Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I am going to talk about being old and getting older. Fr. Stan suggested I write a book about it. I can't do that, beacause it is different for everyone. But I can say that, while I am not in great shape, I fully expect to get better and I am glad to be alive. Dead will be ok, too. I know where I will be, but life is to be enjoyed. I have many wrinkles, too much weight and what seems to e a ton of ailments, but that is ok, too. Mostly because it has to be. I could lose the weight, and wrinkles are ok with me, but the ailments I can do without.

Our children want us to go to the ER for every twinge we have. Actually they are more realistic than that. When Dad fell last week, the first question from everyone was 'did you go to the hospital?' Well, no. I got him in the bed and checked him over and figured I would give him time. We both have seen the doctor since, and he is having lots of tests. It's hard for me to realized he is nearly 85 - soon we'll have a 46th anniversary. And kids, I promise I will call the ambulance when I need to.

But back to my original premise, getting old means a great many changes. Some are welcome, as in resting a lot more, and some are very frustrating. I had to have much help to get my teeny garden in order this year, I have to make allowances for pain control and shortness of breath. Lots of both of them. I practically live in this TENS unit, and I thank God for it. And, of course, my brain just won't work the way it once did. We both tried to remember the name for raw fish and it wouldn't come. Usually it does, at least by tomorrow. But I wanted to finish the crossword I was doing. That part is still blank, but I will remember it eventually.

I've always heard that old age is not for sissies. Actually it is, it just means more adaptation to the limitations that exist. If you can't adapt, you won't make it. You also need to find things to laugh at. Laughter really helps. Sometimes I watch Caddyshack over, just to laugh. Or look at the old movies of my my kids learning to manage roller skates. I've given up dreaming about climbing trees and accepted that this isn't going to happen again in this life. Neither is racing the little sailboat just ahead of a fast moving squall, with George on the beach waiting to help me get it in and readied for a blow. I really loved it, though.

I have more time to ponder God and all His glories, and to read about Him. Only I read a book the other day by an author who keeps asking 'who is God?'. I finally decided if he didn't know, I didn't think I would read his book. I now have the time to let soak in the things that Fr. Stan teaches me, and time to reflect on them. I'm working at teaching three Bible studies right now and love learning each week from that. I'm always amazed at what I don't know. I now have some CD's of Fr. Stan's sermons. As visual a learner as I am, I find I need to hear them several times to really 'get it'.

So --- while old age is physically challenging, and sometimes mentally, it's not so bad. Stick around and try it yourselves. I think you'll like it, even as you adjust for it. I am grateful for my cane, and sometimes my walker. And when the electric chair becomes part of my life, as I am told it will, I will be glad to have that. I see people out in our retirement community who are joyful to be alive and some who are miserable. We don't go around the miserable ones. Actually, we mostly go to church. Everybody there is joyful.

Enough of this - love God, be happy and roll with the punches and you'll make it just fine.

3 hours later - Sushi!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In other matters,

Dad went out into the county, pretty far away to work the census. Several of the people had already been contacted several times and are getting pretty crabby about the continued intrusion into their lives. One lady really dumped on George - ranted on about how angry she was. He apologized and retreated to the car to do the paper work. In a bit, she knocked on his window, apologized for letting loose on him and had brought him a glass of tea. This whole census, unlike the one he worked in Glen Rose 10 years ago, is a complete mess. George is convinced that a scam or con is going on. I can't wrap my mind around how this could be, but maybe. Anyway, he told his boss he quit unless she wanted him to see people in the Angelo area. Who knows whether she will or not.

This episode has been wearing on him and I am glad he is out of it.

Final opinion

on The Lacuna. I'm sure this is an excellent book. Idon't think Kingsolver is capable of writing a 'bad' or poorly written book. My reaction to it is quite another thing. The first approximate half, as I may have mentioned. deals with the triangle of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky and their eternal arguments. That the losers went to Mexico for refuge means that they melded with the Hispanic culture there and particularly in the home of Rivera and Kahlo. I found this wild emotionalism hard to read at time. This probably has something to do with my age and my need for a calm, rational bit of writing. The writing rings true - it simply was the way she describes it. The last part is another story - a straightforward look at the life of a man who grew up under the aegis of these people. He was a final victim of one of America's less admirable issues gone wild.

I think my whole problem with the book is that I think nothing of reading a 500 page book in a day. But a book of this dimension is no Harry Potter book and cannot be absorbed at this rate.
I may go back one day and reread this at a somewhat normal rate, and may enjoy it more. I know that this happens from time to time when I am racing through a book. Still, my gut reaction of "I don't want to read all this mess" may keep me from it. I usually seek out and enjoy history
of any kind so I am puzzled by my reaction.

Do let my not enjoying it cause you not to read it for yourselves. And let me know if I am on or off base, and how you feel about it. I really mean this. If people I know and respect enjoy reading it, this tells me quite a bit about my own shortcomings, and I face these all the time.


Friday, May 14, 2010

More "Lacuna"

As I plow through this book, after a disjointed and almost spastic introduction, it is developing into a very interesting history of the interplay between the Stalinist government in Russia, the interventions played by the activists in Mexico and the frequent interference by the government of our country. Maybe the author felt she had to establish the instability of the main character as he grows up, in order to understand him. Who knows. But it has developed into a book I think I will enjoy reading , altoughthis part of history is really unknown to me. So much for my criticisms.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Barbara Kingsolver

Being a faithful reader of Ms. Kingsolver's books, and owner of most of them (so I can reread them), I ordered the newest one from the library _ The Lacuna,- expecting another marvelous book. I am struggling through it, and I am not enjoying it particularly. The story line hops all around, and the main subjects- 2 famous Mexican artists (Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera), who live very destructive lives, is not speaking to my heart. There is another main character, who seems to change lives seamlessly - ???. Further, I am not a fan of the Mexican art, tho I recognize that it is art. Don't know just what I expected, but not this. However, I shall plug along through this book and see if there is anything redeeming in it - for me. And try to figure out what is lacking that causes me to not enjoy it. Any ideas, anyone?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to the mothers in the group`

Unfortunately I was confused and said Happy Easter to some people who love me anyway. Whatever, have a happy one.

George took me to the fanciest place in town (and the prettiest) for a nifty dinner today. Its fun to blow off caution and just go. He also wore his sign (from last year) which says "I am nothing without my wife". I consider this almost beyond the call, but lots of people enjoyed seeing him wear it.

When Sarah was here, we planted a root from a common Florida lantana into a pot. She and I both thought it had life. Dad said if it lived he would rise up and call me Eloise ( for those who don't know, Eloise is my late, rather unpleasant aunt, who had the gift of making anything bloom. Literally anything ) Well today,I saw leaves and marched in calling myself Eloise. I am pleased it is doing well, But he can leave off calling me Eloise.

Ii've been using my teeny portable DVD player and am watching the entire third year of Gray's anatomy. If I keep watching, I get to see operations, and find them fascinating. I had wanted a medical career, but at that time, it was unheard of for most women, and too expensive, anyway. Now I think I would not have liked brain surgery, but thoracic or skeletal, well maybe so. Or maybe not a surgeon. After all, the kids have called me Dr. Butler for years.

Church was nice but amazingly short. Most people just weren't there. I guess they were off with their kids.

Cold here,but nice, especially since we don't have to be anywhere. Our next door neighbors have had another major falling out and he is gone and she is going. It was a strange May-December marriage. So now we will have new neighbors. Lots of turnover going on out here.

Shonna and Jason Parks (cousin to Scooter and dear friends of us all ) have moved out here. They want their children in school here and are exploring career possibilities for both of them. Their areas of expertise will fit in well in some ways. Welcome, to them all. We really enjoy them.

God be praised for yet another day........

Friday, May 7, 2010

If I ever said anything negative about

oxygen therapy, I now eat my words. After about 16 hours, I can actually breathe again, and am on the way to being much better. We are missing a great birthday this weekend, for a truly great lady - George's sister, but I am now listening to the doctor. What a switch that is!

So we have no firm plans for awhile except to rest and feel better. I am so happy we have food prepared in the house and all I have to do is defrost and eat. We are blessed with great daughters who love and take care of us.

Still reading, knitting and occasionally spinning, but wearing a mask to mess with fibers. I do teach my Thursday Bible Study in Mertzon and that's a blessing to me also. They don't mind waiting while I breathe. What a lovely group.

Deo Gratia, MJ

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shades of my youth

in Tallahassee at St. John's. The recessional Sunday was Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus!. And here I am with only enough air to mouth the words. Pfaugh!

Reader Alert: Whine coming!

First, I don't believe in whining and don't tolerate it, but some situations allow for a good whine about once a year or so. There I was with no air. My ribs hurt from fighting for air to breathe,tho it is easing. And I couldn't sing! Have an appt on Wed. with pulmonologist and if this takes oxygen, it will frustrate me - not enough to keep me from using it, but, this just isn't supposed to happen!!!!!
Another doctor told me they would help me get and use my wheelchair when the time came.!!
When the time came??? What time?? Huh????? I never planned for that to happen either! What wheelchair would this be? This is going to interfere majorly with my independence and I am SO NOT HAPPY! On the other hand, they never said death is imminent - the opposite, in fact. So.........whine over, folks. I am still functioning tho I sound like a death rattle when I breathe. At least I am breathing.

This is all just such a surprise. Also this morning's doctor says a shoulder replacement is essential and gave me a choice of Dallas or here. I choose here, which means the Dallas specialist will come here. Fine with me. All this will happen after I finish playing this summer -like going to the beach with the Scotts. I pray this oil spill won't reach our bit of paradise and I grieve for those who are having it. Also for the wildlife and sea life that is being killed. While I don't wamt to go back to horse and buggy days, I grieve that we are so dependent on oil. It causes destruction and wars. So do a lot of other things these days. Like people.

After some thought, it seems to me that the answer to all these current problems is adapt,adapt adapt. Then adapt some more. I can do that. I've spent 78 years doing that.I should have a PhD in "Adapt".

In other news (aren't you glad the whine is over?), we go to Lake Jackson this weekend for s-i-l's
90th birthday party. The next weekend, Mary Beth is coming (Whistles and streamers !) Hope we can get some things done and have some fun, too.

I backed out of the study tonight at Daughter's because of old 'no breath'. Too bad - it's good, this study. But I plan to teach my Commandments study on Thursday, regardless. If they have to wait for me to breath before I can go on, so be it. I have things to say! As usual!

In His name...