Sunday, September 28, 2008


Started this entry earlier and got sidetracked, so here goes again....The glory referred to the service this morning. The flowers set the tone - they are placed behind the altar with light from two side windows coming in. The center of the arrangement was a tall stand of orange gladiolus, looking just like tongues of flame reaching up toward the cross. More than striking, it was breathtaking. Also a friend had painted a life sized portrait of Jesus and it was dedicated. All this time in Bible study and I had no idea she had this talent. We are honored to have this painting.

Then the service went 2 1/2 hours. No, we don't usually do this, but our African bishop was there and he and his wife are special favorites of mine. He is retiring and we will have a new bishop soon. But, at this service, we had a deacon ordained, a baptism, three transfers from other denominations and 10 confirmations. I hope this means we are doing something right. One thing about it--- Dad said if we want a full house we can try breakfast beforehand and a fabulous meal afterward. Feed them and they will come. Our new Deacon had an enormous family turnout. He is already hard at work and another person is entering seminary intending to become a deacon. I have frequently given much prayer and thought to this path, but at this point, I need to get stronger to be of much use. I'll pray on that, too.

Also went to Spencer's (oops- I mean Soup Bob's) birthday party this afternoon - what a madhouse of mostly little boys, but several girls also. I was particularly amused by the one who entrances him and the one who is entranced by him. I think he invited his whole class. They did the pirate thing again, and it was hugely successful. Dad was so wiped out after the morning that he stayed home and rested.
Saxon had spent the night with us and, of course, we made a pumpkin pie. This morning as usual, he asked for pie for breakfast, which I always indulge. I am the gran, after all, and I get to do things like this. But, but, but -- after he ate a quarter (half of the 1/2 we had left) he opined that he probably needed to eat the other quarter. So I let him. I did warn his mom that I doubted he would eat at the brunch, when she came for him. She couldn't quite believe I let him eat half a pie -- but it was a small pie after all.

Tomorrow, back to the round of doctors again. Pfaugh! (love that word!)

Friday, September 26, 2008


we are well again, or mostly. Being sick is not fun. Having DH be sick is somehow worse. But we progress. Tonight is a dinner and a healing service with our Bishop. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

mild problems

Those of you who know me know that I could open a yarn store with the yarn presently in this house. I'm having a real problem with this. I have two or three patterns for vests that I really, really want to make. I have pulled out the yarns (color coded, of course) and tried to find enough skeins or balls that really go well together to make something. I have a real problem here. One pattern gives me yardage. I have more than enough, but it is not the right size to measure this way. I don't do well in math, so never learned this part. Patterns often give a particular yarn and don't specify it's loft or diameter, and I don't know how to translate this. This yarn , of which I have more than enough, I can hold in one hand. No way that is going to cover this body - no way atall. When I make shawls, I just start with what I like and change as the mood hits me. I don't think this will work with a vest. Somehow. Ideas, anyone? And remember, I don't do math.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The hot tub experience....

Yesterday I went to a huge birthday party and while there I decided to get in the hot tub. There were several children there, moving in a circle, so I hopped in and told them to pass me by on the circling thing. They were playing 'what's your favorite.....?', so I played along. It was fine till we got to what's your favorite band. They had never heard of Glenn Miller, so I kicked it forward a few decades and tried Jimmy Buffet. Struck out there, too. The next category was cars. One little girl announced hers was a Lamborghini. They asked for my opinion and I opined that while I like the car I drive (a Mercury) I still think a Volvo is the best car made. They nodded agreement, then the Lamborghini child said that her parents had told her if she got a full scholarship for 4 years to college that they would give her her college money and she could get her Lamborghini. When I asked her about her grades, she assured me she only makes A's. The situation deteriorated when they asked about the Disney games/shows. Finally, one of my grands said almost pityingly - " you don't use the Disney channel, gran". I just listened for awhile. I really don't know a lot of what they talked about after that, but when I did chime in, I received respectful attention. Lovely children.

Then I learned that my youngest grandson has changed his name from Spencer Scott to Soup Bob Murphy. He puts this name on his papers at school and somehow he has the blessed facility of being so entertaining that everyone, including his teachers, think he is a real kick. So y'all move over and make room for Soup Bob.

On a sober side, one of my oldest friends just called to tell me that her son (40 yrs old) has had a massive heart attack and is still unconscious. The doctor doesn't expect him to wake up. He is a brittle diabetic and also an severe alcoholic. Sometimes we get a sucker punch when we are least prepared for it. We knew he was killing himself, just didn't expect it so fast. We are such optimists. We have a right to be optimistic, though, because God knows already how many days He has marked out for each of us, and we know where we are going. What a blessing.

I have had to reprioritize my list. Now, with an abcessed tooth, the surgeon won't remove this other cataract. I am on major antibiotics and major pain pills and sometimes I think I am seriously over medicated. One thing at a time, and we'll all get through all of this.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Well, drat!

Mary Beth can't come for the weekend or to our grand birthday party!. She has a stomach flu bug and is so sick! I've been there and I totally sympathize. Stomach flu is one of the worst things I can think of. At least with a migraine you can lie still with your ice pack and be miserable, with cramps you can curl up with your heating pad and be miserable, but with stomach flu you can't even lie still. Some part of your body is always hollering for attention. Just about when you think you might get some sleep, something is saying "me, me! take care of me, and right now!" I pray for her that this is soon over and she can get some real rest before the tyranny of the urgent gets in the way of a languid recovery.

Heaps of blessings on you, Mary Beth. xxxooo

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Five

tell us five favorite things about fall:

1) the way the air feels when I go out in the morning. It's crispy instead of soggy.

2) A color - Across the street is a huge Texas red oak. I can see it from my chair. In the fall it is like a flame reaching for God. It takes my breath away every time I look.

3) An item of clothing - Shawls and stoles (mostly that I have made or have been made for me) :)

4) An activity - Doing the last prune on the roses. They are in full bloom again. Every year they have a last gasp burst of bloom. Wonderful!

5) A special day - A mixed birthday day. DH, #4 daughter and youngest grandchild all have birthdays within a week of each other, so it is a celebration for all of us.

Unpleasant words

And I have some in my head right now. I went to schedule the next cataract surgery and the Doctor won't do it until I get this probably abcessed tooth taken care of. And, and, and the dental specialist can't even evaluate me till the last of the month. Arrrrgh!! It's all a vast conspiracy, sometimes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

happy day!

Mary Beth is coming to see us on Friday and will be here till some time Sunday. We can hardly wait!. We are going to a birthday party at the Scott's for Spencer, Dad and Nancy on Saturday. So far I've been assigned to pick up the cake, tho have offered to bring other things.

We've enjoyed the meals for the elderly, but I think we need to stop them after next week. Dad doesn't really like them, tho I do. They mean I can do less cooking in the evening and I like that. Besides, the food is pretty good, all around. They also bring interesting things for weekends, always different. I will send a check to help them out though they don't charge us for them.

Cataract surgery next Tuesday. Now I find I have a probably abcessed tooth and will have to have a bridge taken off and remade plus having another tooth pulled. Bleah! Getting old is kind of fun, but the maintenance is getting to be a nuisance.

Cooler weather, and I love it. I am making good use of the CD collection and the large print books. They are great.

Had a long email from Betsy, will try to forward it to all of you so you will know how they are. Really busy, as you all are. I'm so glad we found the Osborns. They are still with John as there is no electricity or water in LJ. Jane is here and will stay with her eldest and the twins. Ah, such hardship duty!. She says they use webcam to communicate with the little ones,when they are in Indonesia, and the children really don't understand how their grandparents got into the TV. It's like tuning on the light switch. I don't understand that either, but I certainly take it for granted.

I've just listened to a book on tape - Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult. Difficult to read or hear, but it details what leads up to a Columbine type situation and is really worth reading. Let me know if you do and what you think.
Peace be with you.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Time condensed?

Have you ever tried to get through things so fast that you have piled one week onto another just to get them out of the way so you can have some peace?I find myself doing this. Not any of these things are bad things, but I think I am really concerned about the Bishop's visit. No reason for me to be so, except that when they came before no one was available to take them around except us. Everyone else was at work. And we enjoyed them, but it was exhausting. This visit is a shorter one, we have a priest who has a van and who will do the hauling around. We will have a few dinners - one for vestry and spouses, one for OSL members followed by a healing service, another praise and graze type thing and a church picnic. I don't have much responsibility this time, I think I'm just reacting to the tiredness I felt the last time they came. My mother would say "why are you wishing your life away?' and she'd be right. It's only this visit I want to wish - not away because I like them - but behind us rather than ahead. Does this make any sense?

After that eye surgery I decided I could indeed knit even if I couldn't see to read. So off I went on my favorite orange and green stole. About three inches later I realized I had left off the first 6 stitches of one side. You all know I am not a happy ripper, but this had to be the solution this time. I am almost through replacing stitches, but the last about 12 stitches are of multiple strands of threads and I am having a hard time seeing them,. Maybe put it away till I have the other eye done? Probably.

We had no effect from the hurricane. Wouldn't have minded some more rain. Our reservoirs are definitely not full and I would be happier if they were. But this is one of the iffy parts of living in west Texas.

Pray for a President who can and will do something to lower the price of prescription medicine. .

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Five

It's time for a Back-To-School Friday Five!

1. Is anyone going back to school, as a student or teacher, at your house? How's it going so far?
I live in a town with a nice little University, but my heart is in a rural community 22 miles west where my three youngest grands are going back to school. They are well involved except for my granddaughter who has a newly (mostly) broken arm and is still on low doses of hydrocodone for pain. Sometimes she naps under her mom's desk. (Mom is a teacher)

2. Were you glad or sad when back-to-school time came as a kid?
Absolutely elated!. I loved school and would still be there if someone had wanted to volunteer to pay the bills for me to do this. I think this is why I did the MA program and was well on the way to PhD when I met and married my Texan - went off and left it hanging. Turns out it was a God thing.

3. Did your family of origin have any rituals to mark this time of year? How about now?
the only ritual we had was a new dress for the first day of school. Oh and the school supplies! Wonderful. An office supply store is sort of a part of heaven for me. All that lovely stuff!

4. Favorite memories of back-to-school outfits, lunchboxes, etc?
Mom made all our clothes. I remember having the grand total of 4 outfits. This caused much concern as to which I should choose to wear twice in a week. Hard for me to imagine from where I am now that I was even concerned with this.

5. What was your best year of school?
They were mostly all good, but I expect I have to choose senior year. By that time the school gave me an amazing amount of freedom. I could take the Journalism teacher's car and run up to the local newspaper to move print around and work on the school paper. (I was editor) I not only took her car but was allowed to sign her name. She even let me drive a bunch of students to Miami for a newspaper symposium, and nobody even asked to see my driver's license. Just as well - I didn't have one. I don't think it mattered so much back then. At any rate, God was keeping tabs on us all and we all made it home with no mishaps. I loved singing in the chorale,loved debating, newspaper, etc, etc. It was a very good year.

All good times, in retrospect.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Update again..

Mally saw a specialist on Tuesday morning after a frustrating day of trying to get a referral to the doctor Nancy wanted. Her arm is broken straight across, just below the shoulder joint. She is wrapped, I think, in something that immobilizes her arm. She can bend it to the front or back but never outward. She was pretty ticked when I talked to Nancy yesterday as they were both going to school, and Mally didn't think she was ready to go back yet. I think I mightn't have been either. It's no fun to have people moving a broken bone around.

After all my ranting about Dr. K, I did go back because I wanted him to see this mess of an eye and to tell him I was not happy about it. He said he wasn't either. He checked me thoroughly and said my problems are 1) Sjogren's is very active right now and that it is imperative that I keep liquid in my eyes all the time, 2) some allergy is involved, 3) that a huge problem is that one eye is repaired and it is working overtime trying to carry the other one. It is not able to do that, but it won't stop trying. Says we need to have this next surgery asap. The measurements between eyes involves numbers from the 4200 range to 204. I don't know what the numbers mean but this is wide. With this explanation and knowing that it would take months to get in to another eye surgeon and have this done, I have decided to trust him, pray a lot, and go ahead and do the second one. It will be Sept 23, so Dad and I are going out and have a nifty birthday dinner the night before. Two days after the surgery, our Bishop will be coming from Africa on a retirement visit. We enjoyed him and his wife and sect'y last year and it will be nice to see him again. The weekend before, MB is coming to see us and I am so glad. We;'ll have a birthday party then for dad also, so he gets to party it up.

Dad's leg is not painful as long as he doesn't move it the wrong way. He has learned pretty fast not to do that. He would like to discontinue Meals for the elderly, but I'd like to keep it up for a while longer. At least through next week. Payment is not required but we will send them a nice check as a donation. They rely largely on these and the least we can do is to pay for our food and then a little for someone else.

On another note, our minister has been teaching all of the time we have been with him, that a 'text without a context is a pretext'. I am learning that this is so true. Each month he gives us a quote to think about. Last month it was from John Stott, whom I respect, but I disagreed with this. So I am chasing down the material from which it was taken to see what the context is. It's amazing how many religions and other groups exist because they have taken one bit of text and built it into a freestanding truth. Bad idea. More on this later.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Up to date...

Well, we are doing our own driving - I should say that Dad is driving and won't let me. My children seem to think I am a menace on the road and since they have uncommonly good sense, they are probably right about this also.

You learn the most interesting things at the hairdresser. Was having my hair shampooed last week and was complaining about this cataract removal I had about a month ago. I'm still having trouble and can't seem to get the eye to work correctly. As I stopped talking, a lady with a towel on her head said the same thing had happened to her. Asked if it ever got better, she said no, that she now had a new opthomologist(sp?). You know the rest of the story,. Same doctor I had used,. I will see him Monday morning as I want him to check my eye out but no way is he going near the other one. I've called the surgery center and canceled that one. I have a terrific friend who has had both eyes done and sings the praises of her doctor, so we are finding him and trusting this other eye to him. Really, a beauty shop is an amazing place.

We went to see Mally on Thursday and she has only a sling on her broken arm.. Her arm is painful but Dad keeps her in meds at the right time. Like her mom, she is unstoppable. This afternoon she is going to a triple birthday party at the city pool. She'll have to sit it out, but she is going. They have this all worked out. Her mom will shampoo her hair in the kitchen and she has to take sponge baths for the duration. She will see a specialist this week and hopefully he will have something better that a sling. She can feel the bones move when she moves. Yeeech! I took her a stack of books and she's planning to go back to school Monday and use her left hand to do her work on the keyboard.Unstoppable, yes?

I finally stopped looking at those bushes in the front bed - the ones I didn't want there, and since I knew their roots went down to China, I had the workman out here who does all the plantings come and dig them up. While I was at it, he moved them to the back yard and put in my two lantanas, the plumbago and the rosemary. Now my soaker hose has disintegrated and I am going to replace it asap. I think these plants will be loads better off in the ground than in pots.

The large print book section of the library is getting quite a workout. Also I have several books on tape and on CD's. I put one of the players by my chair and with earphones I can miss the football games and all the wars which get replayed at our house. Once a soldier, always a soldier, I think.

God's richest blessings to you all..

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Going places....

And we are doing just this now. Starting today we are attempting to drive and are both pretthy sure it is ok if we go slowly and are very careful. Which we should be anyway.

Spinners meeting this afternoon and met two new would be spinners and a lady who is going to bring her loom over so we can get it warped. She knows how to weave, but not to warp. I used to say when I got to heaven, God would have all the looms warped for me, I so dislike doing it. I expect He will have other things in mind, but who knows.

Mally fell tonight and i just heard from Nancy in the emergency room that her arm is broken up near the shoulder. She's in a lot of pain and I hate this for her. We will go out tomorrow afternoon to see her if we make it through the morning. Have not been able to go to church for two weeks it this feels very strange. It will be good to be back tomorrow. Our pastor has been off painting his daughter's new house and I'll be glad to see him too.

MB, I hope the sinus thing has cleared up.