Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s been a fast-paced, crazy week at our house, and I can’t believe it’s already Friday!  I must admit, sometimes I get a bit over-whelmed by how quickly time is passing.  Every time I turn around, it’s time to refill my weekly medication dispenser!  I sometimes feel like time is running out, and I wonder if anyone else my age feels the same way.  All of this being said, since it’s Friday again, I’m posting a few fragments.

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Yesterday was my brother’s birthday.  He’s nine years my senior, and to see us together, you’d think it was the other way around!  I always tell him that he got all of the good genes in the family 🙂  I wish I could have spent the day with him, eating a piece of German Chocolate Cake, which happens to be his favorite, but we live nearly 200 miles apart.  These days, our visits are fewer, but always special.  Sure hope he had a great birthday, and that we’ll get together again soon.

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Every day, without fail, my husband, Ed, goes to his mom’s house to feed ‘Trouble’, the cat. (His mom’s deceased, but the cat still chooses to live at the house.)  Ed’s been doing this for over a year, because ‘Trouble’ is too old and ornery to relocate anywhere else. Anyway,  I hadn’t seen ‘Trouble’ in a while, so I decided to ride with him, yesterday, to feed her.  It’s a good thing I did!

Last summer, I ran out of freezer space while canning vegetables from our garden.  I decided to put the remainder of my vegetables in the side-by-side refrigerator, at Ed’s mom’s house.  (His mom was  living in an assisted living home, back then.)  While I was visiting ‘Trouble’, I decided to check on the refrigerators. (Ed’s mom had two of them, because her house has two kitchens.)  Lo and behold, the refrigerator with all of the vegetables in its freezer had stopped working!  The freezer had thawed in the top, but, thank goodness,  the bottom area was still frozen.  I lost all of our corn-on-the-cob, but managed to save everything else.  Praise the Lord!  If I had to give up something, I’m grateful it was only corn-on-the cob, which I don’t cook a lot of.  One more day, and I would’ve lost everything!

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Speaking of Ed’s mother, it’s only taken the Veteran’s Administration four months to figure out the lady is deceased!  Ed filed the necessary paperwork, two weeks after she passed away, but for four long months, the VA has continued to direct deposit checks into her bank account anyway!  Finally, after numerous phone calls from Ed, and four months worth of checks, they realized their error, and contacted us to return the money.  That’s our government at work!  Better late than never, I suppose.

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On Wednesday, I’d asked for prayers concerning our son-in-law, who has been out of work since just before Christmas.  Several of you told me you were praying.  God is listening, and possibly answering.  We’ll know more in a few days, but something could possibly be ‘in the works’.  I sure hope so!  Please continue to pray.  These are tough economic times we’re living in, and jobs (of any kind) are scarce.

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Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one  time with our next-to-the-youngest grandson, Chase.  It was just the two of us, all morning, and this doesn’t happen often.  He just turned two, and is quite a character, guaranteed to make you laugh if you spend much time around him.

100_3443 (2)See that green ‘lovey’ in the picture?  It’s a frog blanket, and I’m always aggravating Chase about wanting to keep it for myself, because I like frogs.  On Thursday, Chase hid his ‘lovey’ from me, and had me searching everywhere for it before he finally showed me where he hid it!  Chase does things like that, and just smiles about it.  I believe we might have a ‘practical joker’ in the making!

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Is anyone else watching this season of Downton Abbey?  This year, there seems to be a lot more drama in the servant’s quarters than in the main house–or should I say the castle?  Who would’ve thought it?  If you haven’t watched this show, yet, you’re missing out.  The plot is filled with more twists, turns, ups and downs than a roller coaster!

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I got a new Kindle for my birthday, back in August.  I haven’t done much with it, because, honestly, it has been a bit overwhelming to me.  Why, oh why don’t Kindles (and computers) come with instruction manuels???  I’ve had a hard time trying to figure things out on my own!  Yesterday, I finally got brave enough to download my first e-book on it.  It’s a strange experience, reading without having to turn pages or hold a book open, but I think I’m going to like it!  The book I’m reading?  Lone Survivor, the book from which the current popular movie, by the same name,  was made.  Can anyone say, intense reading material???

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That’s it for my edition of Friday Fragments, which I will be linking over at halfpastkissintime.  Have a great weekend, y’all!

Published in: on January 17, 2014 at 12:32 am  Comments (10)  
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A Few Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s been one of those weeks!  For some reason, I don’t feel like I have accomplished very much, this week.  That’s probably because I’ve spent a lot of time on the computer!  When I wasn’t blogging, I was doing  Christmas shopping.  As of this week, I’ve officially begun my Christmas shopping!  Yay for me!  Two grandchildren crossed off the shopping  list, two more to go…

On Monday I went for my yearly eye exam, and a field of vision test.  I look forward to this appointment almost as much as I look forward to my yearly gynecologist visit!  (There’s a hint of sarcasm here.)  My eyes are extremely sensitive, so I hate having those drops put into my eyes.  It’s not much fun staring into that machine for the field of vision test either!  (My medical doctor requires a yearly field of vision test because one of the medicines I take, for rheumatoid arthritis, can cause vision problems.)  My poor, tired eyes remained dilated for over seven hours after the exam was over!  The good news is, I didn’t need new glasses, and I don’t have to go back for at least a year!

On Tuesday, I went with my daughter to take her daughter to the doctor, for a check up.  We left early enough to eat lunch out, then shopped a little bit before and after the appointment.  It had been ages since the three of us had been able to go on an ‘outing,’ and we had fun.

After  almost seven years of taking her daughter to see a practicing group of pediatricians, my daughter, Brandy, decided to switch Madison over to the care of a family practitioner.  Apparently, it’s a good thing Brandy made the switch!  On the first visit, a nurse practitioner discovered that Madison has a heart murmur.  We found it amazing that none of the previous pediatricians had ever bothered to mention this before!  The nurse practitioner doesn’t think Madison’s murmur is serious, but she scheduled an echo cardiogram to check things out a bit further anyway.  This wasn’t the first ‘mistake’ this group of pediatricians this group of pediatricians have made concerning Madison, but it will, definitely, be their last!

Wednesday was Ed’s birthday, so I spent most of the afternoon baking a cake for him.  Since I can’t eat much sugar, anymore, I rarely bake.  I can’t even remember when I last used my cake pans!  Ed loves German Chocolate cake, so I always bake one for him on his birthday, and on Valentines Day.  Valentine’s Day may have been the last time I baked a cake!  I was ‘rusty’ and needed the practice 🙂

On Thursday I was supposed to have a mammogram, but the mammogram machine broke on Wednesday, so I had to be rescheduled.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get it over with have it done next week.  I.Can.Hardly.Wait.  I don’t mind having the exam as much as I mind waiting for the results.  I had a cancer scare a few years back,  so now I dread mammogram time.

Ed’s taking a vacation day today, so he’s home with me.  For now, he’s required to take a day off every two weeks, due to low patient census at work.  I have a long ‘honey-do’ list awaiting his attention, so his day won’t be wasted :).  Fixing the toilet is at the top of that list!  Our toilet still flushes, but it takes ten minutes, or more, for the tank to fill back up with water.  Digging sweet potatoes is also on that list!  Sounds like a fun day, huh?

As for me, I plan to rake some pine straw, clean the bathroom, and if those sweet potatoes get dug up, I’ll help pick those up, too!  We’re having a family get-together on Saturday night, in honor of Ed’s recent birthday, and I need to do some preparations for that, as well!  It’s always great to have everyone together again, especially when birthday cake and ice cream is involved 🙂  Two cakes in one week–you go Ed!

In reading back over my fragments, I guess it wasn’t  such a wasted week after all!  I managed to get a few things crossed off my ‘to do’ list!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks to Mrs.4444 at halfpastkissintime for hosting Friday Fragments!

Published in: on November 15, 2013 at 8:58 am  Comments (3)  
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Two Teardrops…

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Yesterday, as I was going about the business of catching up on my daily chores, I was playing some music.  Eventually, a song played that I hadn’t heard in a very long time.  It was one of my favorites back when it was popular, and it’s still among my favorites today.

As I listened to the words of “Two Teardrops”, I couldn’t help but think about last Wednesday, when our grandson, Evan, was born. One moment my eyes were filled with tears of pleasure, then, (following a phone call from another of my children), my eyes were suddenly filled with tears of pain.  Life is strange sometimes, and that’s portrayed well in Steve Wariner’s song.

2013 has been a year filled with ups and downs for this family.  It began with the joyous news of Jennifer’s pregnancy, but was quickly followed by the news that both she and Brad are carriers of the disease, Cystic Fibrosis.  Then, after several excruciating weeks of testing and waiting, the results showed the baby was perfectly normal and healthy!  In fact, Evan’s not even a carrier of this horrible disease.  As our son, Brad, so eloquently put it, ” [Our family history of] this disease stops with Evan!”

This year, Ed’s mom came near to death, during early summer, but beat the odds and managed to get better.  Three months later, she quickly became ill again, dying in the fall.  We’re still dealing with the aftermath of her passing.

Jennifer began having pre-term labor about two months before Evan’s due date, and had to be hospitalized.   The outcome could have been disastrous, but, thankfully, labor was stopped, and Jennifer went on to carry her baby to term.

Ed, who never gets sick or goes to a doctor, has had three medical procedures performed within the last six months, and is getting ready to have a fourth one.  Thankfully, all of Ed’s medical procedures, so far, have been successful and without complications.

Yes, 2013 has been quite a memorable year for our family.  A lot of tears, of pain and joy, have been shed, but we’re hanging in there!  Despite some troubles, God has been good to us!

By the way, if you’ve never heard “Two Teardrops”, you should take a moment and listen to the words. It’s really a beautiful song.

Published in: on November 5, 2013 at 8:52 am  Comments (2)  
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All Things Monday…

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It was a hot and busy weekend around our house, but it wasn’t all work and no play.  More about that later, but first I’m going to participate in the “Monday Quiz”.  Here are today’s questions, along with my answers:

1. What is your favorite ‘G Rated’ activity that you like to share with your SO or BFF?

I love it when we go shopping together or eat out, but my favorite activity to do with hubby is relaxing under a shade tree or an umbrella beside the ocean.

2. Do you buy summer clothes at the end of season clearance sales?

No, I usually buy my new clothes, on sale, at the beginning of the season, when the selection is best.

3. August 13th is national left-handers day.  How many left-handed people do you know?

I’ve known quite a few left-handers, in my day, in fact, I’m left-handed myself, thanks to an older cousin who is also a ‘lefty’.  (When I was a baby, he’d always switch the spoon to my left hand, so I’ve been told.)

I worked at school for many years, and, one particular year, about one-fourth of the class was left-handed!  On any given year, we always had at least a couple of left-handed students.

4. When you go swimming do you: a) jump into the pool; b) gently move into the pool; or c) dive in?

Whenever I go swimming, I gently move into the pool.  No jumping or diving for me, ’cause I like to keep my face and head dry!

My question for you:

Do you have a Kindle, and, if so, do you use it much? (I’m trying to decide if I’d enjoy using one.)

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Weekend Recap:  Boy!  The weekend went by in a blur of activity!

Late on Friday afternoon, our youngest son and his wife came for a visit.  The stayed next-door with our daughter and her family, so the entire family met up over there for Friday night pizza.  We don’t often all get a chance to get together like we used to, so it was nice.  After we ate pizza, the adults sat outside and watched the little ones swim around in the pool.  We had the fan blowing at one end of the deck, and the fire pit burning at the other–a strange combination!

On Saturday, Ed began the day by installing our new tv antenna.  About the time he got it attached to the roof, our daughter walked over and told us that CBS is now back on Dish Network.  What timing!  Ed asked me if I wanted him to finish installing the antenna, and I told him “Yes, so we’ll be ready in case this happens again!”  We plan to eventually discontinue with Dish Network, especially if their fees continue to rise.

Ed got a lot accomplished around the yard on Saturday afternoon.  I had a long “Honey Do” list, and he got most of those things done, including finishing our new walkway.  We ended the day by sitting by another fire, while the fan blew on us again, except this time we were burning trash in our back yard!  We may have started a new summer trend!

The rain held off throughout the weekend, and Geraldo, the concrete mason, came on Saturday and built the form for the concrete under our carport.  We had a bit of excitement when our daughter’s unruly dog, Jack, tried to slip around the corner and nip at Geraldo’s son, who was helping build the form! ( Jack quickly got sent back to his kennel! )

Geraldo’s supposed to come and pour the concrete this morning.  I hope the rain continues to hold off until the concrete dries, (even though I’m now having to run the water sprinklers on our newly planted lawn!)  Speaking of unruly dogs,  one of ours decided to dig a hole in the middle of the freshly prepared carport dirt on Saturday night!  Ed had to staple plastic around all open sides of the carport, to prevent this from occurring, again, before the concrete arrives.

Ed’s new lawn mower is supposed to be delivered around lunchtime today.  It’s one of those zero-turn mowers, so it should be interesting watching Ed learn how to maneuver the thing around the yard!  Thank goodness, we don’t have many flowers!  The delivery man called last night, to set up a delivery time, and he asked me if I was going to drive this mower!  I told him, “Nooo, that’s my husband’s baby, not mine!”

Finally, Ed and I took a much-needed trip back to St. Simon’s Island on Sunday.  After the past two weeks, we both needed some R&R!  As always, the time passed much too quickly, and all-too-soon it was time to pack up and head back home.  It was a hot day, but the sea breeze was cool, and it felt so good to just sit and relax for a change!   All work and no play is no fun!  Best of all, we didn’t experience any car problems on the trip either.

That’s it for me today. Have a great Monday!

Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 7:46 am  Comments (11)  
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Celebrating Two Years Of Marriage With A Few Ups and Downs Along The Way…

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Today is a very special day within our family.  It is the 2nd wedding anniversary of our youngest son, Brad, and his wife, Jennifer!  I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by!  So much has happened in their young lives since these two came together as a couple.

The best way to describe the past four years of Brad and Jennifer’s life  together is a series of  “Ups and Downs”.  Everyone has some trials and tribulations at some point during their lifetime, but this couple has already endured a lifetime of those in less than four years!    This couple knows, all to well,  about the “in sickness and in health” part of their vows.  Read on, I’m sure you will agree…

Brad and Jennifer began dating in the fall of 2009.  Jennifer earned her nursing degree shortly afterward.  It was the best of times!

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Then early in 2010, Jennifer’s mom suffered a serious attack, concerning her heart, and spent some time in the hospital.  It was the beginning of a series of devastating events.

Shortly afterward, following a routine yearly checkup, Jennifer was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  It was the worst of times.

Before Jennifer was able to be referred to North Carolina (we live in GA) to become a candidate for a radical new type of cancer surgery (which only removes the cervix, but leaves everything else intact), Jennifer’s mother died unexpected from the heart issue!

A short while later, Jennifer traveled to North Carolina and had the cancer surgery.  Her grandparents, her dad, and Brad accompanied her.  Jennifer’s cervix was removed, but her ovaries, tubes, and uterus were left in tact, in hopes she would be able to conceive and carry children in the future. All seemed to be going well.

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A few weeks later,  Jennifer became very ill with abdominal pain and fever.  Jennifer spent some time in the hospital, and ended up having another surgical procedure to drain an internal abscess.  Still, some pain persisted following her hospital stay.

Weeks later, Jennifer was faced with more surgery, this time to remove one abscessed ovary and Fallopian tube.   I remember wondering if she and Brad would ever be able to have a family.  The odds were  not in their favor.

Unfortunately, Jennifer wasn’t the only one who experienced health issues during this time in their lives.  At one point, Brad became so ill with the flu, that he had to spend several days in ICU!

Believe it or not, somewhere in the midst of all of these ups and downs, Brad and Jennifer managed to plan a wedding and get married–all while paying off numerous medical bills!  Then, soon after their marriage, Jennifer’s dog got hit by a car, and was killed.

In November of last year, the couple decided to buy their first home, and move to the city.  We hated to see them go, but soon realized that the couple must find their own way in this world.  Life goes on, and they’ve been enjoying their new home, and living life in the city.

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Three months ago, Brad and Jennifer showed up unexpectedly, one weekend,  and announced that they are expecting a baby around November 13!  Praise the Lord, miracles do happen!  Of course, we were all elated, but our excitement was soon tempered by some possibly devastating news.  We already knew this would be a ‘high risk’ pregnancy for Jennifer, but there was more…

During her first routine prenatal visit,  Jennifer’s blood work revealed that she is a carrier for the disease, Cystic Fibrosis.  This wouldn’t have been much of  a problem, except  when Brad was tested, he turned out to be a carrier, as well!  (There is a family history of CF on our side of the family, but Jennifer doesn’t know of any on hers.)  Brad and Jennifer both have the same mutation of the gene that is responsible for the most severe form of the disease!  The couple was told that their baby had a 25% chance of having CF, and a 50% chance of inheriting one gene, which would make the baby a carrier, too.  This news came early in the pregnancy, and the couple had to wait quite a while before having an amniocentisis to see if their baby was healthy or not.

Thankfully, Jennifer’s pregnancy progressed normally, and when the time was right, an amniocentesis was performed by her perinatologist a few weeks ago.  A couple of weeks ago, the results came back, and the couple got their answer.

Praise the Lord, many prayers were answered, and another miracle has happened!  The test showed that ‘Baby Bacon” is a healthy baby boy!  Not only does he not have CF, he didn’t even inherit the gene that would make him a carrier of the disease!  God is so good!

On this happy note, I think,  is a good place to end today’s post! Continuing to pray for the safe arrival of “Baby Bacon” on or around November 13.

Today I wish Brad and Jennifer A Very Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary!  May their “Ups” always outnumber their “Downs”, and may God continue to watch over them and bless their family!

 

Published in: on June 25, 2013 at 8:40 am  Comments (3)  
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Another Monday…

Acting Balanced

It’s another Monday, and I’m still canning vegetables!  Peas, beans, tomatoes, and okra are within my sight.  Sounds like a fun way to kick off the week, doesn’t it?  Before I dive right in with Monday’s chores, I’m taking a few moments to participate in the ‘Monday Quiz’…because that’s what I do on Monday mornings!  Thanks to Heather for hosting–even though her ‘honey’ just arrived home, yesterday, from a two-week trip to China!  Welcome home to Wayne!

Here are today’s questions:

1. June 26th is Forgiveness Day – will you be participating? Forgiving someone else or asking for forgiveness?

I think Forgiveness Day is a good cause to participate in–and there’s always something to ask forgiveness for!

2. Do you play card games? Which ones are your favorite?

I don’t play cards much anymore, but I used to like “Rummy”, “Crazy Eights”, “Go Fish” and “Old Maid”–and, occasionally, “Five Card Draw”.

3. What is your favorite flavor of Birthday Cake?

Chocolate with whipped frosting.

4. Do you like amusement park rides? What is your favorite? If not, why not?

Yes, I still like amusement park rides, but they don’t like me anymore.  I tend to get motion sickness, these days.  The last time I tried, (which was about 5 years ago) I could still get by with riding the Ferris Wheel, so it’s my new favorite ride.

My question for you:

5. Have you seen anyone wearing anything “strange” lately?

While out shopping, I saw a rather large woman wearing a nude-colored ‘body shaper camisole’ as a top, recently.  It wasn’t a pretty sight!  She needed the ‘body shaper’, but she certainly could have used a blouse!

Weekend Wrap Up: Our weekend began with a little family time.  Two of our three grown children and their families came over for a Friday evening visit.  The evening ended with our daughter-in-law not being able to find her car keys.  After spending a good bit of time searching through our house, her husband checked the car and realized she’d locked the keys in the car!  Not only had she locked  the keys in the car, she’d locked BOTH sets of her keys in the car.  Fortunately, our son had his car at our house, too, so they weren’t stranded.  On Saturday, Ed showed our son how to break into  the locked car.  Now our son will be prepared if the keys ever get locked up again!

On Saturday, our day began bright and early, with a trip back to the garden.  We picked some peas, some butter peas, and gathered more tomatoes, then some okra…  After that,  the REAL work began–canning the ripe tomatoes!   We spent most of the day shelling peas and canning tomatoes.  We finally called it a day around nine that evening.

On Sunday Ed and I took another little trip back to the beach!  It wasn’t planned, we just sort of went on a whim.  I think sometimes those are the best kind of trips.  By now, we’ve got our beach routine down pretty good, so we were loaded, unloaded, and sitting at the beach within two hours of deciding to go!  There’s no place I’d rather spend a hot, sultry afternoon…  Almost every time we are lounging under our favorite oak tree, enjoying the tropical atmosphere,  someone will walk by and remark  “You two sure have got it made!”  I wonder why they say that…perhaps it’s the smile on my face.

For the second time in a month, Ed and I experienced a little car trouble on our  trip home from the beach.  Last month,  we had some tire trouble, and ended up buying a new set of tires.  This time we’re not quite sure what happened, but we think one of the car breaks may have gotten temporarily stuck.  I’d noticed the car slightly pulling to the right.  Then, on the way home from the beach, the steering wheel suddenly began to shake and vibrate, and we smelled ‘something burning’.  We pulled over, Ed checked the wheels out, hit the brakes hard a couple of times, and after that, everything seemed okay again.  I’ll be sending my car to the shop this week to have the brakes checked out!  If this trend keeps up, we’ll be doing some car shopping sooner than later!

I have more canning to do this week, as well as some housework to do, but I’ve been missing my blog friends.  I’ll be doing some visiting and some posting as time permits, this week.  Hope to see ya’ soon!  Have a great Monday 🙂

Published in: on June 24, 2013 at 8:37 am  Comments (5)  
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It’s Been Quite A Journey…

Thirty-one years ago, God blessed our family with the birth of a second child, a son.  Appropriately enough, I went to the hospital on Mother’s Day, but didn’t actually give birth until 4:07 the next morning.

Brett was a good baby.  He was usually smiling and happy.  Brett was an active baby, and actually began rolling over at the age of six weeks old!  However, Brett didn’t walk until after he turned a year old.  None of my babies did.

Some of my fondest memories of Brett are from when he was a small child. When he was about three, he learned how to sing “Amazing Grace”.  Occasionally, he would sing this song while we were out shopping.  This always caught people’s attention.  When he was little, he loved wearing suits to church, and used to say that he was going to be a preacher when he grew up.

As a young child, Brett learned the books of the Bible, along with the Lord’s Prayer. I was his Sunday School teacher when he requested to be baptized at age seven.  I was afraid Brett didn’t understand the meaning of what he was asking to do, but after he was questioned at length by his dad, we both agreed that Brett understood.  Brett was baptized soon afterward.  Our pastor, Brother John, used to find great delight in calling on Brett to say the Lord’s Prayer in church!

Brett is a very smart person and always did well in school, with minimal effort.  He rarely brought home any books, much to my dismay, but was always able to maintain very good grades.  One of Brett’s teachers once commented, “If I’ve ever seen a gifted child, Brett is one.”  Brett made perfect scores in reading and math on the standardized tests that year.

Time passed quickly, and before we knew it, Brett became a teenager. He lived and breathed to play basketball! All of his hard work and determination paid off when he was voted “most improved” during his sophomore year, and became a starter the following year.  For reasons I still don’t understand, Brett chose not to play ball his senior year.

Oh, what turbulent years Brett’s late teen years turned out to be!  He graduated high school with honors, and even won a full tuition scholarship for that first year of college, but some difficult times lay ahead.

Some of Brett’s friends, since childhood, had chosen the wrong path of life. Brett seemed to want to follow along.  Brett dropped out of college after his first year.  He wouldn’t hold a job.  His life seemed to be spiraling downward.  Brett became a head-strong, and at times, very disrespectful young man.  At our lowest point, I asked Brett to move out of the house, and he did.  After a few weeks, Brett briefly moved back home, but eventually asked to move in with his grandmother, who’d recently become a widow.

Brett always seemed to walk a fine line, teetering and tottering but never completely falling into deep trouble, like some of his friends.  There were many sleepless nights at our house, until Brett made his way through that dark place, and into the light on the other side.  In retrospect, I know that God was always watching over Brett.

In time, Brett took control of his life, and got back on the right path.  He credits his grandmother, with helping him, by giving him a soft place to land, while he made the transition from a boy to a man.

Brett eventually enrolled in school again, and sailed through, this time, with flying colors!  Brett impressed his instructor so much, he helped Brett get a good job after Brett finished school! While working at this job, Brett  met a young woman, who was instrumental in helping him to become the man I always knew he could be.  Brett worked hard, and when an even better job became available, the former instructor helped Brett, once again.

The past ten years have been a time continued time of growing and changing for Brett.  The change has been slow, and steady, but it’s been remarkable! It’s evident that God has been working in Brett’s life, and continues to do so.

Brett treats the people in his life with love and respect, and he’s a joy to have around!  He’s a devoted husband, and a patient, loving father to his two adorable little boys.  Brett is also a dedicated, hard-working employee, who continues to further his education, when I’m sure he’d rather be doing something else!  He’s an active Christian, who constantly strives to teach others about Jesus.

Yes, these last thirty-one years of life have taken Brett on quite a journey. I can’t wait to see what the next thirty years will bring.  I’m blessed to have been chosen to be his mom…

Happy Birthday, Brett!

Published in: on May 10, 2013 at 8:08 am  Comments (7)  
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Changes In The Kitchen…

Thanksgiving 2010

 Thanksgiving 2010 (we’ve added two family members since then!)

Throughout my forty years of being a wife and mother, my kitchen has been the hub of lots of different activities–from birthday parties to board games. In fact, some of my all-time, favorite family memories center around the kitchen, but that’s a post for another day.  Today I’m writing about changes in the kitchen, as my life continues to progress.

Over the years, I’ve experienced lots of changes concerning cooking in the kitchen–from learning to cook for a newly married couple, to learning to feed a family of five. From feeding a family of five, back to learning to cook for only two again!  Now when the entire family gathers, I’m feeding a family of eleven (twelve, counting my MIL)…and praise the Lord, we’re still growing! Feeding our family has evolved into more of a challenge than I ever could have imagined as a young bride, but I always wanted a large family!  Just think, it’s only taken us forty years to get here!

I’ve learned, over time, to change and adapt my recipes (and pot sizes) to fit our family’s changing needs. My pot cabinet is filled with pots of all sizes, to accommodate any number of people, but I’m quickly learning I don’t have enough large pots to make a meal for a family of twelve! It takes a lot of food to feed a dozen hungry people!  In fact, I may have to invest in some new pots soon.

When we moved into this house, I searched high and low for a kitchen table large enough to accommodate our growing family. I failed!  Five years ago, there were only eight of us.  These days, even when we add two extra chairs at both ends of the table, we still can’t seat everyone, but it’s a wonderful feeling!  Thank goodness for the portable card table!  It’s a funny thing, when I was growing up, the children always sat at the extra table during family dinners. These days, Ed and I usually end up sitting at the card table because nobody else wants to!  What’s up with that?

Until recently, one could always find plenty of snacks in my kitchen.  I loved to snack on cookies, cake, or candy, and made sure I had plenty of this type of food in the kitchen.  These days, thanks to my new dietary restrictions, about the only thing you will find in my kitchen are some graham crackers, rice cakes, some fruit–and the candy that was left over from Halloween!  My hungry visitors probably don’t find my kitchen such an exciting place anymore!   I’m afraid Ed and I may be rapidly falling into the category of ” old fart” parents!  In fact, these days, it’s quite common for our hungry off-spring to bring their own food whenever they come to visit!

One other thing makes me wonder if, perhaps, Ed and I may be quickly becoming “old farts”.  Ed always helps me with kitchen duty, but prefers to wash dishes by hand, rather than unloading and reloading the dishwasher.  This wouldn’t bother me much, except Ed forgets to turn on the lights over the sink, and refuses to wear his glasses while he’s washing the dishes–so he’s basically washing dishes like a blind man.  The end result can be disturbing!  Ed’s sometimes misses a few specks of food on the dishes, here and there!  I’ll know we’re in real trouble when the kids start bringing over their own eating utensils, too!  In the meantime, we’re not officially “old fart” parents– yet!

Published in: on March 26, 2013 at 8:19 am  Comments (6)  
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Our Weekend Surprise…

On Saturday afternoon, Ed was laboring away on the goldfish pond, while my daughter and I were sitting outside, enjoying her new outdoor swing.  Out of the blue, our youngest son, Brad, and his wife Jennifer came driving into the yard.  What a pleasant, unexpected surprise!

The couple quickly joined us sitting outside enjoying the sun.  Ed briefly stopped his work to welcome them, but quickly had go back to working on the retaining wall– before the wet cement he was using had a chance to dry.

After a few minutes, Jennifer spoke up and said she had an early St. Patrick’s Day surprise for me.  She went to her car and came back carrying a small, bright green gift bag.  I was a bit puzzled, since we don’t really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but I took the bag and began to cautiously peek inside.

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When I peeked inside of the bag, I saw what I thought looked like a small blue dog shirt with the words ” Destination Grandma’s Home” on the front–and for some reason, my first thought was Jennifer has bought  a shirt for my new grand dog!  (My daughter’s family had recently acquired a new dog)  I quickly said to Jennifer, “No you didn’t!” and she looked puzzled.  About that time, my daughter, realizing what was in the bag, turned to Jennifer, and asked, “Are you pregnant?”   Jennifer quickly answered “Yes!”  Once I finished pulling the gift out of the bag, I discovered it was actually a baby’s onesie!  The joke was on me!  I had to explain that I thought the gift was a dog shirt!

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As a way of announcing their special news, the excited couple explained they’d tried to find a shirt that said “Daddy”, for Brad to wear, but were unsuccessful in finding one.  They settled for the little blue onesie instead.  If I’d pulled the entire garment out of the bag, I would’ve immediately understood the message!

Meanwhile, Ed, who was still working on leveling the wall around the goldfish pond, had no idea what was going on!  He wasn’t paying attention to us, and couldn’t hear our squeals of delight over the noisy pond pump near his head.  I quickly yelled loudly, “Ed, you’re going to be a grandpa!” across the yard.  Lots of hugs and congratulations were certainly in order!  What a moment!

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If you are a long-time follower of this blog, and are aware of Jennifer’s medical issues, then you know what an extra special blessing this pregnancy is!  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  Due to her medical history, Jennifer will be under the care of a perinatologist.

Yes, life is filled with surprises–and weekend surprises like this one are truly the best kind!  Estimated arrival day of our highly anticipated surprise bundle is on Ed’s birthday in November!

Published in: on March 12, 2013 at 8:17 am  Comments (5)  
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Looking Back and Forward, Too…

I’m a little late, but I didn’t want to get too far into the new year without taking a look back at 2012.  I began keeping this blog for my family, but as the years are quickly passing, I  find myself reading back and remembering, as well.  Some days I think I’ve forgotten more than I can remember…

The year 2012 found Ed and me trying to become more self-sufficient.  In February, we began our first garden adventure.  This adventure is still ongoing!  We planted a spring garden, followed by a fall garden, followed by a winter garden!  (After three attempts, we finally have a patch of mustard greens)  We failed at growing a few things, but had success with so many more.  Most important, though, we found a hobby that we both enjoy doing together–and the food we grow tastes fantastic!

Early spring of 2012, also found us with six baby chicks, in a box, inside of our house.  What an adventure that turned out to be!  The chirping, the feeding, the cleaning, and constant supervision–but it was so worth it!  (Of course, we eventually built a chicken coop and moved our new feathered friends outside.)  If you are bored, and need a little excitement in your life, I highly recommend getting some chickens!  I can not spend any time with the chickens without laughing–or at least smiling.  They’re always happy to see me, and they love me unconditionally.  They also lay lots of eggs.  Over 600 and counting, since July!

2012 was the year I had my first experience with jury duty.  I was chosen to serve, but the case was thrown out before we had to make a decision.  It would be my first and last experience on jury duty.  I received a second summons, about six months later, but was released from ever serving again, per my doctor’s orders.

2012 was also my first time voting in a presidential election.  After years of being complacent, letting others make the decisions, I chose to stand up and let my voice be heard.  2012 was also the first time I ever fasted and prayed during an election–or any other time for that matter.  That self-discipline would prove to be helpful during the month of December.

The summer of 2012 began much like any other summer.  Ed and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary, with our usual trip to the beach. We had a great time of celebration, and life couldn’t have been better!  However not long after our anniversary, things changed drastically for our family.

First of all, our daughter and I had a disagreement, and we ended up being estranged for over three months.  Up to this point, we’d always been inseparable and our lives were closely intertwined.  It was one of the most difficult situations either of us has been involved in.  In one way or another, the entire family became involved.  My daughter and I eventually resolved our situation, but we both came away different.  In some ways, the changes were positive, but overall, in the end, something precious was lost.

During the estrangement with my daughter, I became ill.  Now that I’m more educated, I realize that a lot of things were happening in my life, and in my body, which created “a perfect storm”.  It all began with the argument, then a radical hormonal shift, followed by a simultaneous yeast infection/urinary tract infection.  I had blood in my urine, so I was prescribed Cipro, a broad range antibiotic…and thus the cycle of uncontrollable yeast within my body began.

In the meantime, our youngest son and his wife were getting ready to make their move.  After thirty-four years of having all three of our children living within close proximity, on the family farm, one was actually moving away–and it was hard to see him go.  A little piece of my heart went with him on the day he moved, but his happiness is what matters most.

The rest of 2012 came and went in the blur of fighting this “beast” within my body–and it had literally taken over my body, but I didn’t realize it for a while.  Multiple doctor visits, medications, and home remedies seemed to provide a little improvement, but no cure.  I was quickly becoming a woman at the end of her rope.

As a last resort, I was put on a drastic “candida elimination diet”, in December, and I, also, began to do some research.  I discovered just how much this “beast” has invaded my system, and what a strong hold it has on me.  Apparently, there is no quick and easy fix for systemic yeast.  It requires stress control,  the right combination of medications, the right diet, and lots of time to break its strong hold.  It’s an ongoing process.

Christmas!  What a time to be put on a diet of any kind, much less a highly restrictive diet!  The self-discipline,  practiced during the election fast, suddenly came into play.  I shed a few tears over the holidays, but I didn’t give in, despite being surrounded by “sweets”.  I managed to lose nine pounds in December, something I needed to do.

This diet for 2013 brings me full circle, back  to where we started in 2012.  You see, the key to this particular “candida elimination diet” is lots of fresh green vegetables and proteins.  No processed foods, no additives, no sugar, only whole grains, and very few carbohydrates.  What are the chances that we’d have learned how to grow our own garden and acquire chickens last year?  Who knew these things would play such a  pivotal role in the journey to regaining my health in 2013?  Those eggs and mustard greens are now mainstays in my new diet!   It never ceases to amaze me how “all things work together for good”…

Published in: on January 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm  Comments (3)  
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