January 29, 2005

A Hymn

Just feel like a hymn tonight....

All the Way My Savior Leads Me
by Fanny Crosby

All the way my Savior leads me
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His faithful mercies?
Who through life has been my guide
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort
Ere by faith in Him to dwell
For I know whate'er fall me
Jesus doeth all things well

All of the way my Savior leads me
And He cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me strength for every trial
And He feeds me with the living bread
And though my weary steps may falter
And my soul a-thirst may be
Gushing from a rock before me
Though a spirit joy I see

And all the way my Savior leads me
Oh, the fullness of His love
Perfect rest in me is promised
In my Father's house above
When my spirit clothed immortal
Wings it's flight through the realms of the day
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way

January 28, 2005

Finding Glory

Welll it went peacefully...my husband's dad passed away a couple hours ago. Everyone's fine. My husband's sister and a nurse were there with his mom when he died. I guess they could tell he was breathing his last and sang some of his favorite hymns for him while he passed. *if you have to go, that is not a bad way eh?* ...thanks for the prayers and thoughts...

This picture *from the web, not original* reminds me of my father in law. He loved Colorado and he brought back seeds from Columbine flowers one year and kept them growing each year in his garden. They were huge and beautiful....really an interesting looking flower.

Took my daughters to see Finding Neverland this afternoon. That was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Great story and acting...and gave greater understanding behind the story of Peter Pan. Neverland is a beautiful thought for people like me who like escapism and make believe.....

I don't believe in Neverland, but I do believe in anotherland. I'm happy for my father in law to be there, out of pain and suffering and into God's presence. One day I'll pass right on through to it like it's the next step in the journey and I think I"ll take to it like a duck to water. =) But not to escape....it's going to be more real than anything we've ever seen before and we'll be able to truely see with eyes wide open and understand......It will be glorious.....

January 27, 2005

Flying away....

The news today was not good...my husband's father is dying. He is in a semi-coma....emphysema complicated pneumonia, on hospice care at home....sedated now and comfortable, waiting to fly away to his true home. This life is fragile, frail....like leaves ready to fall at any moment. I am reminded of this frailty every time someone I know passes away...just as profoundly, I then forget and live my life in a very silly way...thinking of life as a long drawn out thing, all the time in the world, when in reality we are very temporary here on earth.

Talking to my dad on his birthday a couple weeks ago, he was expressing the same kind of thought. As he was opening his birthday cards he couldn't hold back the tears, thinking about how his life had flown by so quickly. My mom wrote the most poignant note in her card, the words wrapping up their first days together as young 19 and 20 year olds and then through their life to today as seniors, spending their days quietly going about a very small routine, but still so important to and dependent on each other.

It's part of life....death is....a confusing, scary part....but necessary for us all unfortunately. I'm glad he is comfortable and that my mother in law has a nurse there with him so that she won't be alone when he takes flight....and he will...and he'll be free....

Some glad morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away;
To a home on God's celestial shore, I'll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have grown, I'll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown, I'll fly away.

Just a few more weary days and then, I'll fly away;
To a land where joys shall never end, I'll fly away.

I'll fly away, O glory, I'll fly away;
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by, I'll fly away.

January 24, 2005

Senses and Favorability

Are you red or blue? What Winnie the Pooh character do you most identify with…and if you were a tree, what kind would you be and why? Puh-lease! No, those quizzes are fun (I’m most like Pooh, btw and a very nice shade of green) but I took a personality test once that changed my life and my marriage too. (my husband is, it turns out, almost my exact opposite!) It’s the Keirsey Temperament Sorter
…..sometimes called the Myers Briggs test….and it’s used by psychologists and counselors of all kinds to help people understand how they are wired and to work with it and what areas to work on most.

My four letters are ESFP, which in part means I am a very tactile person. I experience life and explore my world mainly through my senses. Yesterday I was reading a magazine article on smells and how they evoke memories and I started thinking about how my senses affect me....so I started listing my favorite things from each sense and it was pretty cool. So here are some of my favorite things.....

The smells of sandalwood oil, pine candles, freshly bathed little 7 year old's head, a sweet space behind the ear of our puppy. Savory and sweet, comforting smells of foods cooking.....that moment when it's about to rain, but hasn't begun yet, burying my nose into a rose or a carnation, lemon fresh Joy, freshly cut grass, the scent of peeled oranges alongside coffee brewing (from my childhood), pine tree forests and citrus blossoms. And my husband will be happy about this one, fresh cut wood for the woodstove.

The sounds of my family, children and husband...laughing, singing, playing piano and guitars. Our puppy Winnie, trying to howl at the train several times a day, my dog Millie trying to talk and cry at us to tell us something.....swiftly flowing creeks, aspens quaking, wind chimes (gentle ones). I love music....good music, real music, no synthesized rhythms and mindless beats from a computer. Whether it's classical or rock and roll......just make it authentic and harmonic with real instruments playing.

Sights I love.....our puppy: pouncing, sitting on our other dogs so her bottom won't be cold, playing, seeing her watch television… lol. Tidy rooms, light yellow and cobalt blue together in my kitchen, patterns, textures. Contagious smiles, someone's hair lilting in a breeze, Fall leaves and Christmas lights. Flowers in a garden or alongside the road, designs in nature....like the star inside an apple, the man in the moon, snowflakes and wood grains….. a butterfly, a ladybug, fuzzy bumble bees and hummingbird moths.....amazing and cute. I also love photography and seeing other people’s photographs….like seeing through their eyes.

Touchie things I love….I touch about everything I pass by in stores and houses…especially soft textures. I love to be dressed in comfortable cotton, sleep on cotton sheets, sit on corduroy furniture…..I love warm blankets, cool breezes, hot showers, hugs and kissing. Fuzzy dogs, soft stuffed animals, flower petals, soft hair, ear lobes and soft candle wax just before it melts.

As for taste…it is easier to list what I don’t like. Brussel sprouts, liver, purple candy, lima beans and weird things that should be called food anyway like sushi and innard type parts. Shudder

Thanks for the read and maybe I’ll think of something more entertaining or witty tomorrow. =)

For something cool to do now, feast your eyes on this.

January 22, 2005

Totally Demotivated

I am feeling much better, having been sick with assorted colds for the past 2 months. My ears are unplugged finally and my head doesn't feel heavy or tired. But I feel very blah....I need a kickstart.....ok, maybe not a kick, maybe a nudge.....or a suggestion......ok, nevermind, leave me alone... See what I mean?

I think I'll get over it...when the dirty kitchen floor and cereal for dinner start really really bugging me, ambition will kick in and off I'll be, like a tazmanian devil, whirling around whipping it all into shape and making homemade bread for dinner with roast and potatoes. (if my husband reads this, he can testify to how long it's been since I've been THAT motivated!) I want it to happen but I don't wanna do it! *whiner whiner whiner*

It reminded me of a websight my brother showed me once. It totally cracks me up and is so appropriate these past few days. =}

despair.com Click on the left side under 'individual designs' and browse their collection for a fun waste of time. And if you're one of those overly motivated, ambitious people, just a reminder........

January 19, 2005

Small town USA

Small towns……you’ve gotta love em. I love ours. Our town has a population of about 3,000, mostly living in outlying areas from town. As you drive, walk, shop or eat anywhere in town, you see people you know….you smile and wave….or sometimes you duck and hide around a corner…ha!

My daughters took me out to lunch today at a quaint family restaurant downtown. This picture is the actual restaurant....found it on the net. We saw a few tourists, but mostly locals and did our waving and smiling. Our waiter, a friend of my daughters’ named Bob, teased us and the workers in back were busy singing happy birthday to another boy we know, Cody, who works there. Then we saw Cody taking packages out to his car, two bags of new diapers. The boss who just had a baby knew our youth ministers’ wife just had a baby and was passing along disposable diapers that were too small for her baby, even though they don’t officially know each other. We ate our lunch and Bob, our waiter asked if we wanted him to bring our car up to the front door…..the restaurant being in a store front in our downtown area, we park in a general parking lot on the next corner. He opened our doors for us and sent us off with a big smile….so fun.

Being a resident of a small town you know each other’s phone numbers by only the last 4 digits since we all have the same first 3. There are some family names that almost half the people in town are related to. You know the bad as well as the good news about people….and when you read the police log in the weekly paper ….and everyone does….your heart breaks for the families of people whose names are there in black and white. You know people or kids on almost every float that goes by in every parade and you yell their names….and small towns have a lot of parades! You know where the judge, the policemen, the preachers and the undertaker live. You know your mechanic personally and they don’t cheat you….in fact ours does simple work for free oftentimes. Shop and restaurant owners know your name and appreciate your regular business, .….today while at lunch one of the workers brought by an envelope to our table and it was a coupon for two free meals just for being a regular customer and they know that my husband and I rarely get out together alone. =)

I was just appreciating our environment today and thought I’d share the value of a small community with you. Sure there are some stinkers and town embarrassments, and there is no such thing as a quick run to the grocery store because you see 3 or 4 people who want to make contact and know how you’re doing, how did your doctor appointment go, how are the kids? But I wouldn’t trade it for the big city or suburbs where you feel detached from your neighbors and the store keepers you go to every week still don’t recognize you!

January 18, 2005

In abundance or want/in comfort or suffering....

Just a quick note tonight. I've been out of town so I missed a couple of days posting. We sang this praise song at church Sunday morning and I've been thinking about it ever since....beautiful song....made even more meaningful by recent questions regarding my health which were answered this past week with some medical tests....what a relief to find that all is well....I could have been in a desert place but have found that 'the world’s “all as it should be”'.....

Blessed Be Your Name
Written by Beth Redman/Matt Redman

Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name when I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s “all as it should be”
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

January 15, 2005

Old redefined

Today is my dad's 80th birthday. Quite a milestone and it has come at quite a price. In his 70's we watched him go through a lot of physical problems and lots of procedures and surgeries to get to 80! A stent and angioplasty in his early 70's, followed by a pacemaker.... steadily we watched his weakening heart slowing him down to a shuffle. Then prostate cancer and recurring scar tissue from the prostate surgery which made his kidneys shut down for a few days this year. His mind is slowing down as is his body and we have to remind him of things he knew well a year ago. The doctors put him through a year's worth of testing and evaluation to determine if he is getting Alzheimer's disease, as his 2 sisters do. The results were negative, which is a great relief.

Everyone knows that your body and mind slow down in old age and that you start needing more medical attention. I knew this was coming as my parents entered their 60's and 70's, but it seemed to happen quickly, like a smack in the face when it happened to my family. It is personal this time.....it hit home....it invaded our lives without permission and it hurts us. Shame on me for not being more sympathetic and supportive when friends would talk about their aging parents and how bewildering it is. It is a hard thing to watch your dad lose his ability to go hiking and walking, to watch him spend more and more time in his chair, walking to the kitchen for a cup of coffee becoming a chore. My dad once was an extremely intelligent scientist and engineer. His job was to be given a problem and to figure out how to solve it and build a machine to make it happen. Amazing....I use to try to listen to him explain scientific or mathematical things and get dizzy!! I just could not think on that level. Now he tells me things several times in one day and needs help thinking of a word to finish his sentences sometimes. Hard....hurts....bewildering.....makes you have to grow up in the most basic of ways...with your parents!

I watched a rerun of 7th Heaven this morning...funny how it happened to be this episode today...on my dad's birthday. The pastor's wife Annie's dad had passed away. She had been very depressed and anxious during his illness and fight with some chronic disease, I can't remember what it was even, but she knew he was fading. So he actually dies and she gets this euphoric feeling, this relief and peace. So the whole episode is about how everyone is feeling euphoric when they should be grieving and sad....they all attribute this to Annie's influence and how she's so unusually and alarmingly happy. Well it's kind of funny and quirky and you wonder what the conclusion is going to be here. So finally one night she and her husband, lying on their bed, discuss her euphoric feelings. She explains that she is happy because she realizes all the extraordinary gifts she's been given in life.....her wonderful parents who raised her so well, for her children and how they have turned out so well and are happily pursuing their own ways in life, and for her assurance that her father is now in Heaven and at peace. She is full of joy and happiness over the gratitude she has from all the good things in her life. She is grateful and appreciative and is enjoying it with no excuses, even when everyone expects her to be sad.

Point taken, Lord. =) I will go to Phoenix tomorrow for my dad's 80th birthday celebration and be happy and enjoy him and my family and be grateful and appreciative...instead of being tempted to wallow in self pity and sadness at how much he has lost...I will celebrate who he has been and even who he is now, a gentle, loving albeit simpler, slower person. I love my parents and I’m glad I still have them......and I need to enjoy them while they're here with us.

January 13, 2005

Dog blog

Well I said I would tell you about my dogs and nothing else very interesting happened today so I’ll tell you about Millie. While living in New Jersey, we were browsing the puppy stalls *they really keep them in kind of large wooden stalls with saw dust or straw on the floors* at the Puppy Barn one day and saw these funny little pure white puppies, all perky and cute. I’ll wager that 95% of the people who go into the Puppy Barn do not leave empty handed and neither did we. They specialized in selling breeds mixed with poodle for cute, non-shedding dogs. So we chose an Eskimo-poo from the many poo mixes and brought home a trembling little ball of fur.

Her timid disposition didn’t last long though and she turned into what we called the Tazmanian devil dog! She picked on Emma, my daughter who was then 2, by stealing her toys just within Emma’s side vision and take off running, glancing behind her to make sure Emma was in chase. It infuriated poor Emma, but it was a hoot to watch. She stole shoes, socks, little toys, toys bigger than her, and when Emma would catch her and retrieve the toy, She would then turn and chase Emma, adding a little nip nip in the rear end while Emma was running and screaming. *it was really just as funny as it sounds, she was a feisty thing!* She also loved to get out in the yard and run as fast as she could. This scared us to death because we didn’t have a fence and were afraid she would run into the street and get run over. She never did run into the street, but the squirt would love for us to try to catch her and ran fast in huge circles. We started having to carry dog biscuits in our pockets and hands to get her to come willingly back into the house before installing a doggie run. This was 10 years ago and she still loves to be chased and will occasionally steal a shoe or sock and run off.

She loves to have a toy that is her own to play with and beat up. (now that Emma is 12) Her latest toy is a little doll, the kind you find at toy store check out stands. We called it her Baby and she loves to take care of the baby….you just have to mention the word baby and she get this wild, ‘ok, wherrrrrrrrre is she?!’ look in her eyes. She loves to lay on her back and hold the baby between her front paws, otter fashion, and alternate biting and flipping the doll around and licking it, like she is loving on it. She will actually attack any toy that has eyes if you make them ‘look’ at her. *hehehe* Disclaimer: I have to point out here that she does know the difference between her toy and real babies. She is very gentle but aloof around babies and toddlers, staying clear of them, but if forced into contact, she is always sweet to them.

I have graphics to go with this story which show her calm demeanor before and then her attack, Tazmanian devil dog mode.

I love my baby....she's a good baby.

Did you give me a look? Was that a LOOK?

I'll teach you to look at me, you bad baby!


Poor baby....she has an empty place inside.

January 12, 2005

Cold, ice and brand new babies

Wellness is a good thing. I have been sick with various cold viruses since before Thanksgiving....and have been sick the past 7 days with the worst one yet. (which is why I had time to make this blogpagethingie) Sore throat, achy, ears plugged up, then came the dreadfullest cough....dr...meds....so today I woke up feeling a little better, which made me pretty happy. I could swallow without cringing.....you've gotta love antibiotics! and codiene cough meds.....makes you all cozy feeling and light. And I didn't feel like I was coughing up my lungs today...that's a good thing. =)

Anyway, I got ready for work by 8am and get a call that we are not starting school til 10am....wheeeeeheee. Kind of drastic I thought since there was only a dusting of snow covering the ground. So I had another cuppa coffee and watched the morning news.

Time to leave and husband warns me to be careful, it's icy out...*in places, I think to myself*.....pull out of the driveway and realize I am driving on a solid sheet of ice! That is a really weird feeling in case you've never experienced it. It crunches as you drive along and stopping and turning are done at a pace of 10 miles per hour.....in fact most people driving on ice do those 'California stops' where they kinda slow down and glide through stop signs if no one's coming. And the weird slow mo feeling of trying to stop and instead you go sliding out into an intersection is weird and frightening and funny at the same time. All you can do is sit there going in slow motion, staring at the other people in the intersection, as if to say 'heh heh, hey I hope we don't crash or sumpin!' At school we get out of the car and our feet go sliding away! lol We had to hold hands and the side of the car and go very slowly to get in. Even places that looked like puddles were solid frozen water!

By afternoon it had all turned to slush again and all the excitement turned to our good friends and the fact that they just had a new baby last night! Of course I can't go see the baby til I am relatively germ free. Baby Corbin, their first boy out of three, was born at home assisted by a midwife. Lemmee tell ya, some people are so brave! Everything went fine, as did her other 2 children's home births, but sounds scary to me! At HOME?? No epidural, ice chips, a weird lil gown that never fits and a hoard of strangers parading in and out of your room? Ok, both ways are scary I guess. I'm just thanking God for our new little friend and for his mom's relief and closure to a long pregnancy.

My dogs outside are glad it's dry tonight...I'll have to tell you about my dogs another day cuz that would take way too long for tonight.

Thanks for reading me

January 11, 2005

Along the road

I saw a sight called Endless Rant.....and while it's a fun name for a sight, blogs can tend to end up as ranting grounds.....blah blah blah blaaaaaaaaaaaahg. My hope is that this will be an encouraging, funny and informative blog. So here's my first try *cringe*......

Sending out Christmas 'newsletters' is a great thing to do....keeping in touch with old friends (and old family *hey, just kidding*) is easy with a once a year chronicle complete with cute graphics and a little innocent bragging.

This year when I sent out our letter, I got several back, meaning old 'friends' had up and moved off without sending a new address! *ouchie* Well...I'm sure they didn't let it happen on purpose, but it happened just the same and it was a bad feeling. *ew* So what a nice feeling and surprise when 3 of my old friends got in contact with me this January. Cool beyond degree!

One is a friend I have had since we were 4 years old, when she moved in next door to my parents house. We grew up together.....moved in different circles starting in high school, but whenever we were together it was like old times and she is a part of me and who I am. Newly divorced and a single mom to two little boys, she is incredibly positive and full of hope for the future. Some things don't work out like we envision them, but what an awesome way to comeback!

The second one emailed me her blog and her photo album online....a cool, yet thoughtful gesture to reacquaint I think. We met in college...I think it was in Old Testament History with Dr. Dane. We went through college laughing and crying together, sharing lots and lots of memories and 'moments'....like the time we were 'studying' out on the lawn in front of the library and a pigeon POOPED in my hair and let me tell you, pigeon poop gains a lot of speed while falling from a tall palm tree....*DOINK* I was so embarrassed and she walked me to my car and drove home with me to wash it out. (later on we were thinking, 'why didn't we just go to a campus restroom????' But anyway, she supported me in my most tragic pigeon poop episode....well ok, she was rolling around laughing at me the entire time! (but that just made it less humiliating for me.) We were Resident Assistants in the freshman dorm together (well she was the head honcho and I was a lowly RA), she was in my wedding, and she is a part of me and who I am. Turns out she has been through a good many troubles these past 20 *erk, should I admit that?* years since college. But she has found a good place in her life right now and is loved and happy. Her blog reacquainted me with her...she is quirky, artsy and funny and a really good writer and photographer. Her blog inspired me to start this and she inspires me to be myself. =)

The third friend to get back in touchyness is a lady I met when we both had new babies! I really needed a friend, as we had just moved across the country and had just begun a family and we knew no one! She befriended me and we walked babies in strollers, went to exercise classes, talked about our husband-types...they were both ministers.....and she gave me a lot of practical wisdom in raising babies (hers was a month or two older, so she was the expert and knew what I needed to know!) Over the ten years we lived in New Jersey, we eventually went to separate churches and spheres of influence, but she helped me and we bonded in those early childhood years and she is part of me and who I am. She sent a picture of her very tall family! They looked like a wonderfullly fun family and so happy...inspiring.

So as I was driving very slooooooooowly along I 40, along mountain curves and in inches of snowy slush today....I was distracting myself by thinking of what I would write about if I started a blog...or maybe a novel! ha! And these are the thoughts that I was thinking and then it reminded me of a song by Rich Mullins....here tis, Brother's Keeper...nice blogging at you.

"Now the plummer's got a drip in his spigot
The mechanic's got a clank in his car
And the preacher's thinking thoughts that are wicked
And the lover's got a lonely heart
My friends ain't the way I wish they were
They are just the way they are

And I will be my brother's keeper
Not the one who judges him
I won't despise him for his weakness
I won't regard him for his strength
I won't take away his freedom
I will help him learn to stand
And I will ~ I will be my brother's keeper"