Thursday, July 31, 2008


I laugh at one of my friends who always charts about how patient's wounds are "heeling" since I'm such a stickler for spelling. I usually say something like "His dog's here, too?" - just to get us giggling. So it's important to note that since the Healer has come into my home once again and helped my puppy turn a big corner today, that this post is aptly titled.

I took Lucky out for his morning visit to the yard in a sling made from a pillow case, because he couldn't walk. He was so disoriented and couldn't bear weight on his front legs. His back feet are still bandaged, and the mysteriously disappearing bandages of earlier this week are the only thing he's eaten since last Friday. We have yet to see them digested. I did the mom/nurse thing and bathed his feet in soapy water and diluted peroxide and re-bandaged them. I brought him a bowl of fresh water and gently slid an aspirin down his throat. I decided he was just hurting all over and surely an aspirin would help. I also think he had some PTSD from being in a strange kennel last weekend. Tonight he's SO much perkier and gingerly ate about 1/4 cup of food for me. And at one point he purposefully came to the kitchen to see what I was doing. Hooray! I've never been able to get this dog to heel, but God sure helped him heal. Thank you, Lord. I was not ready to let him go just yet but he was sure acting like he was ready.
Tea tonight: Young Hyson

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sick as a dog.

My stomach is in knots tonight - perhaps if there weren't several things hammering on my heart it wouldn't feel so sickening. But the sad, whimpering, helpless puppy next to me curled up on the "boat blanket" on the couch just breaks my heart. He won't eat. He can't walk. He has two bandaged bloody feet that I really think are the least of his problems. He twitches and shakes like he has a palsy of some kind. I had to carry him outside (no small feat) to go potty because he couldn't walk to the door. He can't tell me anything, but keeps turning his sad brown eyes my direction as if to say "Help me, Mom. You're the nurse around here." I know he likes to be cuddled and have his ears stroked, so that's about all I can do for him. I did give him an aspirin, thinking that if I could keep him away from chewing on the bloody feet, at least the rest of him might feel better. I wonder if his stomach feels like mine. Empty. There's no way a morsel of food would stay down tonight. Or even make its way down. Pray for Lucky puppy. He is, after all, 98 years old, but I just don't want him to hurt or feel scared. Even Snickers knows something's up - she's hovering around him like she has a job to do. If God takes him, I can accept that, but please oh God, make it be painless. And please tell me all good dogs go to heaven. I know You're hurting, too -2 Corinthians 1:7. Wow.
No tea tonight - won't go down.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me.

OK, so it's not my birthday. But it was my birthday "weekend" (like at my age I need one of those) and I got a birthday pie and I got birthday presents and I got birthday hugs and spent time with birthday friends. Ol' practical me. Sometimes God speaks through friends....and Walm@rt gift cards, free produce, and shampoo samples. Now I'm prayerfully drained and it's bedtime but I can't stop praying now - it's just too early. He's still got some work to do, some light to shine, some grace to give, some hearts to enter, some heads to clear. I will help like it's my job. Because it is.
No tea at Gma's :(

Friday, July 25, 2008

Melt. Now. Please.

"Stuff you worry about melts in the heat of who God is."
~Pastor John Fuller 07.13.08

Tea today: Jasmine

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As I ponder the blog settings

Which font to choose for my blog? Perhaps this will help:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Went to a Garden Party.... reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories
and play our songs again...
that's Ricky Nelson for you young 'uns who may never know real music

Glorious day today. My grapefruit was perfect - a creation so beautiful it almost defied segmenting. Tea was perfectly steeped (thank you, Brita). Bread toasted just beyond gold. The milled flax seed mixed easily with the almost-too-soft peanut butter, but Lucky has a much easier time licking the knife when it's soft, so he was particularly happy. He even got an extra helping. 9:00 church was a contemplative worship - a toned-down sermon on prayer, but the usual tear-provoking music. Then KT, R, and I went to PLC together, which is how I love church. Together. Relevant. Inspiring. Funny. Raw. Rockin'. Did I say inspiring? Made old connections in a new way with a couple people I haven't seen for a while, or know from somewhere else. I love how we are all connected by something - the "Five People" concept. Same thing at a Garden Party this afternoon - old friends (and some really old friends), fast friends, people seemingly resurrected from a past I had temporarily forgotten. Today was definitely a relationship day. And it's really a good day when someone thinks you are your daughter's sister (better for me than her, but I needed the boost more).

Have some thinking and praying to do this week - homework of sorts. Transitions are good for all of us, particularly if they don't blindside you and it's on your terms. I'm ready.
Bring. It. On.
Tea today: Young Hyson

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

Can't resist this one - surely it was earlier than the 80's?? Dang, I feel old. And I have in on good authority that the lead singer and the keyboardist are husband and wife. Cute? No?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stinkin' research

Rather than post on two things that are weighing on my mind this evening, neither is an option that calls for the semi-permanent, "I'll probably regret this" post. Because I hate conflict. In my head, in my relationships, and in my heart. But I can handle an "agree to disagree" conversation about something dear to my heart - shoddy research reported by the media as NEWS. I have a lot of respect for fair news based on sound journalistic principles (after all, it's put food on my table for nearly 35 years), but you certainly don't see that when a news organization tries to glean details from a poorly designed and obviously biased "scientific" study and turns it in to the be-all, end-all of the days news. And a slow news day only makes it worse. Where's a hurricane when you need it?

Here's a perfect example: Atkins-Like Diet Beats Others In Study. Shame on you, NEJM! How did this one get through a respectable editorial board?

I hope all of you pork-rind, bacon and Sausage McMuffin (sans the muffin) lovers don't start nanner-nannering me about the results. I am not impressed in the least with 322 people losing an average of 20 pounds over two years while in an isolated Israelan nuclear research facility and using self-reported data. That's less than a pound a month! Did I mention this study was funded by the Atkins Foundation? The "Atkins-like" group was encouraged to choose vegetarian sources of fat and protein. Huh?? Where's the Atkins in that?? Here's the skinny that hasn't changed since Adam and Eve (at least they chose the apple over the pig who was surely in the Garden of Eden, hiding from the serpent): Eat less calories than you use, and you will lose weight. A calorie is a calorie. No exceptions. Atkins, Schmatkins. So eat some whole, unprocessed foods for all things good, holy, and healthy, push yourself away from the table the way the Japanese do - when you're 80% full - and start moving. It's not rocket science. "Research" like this really gets in my craw. Let common sense prevail, my friends. Now go grab an apple instead of one of those stupid 100 calorie snack packs (this is where Atkins and I agree), and see if you can get those 20 pounds off in less than 2 years and improve your lipid profile with a little functional food.

The sermon tomorrow evening is on "Fasting: Hungry for God." I can't wait - published in a Best Seller, will make perfect sense, and will surely lighten my heart. Heavy hearts aren't healthy.
Tea tonight: Jasmine

Monday, July 14, 2008

I heart prayers.

I've been listening to a series of sermons (I don't like the word "sermon"- more like teachings, because I've truly learned). The first two were on prayer and really struck a nerve with me. I can hardly wait for the next two. Things I know, things I've learned, but things I, as an imperfect human, need to be reminded of. When I think of the prayers I've sent up to God over the last 57 years, I realize how crude, rude, and extremely selfish I've been. Yes, I've actually lied to God. (Sure am glad for that Grace gift). Made promises I didn't keep. Like He didn't know that?? I mean, He knows what I need, He knows what I want, and He knows it before I ask Him. He knows sometimes I am asking for entirely the wrong thing. He will give me one of three answers every time: Yes, No, or Not Yet. I must trust that His answer is the right one. So as I listen to these teachings again, I fully recognize the bold, raw, unmistakable truth - prayer doesn't change my situation. It changes me. Over the past few weeks, it's been huge. He has brought me to a point I wish I'd arrived at about 39 years ago, or even 2 years ago. But I am grateful that I am here now. Peaceful. He's got my back. He's a lot smarter than I am. God is really BIG. And tonight, at least for tonight, it feels really, really good. It is not an option for anyone or anything to change this feeling for me right now. I didn't feel like this 2 weeks ago. I knew I'd turn a corner, I just didn't know when. I'm in a different place. Now I'm off to practice because I'll never get good at this prayer gig if I don't practice, practice, practice. My first two words will be "Thanks, Abba!" Perhaps "You da Man!" will follow.
Tea tonight: Arizona Green with pomegranate

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Oh. My.

Good Bye to a Gentle Giant

Michael DeBakey, MD. I heard him speak several times, but only on TV. I remember at the time feeling such admiration and respect for a man I never met, but who had such an impact on my heart of hearts, different from many of the physical hearts he saved. What profound gifts this man was given, not just in the talent, intelligence, ingenuity, and surgical prowess, but in his Christian heart that was so gentle, so giving, so dedicated. This humble man embraced the entire spectrum of human nature with his gifts, from the honored to the dishonored, the rich and poor, the old and the young; nobody was undeserving of his service. His pioneering procedures saved my dad's life - twice. I studied his work as a worried daughter, and a questioning caregiver, and a determined nurse. Thank you, Dr. DeBakey, for all you gave to the world. You have left it a better place. At some time everyone will be blessed and touched deeply with your service, if they haven't been already. And to think your heroes were -- your parents.
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." ~Isaac Newton
Tea today: Earl Grey Green

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday's Feast

Best meal I've eaten all week- certainly the first full one!
When was the last time you had your hair cut/trimmed?

I couldn't remember so I asked my roots - they didn't know what a haircut was. By the looks of them, I'm long overdue.

Name one thing you miss about being a child.

The freedom of not having a thing to worry about. My goal is to return to being His child in the true sense of the Word so I can be free again.

Pick one: butter, margarine, olive oil.

Olive oil, extra virgin, hands down.

Main Course
If you could learn another language, which one would you pick, and why?

Irish. Then I would speak English with an Irish accent because it sounds so sophisicated (which is entirely NOT me).

Finish this sentence: In 5 years I expect to be…

Still working, enjoying it more, because retirement is 5 years closer. I'll have an Irish accent. And newly-cut hair. And a fresh bottle of olive oil in the pantry.
Tea tonight: Chamomile

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yet another blessing.

Not that she is a new blessing - she's one who has been a large part of my life for over seven years. We have shared joy, love, frustration, and many laughs, not to mention the "nurse stories" that bring some wisdom, a chuckle, a tear, and the occasional "duh." Last night, my son (yeah, the one of "Meaningful Dialogue") officially asked Abigail Rae to become his wife, giving "fireworks" a whole new definition. I could have searched the world over and not found a better woman to be my daughter-in-law. She's tough, sensible, loving, soft-hearted, compassionate, a hard worker, frugal, and always, always puts others before herself. She's one of the few who really understands "boys" - or perhaps I should say accepts them for the goofy animals that they are. (Does anyone really understand them?) I'm thinking she knows where to find a case for glasses, and she could also probably find someone to pay her to take it. I find great comfort that we have a really smart nurse to step up and ask all the right questions if any of us ever get sick. This is by far the best choice Ben has made in his life. My prayer for them is that they put God at the center of their marriage, because with Him it will be able to withstand every test. Our family is truly blessed.
Tea today: Snow Water Green Cloud

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Memories: Best of 4th of July Weekend

  1. Twizzlers
  2. Smell of boat gas
  3. 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 (counting heads bobbing in the river)
  4. "Mom, can I have a pop?"
  5. "Dad, can I drive the boat?"
  6. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen (with the occasional forgotten "top o' the ear")
  7. "He threw sand on me!!"
  8. Sleeping prone across the back of the boat.
  9. Boat songs! Peter Cetera (Next Time I Fall, Glory of Love), Whitney Houston (Greatest Love of All), James Ingram/Linda Rondstadt (Somewhere Out There)....too many more to list
  10. "I'm hungry"
  11. Sleepy, sun-drenched child crumped in lap. The musty smell of life jacket not able to drown that wonderful "baby smell."
  12. "I wanna ride the ski rocket/ski biscuit."
  13. "Do I hafta wear my life jacket?"
  14. Gassing up at Babe's dock.
  15. "Gramma, can we still come up here when you die?"
  16. What kind of chicken do you want? "I'll have the drumsticks." I'll have the drumsticks." "I'll have the head."
  17. B-4 (Barn Brunch by Bayliner)
  18. "Whoa, look at that one!" (at fireworks, anchored in the bay at DBQ)
  19. DQ - Dyersville
  20. (Brushing tangled hair) "That hurts!!"
  21. St. Feriole Railroad ice cream car
  22. The smell of after-river, after-bath, after-lotion children in clean jammies.
  23. Blankies. Three of them.
  24. "I hafta go to the bathroom."
  25. Feeling, knowing, sensing Him in the water lapping on fiberglass, wind in my face, and tree-laden bluffs.
  26. The Carry. Up the stairs upon arrival home. Heavy with sleep. Sand in their hair. Loved. Safe. Home.

There's one thing we never did together while sequestered as a family in the boat, and I regret that. I think of how blessed, protected and cared for we were. Shame on me. That's the only part I'd do over.

Tea today: Maa Feng

Friday, July 4, 2008

Liftin' the Blog

I hate that I get ideas and thoughts from someones blogs, rather than from any creative juices in my own brain, but sometimes what people say and feel resonates so powerfully with me on a particular day. I'm hoping they consider it a compliment that I would lift something that moves me on that day. Today, it's Angel, and I found her blog during that attempt to once again reach the end of the internet and find my place in it. I haven't read very many of her musings, but have read enough to remind me of my regret for the egocentric and improvident decisions I made in my early adult years (Move ON, will you??) and commend her for her wisdom at such a young age. And what cut me to the core this morning were simply the words in her header:

Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don’t know what to do.
God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know,
and holds us responsible to act.

I don't think I've been so moved by words in many years - at least a dozen - when I heard Fred Luskin give a talk at a conference on his specialty of Forgiveness - at the time I needed it most. I never did figure out if he is a Christian, but it doesn't matter. God has gifted him so and he has changed so many lives with his devotion to his work.

I am also convinced that God, in His infinite wisdom (not Al Gore), created the internet because He takes me to posts I need to see at very special times. Those are not accidents. There really is no such thing.

Tea today: Earl Grey green

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Meaningful Dialogue.

Disclaimer: I am hopelessly in love with the 3 men in my life. I say "hopelessly" because that's pretty much how conversations are sometimes. That being said, I do not think less of any of them. This is just a charming picture describing the differences between us, and a gentle sketch of how God has wired us as polar opposites. Why, I'm not sure. The scenarios below are accurate, though there was actually some sensible dialogue in between. If they ever read this (improbable) they will argue "it never happened like that." I swear on my father's grave, it did. In their defense, I'm leaving out the sensible parts of the conversation. To their credit, there were some.
Incident # 1, this morning:
Hubby (in a message left for me): "I’m at Dr. (urologist)'s office and they want to run a urine test. Should I do it? Call me."
I call him…
Me: Why are you at the doctor? Urine test for what? Blood? No, don't bother; we already know it’s bloody.
Hubby: Maybe, or something about chemicals that cause stones
Me: why are you at the office? Are you ok?
Hubby: I just stopped here
Me: Why, are you ok?
Hubby: Yeah, I just stopped in.
Hubby: Nothing, they want to do a urine test
Me: But how did you get there?
Hubby: My truck
Me: I mean what made you GO there?
Hubby: I’m not real sure
Me: Will insurance cover it?
Hubby: It might.
Me: How much is it?
Hubby: I didn’t ask.
(Stay tuned for a $500 UA, non-covered)

Incident #2, later, from my eldest, on his Bluetooth or Crackberry, in his car:
B: Where do I get one of those cases I keep my glasses in? I dropped mine and it broke. Who would sell those?
Me: Probably WalMart, but don’t go there. Go to where you got your glasses and they have tons of them. They’ll give you one for free.
B: But where would I buy one?
Me: Probably WalMart, but don’t go there. Go to where you got your glasses and they have tons of them. They’ll give you one for free.
B: Would they have them at like Walgreens or something?
Me: Yeah, but I would go to where you got your glasses and they have tons of them. They’ll give you one for free. Or go to any glasses place. They all have them. Free.
B: OK, I’ll stop by Walgreens or something. I have to get my car washed anyway.
Me: I’m glad you can afford a car wash – I haven’t done that for 2 years
B: It’s cheap. $20/month for unlimited washes.
Me (*chokes*): I’m glad you can afford $20 bucks a month to wash your car.
B: I wish this old lady in front of me would quit driving so slow (note not-so-subtle change of subject)
Me: Be nice. She’s hypermiling. I do that all the time. Saves gas.
B: Not in that [sic] boat she’s driving. Ok, bye. Thanks for the help.
Me (mumbling to a dead phone): yea, glad to be of service

Incident #3, on the phone with my best half:
Me: what did they say about Lucky [our dog who was sick yesterday] at Dr.Taylors?
Hubby: They liked him
Me: I KNOW they like him, what did they say about his health?
Hubby: He’s getting old
Me: We paid them to tell us THAT?? What about the throwing up?
Hubby: Not a big deal
Me: That’s because it wasn’t their carpet.
Hubby: They said he could have aspirin.
Me: For vomiting???
Hubby: No, for pain.
Me: But that will make him vomit.
Hubby: But he won’t hurt when he does.

That was the end of it until supper, during the second helping of spaghetti, when I said "You must be hungry; did you eat today?"

"Not really...."

I think that was a yes or no question.

Of all the mystery and wonder of God, HE really does listen to me. I know that for sure. PTL for that.

Tea tonight: Harney & Sons green with citrus & ginko