather lengthy one. I couldn't believe it. He's visiting a funeral home and seeing a dead body for the first time in his life, and all he's worried about is making sure the guy had clothes on! Kids never fail to amuse me (and amaze me).