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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the little gift

Buster was our outside dog.  He wandered over here probably 9 or 10 years ago, just a white and black pup needing a home, and he found it : ) For years he was really good at helping keep the squirrels at bay, but, truthfully, they had pretty much worn him down. He was getting old and just got too frustrated trying to keep up with them...oh, he would still make a show of it occasionally, just to let us know he was trying, but usually, he just looked at them and took a nap instead. He was still really great at sounding out when anyone came around, or if intruding critters, other than squirrels, were around. I know you've picked up on the fact that I'm speaking of him in past tense, and, sadly, we did lose him about 6 weeks ago. I was hoping when his time came, he would just go to sleep. Instead, his leaving was terribly dramatic...he came upon an animal he didn't recognize, and probably just in his friendly way was checking it out...we never heard a sound. We found him lying in the back yard,  not very far from our bedroom window. No one could understand the quietness of his leaving in such a violent way, that is, until the cub print was found, and then the mama bear print, just at the corner of our property. Buster certainly would not have recognized such an animal here, and was probably just curious and never had time to be frightened. That gave us comfort.
Now, about the gift...My husband and I always spend time camping at Lake Ouachita near a little town called Mount Ida. My mama was raised there and I still have people just down the road from where we stay. We get lots of fishing and visiting in and get to enjoy the beautiful Fall colors. We had a great time as usual.
On our way back home, however, I couldn't help but feel a little blue. I knew this time Buster wouldn't be running up the road to meet us, and turning back to lead us to the driveway, with little yelps of joy and his tail wagging like a helicopter. He was such a cute boy-dog. It made me sad not having him. When we arrived home I got out of the truck to unlock while my husband worked at getting the camper backed in. After a quick walk through the house, I went out to get the mail, still just missing my dog and wishing he was there. Walking back across the yard, something on the ground caught my eye...something white. I bent down and picked it up...a tiny hummingbird nest had fallen from a tree...a perfect little nest made almost completely of Buster's hair! My eyes filled with tears, and I could only look up and say, "Thank You for caring for the little things as well as the big ones."


Friday, October 7, 2011

Life's Treasures

When I was a little girl, one of our favorite neighborhood games was "Pirates." We even had a ship! In reality, it was a pear tree that grew alongside of what was sometimes used as a chicken roost with laying boxes built on one side. Of course, other than the egg laying boxes, the chicken house wasn't really needed during the day, and if foxes or possums had made a recent raid, might not be needed during the night!

The tree had some low hanging branches, making it easy for us "country kids" to climb up our "ladder" onto the ship's landing (ie, roof of chicken house). Several in the group had read Treasure Island and we were also well-acquainted with Peter Pan, giving us true insight into the ways of pirates. In our game we were the "good sailers," travelling the Seven Seas and attempting to regain treasures that had been stolen by pirates! Someone would be in the Crow's Nest on watch and would call out "Ship ahoy!" after spying the dread "Skull and Crossbones" and we would all spring into action! Now, this is possibly the reason I occasionally have ankle or knee problems today:
With our knives in our mouths and our swords at our sides, we would jump into the sea (about a 5 foot jump anyway!), swim to the pirate ship and climb up and over the side (scale the only lasting side of an old storage building across the way!) and fight our way to victory! We would invaribly find treasure beyond imagining (for anyone but children, that is) and would make all the pirates walk the plank, then leave with our newly acquired ship and "booty." Yes, we knew that meant treasure. No one ever referred to people's behinds as "booties" during our childhood! Sometimes our treasure was absolutely in our minds eyes, and sometimes we would sneak some of our mother's costume jewelry out to play with. . . a real no-no! In either case, treasure was our goal.

Fast forward about a zillion years: In my adult life, our children became my treasure. They were more precious to me than anything in the world. And as life is, they were grown before I could blink! When our youngest left for college, I was bereft. My world had been built around the kids for so long, and then "poof," gone. The "treasure chest" was empty, and I thought, "What am I going to do?" But just in time, God's time, life changed again. Our "in town" daughter-in-law came over with an unexpected gift; I opened it, and there was a pacifier! GRANDCHILDREN began arriving! Those two "littles" whose picture I've included are the "babies" among the eight who fill our lives with all the treasure anyone could ever imagine. "Ahoy, Maties!" Life is good!
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Chocolate Chip Cookie Smile"

Our family loves chocolate...It's genetic. We come from a long line of chocoholics, and my sister and I (and I guess my brother too) will gladly take credit for passing this love on to all the generations following us that we live long enough to influence:)

Look at little Jack's happy face. He was enjoying his FIRST real, homemade with LOVE, chocolate chip cookie! He's been indelibly marked now, and as he grows, he won't really understand the WHY of it, but he will always crave those tender-crisp, buttery, chocolate-gooey, melt-in-your-mouth creations. He probably won't like them as much if they have nuts in them, because it just "takes away" from the REAL basic simplicity of our best-loved cookie.
Two of my nieces were present and watching as Jack weighed in on this newly-discovered treat, and they took great pleasure in being a part of an important family event. They both had their own chocolate stories involving Aunt Diana (me). When they were little and I had them, I gave them chocolate milk in their bottles or sippy cups. Actually, Leanna had quit taking a bottle till I filled one with chocolate milk, and when she went home to her mama, insisted on her choco-milk bottles for months thereafter! (;0 I don't think my sis was so pleased, but, hey, she got over it. Melanie, the "big sister," claims to still remember the Halloween when I gave Leanna her first c.c.cookie. I had baked them for a special treat, and couldn't wait another minute for her to try one. Melanie already had her mouth full as a little chipmonk, and after all, Leanna WANTED one, so what's an auntie to do? It made her so-o-o happy. It's always the same: that first little quizzical look, and then, absolute DELIGHT! It's the expression you can see on our youngest grandchild's face...the pure, unadulterated JOY of tasting his FIRST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. I shall make them often and share them generously, so maybe our next generations will keep the tradition going. ________________________________________________________________________________________________Easy Simple and Wonderful Chocolate Chip Cookies: (one reason I LOVE my big blue Kitchen Aid mixer!)
2 sticks unsalted butter (yes, you can use a good fake butter, if you really believe there is one)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (light may be better, but can't tell that much difference)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking SODA
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 pkg. (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
___________
Beat butter and sugars with electric mixer (or wooden spoon) until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Add flour until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by heaping tablespoons (or can make smaller) 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in pre-heated 375' oven about 10 minutes, or until edges are golden. Cool on baking racks, and then enjoy with a big glass of cold milk...YUM!
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Friday, June 10, 2011

"Sayings" and what I know about them

 Today I've been doing a lot of thinking about life and the years I've lived it and some stuff I've learned. Things like "if you play with matches, you're going to get burned.!" That can apply to a range of stuff, from the hole my sister and I burned in the bathroom floor when we were little to the "famous people" scandals we continue to see ad nauseum on the evening news. I can't begin to imagine how that Wiener guy's wife must feel...first thing I would do is change MY name!
"Don't count your chickens before they are hatched," is one my mama used to say...I remember thinking and thinking about it till it finally made sense, but it didn't have much effect on me with some of the foolish decisions I've made in my life."When one door closes, another opens" has new meaning to us as our only children who live in our town are relocating because of job changes. They are "stepping out in faith" (another one) for the good of their family, but it's going to be a huge adjustment for the parents/grandparents as they aren't planning to leave the grandson behind! I have a feeling we'll be keeping the road hot!
The main thing today is (and there's even a book with this title) "Bad things happen to good people."  Look at what's going on in our own country, much less the rest of the world! People have had to flee their homes because of floods and fires, or have lost their homes, all their belongings, and even loved ones due to the horrible tornadoes! These are tragedies that make the news, but, honestly, personal tragedies are going on every day in our lives and in the lives of people around us. I have a good friend right now who entered a hospital in February for hip-replacement surgery, and the unthinkable happened...she contracted bacteria which led to infection. She's now in a different hospital facing what, her 5th surgery, I think? She entered a hospital suffering pain, but optimistic about her future. However, now, months later, she's a sick woman, facing who knows what else? She's a person of faith, and she keeps saying to me, "It's going to be alright. I don't know what's going to happen, but it's going to be alright. God has been with me all the time, and He won't leave me." She may be alright, but I was in total despair, until I talked with a "bff" who has experienced some really bad things, including death of a child (God help us!) as well as serious personal illness. She reminded me that "God gives an extra measure of peace and grace to those who really NEED it," and "It's not something you can understand unless you have experienced it, but it's like being wrapped in a cocoon of God's PEACE." She also said it's probably a lot harder on the ones on the "outside" who want to help and "fix it." I believe she's right. I want Vonda WELL! I believe in the power of prayer, and I am praying desperately that she will be well and whole soon. I'm also praying that Vonda will continue to have faith that no matter what happens, she will know God is with her through it ALL and it will be ALRIGHT! I hope you will take a minute to pray for her too:)

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Eyes Have It!

EYE tried to put another picture up, but have so many passwords, EYE couldn't remember which one to use! The computer remembers me when EYE want to blog, but, unfortunately, Picasso doesn't. Oh, well. That can be remedied later; EYE just needed to get something down on paper NOW!! (not sure this counts as paper, come to think of it, but not complaining. Love our technology!)    Surely you noticed the word EYE instead of I. It's because (and I'll quit doing it now:) my EYES are on my mind today. I've recently undergone surgery to remove cataracts from both eyes. I'm still using drops, and the drops go on and on and on. It's only been a week  since I had my right eye done and two weeks before that, I had surgery on the left one. The surgeon doesn't just remove the cataracts, no. She implants lenses that are like contact lenses and, if you are fortunate (like I seem to be at this point), your vision can be almost totally repaired! It's amazing! A mere 3 weeks ago the first thing I did upon waking was put on my glasses and now I'm sitting here clicking away without them! It's a wonderful, new freedom that I never thought could happen. I was never a good glasses wearer...they were on and off a zillion times a day and misplaced about that many times too. Hopefully, my family will never again (or at least for MANY years) have to hear the familiar, tiring question, "Has ANYONE seen my GLASSES?!?"

Thank YOU, Lord, for allowing this medical miracle to occur in my life. I pray that I will never take my sight for granted and that I will always let your LIGHT shine forth from these EYES.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A WOW of a WEEKEND!!!



It was a weekend our family had looked forward to for months! Son Nathan, who moved all the way from Little Rock, AR to Seattle, WA, came for a visit. And he didn't come alone! He brought the love of his life, Jensina, with him. Family members from Ft. Worth, Tyler, and Houston, TX along with Arkansas family from Magnolia (us) and Little Rock met in Little Rock where my daughter's home became the hub of activities! Bless Julie's heart, and thank goodness she has a place where many people can mix and mingle comfortably and children have several nooks and crannies for play! Anyway, we welcomed Jen into our hearts and lives in a big way. Most of the family had never met her, including me. And although we had skyped and facebooked, texted, and talked by phone, actually seeing her and being able to give her a big hug was a really big, emotional time for me, and for her too. There were tears as well as laughter. It was wonderful, and there was no doubt at all that we have each other in our hearts.

During the early afternoon, everybody kind of dispersed for awhile so "littles" as well as the rest of us could have some nap time and space. Nathan and Jen took a trip to Conway so she could go by the house her parents built there many years ago, and they could go by Hendrix College where the two first met about 21 years ago. He was a staffer and she was attending Governor's School, a special summer program for gifted students. (She is a concert pianist and teacher in a college now.) Of course, they were breaking every rule by even spending time together then, but what are rules when attraction is there? And who hasn't fallen "in love" at a summer camp?

When we all converged on Julie's house later for dinner and more visiting, Jensina had an addition to her "wardrobe." A very sparkly, beautiful diamond ring! While at Hendrix that afternoon, the place where they first "began," Nathan proposed marriage and Jen said yes. So, our "welcome to Arkansas party" became, even better, an ENGAGEMENT party! From seeing the cake that just "magically" appeared, it seems that daughter Julie had a little hint of what was going to take place. Hoorah, and hoorah! Congratulations, Nathan and Jensina and ALL of us! And welcome to the family, beautiful Jen!
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A Special Weekend

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oh, Be Still, My Heart!

I know. I've been away so long, with Lent and Easter and life in general, not many will remember I'm here, but that's OK. I guess I do this mainly for myself, anyway. Isn't that true of a lot of us out here? Our main audience is ourselves, or at least it begins that way. For so many I've read, blogging has become a ministry, too, and that's a very good thing:)

But all that is for another day. Today is about a dream I had about a little girl who would someday arrive in my life and would be very accessible. A little girl I could hold, and sing to, and dance with and read to; a little girl I could make up games with and adventure with, and spoil, and watch grow...a little girl I could join my life with and wrap my heart around. And, OH! GO TO HER DANCE RECITALS!!!

Friends, just LOOK at our little dancing princess! She takes my breath away. I don't even have to see her on that stage, to have my wish fulfilled...WHAT? Of COURSE I WILL, unless God calls me home first, but when I said I had a dream, I also had a prayer, and I really believe He's going to let me stay around for awhile, at least as long as she REALLY needs her Nana.

Addie is wealthy in grandmothers. She has GeMa, KK, and me. She also has a GG, who will soon be 90! So, Addie doesn't lack in adoring women in her life. The grandmothers will all three be at Miss Addie's first dance recital, and all 3 of us will have tunnel vision, firmly fixed on the little apple of our eyes who has danced her way into our hearts and will remain there always. So, DANCE, little ballerina, DANCE!
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Friday, March 11, 2011

"I don't know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand."

It's been another "one of those days." But this time it had nothing to do with not being able to find the keys or being late for a meeting or forgetting to mail "that" bill. It's been yet another day when we don't have WORDS to express our feelings. A day when more have died in wars, some being killed by their own neighbors in CIVIL war; a day when Christians have been persecuted and killed in an African country; a day when people's houses fell on them while they slept, or the ocean jumped up and over them, sweeping them out to to watery graves; a day when another soldier from Arkansas, my state, was shot down and killed in battle over - what? Oh, God, maybe all the "end time" prophets are right. Perhaps we are on the verge of the end of this world as we know it. It may be that our country never again knows a time of peace until Jesus comes back. Even in the midst of all the turmoil, though, it has still been a day to celebrate the miracles, big and small, that come in to our lives each day. A good friend's relief that her husband would not require a pace maker after just recovering from a terrible stroke; another friend celebrating that her new-born great- grandson is out of danger after being born with a collapsed lung; a blogger friend who has just celebrated her 5th "re-birthday" being cancer-free; my little grand daughter saying, "I love you. Nana," as she twirled and curtsied in a video sent by her sweet mama, my daughter, who said for years she "wouldn't have children," and now has two. Yes, miracles that give us hope. Hope that breaks through the storm clouds of life to renew our Faith in Him who holds the world in HIS hands.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So, what's the big deal?: the naked face: the naked truth

So, what's the big deal?: the naked face: the naked truth

the naked face: the naked truth

This picture was taken while I was standing pretty close to the edge of the Grand Canyon. It had been raining or misting rain most of the morning and was at last clearing. It was such an amazing sight. . . clouds forming below us and rising. Earlier, we could hardly see the canyon, the clouds were so thick. It was our first, and, who knows but God, maybe our only trip there. I will never forget it though. It was a highlight of my life.

The purpose today is not to talk about the Grand Canyon, although I could go on and on, and possibly will in the future. No, today I'm just facing some truths. My birthday was Sunday. I am now on either the "dark" side of 60, or the "bright" side, depending on how you look at it. Today, it's seemed a little dim. Either choice, I am now 66. Whew! Wow! I am trying so hard to think that is fairly young...the 60's are the new 50's and all that...but it's really NOT young. It's not OLD either, at least to ME it's not. I know the truth is, many folks don't even make it to 66. They never got the chance to experience "aging" like I am possible getting to.
In this picture, I had NO makeup on. It's my flat-out naked face. My hair was even "naked." Look at the gray in the front. That's one thing that's really hard. I'm just NOT ready for gray and my children aren't even ready for me to be gray! Right now, I'm very close to blond with lots of highlights, but I'm not really happy with that. I need richer color. Oh, and look around my mouth. . . parentheses! Yikes! should I get "filler?" Or am I going to "woman up" and just do the best I can with the help of Mary Kay? I am just a MESS about this aging thing. I don't want to LOOK my AGE!! I am so VAIN it is PATHETIC! Forgive me, Lord, please.
I guess I should try to adopt the philosophy of the cartoon person, Maxine. She doesn't care what people think about the way she looks. She just enjoys her life and LIVES every moment of it with humor. What am I saying? She's a CARTOON! You know what though? Her "cartoon" philosophy brings to mind that of a humorist, writer, and mom I just loved. . .Erma Bombeck. She left us much too soon - a victim of cancer. During her battle she encouraged us all to really LIVE our lives every day that we have. She wasn't concerned any more with minor stuff like I am dealing with. She was fighting to LIVE as long as possible. I remember her response when asked about regrets. She really didn't dwell on the past, but she did feel a bit sad about the "wasted" time she spent worrying about the superficial stuff, like I'm doing right now. And she did regret that she didn't eat more ice cream.
So, there it is. Get over it, Diana. The face does not look youthful any more, but it is a good face, an honest face, and a much-loved-by-many face. Now, I think I will go have some of those luscious-looking/smelling strawberries I bought today, and maybe some ice cream on the side.
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Emma-dog

Here's our Emma. She is eight years old and has been in our family about a year and a half. She is a Silky Terrier, close kin to the Yorky, but a bit sturdier looking. If we let her hair grow long, it is curly and quite beautiful, but since she is a country dog and in and out of the house a lot, it makes much more sense to keep a close cut. Emma, also known as Emma Love or Emma Rue, is a terrific little dog and wonderful companion.
When we got Emma, I wasn't even looking for a dog. I had barely gotten over the loss of our previous one, and I just didn't think I was ready. Anyway, I went to get my hair done one day, and Crista, my long-time since she was in 7th grade in my class friend and also long-time hair doer, asked if I might want a dog, as she was trying to find a home for Emma. I still don't quite understand why Emma needed another home, but I mulled it over. I thought it might be nice for our outside dog, Buster, to have a friend. He had seemed kind of depressed and lonely lately after his best dog-friend died, and having another dog around might perk him up. So I asked, "Is she an OUTSIDE dog?" "Oh, yeah," I was assured. "want to see her?" Sure enough, there was Emma, overgrown hair and all, hunkered over a deer leg, chomping away. Yep. OUTSIDE DOG. "Where does she sleep," I asked, as I looked dubiously at the little mongrel. "Oh, anywhere she finds a place," my little friend said. "Well, as long as she's an OUTSIDE dog, I think we can take her. Bill will be ok with that."
"OK, I'll clean her up, and we will be over with her on Sunday afternoon," Crista said, smiling.
Got home with great hair, told my sweetie about our new dog, he griped, but was ok with the idea of an OUTSIDE DOG for Buster. Now, look at that picture again. Does that look like OUTSIDE to you? No, no, no, no, no.
When Crista and her family arrived, the dirty, smelly, tangled, little puff-ball of a dog that was chewing on a deer leg had been replaced by this precious, groomed, friendly, silky, shiny little PRINCESS of a dog. Emma has NEVER spent another night OUTSIDE. She sleeps in her own little crate in the laundry room unless the weather is stormy, in which case she hunkers down at the foot of our bed. Let me make that clear: NOT on the FLOOR, but on the bed itself. That's a first with us. She has a real fear of storms. It's probably because of all those scary times she spent OUTSIDE trying to find a hiding place from storms. . . this little OUTSIDE dog. Tonight, Emma is not home with us. She is really sick with pancreatitus (I think that's the spelling, not sure) and is in the hospital. I knew something was wrong when she came to wake me yesterday morning, as is her usual morning chore, and she didn't say anything to me; she just sat on the rug, panting. I was already awake, but was waiting for her to come, because it's part of our morning routine. I got right up, dressed, walked through the house, told my husband, got the keys, and was off with Emma to the vet. The illness is scary, but she's improving and will certainly be home again soon. We miss her. She plays with us; she makes us laugh out loud every day, and gives us as much affection and, yes, LOVE, as we do her. . . Emma, our little INSIDE dog.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Real Me?

All you have to do is look at the picture, and you know who I really am: wife, mother, aunt, sister, and Nana. Yes, I capitalized that one. I hope my kids who aren't in the collage don't look at this and get annoyed. These were just easy to get to and are simply symbolic, so, guys, don't get all in an uproar about it (i.e. Nathan, since he would be the only one annoyed). I do have all but one grandchild in the collage, and I couldn't find a picture of the two of us together. I will certainly remedy that the next time I see him. Some people spend their entire lives and lots of money trying to figure out "who" they are and looking for "purpose" in their lives. Sad. Oh, I'm like everyone out there. I have worn and do wear many "hats." But from the first time I held one of my babies in my arms, I knew in my heart, THIS is who I was meant to be. From the first time my sister and I REALLY connected (way different than just growing up in the same household) I knew who we would always be to each other. With the first silly love note, "I just wanted to see if this pen would write. Love, Bill" I knew who my one true love would be. I am thankful to my heavenly Father every day for the love and abundant blessings in my life and for providing me with a clear picture of the ME who matters the most.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Time Flying By!

It always happens. I hardly got acquainted with 2010 when it marched on to 2011; I barely got used to February, and suddenly it's MARCH! Beth Moore was writing about Bible verses with the words "march" or "marching" in them. Seems like someone was always "marching into battle." and doesn't it just continue. I'm quite dizzy and dazzled when I think about all that's going on...all the unrest...all the people willing to march in and step up, endangering or surrendering their very lives for independence and freedom that we have taken for granted and rarely given a second thought. Well, let me tell you. I'm giving it all a thought every day now. People died for freedom on our soil way before we came along, and now Americans, too, continue to march on, giving their all on foreign soil for the IDEAL of freedom. I say, "God bless them." . . . and a special "rest in peace" for Frank Buckles, America's last veteran of WWI, the Great War; he was blessed with 110 mostly vibrant years to maybe in a way make up for those he lost in that dreadful prison camp! A couple more random "marches" came into mind, I guess since I love hymns so much: "Onward Christian soldiers, marching into war, with the cross of Jesus going on before..." Pray for Christians who deal on a daily basis with persecution because of their faith. . . that deserves a though for sure. "We're marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion. We're marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God." March is my birthday month, March 6th to be specific. I will be on what I'm calling the "bright" side of  my 60's. I'm getting nearer Zion with every passing year. I love my life here, but I realize more and more, I'm just passing through on the way home.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

God Hears and Answers

I was so annoyed earlier when I discovered that the post I did yesterday was unreadable because I had been "piddling" with text and background colors. I should have just stuck with what I knew worked, but it's fun to play. Anyway. long story short, after attempting to just EDIT yesterday's post, I found I had completely obliterated it! DANG! I had worked really hard on it and had cute pics and used 3 different text colors, and I was SO EXCITED! The whole thing was based on things that I was EXCITED about! GONE in one little mistaken hit.
Then, I checked my email where I found today's a Simple Wife post. I have kept up, as many of you have, with lovely Joanne in Colorado, and the horrendous stroke and ensuing rollercoaster ride she and her dear family have been on for the past weeks. Today, SHE had TYPED a few sentences HERSELF; JOANNE, who had been been in a coma for what? almost 2 weeks? SHE, who had been on the brink of death; SHE, who has a soft flap over her brain where part of her skull had to be removed due to swelling; JOANNE, whom it was thought by many professionals would never again have any QUALITY of LIFE, TYPED the sentences at the beginning of the post! Not only had she done the typing, her personality and humor showed through. I was smiling at what she had to say:) I am just a beginner here, and all I had seen before of Joanne was a video of her and her 2 little daughters quoting from Psalms. Since her stroke,I have visited her sister, Kristen's blog, and I have read all the posts by Joanne's husband, former posts of Joanne's, and posts from her little girl, and I have joined obviously thousands who have been united in prayer concerning Joanne and the entire family. So, after realizing the tremendous progress she has made when, as Toben said today, "she has just gotten started," I thought, "Now THIS is something to BE EXCITED ABOUT! God is faithful. He has heard the prayers of his people...the prayers in behalf of Joanne...and we are seeing HIM at work. Praise HIS holy name. I'M SO EXCITED and thankful, and I am not letting down. I am praying for JOANNE. "The fervant, effectual prayer of a righteous man/woman availeth much." (notice: that's not SELF-righteous.)
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and PRAY,and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and then I will heal their land." or their illness, or their despair, or their pain, or..., or..., or... .
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sing-a-ma-Jig-It!

Oh, my goodness! My forever friend, Teresa, has sent some wonderful folks my way, and I am just so excited! Thank you all so much for the warm welcome to "Blogger Land!" I can hardly wait to visit each and every one of you and follow your blogs! Here I had been thinking, "what have I got to read?" and, Presto! with a wave of Teresa's magic mouse (and probably a promised morsel) you ALL SHOWED UP! I had a little bout with the dreaded stomach bug during the weekend, then celebrated Valentines Day, and hadn't checked in, and, WOW!! WHAT a BIG DEAL! Lots of new friends. So, although I'm getting a rather slow start this week, be patient...I will be at YOUR PLACE to see you soon:)

Now, on to the Sing-a-ma-Jigs. I hope all of you are acquainted with these little guys. The ones I am seen holding went to two of my "littles," Addie and Jack during a family Christmas get-together. Jack's TOO little to quite figure them out yet, but Addie seems to have fun with them, and Jack kinda likes carrying them around. I think my nieces and I had more fun with them than the children did, and I'm quite certain my son-in-law hid them at the bottom of the toy box after I left! Sing-a-ma-Jigs make sounds and can blend together when you squeeze their "tummies." They also greet you when you pick them up and "shake" their hands and tell you "Bye-bye" when you leave them. Quite mannerly of them. They are colorful and have cute/funny expressions on their little faces, and some of them have very wild hair, all of which makes it quite easy to smile or laugh at them. You just can't be with them in a group situation without smiling, even if in bewilderment, at the crazy fun grown-ups can have with the little critters. Oh, and on top of all THAT FUN, each one has a special song to sing. . . like, "you are my sunshine," "oh, my darlin' Clemintine,". . . some song well known throughout generations of folks. One "S-a-m-J" I am NOT holding is one I have here at home. It is probably the least desirable looking little Sing-a-ma-jig, but I think it has the BEST SONG. My little YELLOW guy with LAVENDER LIPS and a BLUISH-GREEN NOSE and HOT PINK patch of HAIR sings "THIS LITTLE LIGHT of MINE, I'm gonna let it shine; this little light of mine. . . I'm gonna let it shi-een. This little LIGHT of MINE, I'm gonna let it shine! Let it SHI-EEN, let it SHI-EEN, let it SHINE!" Now, isn't that just the BEST? Isn't it just what WE are HERE on Planet Earth for? to be gentle people, to make others feel better, give a smile, not worry so much with outward appearances, and to blend with those we meet in a pleasing, accepting way? I know my light gets kind of dim sometimes as I get caught up in the business and drama of "life in general," as is probably the case with many of you. As a mom, friend, Nana, wife, teacher, and, certainly, as a Christian, I understand that lots of eyes turn in my direction, and I really want to be caught "shining" instead of with my batteries run down. I need to take care of myself mentally, physically, and spiritually. How about you? How's YOUR LIGHT shining today?

Encouraging and challenging words: "YOU are the LIGHT of the WORLD. . . Let your LIGHT SHINE before 'others,' that they may SEE your good deeds and PRAISE your FATHER in Heaven." from Matthew Chapter 5, the BIBLE.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Days

I am a "southern girl," and having two really good snows in the same winter is something of a rarity to us in South Arkansas. Many of my friends and I agree that we love having snow but really would not like living in a place where snow isn't "special." I am just enchanted with the sight of it, and the feel of it falling on me...it doesn't hurt when it hits me, and it doesn't get me wet if I brush it off.  But the other thing I really, really love about snow falling, is the SOUND of it. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? I simply must go outside during the thick of things and just listen...It's a very different sound than rain or sleet, or, certainly hail. It's ice, but it's not. Snow is soft, and it lands on some surfaces soundlessly, but on others in a little "sploofy" sound. I love to hear it as it drifts onto and through the leaves that haven't yet fallen... It's like what my inside little-girl-self thinks of as the sound "magic dust" would make as a fairy godmother grants a wish. Oh, yes, there is still that little girl inside. Aren't you in touch with the one inside you? (unless you're a guy, of course, but even a guy would get it!) I remember being just a little girl, probably around three, and I was looking out the back door, staring at something I just couldn't figure out. It was just sifting down at the time, and after watching it for a few minutes, I finally went to my mama and asked, "Mama, why are all those mosquitoes falling out of the sky?" I really remember that and how my parents laughed! I also remember getting bundled up in my snowsuit and my little hat with a pom-pom on top, and going out to experience the snow. There are still pictures of me somewhere...I will have to dig them out and show them to the "grands." Oh, and who doesn't remember snow-cream! Daddy would take a big pan and go out to find the cleanest, freshest snow and Mama would mix up that sweet, vanilla-laced concoction, and we would truly celebrate the day. When my own children were growing up, we carried on the traditions of those wonderful days ...snow families, snow ice cream, snow fights, sledding.. and now they are passing on the magic of snow days to their children. All I can say is, "Beautiful."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Re-evaluating and Refurbishing ME

In the picture, I am standing on one of the largest precipices in the world, I suppose. . . The Grand Canyon. It's all behind and underneath me. A truly breathtaking scene, just after a rain, clouds forming BELOW and rising. I will probably never stand in that exact place again, even if I do return to that amazing work of God's art.

This week I've found myself at a different precipice. I've realized I've got to make some changes in my life. I haven't felt well, and it's been difficult to "get over" it. Without going into much boring detail, I'll say that my doctor and I had a good talk, and we have re-evaluated some meds I have been taking. My blood pressure was elavated, which is pretty much unheard of for me; I have been enduring a terrible bout with i.b.s. and had a very scary gastric spasm a few days ago. Good doctor checked me out to make sure that was "it" and no heart thingy, and we changed some meds and did away with some others.
All of this "health or lack of" business has really affected me. For the first time in my life, I was FEELING OLD! I am not accustomed to being ill, and have made up my mind to not continue such nonsense. Like the Grand Canyon, stretching miles behind and beneath me, and still changing and growing, I have a lot of LIFE already behind ME and I don't want to cause what is ahead to be unpleasant through neglect. I have WAY too much/MANY to live for and I want the LIVING to be full of "memory makers" for my children and our "grands." So, beginning yesterday FOR KEEPS, I've adopted and finally welcomed a new life-style, not that my former was so bad, but I think this is better: My day now begins with Bible reading, seriously. It's not a new thing for me to read the Bible, but I had become neglectful, and that's just not right. My spiritual life needs a boost, and what better way than listening to God through his word. I have a wonderful little book called DAILY LIGHT that was first published in Kings James Version in 1794 by Samuel Bagster. In 1998 it was re-published by Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Rev. Billy Graham. It's total scripture, no commentary, 2 topical pages for every day of the year and extra reading for particular occasions in life. I would recommend it for anyone. I'm reading that and Open Windows devotional, and at some point during the day, I am working on memorizing 2 new scriptures for each month with Beth Moore and other "Siestas." Surely if my 3-yr-old granddaughter can recite the entire BOOK, PINKALICIOUS, I can learn a few scriptures! (although, I'm admitting it's hard for an older brain!)

The next phase of the day, after a healthy breakfast and time enough for it to "settle," I am EXERCISING. This is HUGE for me...anyone who knows me understands that; I pretty much LOATHE it, BUT, "New Me" is embracing the GAZELLE. And I'm making the best of it:) I am spending close to an hour gliding along, or more like swooping along on the gazelle, and watching Hoda and Kathy or something I've recorded, as well as spending time in intercessory prayer. Some people have a "prayer walk," I have a "prayer swoop."

Enough said today...you get the picture. OUT with the whole idea of OLD, and in with the NEW and IMPROVING, ME! We'll talk "diet" on another day. "Oh, God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works." Ps. 71:17
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Frenzied Over Fries!

BACK AWAY FROM THE FRIES, and nobody gets stabbed with a fork!! Look at that plate of fries. How can it look so "average" yet get such emotional responses? Easy. These are fries specially made by my husband from what must be a secret recipe, because none I've ever tasted can compare. They are so good, he could win a fry-off, and even though I have provided a picture with ketchup, they don't need  it; they are great just eaten "au natural." This is not just MY opinion. I am backed up by everyone else in the family. I've seen our kids, particularly the younger two, almost fight for the last crumbs on the plate. That's only happened when I've been feeling generous though, because I usually have the plate nearest to ME. Yes, I hold the keys to the kingdom of fries. What's all the fuss? Let me attempt: Bill peels the potatoes, cuts them in various sizes and lengths and then uses a regular frying pan, not one of the non-stick, not a cast iron, but a good, deep, stainless steel pan with enough hot oil to cover the potatoes. He doesn't just fry a few at a time and keep them spaced out; no, he puts in the whole shebang with a whoosh! Once he begins the magic, he never leaves the pan unattended, and he continuously stirs and chops and stirs and mashes and watches over until this Merlin of the kitchen is convinced they are "just right." At that magic moment they are piled high on a platter, sprinkled generously with salt and pepper. . . those crispy yet tender entirely delectable golden fries. We know we must "play nice" for the first pass around the table, but after that, it's every man, woman and child to him/herself, and woe to the one who tries to get in MY way! Yes, the frenzied expression is real.   Back   away    from  the   fries.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

SHE is a Big Deal

The fact she is in my life at all sometimes still AMAZES me! She is a person of contrasts to say the least. I can predict a time when we will possibly be like oil and water. We occasionally are NOW. Sometimes she just wears me out because she can be so obstinate, self-centered, and even insulting. For example, just a couple of days ago she informed me that she loves when I come to HER house, and she really loves BEING at MY house, but she just doesn't LIKE my house! How would you respond to that? I said I really like my house and asked if there was something she particularly didn't like; "the den," she answered. "I'm afraid of your den." I was  speechless, but the thought crossed my mind, that at times I'm a little afraid of it too, particularly when cluttered and dusty. I finally said, "Well, I guess it is a little dark."
The evening of the very same day, we were completing our bedtime routine and were about to have prayer together. She requested that we not do the part where we "bless everybody," so I said, "O.K., we will just say the short version. Afterward, she added. "I really don't like to have to say this to you, but I don't do prayers with my Mom any more at night." I tried not to seem too horrified at this announcement, and simply asked ,why? "Prayers are just boring," was her immediate, matter-of-fact answer. That gave me pause, as I thought about how mechanical my own prayer life can sometimes become.  (I think we can revisit that thought at another date.)  "Who is this person?" you may be asking, or perhaps you've figured it out. She is the little girl I love so much I can't even find words to express...This is my daughter's daughter, Addie, the grand daughter I once thought I would never have. Yes, she IS a BIG DEAL. Contrasts? Yes. She can insult my house, and sometimes, like yesterday morning, even my person. I was getting dressed with her watching every move; it's hard to get a moments privacy when we are together, and I was putting on my bra. Addie asked why do I wear a bra? "Well, I need to cover these up before I put on my shirt, so I will look decent." "Well, you have some big ones," she commented. I just laughed; what else could I do?
The rest of the story is, the other side of Addie. The adorable, smart, caring, funny, loving little girl. She is one of the true loves of my life. During the same visit I remember her asking, "Nana, why do I love you so-o-o much?!" and, "I really love you being here. I wish you LIVED here. Even if you lived next door and I saw you every day, I would never get tired of it!" People, she is my almost four-year-old REALLY, REALLY BIG  DEAL! My legacy child, my "Addie-my-baddie."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Ballet Slippers

When  was a little girl during the 1950's, we didn't have a lot of "stuff" like people have today. We and many people in the oil field where I lived, just "made do" without a lot of luxuries. Our idea of "luxuries" would be way less than people today consider "necessities." We were used to using the mail for ordering many of the things we needed, and we didn't make a trip to town but about once a week when, often, the entire family would pile in the car and go to the grocery store. It was our idea of a "family outing." I can remember my parents even ordering shoes from Montgomery Ward catalog. Mama and Daddy would have us stand on some plain brown paper, and they would trace around our feet  to determine the correct size. Doesn't that sound strange today?
As we got into grade school, however, we began driving to Overton, a small East Texas town near our home, to a dry goods store to purchase shoes. I can remember looking in the store window and seeing a display of ballet-type flats. They were beautiful, especially the red ones . . . but I knew red would never work with my mother, so I would be content to have the black ones. I was seven, in second grade, and several  girls I knew wore such shoes to school, and I did so want some. We went inside to the shoe section, sat down, and the salesman measured my feet with some sort of metal measuring contraption. I think it's what is still used. He had me stand up and kind of felt my foot for arch and measured for width as well as length. Mama knew I wanted the ballet flats, and she even let me try them on. Oh, they looked so fancy, even though I could tell they were a bit loose, but I didn't care; I wanted them with my whole being. Mama said, maybe we should try some others as those didn't seem at all practical for school. Practical? Who cared about "practical" when "pretty" was involved. These looked like Snow White's shoes, and I thought I looked like a princess with them on. But then the shoe salesman said the most horrible thing he could possibly have thought up. "Ma'm, with your daughter's feet being so narrow and having a flexible arch, she needs to wear shoes with much more support than these ballet flats. Perhaps we should try a nice oxford." My heart sank as I saw the agreement in my mother's face and then heard it in her voice. I was nearly in tears as the slippers were replaced with brown and white "saddle oxfords," a popular shoe of the time, but definitely not my choice. They were clunky, and they had shoe laces, and they weren't at all pretty! I think I did have a little fit involving tears on the way home, as was my style. (still is, occasionally) And I never, ever forgot the disappointment I felt.
I believe, no, I KNOW that experience affected me even as an adult with my own children. When they were old enough to care, I let them have choices in their clothing and shoes that I never had. As far as myself and my own choices? What do you think. I am sitting here tonight in my leopard print p.j.s, wearing silver ballet flats with pretty filigree decorative cross straps. Oh, and as soon as I'm finished here,  I think I shall log in to my Zappos account and do a little shoe shopping.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This week is hard...

If you read "Seeing Mama Home," you have an idea of what's going on in my life right now, so pass me up today if you're looking for my light-hearted self. She's not here, or maybe in just a little different way, she is. I am finding out for sure and certain what it is like to watch a dear one move on to be with God in a home that's much better, but, DANG! dying is HARD, and watching someone in their last days/hours is hard too. The human spirit is SO STRONG. I remember this from my mom in her last days and from another lovely friend, Ms. G, our school secretary, with whom I was VERY close. She was like my "favorite aunt," though unrelated by blood but in spirit. I remember how she just kept fighting for life, and her heart just kept going strong, much longer than thought humanly possible. Now, Miss Christine is doing this. . . working hard at staying alive while dying. Several aides and others have said,"She's waiting for something or someone." I gather it's a fairly common trait among the dying. They wait till everyone they THINK should come look at their faces one more time in this life, show up. My friend Gina, whose son is like a grandson to Christine, thinks she is "waiting for Ben." Well, if that's the case, I wish Ben would hurry and get here so Christine can rest!
One thing that makes it hard to be with a barely-living person is, they just don't look like themselves any more. Christine has always prided herself on looking pretty and stylish. She always hated wearing hospital gowns, and she would NOT allow anyone to see her without her dentures, for goodness sake! There's nothing we the "watchers" can do about the teeth. I guess they would be dangerous for her and perhaps interfere with her breathing, although I do wish we could test that theory. I would bring on the denture cream and give it a go! We decided we could at least do something to make her more comfortable and "pretty" her up some anyway. We got out one of her favorite soft gowns, and the sweet aides put it on her. That would make her feel more cozy, and it is in her favorite color. . . pink:) She's always had great hair, but when you can't get to the beauty shop for umpteen weeks and your body is shutting down, the hair starts going too. So, I took a pretty silk scarf, printed in her favorite pinks and turquoise, and put it around her hair and tied it in a side-bow. It gave her some color and "sass." It was agreed that she would really like the look. Gina thought she could use some earrings, but I said that would look a bit "gypsy-like," so we held back on that idea. I wasn't finished though; I gave her cheeks some slight color and put pink lip gloss on her lips and made sure her eyebrows were shaped. THERE. Much better. If Christine could smile, I know she would. I think she is smiling inside.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Seeing "Mama" Home

This is a sad time for our church family. One of our dear ones is slowly and steadily making her way Home, in the heavenly sense of home. It's not sad for Christine. She's lived 90 mostly wonderful years, and she has REALLY LIVED. Most of us would want that to be said of us. She's looking forward now, not reminiscing about her past. She's looking forward to Heaven and to being able to look into the face of  her Father-God and looking forward to being reunited with her husband, Lloyd and all her other loved-ones who are waiting to greet her. I just know the word is out that she will soon be there. That welcoming committee is waiting just beyond that thin veil that separates the mortal and the immortal. Don't you know there's some celebrating already taking place! Her favorite songs, Amazing Grace and It Is Well With My Soul, are being sung and Hallelujahs fill the air!

When my own mama died, I was not there. I was packing, getting ready to return to East Texas to be with her, because she was in hospice care, and we knew she was leaving us very soon. The phone rang, and it was my sister. She said, "You don't have to rush, Diana. Mama's already gone." It just broke my heart...not that she was gone; she was ready to go at 89, and I had seen a few days earlier that she had "folded her tent" and was ready. It broke my heart that I wasn't right there. Christine has no children; her church and some darling others make up her family, so, in that sense, she has many children, and I am one of them. I may not be in the room when Christine passes, but I have been there during her last hours. In a way, I'm doing this not only for Christine, but for myself and in honor of my own mama. . . at last, I am "seeing Mama home."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Deer Country and Peppermint Tea

Warning: Some of this could cause that "queasy" feeling.

The first time I saw our Emma-dog was when she was a young mama. She is a  silky-terrier, and her owners had bred her and were selling her precious little fluffy-ball puppies. We already had enough dogs in our home, but I certainly enjoyed seeing those cuties!
Fast-forward about 5 years. My friend, who does my hair and has for many years, wanted to find a home for Emma; I still don't quite know why, and I had forgotten all about Emma. I asked if she was an outside dog, as our old dog, Buster, seemed a little sad lately, and I thought he might enjoy company. I drove out to the country ( I live in a country neighborhood, but this was the REAL thing.) to check her out, and there I found a little ragmuffin-looking dog OUTSIDE and chewing on a deer leg. Thus, the "outside dog" question was answered: Emma  definitely was one. I said we would take her. Owner said they would "clean her up, cut her hair, and bring her out on Sunday."

Sure enough, that Sunday afternoon, the family arrived with Emma in tow, but she looked NOTHING like the wild little thing I had seen with the deer leg. She was PRECIOUS! Coach looked at me as I "o-o-h-d and ah-h-d" with her in my arms and muttered, "So, this is an outside dog?" We-l-l. That was over a year ago, and she's hardly been outside ALONE or without WATCHFUL EYES in all that time. She's a wonderful, playful little family dog, and Coach loves her too, even though he would never say LOVE about a pet! Of course, as the saying goes, "You can take a dog out of the country, but you can't take, blah, blah, blah. "

We are in a country neighborhood. Everyone around us hunts. Deer happen, and when you have dogs, deer parts usually make their decrepid way into the yard. Today, on one of Emma's trips outside, she stayed longer than usual. I heard her little "scratch, scratch" on the door, opened it, and there was a proud little dog with a really GROSS DEER LEG, including hoof, IN HER MOUTH, trying to get it in the door! NO! NO! NO! and she dropped it and came in, smelling pretty gamey indeed. She kept hanging around the door, sniffing and thinking about that yucky deer leg. Soon, a plan formed in this devious brain. If I let her out the back door, I could grab that leg, throw it in a garbage bag, and problem SOLVED. So, I  emptied some cleaning supplies out of a plastic bag, called Emma, who was MORE than EXCITED to be going outside again...she knew EXACTLY where she would go...straight to the LEG! I worried, could I make it to the front door before she did? So, with my hand in the sack, glove-like... oh-my-gosh, it's thin! I let her out, slammed the door, and ran like a crazy woman through the house, opened the front door, aha, she hadn't made it yet, grabbed up that yucky, kind-of too ripe feeling leg with the now MUCH TOO THIN grocery sack, had forgotten a trash bag so had to HOLD the darn thing while I got other bag from kitchen and opened with one hand. (ARGH! the thing has been in my KITCHEN!!!!) threw it in and ran to the screen porch to go to garbage can. NO! They are still out at the ROAD! Gagging, I dumped the bag with-a-leg-inside beside the door, ran in and scalded my hands for about five minutes! Then I heard that familiar little "scratch,scratch" at the door and let Emma back in. She sniffed the air, looking accusingly at me, for several minutes before settling down for her afternoon nap. I felt SICK. Fortunately, I had just brewed some peppermint tea sweetened with honey. I think peppermint tea and crackers are about all I will want for the rest of this deer-Emma day.
 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Never StopTill You Hear the Whistle Blow!

I didn't know what I would write about tonight until the ending of the national championship football game between Auburn and Oregon. The drama during the last minutes of play was a fan's dream come true! (most of the game was terrific.) A play involving an Auburn freshman from Little Rock was the game-changer. We thought there would be overtime play. The Oregon Ducks had made a touchdown PLUS TWO EXTRA POINTS to tie the game in the last two minutes! Breathtaking! Anyone but totally die-hard Auburn fans would cheer what Oregon did! Then, attempting to get down the field into scoring range, Auburn's Cam Newton completed a pass to Dyer.(I think that's his name) Dyer was tackled, almost stopped, but heard his teammates yelling, "GO! GO!" and he did KEEP GOING! The whistle had not been blown. His knee had gone down on the tackler but never touched the ground, and he used his palm to stand back up, still in control of the ball and he KEPT GOING! Coach looked at me and said, "Never stop till you hear the whistle blow." That play set up the winning points: Auburn emerged as national champions.

What a statement about LIFE and how we should LIVE. There are, sadly, many examples I can think of when people have just plain given up and quit. Life just gets too heavy for some, and they just stop living, not in a literal sense, perhaps, but there is no longer any joy in their lives. Then, there are others who live life to their fullest even under the most difficult circumstances. A friend of ours suffered what could/should have been a debilitating or deadly stroke less than 6 months ago. Praise God, the power of prayer and some special medical personnel, his family, and his own stubborn will brought him back. He is at least 95% Jack again! The whistle didn't blow, and he didn't stop! (a retired coach, by the way) Thank God, he is back with his wonderful family and friends, truly enjoying LIFE.

I have a forever-friend who was told by doctors after she had been diagnosed with ms and lupus and chose alternative treatments over treatments offered by said doctors, that she would be dead within the year. That was probably close to 30 years ago, and she's still going strong. Oh, there have been difficult times in those years; there are days when she doesn't leave her bed; she's no stranger to pain. But she LIVES a joy-filled, blessed LIFE, yielded to God and His will, and guess what! The whistle hasn't blown for Barb, and she hasn't stopped.

I don't make new years resolutions. I'm sure to break them; I know I would absolutely set myself up to break them. I've done that. But I will adopt a mantra for life. I will print it and place it among the pictures of my children and grand children on the fridge, because THEY are the BEST reason for me to NEVER STOP truly LIVING till I hear the WHISTLE BLOW. "...for I know WHOM I have believed, and am persuaded that HE is able to keep what I have committed to HIM until that DAY." (2 Timothy 1:12) until the whistle blows. . .

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Help, I've Fallen, and I Can't Get UP!

You may not recall that commercial by a company who had some sort of "safety" thing for senior citizens in order for them to get quick assistance in case of a home accident: an elderly lady was pictured on the floor, and she was in contact with an emergency person, and that was the line she gave. . . "Help! I've fallen, and I can't get up!" I remember comedians having a hey-day with it, sort of like in the commercial when the elderly woman asks the burger place  person, "Where's the beef?" Everybody was a comedian in both instances. They were funny about one time each. 

Even that may give you a hint as to where I am now. . . just in a royal FUNK!! Sometimes things happen that aren't so great, and I just get down. It usually takes awhile for me to get in this mood. Most people never see ME past my usual smile. I tend to hide my feelings pretty well. I guess that comes from practice. I taught for such a long time, and teachers have a certain "role" to play, and part of that is to remain fairly constant in front of students. I had that down pretty well. Kids expected me to be patient, upbeat, and sometimes funny in a dry-wit sort of way, and I smiled. . . a lot. Now that I think about it, I probably was a "Stepford" teacher! (Don't act like you understand that analogy if you haven't seen the movie or read the book.)

Anyway, about the funk. Some friends of mine lost loved-ones this week. I went to one funeral and helped with the meal, but just couldn't bring myself to go to a 2nd funeral on the same day. I could have at least gone to the visitation and seen my friends, but I didn't realize it was here. I felt pretty guilty about it all. Another sad thing, Miss Christine, as many know her, a sweet lady I've known for Arkansas-ever, is in hospice care and hardly responds to anyone anymore. When I last visited her, just few weeks ago, I mentioned playing some song at church, and she said, "Oh, I didn't realize you played piano." In actuality, I have played at our church for quite some time, and I even bought her piano from her when she moved into an assisted-living apartment last summer. She told me she just wants to "go home," and I think she meant Heaven when she said it.
 
We're experiencing a sad event in our family. My nephew's little boy just moved several states away with his mom and step-dad, and we are all mourning that situation. Also, one son has moved to Seattle for a great reason, but I miss him very much. He was supposed to be in Arkansas always, and Seattle is about as far from Arkansas as one can be in the continental United States. And there's this thing about sons; they just aren't that great about keeping in touch. (Hey, we might go a couple of weeks without hearing from the one right here in town!) I believe I would be alright with at least a TEXT every day or so, or even a face book message during the week, but it isn't happening, and never mind  a phone call. Does anyone under the age of 45 even talk on the phone anymore?and I don't have much hope that this "contacting Mom" thing will change; he doesn't need money, he's happy in love, and he's a SON after all.

Oh, and did I mention, the Arkansas Razorbacks DID NOT WIN the SUGAR BOWL? Had they won, it would have saved me a from some hurt and frustration, and it would have made me HAPPY!! But, NO, it did not happen. I know... That is so shallow. Some of what i've shared tonight has been shallow and, in the least, self-pitying, but little-i just can't help it. I will get back to my REAL self soon... my cheerful, glass-half-full, joy-filled self. For now, though, I've FALLEN, and I can't get up.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What TIME is it, anyway?!?

That's what we were asking each other last night!! Had a house full of my close relatives of all ages, including a 7 year old great (and he is that!) nephew, and about 8:30, YES, 8:30 p.m. we were all asking, WHAT TIME IS IT?!? Our goal was to see the New Year in and not sleep through the magic moment of midnight. It seemed we had eaten continually since about 2 p.m. after company had all arrived. First came the sandwiches and dips and chips and cookies and chocolate...oh, YOU TOO? Then at about 7:00 , the New Year's Eve fish-fry with assorted sides. We were good about it though; we opted for ROASTED potatoes rather than FRIES!! Hubby's fried crappie ruled, as usual:) and all the other food (oh, yeah those hush puppies were definitely fried; we are not that good!) quickly disappeared  followed by coffee and dessert, and then more salty stuff to get rid of the sweet taste. Is anybody reading this? You've done it too, haven't you. . . Surely after all that and the laughing and visiting and playing with Luke and watching, I don't even remember what on t.v., SURELY it was almost mid-night. No, it was probably about 9:00 by then. I thought time passed FAST when you were having fun, but that must not apply when you are so stuffed you can hardly hold your eyes open and you are just yearning to go to bed. Side note: married niece actually napped about an hour during the evening, so she is not getting credit for totally toughing it out with the rest of us! That's you, Mel, you know. We killed some time readying beds, getting child bathed and in p.j.s, and most of us opted for putting on comfortable clothes (to relax our bulging stomachs, at least in my case that was the plan!).
Again the question, WHAT TIME is IT? when we reconvened in the family room. . .oh, 10:30. . .wasn't the "dropping the ball" Clark/Secrest show on? So, it's almost MID-NIGHT in New York City! YEA!! Get the bubbly, (ginger ale for child)! We are seeing the year 2011 in with the folks in New York City!! I don't KNOW how OLD Dick Clark is. Who said he was DEAD. . .Leanna, he's right there!! E-e-k! Put it on MUTE, quick! Where's Secrest when you need him? Somebody, make Luke quit protesting! It is NOT CHEATING! New York City is part of the United States, and the ball is dropping there NOW! 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - HAPPY NEW YEAR, everybody!!!! Who's up for a MOVE?!!?