Saturday, July 2, 2022

Saturday's Scribbles


Good Saturday to you from our corner of the world this 4th of July weekend!  It is a beautiful day here with partly cloudy skies, temps heading to a nice 82 with gentle winds.  Joel is off riding and I just put my energy into making homemade honey whole wheat bread.  It's a rising!  Planning on a walk outside soon.

Speaking of bike riding, the other day Joel called me while out riding....he was laughing when I answered, as he told me that a turkey had just "anointed" him.  He was riding down a hill and saw a big turkey in the road along with several young ones.  He whistled and hollered to get them to move and had to slow down and swerve to the side as they took off flying.  One left him with an anointing of turkey poop on his leg!  He had to pull over and find some grass to wipe it off.  He got a kick out of it.  A beautiful day and a beautiful ride when.......splat.  A little crap was sent his way.  My friend Lana said she was interested in how I was going to weave this turkey story into my Scribbles.   

You gotta admit it is too good to pass up.  An example fell into our lap just a couple days ago when we went over to say good-bye to our neighbors who sold their home and are moving farther south to live by their family.  We spent about an hour visiting and gave hugs good-bye. The next morning we got a text from them asking if we had an extra rapid test as the wife had some symptoms that could be Covid.....but we were out of tests and could not help her. We found out the next day that she had tested positive.  Here they were, all excited by their move...and Covid came to call....for a second time.  So we are exposed to Covid again and hoping that since we had it 4 weeks ago we are going to avoid a second round.  Still, on this holiday weekend we are once again in quarantine.  Remember the turkey crapping on Joel's beautiful ride?  Yeah.  Sometimes keeping our focus on the "beautiful days" takes more effort.  It is a good thing we enjoy each other's company cuz we won't be going anywhere.   On a positive note we can watch the fireworks from our living room window!  Yes, they are that close.

Speaking of enjoying each other's company,  Joel and I celebrated 54 years of marriage this week.  It was a quiet celebration with a trip to a near by lake a great coffee place....then because it was so full of vacationers we took our morning drinks to a nearby state park to sit and watch the water.  A trip to Target on the way home, grilled turkey bacon wraps for supper, a phone call from our oldest son, and a good new series we started on Acorn TV rounded off the day.  We are so very very blessed to have so many years together and pray for many more to come!  

We talked a bit about our wedding and how hard it was not to be able to visit with everyone who came.  Back then pictures were done AFTER the ceremony, so by the time we got downstairs many had left. Otherwise it was a good day!  We were young.......I was 20 and Joel had just turned 22.  It was only a couple months later that Joel got his draft notice and our 8 years in the military began.  .....and the rest is history?!

Speaking of the military makes me think about the 4th and our country!  The flags will be waving, fireworks will be set off, and parades will greet the day.  Of course there will be family or friend gatherings with grilling involved!  A time to celebrate........and a time to give thanks for America.  She may be a bit broken right now, she may be more divided than in a long time, but she is still America, land of the FREE, home of the BRAVE.  God bless America!

Giving thanks today for 54 years of married life, for love and commitment, for small celebrations and big.  Grateful for laughter that comes when a turkey craps on your leg, for God's promises to lean on when life craps on you.  Grateful for phone calls with friends and family, texts, nice summer days, birds singing loudly, neighbors who will be missed, British Acorn TV,  a family surgery that went well, turkeys, America,  and so much more!

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you from our corner of Iowa where summer is showing it's beauty.  So many shades of green, so many colorful flowers and blooming bushes.  So many of nature's critters roaming about.  We still enjoy the bunnies, squirrels, deer, and the variety of birds that grace our neighborhood.  For several hours we had rain again last night and what I call "gentle thunder" rumbling as the storms passed by.  I do enjoy a good ol fashioned rain with thunder. 

We had to delay shopping for plants this year due to covid, so when we did go to the garden center we were able to purchase hanging baskets for only $5-10 !  They were a bit picked over, but we have plenty of color now to brighten up the garden up front and the back deck.  The past couple of weeks, the sounds, the smells, the sights.....all a good thing!

Speaking of good things, last weekend we were up north for a grand's graduation and "mini" reunion.  Most of us who traveled a distance stayed in a local hotel.  It was extremely hot and sustained 30 mph in the country type winds with gusts that made it hard to hold your ground. The temp was in the 90's Sat. and hit 100 on Sunday.  In the north country?!  We still had a great time and enjoyed the celebration Saturday and Sunday morning.  One thing noted by us and others.....we have aged a bit since the last reunion nearly a decade ago.....most of the aunts and uncles and grandparents pooped out and headed back to the hotel early in the evening.    I figured we were the only ones tired, but one family member texted me that she was too tired to say good-bye to everyone when they left so would I tell which I replied, "I am already in the hotel in my p.j.'s!  We had a good laugh over that!  

Another good thing was my hubby celebrating his 76th birthday.  This number gave him just a bit of pause before he leaped into another year!  We celebrated with grilled pork chops, and a homemade rhubarb pie, Facebook messages, a few texts and a couple phone calls from family.  Happy 76th Joel!  May you have many many many more years ahead to celebrate.

Another "good thing" is that we have recovered well from  Covid, although Joel is noticing a bit of fatigue residue as he calls it. I am draggier too, but traveling was in the mix also.   His brother still has no taste or smell and is dealing with fatigue.   Another "good thing" was my check-up with the oncologist.  Good report and good bone density results.  We are pondering the oncologist's desire for me to take a drug for the bones that has extreme side effects in some and just "bad" side effects in others.  A person needs to way the pro's and con's of taking yet another drug that affects the quality of life.  We will be spending time in prayer over this and doing some research.  I was told I would need to stay on the aromatose inhibitor for 10 years....which is discouraging except for the fact that looking ahead 10 years to age 84 seems a bit silly.  I am taking it now and doing okay with the daily challenges, some days better than others.  And all I have is today.........just today.....

Speaking of critters, one we are not enjoying?  We came home to an infestation of what we think are tiny grease ants.  ALL over our stove and counters which gives me the "willies".  Gross!!  I know they are just ants but we have spent the last 6 days trying to get rid of them!  We cannot, no matter how much we look, find where they are getting in.  Right now a few Tarro ant traps are keeping them at bay, but we sure would like to get to the root of the problem.  Those buggers are persistent, but so are we.  Getting rid of what we see is good, but getting to the root of the problem ~ the entrance point and colony?  That will take care of the issue.  It's a bit like life's habits we are trying to change.  We can take care of what we see but until we get to the root of the issue......the hows and whys, we will only see it rise up again.  Get to the root!  We have learned to pray for that too......God reveal the root we can pray over the source of the "mountain" to be removed.  Oh yeah.

Speaking of prayer, there is so much going on in our country that we could be on our knees in prayer 24/7.  We seldom watch the news anymore, it is too disturbing no matter what channel you tune in to.  In the late 70's we watched the movie, "The Wilderness Family" about a family that leaves L.A. for the Alaskan mountains to live in nature.  Of course they ran into a lot of nature that did not want them around, as they had to make the movie exciting........but for many years after watching that movie, when things seemed to be overwhelming I would say, "Where is that cabin in Alaska?  I am ready for it"! (The kids still groan when I bring up that movie).  Lately I have felt the same feelings.  I am weary of doctors and medications that do harm.  I am weary of our country's violence and hatred.  The "Great Divide" among Americans.  Just where is that cabin in Alaska (or the woods)??  Where is that little oasis from our crazy world!  Now where did I put that movie???

Today I am giving thanks for Joel and his 76 years here!  Grateful for good reports, for family gatherings, celebrations,  for rain and gentle thunder, for nature, for rhubarb pie for Joel, for safe travel once again, for God to turn to when we are weary, for ants that remind us to never give up, for that old movie, "The Wilderness Family", for flowers that brighten our landscape, for texts, phone calls, and so much more...........

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Saturday's Scribbles


Good Saturday to you from Iowa where the humidity is high and the sun is in hiding.  "They" are "promising" temps in the 90's with dewpoints in the 70's next week.  Oh goodie.  The birds seem happy, with our resident wren serenading us throughout the day.  We have grackles and their babies entertaining us when we porch sit.  Our resident ducks are so domesticated, they are fun to watch.  

As I sit here today I can smell the homemade bread rising.  Joel is outside putzing.  The past week seems to be a blur with all our traveling, seeing family, attending a funeral and a graduation, and then coming home to Covid.  We left last Wednesday to stay at Joel's brother's cabin in the woods.  It is surrounded on two sides by state forest and a lake can be viewed from the cabin.  It's a long bumpy road of sorts that gets you to a beautiful, isolated, serene place.  The cabin is a very nice house really.  No TV, no internet, and 1 radio station if you work at it, made for a lot of silence.....that was a bit of an adjustment for me, but very relaxing at the same time.  Thursday we attended the funeral for Joel's Aunt Harriet, who was 3 weeks away from turning 110 years old!  Her sister lived to 108.   The funeral was packed with people....many of her former students as she was a teacher until age 65! We spent eight hours at the funeral, burial site, and on the home place of Joel's grandpa, where his cousin and her hubby live.  Friday I stayed at the cabin alone for 4 hours...........and I confess that was a challenge for me~ but I met it and survived. Joel went biking with his cousins kids and one of their spouses.  They rode 24 miles together on one of his favorite trails.  Friday evening we went over to Joel's brother and his wife's home...on the original farm where Joel grew up.  Saturday morning we left by 7:15 am to leave from North central MN to the Twin Cities to attend our great-niece's graduation party.  It was outside at their lake home which turned out to be a blessing because by Sunday afternoon Joel was getting sick with Covid.  We drove home Sat. getting back by 6 pm and got unpacked before crashing.  It was good to be back, but hard to leave all of the family.  We saw three of our kids and 5 grands for the first time in 6 months.  Had not been with extended family for a year and I hadn't been to Joel's home territory for five years.  

We knew things were not right for Joel by Sunday night and Monday brought out a rapid Covid test as Joel was soooooo sick.  Yep.  Positive.  He contacted all his family and I contacted mine.  By Tuesday I was feeling crummy and we tested me on both Tuesday and Thursday and both were negative.  Instructions are to keep testing if you have symptoms but we ran out of tests so are just treating it like it is Covid. If it is not, it will show up soon enough!  We learned Joel's brother D. got sick the same day as Joel, and a couple other family members and friends got sick to.  All were at the funeral and most had gathered to visit after.  

Today, I have pondered how worried we were about me getting covid.  Joel was sicker than me.  Interesting.  He's the super healthy one.  There is no formula for how this virus hits people.  That is what makes it confusing and worry some.  Who knows?  

Getting back to our time in West central MN, we always forget that the sun sets later in the summer....there would still be some light when we went to bed.  The hills and valleys are so familiar and the many many many lakes and forests are so beautiful.  We. miss. it.  I was so happy Joel got to be with his family.  We never get to see everyone, but enjoy the visits we do have.  He got to see his two brothers and three of his cousins.  He grew up going to his Aunt Harriet's farm where he and two brothers played with Harriet's three boys.  SO many great memories of his childhood come up when we are able to go and visit.  I remember inner tubing down the river that ran in front of their house when we had been married six years.  That swift river is where Joel learned to swim as a six year old!   Joel is one of those blessed with a "Waltons" childhood.  If you don't remember the Waltons you are just a kid!  Ha.....Going back in time is not always a good place to be, but for Joel it is a journey of joy.   

Today we are grateful for vaccinations and boosters that got us through this week.  Grateful for family who were sick, all getting better.  Grateful most everyone stayed well so far.  Grateful for being able to go back to Joel's home territory and see the church his great grandfather gave the land for and aunts and uncles are buried by, see Joel's home church and the farm her grew up on. Grateful for connecting with his family and for being able to stay at his brother's cabin.  Grateful for so many good memories and the beauty of the area.  Grateful for safe travel and seeing so much of my family.  Grateful for being able to celebrate a life well lived and a graduation and new beginning for a young lady.  Grateful for a home to come back to.  For our neighbor Kim who offered to pick up what we needed at the store.  Grateful for the concern and prayers.  Grateful for phone calls, texts, photos, laughter, tears, and the many prayers of family and friends and our Facebook friends too.  So grateful for it all and so much more...........

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Saturday's Scribbles on Sunday

Good Sunday to you on Memorial Day weekend.  A good amount of rain this past week has made everything so many beautiful shades of green, our trees are full, the neighbors flowers are blooming and with our doors open we are really enjoying our favorite singing Wren who comes yearly to nest in the birdhouse Joel made.  Loving May!

This past week we were able to start getting what we need to renovate our upstairs bathroom.  Came home with a tub from Home Depot and floor tile from Menards.  Finding the right vanity top/sink combo has been more challenging, but we will persist in our search.  The upstairs bathroom is a 1980's black and white explosion that hurts the eyes.   There is a high old jet tub that this vertically challenged person has trouble getting in and out of.  At my age it is risky every time I shower.  After 18 years we have decided enough is enough and will renovate.  Exciting!

This has been a season of Okay then. I think about when I had a good eye report and lymphedema report and two days later end up in ER.  Or something as simple as making almond bread for myself and then cookies for Joel and then when I was doing clean up I noticed that a piece of the rubber spatula I used to scrap both the bread and cookie bowl was gone.  Okay then.  I warned Joel about it and said a quick prayer that neither of us would eat it.  A few hours later Joel bites into a cookie and there it was!  Yay,,.no worry of swallowing it.  Good grief.

Thursday I got a letter from the clinic  where the Holter results were to go, with a report that said, "It was good to see you in our office.  Your echocardiogram came back okay.  Let me know if we can be of further assistance." So, here's the thing....I DID NOT see the doctor and I DID NOT have an echo.  Okay, then.  

We decided to just go to my appointment the next day and get it figured out.  Friday I saw my primary doctor to find out the results of the Holter monitor.  My primary doctor retired over a year ago so I scheduled a physical with a new one in the same clinic for August.  When I had called for an appointment we learned my OLD primary was helping fill in and I asked to see her for the Holter results.  She knows me well.  She spent a great deal of time with me, thank you Jesus.  And told me the other doctor had made a mistake in sendng the letter.  Can't say I have much confidence in the "new" primary?  Hmmmm   While there I mentioned my up coming physical and my retired primary said she could do that when I asked her....Yay.....We talked a long time about the results as they found no sign of a heart problem.  Most of the palps I felt did not even show up on the Holter.  With how we know it started and what I know helps it or triggers it and the test results,  the consensus is that it is from anxiety.  Okay then.  Now we have a place to start from.

So we decided to get our 2nd boosters Friday also since I got a nod from my doctor.   Neither of us had side effects except tiredness from our first booster, so we expected the same.  Joel was a bit tired, and me?  Hit by a train with headache, chills, aches and pains, fatigue, etc.  Okay, then.  Saturday was spent horizontal, but Sunday I started to feel better.  There are other examples of this season of "good...good.....BAM" but what we are holding on to is the fact that it works out for good.  God is in the midst of it all whether a trip to the ER or a piece of spatula found in a cookie!

Getting back to hearts, I have been reminded a few times of the vision I had of Jesus walking up to me, reaching in and taking my heart out.  He cupped it in his hands and when he opened his hands a fluffy little newborn bird was in his hands.  Soon the bird flew off....and I heard the word "freedom".  When palpitations want to speak loudly I remember that and give thanks that God has my heart.  The verse He gave me that same week is one I have memorized.  "The heart at peace gives life to the body."  Proverbs 14:30.  Thank you God.   

We hope you have had a good Memorial Day.  Maybe some grilling, some family or friends gathering together, and time to remember what this holiday is all about.  Today I am grateful  for those we honor on this day , for good reports, for side effects that go away, for grilled burgers and crisp salad on a warm day, for the way God speaks to me in pictures and videos,  for finding the piece of rubber in a cookie bite, for Sunday worship from home, for finding tile and a tub, for the promises of God...and so much more.

Enjoy the week ahead!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you on this crisp May morning where temperatures are back into the low 50's for least we are not dealing with snow like parts of Colorado...or intense heat like the Northeast.  Yeah, Iowa isn't so bad............We are enjoying all the spring flower in our neighborhood....the now 2 baby bunnies that are nibbling on our hosta plants (!) and the birds we have nesting in our trees and birdhouses.  Sadly, one bird died on our front porch yesterday.  A starling....we are not sure how?  Maybe hit the reflective glass of our front storm/screen door.  Poor thing. Life is what happens while you are making other plans.....

Speaking of plants, we have greatly enjoyed the Dutch tulips blooming in our dining room...watching a pot of dirt grow in two weeks into 10 beautiful coral tulips that brighten our days!  Thank you B and K.  This can so relate to our own growth as God's kids!  Beauty from ashes!  Dirt to "fruit".

Speaking of life and plans, it has been another week of doctors for me.  Good news?  The glaucoma is holding steady.  The Dr. said to me, "I don't know what you are doing, but keep doing it."  I replied, "Praying.  I am praying."  He said, "Well that is good of course, but besides that you must be eating right, exercising, etc."  Evidently even though I feel frustrated at the downhill progress of my eyes, the eye specialists I see think I am doing surprisingly well.  Okay then. A different perspective is needed by this lady.

Wednesday we headed over to the Mayo Lymphedema Clinic and heard good news again.  To my surprise and the PT's, my arm is doing really really well and the test they measure my body fluid/resistance by showed extremely good numbers.  I am now in a smaller size compression sleeve and having to wrap this arm only 2x a week...and then 1x.  Yes!  So more good news.............and a different perspective needed by this lady who could not see the progress.

Friday at 5 am found us at the ER after a long 12 hours of heart palpitations which were more intense as the hours after midnight went by.  Having my heart monitored, and x-ray, EKG, blood work and exam told us the heart looked just fine.  The doctor asked me if I had any new stressors in my life.....then went on to say, "Your heart appears strong and solid but with all you have gone through in the past few years, it looks like anxiety could be the culprit."  This did not surprise Joel or I but ending up in ER did.  I am on day 2 of wearing a monitor to rule out any hidden heart issue so will see where this leads, but again I will looks like a different perspective is needed here.

We looked at a different house yesterday.  A couple we know in the neighborhood association where we live is moving closer to their grandkids (and daughter) and we were able to get a tour of their home.  It is absolutely beautiful inside.  Such high end finishes and updates.  We have been asking the same questions.....Can we afford to move and is this area where we are to stay?  As we pray about this,  I started giving thanks for where we are for now, for what we have, always,  AND for what God has planned for our future.  

Earlier this week my mind was on those people killed in the grocery store in Buffalo, NY...and in church in CA.  Seriously, just going about their business and some evil person with the spirit of hatred on him decides he will pick up a weapon and kill others.  Just like that.  Shopping or worshiping and your precious earthly life is gone, cut short by a madman. (I have stopped watching the news) This kind of too common event can make the whole world seem unsafe.  I still hear the words of one woman in NY who said, "I will forgive this man. For me. For my sake I will forgive him..  He can't change who we are to each other."  A Heavenly perspective we all can embrace.

It might be a little obvious that I am in a reflective place today.  A few hours in the ER will do that for you.  Actually the whole week was like God opening my eyes to having a better perspective on things.  Remembering that all things work together for those who love the Lord and are called to His purpose". Seeing all things through His eyes.....from a Heavenly perspective.  From a "my cup overflows" perspective, ya know?  From a baby bunny's perspective of trusting that what he needs will be taken care one day at a time.  Even if our hostas are part of his meal plan!

So today I am giving thanks for good reports, for things "not found", for soothing music on Alexa, for Lisa Harper teachings that make me laugh while learning, for Dutch tulips in my dining room.  Grateful for a great, efficient ER, for bunnies, for sunshine and rain, for stocking up at Trader Joe's.  Grateful for Joel's endless love and support, for God showing me a different perspective, for phone calls, texts, emails, and French toast and bacon for a Saturday supper!!

Enjoy your weekend! 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Saturday's Scribbles

It is a beautiful day here in our corner of the world with temps rising to 81 degrees before heading back down tomorrow to "normal".  The trees are  filling out and growing grass means lawns are being mowed, and flowers planted.  Our baby bunny continues to give us endless entertainment (especially for Joel).  I love sitting in the living room and hearing the birds talking in the mornings.  They are as happy as we are to have winter behind us.

Speaking of that, we had three days this past week where temps hit the 90's breaking records.  Humidity was high too so we mostly stayed inside.  We had scheduled an  A/C check so it was good to know that was ready for the heat.  Strange weather for early May.

Speaking of strange weather, one of our families went through a nasty storm on Thursday and a tree fell on their house.  No real damage to speak of which is amazing.  All around them and in a nearby town there was flooding, damage to roofs, houses, farms, etc.  Not good at all.  We are grateful they are all doing well and got off "so easy" with just one tall old pine tree down.

Speaking of old, I am feeling that way this week, I have not fallen on the roof,,,haha.... but have been hitting the sofa pretty hard the last three days.  Yesterday we went to Verizon to get a screen protector and have someone help me activate voice texting as it would not work.  We have to stand and wait for our turn but after a few minutes I told Joel I had to sit   Been a very long time since that has come up, but afterwards I told Joel I still wanted to go to T J Maxx to shop....stubborn is a word that can be used to describe me.....I prefer tenacity.  Ha..... It meant the rest of the day and night were not good .  Doing some research for answers i learned Lymphedema has it's own set of symptoms...more than just swelling of limbs or chest wall.  Huh......did not know this.  That took me back to when I went to the breast clinic at Mayo where I sat with a Nurse Practitioner who looked me in the eye and said, "Look, you have been through six surgeries in 9 months, you were on oral chemo for 6 months, then chemo IV's and radiation after a double mastectomy.  Now you are on an anti-cancer treatment.  You nee to be gentle with yourself.  You body is doing the best it can.  Things will not come back quickly and some things will change."  I have fought hard to be here but forget the toll it has taken.

I'm thinking there are others who may be going through tough times...cuz if you are living, you WILL.  Don't expect too much from yourselves,  don't force your body to do things it is warning you about.  Accept where you are right now...don't resist, but take the present moment and just breathe into it.  I will add, don't give up before you get your miracle, but enjoy every step of your journey. And isn't every day a miracle to behold?!  So many journeys are cut short.  If we have learned anything from this pandemic this should be it.  Life is precious.  

So last Sunday was Mother's Day and we actually went to nearby Clear Lake to a Local Lutheran Church of Hope site.  I needed to be able to raise my hands during worship!  It was a good thing.  Grilled pork chops, phone calls, and texts made the rest of the day special. I was expecting pansies from Joel but got a runner for the front entry instead.  We have been trying to find one that works.....bought the wrong one....Joel searched and found a great match to the rug that is in front of the closet.  He has good taste! Well, in some things anyway!  Ha,..  It was definitely a nice surprise. We went together and purchased the pansies on Monday together!

Love the new rugs


So Joel has been spending as much time as he can outside...yardwork, porch sitting, and his latest project.  He rode his bike a couple of times and today is doing the floors in our house.  This takes awhile since we have 5 levels of floors.....It is a complicated floor plan.  Basement, landing with half down bedroom, main level, half up landing and bedroom, upstairs.  Yeah....if you are wondering why these two oldsters are living in such a house at our age?  So am I!  Ha...

So this week I am grateful for new rugs, pansies that remind me of my mom, a new phone case, baby bunnies, my hubby doing floors, Mother's Day worship, Dutch tulips that are growing fast, phone calls, texts, and emails, the power of prayer, homemade bread, a hubby who can still run up and down the stairs, open doors and windows, knowing..."this too will pass", family being safe in the storm, comfy sofas, and so much more.......

Enjoy your weekend!