Saturday, April 26, 2008

Five words

Five words I could do without reading Anywhere at all, for a very, very long time. FLDS, cult,Clinton, Obama, McCain.
There, that's done. I am heartbroken about all those children and their families. I have much admiration for the way this judge is handling all of it, but it needs to be over, over, over. Youngest niece, from out this way, helped make blankies for all those little ones.

Doctor dearest informs me that I have the beginnings of COPD - which my dad had. Also I have to have a colonoscopy on Friday. I am back to my very best word of all time - WHATEVER! I am just going to have tomorrow and then the next day, and on and on. Whatever happens is just dandy.

We heard a concert by the Vocal Majority tonight. Outstanding!. Part of their songs were done with the Angelo Symphony accompanying then. The last part was more like a standard chorale while the first was their thing - barber shop singing. One of the singers was about 10.

We are doing a series of ads for our church in the local paper, with a photo of the person and 50 words saying why we go to Good Shepherd Anglican. This was my day. I will see if I can get it on here. Not a good photo. Bah.

I had a marvelous new recipe for pork (chops, sliced roast, etc.) and I didn't make it because I didn't have what I needed,. So I substituted what felt right and came up with some really good stuff!. Anybody interested, I will send it along.

Many blessings to everybody.....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Some days...........

There are days, sometimes weeks, that are singlularly unprofitable. We seem stuck in a series of these. Neither of us feels really well, I am still coming to terms with Bill's death - I hope I do it soom - and a variety of other things. Weather is one of them. We have so enjoyed the winter and spring, but summer is pretty wretched in terms of being outside.

We do enjoy going to Mertzon to see g'son Spence play machine pitch baseball, and another is coming up tomorrow night. I will try to borrow Saxon for the night and for Saturday. I am in the midst of trying to make my small garden look the way I want it to look. The bloomings are cooperating, but I need to move a couple of shrubs and freshen the dirt in pots and replant. I know exactly what I want but can't get my body to cooperate. Saxon likes to garden and especially to fertilize. A couple of years ago he bought me a special hose attachment to fertilize while you water. That's his favorite. Not only does he get to have fun, I pay him. These kids get an allowance, and after a percentage goes to the church and another to savings, they like to add to their stash. Great for Nancy, too, because when they ask for things, she tells them to get it out of their money. These grandkids really have great parents. (Of course all of mine do).

Now, I have just spent 20 minutes on the phone with a lady who is way, way worse off than I am, so I will jerk on my bootstraps and try to pull myself up with them. There's nothing like a little phone ministry to make you realize that you aren't so bad off as you thought you might be. There's work to be done. Christine is here and I need to be with her to supplement what she does to get the most out of her time here. I pray I will get it together - and soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

the constant dangers

We are all at the mercy of the elements, no matter where we live. Different types of disasters happen in different places. Here one of ours is fire. I thought the Scott's were out of town for the weekend, and it turns out that they have been fighting a fire on the ranch for two days. This was a pretty big one and the wind was extremely high, and pushing the fire rapidly. No one was available to come as all the other volunteer personnel were fighting fires in other places. So from the Carrillo's son (about 7) to their grandfather (85-90?) there were 10 people out there, including our kids. They had inadequate equipment and are now purchasing a sprayer truck and a machine which will clear fire lanes (it has a name but I forget it). They worked all day, for two days, and after dark, had to keep checking to see if there were smoldering embers just waiting for the next day's wind. There were. The last morning there were a few smoky places, but it seems out now. When you consider what is at stake - lives, livestock, wildlife, oil wells, homes and other buildings, this could have been disastrous. Thank God it was only exhausting.

Nancy came by and put in the cartridges and showed me how to do this for the printer. We are just from another generation and our brain grooves are pretty set. It is not easy to make new ones when new technology does things we never dreamed of. I even remember getting our first radio. Big deal! There wasn't much on it but daddy never missed "Amos 'n Andy". It made him bend double laughting. So did Abbott and Costello and the Three Stooges when he took me to the movies. Yes, children, we did have movies, even talkies when I was little.

Now, I have two days with no appointments. Yeaaaaaaa! Vissit to library is definitely on, then the latter part of the week, back to the doctors. Never mind. This, too, will pass, and I will be very, very healthy.

Sarah and MB spent Saturday making casseroles for the Austin family for their freezer. We are a weird family, but we are really loving and nice.


Friday, April 18, 2008

better, and more

Today the week winds down. I know,I don't have regular weeks anymore, but there is always a defining time between M-F and S+S. Like,most doctors don't want to see you on the weekends.

Good results today at the urologist's office. No stones, no abnormalities, just a pattern of repeated infectons, and so a 6 month low grade antibiotic Rx and then we'll see how it goes. Made appts. for colonoscopy. It's time, and after Bill's problem, one that is right in front of me now. My GP and my cardiologist are having something of a polite war. Both have scheduled the same blood lipid tests for the same day. Medicare would love that. I'll figure out how to solve that. They each want the other one to go away. I must be desirable. Or maybe it's the fortune they get from Medicare??? I did have a pulmonary test and discovered that all my shortness of breath is only asthma, so back to the inhaler. Now, this update, which I am sure you are all dying to know about, is over.

In the midst of all that is happening to us personally, we are living in the middle of the FDLS child custody mess. More and more keeps coming out about the conditioning of women from babyhood to accept direction with no arguments. They seem like such earnest, kind people, but apparently that's only when they have it their way. And then I wondered about our cultural bias with regard to children being forced into sexual situations and having children before their bodies are really ready. There are people all over the world who do this routinely. Some of these are the ones who practice genital mutilation of girl children. Read Ali's book on this - Infidel. I am reading Queen Noor's autobiography and her perception of Islam in contrast to Ali's is unbelievable. You have to wonder if these people even live on the same planet. I realize that education, or lack of it has to have a lot to do with these differences. I still think we are right and the FDLS is not, and I guess all I can do is go with what is Biblical and what I am acculturated to believe.

Meantime, I have a symphony this Saturday night. Shell seekers is coming on TV and is apparently a remake. Hope to get the recorder working before then. Nancy is coming today to put in my printer cartridges. Some manufacturers just seem to have fun making things difficult for people like me. There is a place for the cartridges, but they won't go in. Bleah.

Oh, we are now eating turkey meatloaf, and by jiminy is really good.!

In answer to some of MB's Friday Five,
1. change where you are for a day - I'd go to Greece
2. change physical appearance - I'd go back to 24, just to remember what it s to be young.
3. change jobs - doctor for me!
4. person from another time - daddy - I wasn't thru asking him questions
5. have a magical quality - healing

Thought for the day (from Dorothy Parker)
The cure for boredom is curiousity. There is no cure for curiosity.
(But be very careful not to quash it in kids. )

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Literacy and whooshing sounds

Don't you love the title? Does it make you wonder? I hope so.
This morning I attended a meeting at which our speaker was the director of the literacy council of San Angelo. The stories she told were amazing. Examples: the expected deluge of hispanics wanting to learn English are there, but not many. But the people who want to learn to read are huge in numbers. From a 24 year old mother of 4, the oldest 9, who is working as a car hop at Sonic, and reads at a second grade level; to the 87 year old gentleman who came in and said it was necessary for him to learn to read so he could read the Bible before he died. From the young men who are trying out for the police academy and can't quite pass the test, tutoring, to the employees at Ethicon (one of our largest employers). These people are making about $60,000. a year, have excellent medical and retirement plans and read at first and second grade levels. Ethicon is trying to prepare them to function in case their jobs cease to exist, and sends them on company time to learn to read. How great is that? How amazing is that? How very San Angelo is that?

I am absolutely having fits to go down there and teach and my body is replying "No, honey, you did that and I can't support you in this anymore. I'm old and wearing out. Sit down." I am not pleased with this answer but have no choice, really. But maybe? we will be getting some kids of our own thru a local service, at our church who need to be kept and read to and helped with homework, etc, etc, and maybe this body will be more cooperative for this. I can always hope so.

As far as whooshing - I had my first carotid artery ultrasound today. The noise my heart makes when it pumps blood to my head sounds like the background of some comtemporary rock music, or like the sound track to a sci-fi movie. Really weird. And interesting, The tech was able to work and talk to me and explain what she was doing. I learned all about her education in this area, and I am fascinated. I'd like to do that, too.

Tomorrow I see the doctor my Denton daughter thinks is a quack. We;ll see what he has to say. Then, Friday I see the urologist. Don't you wish you could be me? No? Well, if I have to go to doctors all the time, I might as well ask a bazillion questions of thiem.

I am trying to get in touch with the Tallahassee paper to put Bill's obit in it. I have corrected the spelling of Lehnholf. Nobody else may believe it, but by cracky it IS spelled that way. I will also call the Angelo paper tomorrow.

Tonight is church and a Bible lesson from the best teacher I;ve ever heard. Aren't I lucky? Yes!

Ending with a prayer I like:

Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And to know that if I do this,
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem lost in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The River Turns Too Sharply

My life has changed so much in the last week that I am a little surprised to still be me and still be sitting here at the desk. I am going to stop thinking that things are going along so well, because every time I do, the river takes a sharp turn and I am disoriented again. I said my final goodbye to my son on Friday at his funeral (viewing, or whatever). It was not helpful. He did not look like my son. Thanks to Mary Beth and Nancy who both let me help and ignored me when I was not being helpful, the funeral service was written, printed and was a product of excellence. One of the best parts was when everyone who wanted to got to say what they remembered about Bill. Some of them were gorgeous.

I didn't feel that I spent enough time with Bill's wife, but she couldn't stop crying to talk. I hope to get up there soon and spend time with her. Between her and Sarah I think Marshall will get raised and well. I will help all I can.

The music, besides the Vivaldi, was an unknown quantity to me. It really was just noise. and then I read Mary Beth's writing of the words and I love them. I realize that I can't hear the voice over the music so I miss the whole thing. It is simply noise to my ears. This new music is something I think I would like if I could just hear it. Gotta get that hearing aid.

Now, to the nitty gritty. I am not a cryer, usually. My daughters were there to help me and many friends, and I made this work almost on automatic pilot. We left soon after the ceremony and got home before dark. I spent Saturday in my chair. Friends brought food and we ate. I was supposed to be LEM at church Sunday and I was afraid I would fall apart if I did, so I found a sub. Good thing. I sat on the back row at church and bawled all thru the service. In a very ladylike, quiet way, of course. I'm not sure I'm finished yet. I may have to cry some more and that's ok.

I thank God continually for Bills life and that he and I reconciled before he died. I just didn't know how close I was cutting it. You see, children aren't supposed to die before their parents. It just isn't supposed to work that way. It is still unbelievable that it happened.

Thank you, Elastigirl for coming and helping us with this. Thank you everyone who has helped hold me together, I really wish I were able to lie on the floor and beat it with my fists and kick it and scream. But it wouldn't help, and my body won't do that anyway. I will stay close to my Christian friends and they will love me thru this, I know. Thank you, God, for loving Christian friends. And for close, loving family.

Watch out for that river.....

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rating our shocks?

Life is full of little shocks and you think you are doing well just coping calmly with then. Then, every once in a while, you get a real whammy! Yesterday, Sarah called to tell us that Bill is dead. He is my firstborn, and while he could be a real poop, he could also be really sweet. We have been estranged from Bill since the summer of 1991. Finally, after a particlarly telling sermon on forgiveness, Dad wrote Bill to ask forgiveness, and I did likewise. And it was granted. God truly does have all things planned,. We heard the sermon and it was up to us to act or not. I am so grateful that we did it, as it now would be too late. We are grateful also to have a priest who follows God's leading, wherever it may go. He probably wouldnt have preached that particular sermon just them without leading.

We are going to Newark probably on Thursday for a Friday memorial service. I spoke with Bill's dad and he is going to try to come.

We won't know, officially, the cause of death for over a month, but I am sure as I can be that it was a heart attack. Our family has them right and left and he was also diabetic and overweight. He'd been having chest pains and attributed it to indigestion. I've been known to do that, but never again. And he was spared being ill and being an invalid. He would have been most ungracious about that. I know 'fer shur' that he is happy now that he is home.

I am canceling doctor visits right and left and leaving the choir to do some special music on Thursday night. We are by no means essential and it takes something like this to bring it home to us.

More on a happier note, another day.

Friday, April 4, 2008

No more miasma

Don't you just love the word 'miasma'? I use it variously, but we seem to have been swimming through a miasma of illness. It left on Wednesday and now we both feel better. Dad went to dr. this AM and was pronounced in good shape and his insulin lowered. The doctor did tell him he looked like 'death warmed over' in the hospital. He promises to drink the next time I tell him to, but ---been there, done that. I can always call Nancy and she can probably get him to drink. He seems to do what she tells him to do. Wish I knew the secret to her success, but as long as she's around I won't need it.

We went to church Wednesday night and were greeted like well loved and lost friends. It was nice to be so missed, but we're glad to be back. We are taking a group from the choir (including our wonderful, magnificent guitarists and bass) and singing for the 'entertainment' for the RCW monthly birthday dinner. We all love to sing, and sound pretty good, so maybe they'll think it 'entertainment'. We hope. We also hope some of them might come to our church.

Just had the funniest video on 'worm gruntin' from our old home ' Sopchoppy, Fla. Well, sort of. We didn't live in Sopchoppy, but at St. Teresa and our mail went to Sopchoppy. I remember my dad nearly fell out of the chair laughing when he found out what our address would be. If anyone wants, we can put this short video on here, (Mary Beth can, anyway) but basically worm gruntin is going our in the piney woods and on the old basis of a stick in the ground and rubbing another against it, and the worms will rise up and out of the earth. Then you grab them and pop them into the can. Daddy taught me to do this as a child. We went 'worm gruntin' on the way to go fishing. Bait, of course. He also taught me to look for the scrub oaks in the piney woods and pull catawaba worms off the back of the leaves to use for bait. Funny the things you learn based on where you grow up. We are going to St. Teresa in August this year (pray for good weather) and I plan to come home with a 'worm gruntin' tee shirt from beautiful downtown Sopchoppy. I miss being there but it doesn't compare with being with family.

We are having such weird weather - I don't know whether to set the thermostat to heat and have it come on at 60 degrees, or to set it on cool and have it cut in at 79. Big difference here. I think it's best just to leave it alone.

They have royally torn up both ends of HEB. You'd think they would do one end at a time, but it is time for me to go and fight my way through the mess. I am still learning to cook for a healthy heart, and to also please Dad. Last night, he said 'chicken again?'. Then Nancy called and we met her at IHOP and I ate fish and he ate pork.

I am dragging my feet on the grocery thing. Up, up, up and GO.