Saturday, August 8, 2020

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you!  After several days of gorgeous fall like weather, we are back to hot and sticky as we begin the second week of August.  Changes are a coming!  We can see it in the way the flowers are blooming and the way the grass is shifting it's growth pattern.  We are hoping for a long fall this year and a short winter.  A girl can dream, right?

Speaking of dreaming, pull up a chair, grab a cup of your favorite morning drink, and lets chat awhile.  Has anyone else found their dreams seem to reflect the chaos of our world?  Mine sure do!  I do have a lot of "medical" dreams, and then there are those where I need to defend someone I love or myself cuz safety is an issue.  Come to think of it, my dreams are often closer to being nightmares, certainly not happy and fun.  Hmmmm   better get right on that with prayer!  I also talk out loud in my dreams.  Joel does too.  At least we are not talking and answering each other while we are sleeping!

Speaking of talking, do any of you talk out loud to yourself or just to the universe in general when no one else is around?  I find I do it quite often while working on puzzles!  When we had a dog I had an excuse ~ just talking to the dog, right?  But now............  I thought it was happening with age, but our middle daughter tells me I have been talking out loud since she can remember.  She says I told her, "I am just consulting with myself" when she would ask me who I was talking to!  Ha!  I guess I could blame my puzzle talking on what is going on in the world.  And right now it would be a toss up to pick and choose one thing since everything seems to still be hitting the fan, excuse my language.

Speaking of the everything, sometimes I find myself wondering if "the end is near" and Christ is returning  as I hear some question the possibility (including Max Lucado). I really have never thought about it, just figuring when it happens it happens, no one can predict it.  Yet the world is weeping isn't it.  With Covid, with the political spirit, with the chaos on our streets, racism in hearts, in Beirut with the 3rd biggest explosion ever in the world happening there.  Add to that the personal battles people are going through, the loss of businesses, finances, jobs, health, family members and friends.  Maybe it would be a good time for Jesus to come!

Speaking of that, have you thought much about what Heaven will be like?  Will it be Heaven on earth?  Will we have things to do and places to go.  Will purpose still define us?  Will we get to eat in heaven~ just saying~ I always like to declare that when I get to Heaven I am going to work in the bakery so I can have at my fingertips all the delicious treats I have not been able to indulge in for decades!  Do you think there will be marriage in Heaven?  My hubby likes to tease me with the idea that the Bible says no marriage.  I tell him that is not acceptable as I plan on being his wife for all eternity.  He tells me I won't care since I will be in Heaven and I tell him, oh I am sure I will care!  He is stuck with me!  I know that Heaven is a wonderful place and we will be filled with happiness there and so maybe we need to ask ourselves what makes us happy?  Your pets?  Your spouse?  Your family?  Your cabin?  Your love of food or books or sports........I am just thinking it will be a grand place beyond our imagination where we feast with our Lord, laugh with the angels, walk and talk with Jesus and dance and sing with Holy Spirit!  Just imagine.........

Speaking of imagining, did anyone see the video this week of the little girl whose dad was talking to her and asking her questions about donuts.  Her dad tells here he heard that robbers were stealing peoples donuts....she acts surprised,  responding appropriately to people losing their donuts to robbers.....and then suddenly asks him, "Am I the robber?"  She goes on to say that she doesn't steal anyone's donuts but her own! I'm thinking dad was trying to give her space to "confess"......

On Wednesday my hairdresser came to the house and cut my hair in our garage!  We set things up and we both wore masks and I finally am back to having a hairstyle again. Nice.  It was my first cut in a year.  I started chemo the end of August last year and had no hair for a very long time.  At the same time we had treetrimmers here removing a lot of dead branches high in the trees and some over our roof and the neighbor's yard.  Four hours and a lot of moolah later, all looks good.  Sadly we lost some of our shade over the house in the back, but it had to be done!  So Wednesday was a hair and tree trimming day!

Yesterday Joel and I headed to Target, my first adventure there since early April.  I kept my hands to myself, social distanced and observed people.  Grateful I was strong enough again to go there.  I am not a shopper anymore, so it was nice to see other people, or at least there eyes.....and I was happy they were not wearing white coats as that seems to be the only places I go.  I told Joel that I can tell I have been wearing masks a while since I now try to match or blend the mask I am wearing to the clothes I have on.  Not kidding.  Of course a black mask would cover it all but what fun would that be.  We actually have lime green matching masks from our insurance company.......flowered masks for me and a denim looking one for Joel, one with motorcycles on it and another with pink breast cancer ribbons.  Oh, yeah, we are stylin'!!

We are enjoying the Frankie Drake Mysteries on PBS, catching up on season 1 and 2.  Joel is still biking, working on projects, and getting his book cover laid out.  I am able to walk a bit, cook and clean a bit, work on the latest 1,000 piece puzzle, and read while horizontal.  Still finding creative ways to use blueberries..........making a tart today! Thursday we Zoomed with our oldest and their family from 4 locations, and tomorrow we will connect with another.  

I expect you are done with your coffee and ready to move on from our chat.  Before you go, what have you been doing this week?  What is on your grateful list?

Speaking of grateful, we are thankful for A/C, a good washer and dryer, newly trimmed trees that keep our roof safe, a puzzle, TV distractions, masks, blueberry tarts, Zoom, phone calls and texting, better days, a hair cut, trees trimmed, laughter, prayer, and all of our family and friends around the country.  

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you from our corner of the world where the weather has been great!  Partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the low 80's and no humidity to complain about.  The low 70's are forecast for this coming week, a lovely way to welcome August~ with September temperatures!

We had to put our pitiful garden to rest this week.  No sunshine, no growth, no veggies.......We tried but we failed.  So it goes.  I think next year we are going to put climbing flowers that like the shade in the structure Joel made.  My black eyed Susan ivy died this week too.  That was another learning curve.  It was dying so I trimmed it back where it was dead and the next day, literally the next day my favorite plant was mostly dead.  Note to self:  Don't trim back the Ivy! When Joel took it out of the hanging pot he said he had never seen such a root bound plan before, so that added to it I am sure.  I will say, our many sturdy geraniums are doing well and keep blooming.  Thank heavens for geraniums!

Speaking of thanking Heaven, I was able to visit this week with a friend I have known for 61 years.  She is walking through the death of her husband after 50 plus years together.  She and all of us take great comfort in knowing he is in Heaven now!  Her faith, courage, and determination were inspiring, and don't we need some inspiration now days?  It reminds me of a simple song we learned with our kids while living in the Philippines decades ago.........."Heaven is a Wonderful Place".

Heaven is a wonderful place for sure, yet here we are on earth embracing each day, right?  So, besides spending too much time talking with my Mayo doctor about the "after Zometa" life I am living, it has been a good week here.  Joel has been busy doing projects including, to my excitement, getting the windows washed!  Love to see them sparkle.  He is riding his bike 10-15 miles most days and has over 800 miles in.  I am doing a little baking since our #10 of blueberries arrived from the Mennonites. Physical therapy is going well.  Always enjoy visiting with my therapist.  I finished a 1,000 piece puzzle that had been a bit challenging and have now started another.  We discovered a "new to us" show on Amazon Prime that originated on public broadcasting, "Frankie Drake Mysteries".  Takes place in the 20's and is about two women detectives in Toronto.  Quite light and enjoyable!

Our oldest son turned 49 last week.  My goodness!  Just seems like we were 49 ourselves.  Our oldest is 50, our youngest 33.  We are so grateful for how well they and their families are all doing ~~sure love and miss the grands!  It has been way too long since we have seen any of them.  We did some reminiscing with our oldest son this past week as he has an amazing memory.  As he brought so many things back to us, it was great to remember and reflect on good times......

Speaking of good times, we kind of need to look back and remember good times as we face this uncertain world.  Division reigns.  Conspiracy theories stink up the air. Facts and lies get blended together and confusion rises.  People spend a great deal of time on social medias pointing the finger at each other, ripping each other apart.   It is all exhausting.  Sometimes we just need to sit back, take a deep breath and remember when............remember when people could have different opinions and still be friends?   And then there is the coronavirus that continues to kill, steal, and destroy.  It seems we are all flying on the seat of our pants (an old saying) on this one.  What is right changes, what is wrong changes, and what we know for sure we don't know for sure! When things look dark, scary, confusing, irritating, and all those other adjectives, it may be time to take another deep breath, be still, and remember that everything else may change but Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Yes He is.  He is our Healer.  He is our Protector.  He is our Provider.  He fights our battles.  Just be still in His Presence.

So on yet another weekend in a season where we can lose track of the days, we give thanks.  So grateful for our too far away families, for great weather, projects getting done, puzzles to distract, long time friends, new TV shows to get lost in, God's Word at our fingertips, sturdy geraniums, and of course delicious blueberries!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Lime Green Tennis Balls

This week I have been sorting through some of the over 1250 articles I have written for my blog.  In the process I came across this one written in 2012, and decided to re-share it with you readers.  

In the dream I was sitting in my home church sanctuary, which was quite large. Behind me was a big balcony. While in the pew, probably the 5th pew from the front on the left side where we always sat as a family, I kept getting hit with tennis balls. Lime green ones. I kept looking around to see where they were coming from but could not see anyone throwing them. Finally I asked aloud, "WHERE are these tennis balls coming from??" A voice answered, "Satan". I looking up behind me as another one came down and hit its target~ ouch! While glancing over my shoulder I also noticed that many of the tennis balls never made it down to me, but were stuck in mid-air!
In my sleep I immediately thought, "I really need to change this dream" as the tennis balls were reigning down on me, I heard myself say, "Satan, in the name of Jesus and by the authority given to me as a believer who is 1/3 wall to wall Holy Ghost, I command you leave this sanctuary! You cannot stay here!" Of course he left. He has to!
I awakened from the dream and as I lay in bed, I started pondering the meaning of it. Very quickly I heard a voice inside me saying, "YOU are the temple of God, YOU are the sanctuary of God and Satan has no authority over you. A light bulb moment ~ the sanctuary in the dream was actually me.

“You realize, don't you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you?
No one will get away with vandalizing God's temple, you can be sure of that.
God's temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.”
I Corth 3: 16,17
The Message

I continued to lay quietly in bed and ponder the tennis balls. Satan was hitting me with tennis balls....hmmm What does that mean? First of all, tennis balls are not rocks! They can hurt but not really harm me. They certainly cannot kill me! Even if they could,  death has no lasting power because we have eternal life!!! AND all those balls stuck in the air?? I realized that they were the ones that God kept from reaching me. I was protected from many of Satan's "fiery arrows" that came in the form of lime green tennis balls!!
The Lord was taking care of me even when I did not know I needed it! God is always watching over us. I fell back to sleep thanking the Lord for his protection, thanking Him for giving us the Holy Spirit within and the believer's authority to tell Satan to take a hike. Thanking Him that Satan has NO authority and runs from the name of Jesus. Thanking God that I am being pelted by tennis balls and not rocks.
Lime green tennis balls? Who would have thought I would find comfort in such a thing....but I did. God can use all things for our good, even a dream about tennis balls!
** Much has happened since this dream eight years ago.  There have been more of those lime green objects tossed my way and I would say a few rocks too.  In fact, I would venture to guess that in 2020 we have all had more than a few tennis balls thrown our way, finding their target in the process.  But God is aware of every one of them.  And His Word still holds true.  It may be wise to carry around a tennis racket to return those balls to the sender!  We can do so as we speak to our mountains and remember, we are His sanctuary.  His temple.  His child.  And 1/3 wall to wall Holy Ghost.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you from Iowa where this time of year heat and humidity are in abundance.  So are flowers, corn on the cob, and watermelon.  Loving the watermelon!

Speaking of watermelon it reminded me of one summer when we lived in St. Paul, MN.  We were close to Como Park, Zoo, ad Conservatory.  We had a family picnic one day at Como park and held a "watermelon seed spitting" contest  For some reason I could spit the seed really far that day.....maybe it was all my practice of spitting out sunflower seeds.  When our kids were young and first played sports I was always nervous for them and did not want to embarrass the kids with blurting out I would crack the shells, separate the seed itself and spit out the shells from my mouth to keep my tongue busy!  So talented!  Okay then.......back to the watermelon!  Watermelon is soooo good for you and we are now spoiled by the seedless ones.   A delicious snack or with a meal.

Speaking of food, yesterday I fixed fried liver for the first time in decades.  No onions since I can no longer tolerate them..... but I now remember why I used Ketchup to eat it in the past.  While I ate it I told myself it was medicine for my body and medicine is not supposed to taste good!  You see, the Covid test came back negative, yippee, so I could go to my first oncology appointment with a PA here in town.  My original Dr. who knew my body well, retired.  This woman did not think my symptoms were from the Zometa and did every test known to mankind to figure out why I was struggling so much.  So, that was important to rule things out, right?  Every test was good except thyroid was a bit low (may be from the radiation on right side of neck) and my iron was one point from too low.  I read at the Mayo site that Zometa commonly causes anemia.  I don't have that but do have iron deficiency so thus the liver.........and organic beef.  For someone who has eaten beef only 4-5 times in the past 2 1/2 decades, and mostly our brother-in-law's amazing Akaushi beef at that ~ it is a big deal.  Besides ordering a sublingual, made in America, all good stuff iron supplement I will be adding beef to the menu.  And more liver.  Maybe.  Joel says, "the body remembers the taste but the mind wishes it didn't!"  It is all medicine, right?

Fixing liver had me remembering when I fixed it for our kids.  There are only two meals that they still have traumatic memories about  as was the liver I fixed and the other was when I was gone and their dad took asparagus he had picked in a Montana ditch and mixed it with everything he could find in the fridge........then threw it in the oven and called it a hotdish, the Midwestern word for casserole.  According to the kids it was awful and when I came back home they begged me to never leave them to their dad's cooking again!  He has gotten a lot better since then, although he will still fix himself a tortilla and put everything leftover in the fridge in it!  Needless to say, he is easy to cook for when I'm in the kitchen!

We don't get to see our family often, nor extended family for that matter.  But one thing we can count on is praying for each other and I just love that.  If something comes up, the texting starts and the prayer chain expands to siblings, to our kids, to grandkids and if needed church prayer chains.  It is such a comfort to know that people are praying!  What an amazing gift to have.  Prayer.

Speaking of praying, we could sure use it here in our country.  A turning to God in unison.....intercessory prayer and praise. Not for what we think is right or good or needs to be done, but I'm thinking a surrendering prayer asking God to step in and do His work in our country, our states, our cities, and in the hearts of people as we all attempt to live in this "new normal".

Speaking of that, how are you filling your days?  Besides too many Dr. appointments this week, I have been working on a 1,000 piece puzzle.  The first 1/3 of it was NOT relaxing, but frustrating and slow but I soon realized that I needed to take my time, relax, enjoy, and celebrate small successes!  ha!  The last 2/3 has been a better go with the flow approach.......and that has been fun.  It is kinda like life right now........go with the flow.  "Don't worry, be happy...."  While making good choices for yourself.  We have noticed that some people have gone back to the old way of living, with their own reasons for not masking, or taking precautions.  Others, like us, are still being very cautious, masking, sanitizing, and social distancing.  Last night I watched a TV show of home videos that have popped up since people are social distancing or staying home.  There are so many creative people out there!  Finding fun and the positive in the midst of a not so fun pandemic!

With gratitude this week I am giving thanks for air conditioning, watermelon, worship music, connecting with family, praying and being able to pray for others, liver (?), Amazon that delivers so quickly, our amazing dermatologist, laughter with Joel, puzzles that teach me about how to do life, and good memories to look back on.  How about you?
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

"Surfing Uncertainty"

I was reading an article about Alan Alda in the AARP magazine yesterday and his response to the journalist's question got me thinking.  He was asked if he was optimistic about the future for his kids and grandkids and he responded that with the world changing so rapidly, he did not think there was any point to being optimistic or pessimistic....people just needed to "surf uncertainty because that is all we get".

I understood what he was saying..........there is a whole lot of uncertainty going on around us right now.  In our world, our country, our states, our communities, and I would expect within ourselves and each personal journey.  We are riding the waves of uncertainty about tomorrow.....But unlike Alda, a man who is a proclaimed agnostic, I know there is more to the equation.

When I visualized myself surfing the waves of uncertainty, I saw myself "attached" to the board with that ankle leash that keeps the board and rider connected.  That is how I see life I guess.  Uncertainty may fill our world to overflowing right now, but we are not alone.  There is a Certainty, the One, our Lord Jesus and   HE is our certainty in an uncertain world.  No matter what is going on around us, and plenty is, He is there.  His promises keep us steady while on this ride.

I am continually amazed at how divided our country has become.  Social media has made that so easy.  We can't agree on anything, it seems, but maybe one thing still can hold us together.  Maybe one thing, not really a thing but the One who can unite us.  Jesus.

The pain and suffering is palpable in our country right now.  So much, finances, health, socializing, life as we knew it, and even life itself.  Man oh man it is challenging.  But God.............

No matter where we find ourselves today.  No matter what waves we are riding , we must remember to get on that surfboard of life eternal and keep our eyes on the shoreline.  Stay connected.  Stay focused.  Stay believing on what we know for sure, what IS certain in the uncertainty.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you from hot and humid Iowa where dew points are in the mid to high 70's and the heat index is going to be in the 105 range today.  Are we having fun yet???  It is just plain oppressive.  It is windy which is a really good thing for anyone having to be out in this weather.

Speaking of that my husband is one who starts a project and has this inbuilt need to finish what he starts sooner rather than later.  Today when he told me he was going out while it was "cool" to work on his project I pulled rank (do I even have that?) and told him that is great but you are not going out the door until you promise me, I mean pinkie swear promise me that you will close up shop and be done by noon.  About 20 minutes to 12 I opened the garage door and told him he had 19 minutes left.......cuz that is what good wives do, they take care of their husbands when they don't take care of themselves!

It has been another week of crapola.  Yep.  My attitude has not been too great about it all.  I am still waiting for the Covid test results.  There are times I wish we were back "home" in Minnesota and this is one of them.  Covid testing results take less than 24 hours up in the Twin Cities, and 4-6 DAYS here.  Seriously?  At this point in the pandemic that seems absurd.  But then a lot does seem absurd in our present world, doesn't it.  So in a moment of frustration I decided to forget resting, cuz I am not very good at it and pushed myself hard on Thursday to do just some normal stuff.....yesterday I could not function at all....I actually felt I needed to be seen by a doctor due to how sick I was..........and not one clinic anywhere in town would see me.  Nope.  Nada.  Urgent Care............when you have a Covid test pending?  Not urgent enough.   I actually talked to 4 different nurses or staff people, two  because of their concern over my symptoms.  I was told to go to ER.  Not a safe place when our numbers have quadrupled in last 3 weeks and deaths here are up 1,100 %.  So I rested, prayed and now today is another day.  And today I am doing just a little and resting a lot.  Can I just say it?  This sucks!  We will be relieved to know it is not CoVid but then we will still be left with what the Zometa has done to me.

Okay, enough of that.....

Some early mornings I join Joel out on our porch for a little porch sitting.  The birds are singing, the breezes are flowing and sometimes our chimes join in.  Today God reminded me once again that He has not forgotten me.....Let me explain.  Yesterday morning I told Joel I was having difficulty not feeling forgotten by God as I struggle with so much weakness and fatigue.  Soon after we had devotions and 2x it came up that "God has not forgotten you.  He has not forgotten His promises He gave you."  Those two reminders went along with the one I saw on Facebook with the same "theme".  When I get things in three's I pay attention.  God is speaking.  Today as we sat on the porch a beautiful cardinal came up and sat on the shepherd's hook holding one of our planters.  It was in full view for us to enjoy.  We had not seen one yet this summer and it happens to be my favorite bird of all.  I had to smile.  God was reminding me......He is here, loving on me, and helping me to remember He has not forgotten me.  That lie I was speaking?  It is just that.  A lie.  Don't you just love when God shows up at just the right moment of time.  He is a good good Father.

I saw this posted on Facebook which made me think about the family theme song my extended family sings for any reunions...."You Are My Sunshine".  In present times, let's all make the effort be someone's sunshine when their skies are grey.  And lets remember, too, that when Jesus is our SONshine, skies are never grey for long!

When we were sitting outside I asked Joel if that truck that just drove by was the new "witness protection" people?  He laughed....You see not too far away from us a house sold about 18 months ago to some people from Florida or somewhere like that.  Joel intentionally went to meet them,  but after that we never saw them.  Outside.  Nada.  Driving by.....seldom.  And then all of a sudden a moving van pulled up and some other people moved in.  When did the other couple move out?  (Can you tell we have way too much time on our hands here ???)  Another neighbor came by one day after a walk and said he thought those people that left were in the witness protection program and that is why they were invisible most of the time.  And just disappeared.  Hmmmmmm   We still laugh about that!  I think we all need our lives back so we too busy to notice such things!  (giggle)  Those are the benefits or not? of living in our friendly neighborhood!

Speaking of benefits, lets think about all those things we are grateful for!  For us it would be chatting with family members and friends on the phone and with texting, talks with each other. Prayers of others.  Thankful for those we know who are doing so well after surgeries.  So grateful for cardinals, laughter, homemade cookies, comfy furniture, Joel's garage shop, TV, books, teachings, mysterious going on's, Joel's many bike rides,  breezes, A/C , sunrises and sunsets, and another day of sunshine and SONshine!  What is on your list this week?

Enjoy the weekend!