Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New books

Today the sun is shining and it actually got up to 29 degrees. Some dear friends of ours stopped to visit this afternoon. And I got a box of books in the mail today. As I mentioned in my last blog, I ordered a bunch of books from My favorite author is Karen Kingsbury. I read the five books in her Redemption series several years ago. But they are followed by 3 more series that continue about the same family, the Baxters. The firstborn series has 5 books, and the Sunset/Sunrise series has 4 books I think and then the Above the Line series has 2 but 2 more to come yet. The Redemption ones I checked out of the library but then my daughter bought me one of them knowing I wanted to own them all. For Christmas she got me the first two of the Above the Line series. So I decided to bite the bullet and order the missing ones so I could start over and then read on through all 16 of them. I couldn't put my finger on the one she bought me from the Redemption series but I had it in my head that it was the first one. So I ordered the other 4 and all the rest. Now that they are arriving here, I found the one I had and it was actually #2 Remember. So now I have a second one of that one coming and will not have #1 unless I send in another order. I am so frustrated with myself that I didn't look before I ordered. Now it will be another 2 weeks before I will have the whole set and can start reading them all. Oh well, books don't spoil for waiting. I love books! My daughter does too. I used to just have one or two authors that I collected. Now my whole house is nearly full of books. Shelves are completely full, 2 deep and others piled on top. There are books in boxes and piles of books in corners. I have started weeding some out to give to our church library for others to read. But I have so many favorite authors that I can't part with! Who are your favorite authors? We won't part with any Karen Kingsbury, Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, Linda Nichols, Tracie Peterson, Liz Curtis Higgs, Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans, and quite a few others. My favorite all time book was Not My Will by Francena H. Arnold. I first read that one when I was a teen and I've reread it so many times and I cry every time I do. What authors do you collect? What do you do with your overabundance of books?

Friday, January 8, 2010


I've noticed how many of my blogger friends, blog often and about one particular subject each time. I tend to blog less often and just randomly ramble on from one topic to another. Is there a correct way to blog? Am I breaking some cardinal rule of blogging? Does anybody know? Should my entries be short and sweet and about a select subject? For Christmas I was given a Psalm journal. Each day has 3 or 4 Psalms and then one page to journal on. So each day my journalling takes exactly that one page, no more and no less. Maybe my blog should be limited to a certain number of lines or paragraphs. Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? I did and was rather disappointed in it, but the basis of the movie is that Julie decides to start a blog and each day she makes recipes from Julia's cookbook and then blogs about them. I admire the fact that she blogged everyday. I also admire the premise that she cooked her way clear through that huge French cookbook in one year. I'm not that creative or dedicated though, so you are simply "treated" to my random ramblings about life in general. I apologize.

BJ came home Tuesday getting home Wed. AM at 2:30. He drove straight through leaving his home in Colorado at 9:45 Tuesday AM. But he beat the storm coming in on Wed. night which lasted throughout Thursday and caused two more snowdays at school here. So Wed. night we opened Christmas presents with him and Cassandra has been making lots of wonderful meals for us. Last night the 4 of us even played a game of euchre together. That was fun. The Christmas tree and decorations are still up because Cassandra insisted they had to be up when BJ got here. I am itching to take them down now though, but haven't gotten her to agree yet. We'll see.

We've been sorting through my piles of books I've read. Some are boxed to donate to our church library. Some are bagged up to loan out to friends of mine. Some have been posted and mailed off to other readers through And then I got online and ordered another $200 worth of books from I love Christian fiction. My daughter does too. We get disgusted with how secular authors so often feel they need to throw in sex and smut to liven up their books. We prefer a good story plot to embarrassing details.

My daughter's "best friend" from preschool on, got engaged for Christmas. This has caused several heartaches in our family. We are happy for the friend, but now that she is the second of my daughter's classmates to be getting married this summer, my daughter is even more aware that she has no boyfriend. I have tried to tell her there are worse things than being single, but it is hard to understand when your best friend is planning her wedding. The other heartache is that although my daughter is one of the bridesmaids, she has been upstaged by a girl who has made my daughter's life miserable since junior high. This other girl is the maid of honor, and loves wielding the power. When they all went to try on dresses and be measured the other day, my daughter ended up driving alone the 140 mile roundtrip while the others, bride included, piled into the maid of honor's car. Then they promptly left her in the dust as they were breaking the speed limit and my daughter won't. She had mapquested the store and when she arrived, they weren't there. So she called them and they were eating lunch at the mall food court without telling her, of course. So she sat alone in her car at the store for half an hour waiting on them. Then when they tried on dresses, the one the bride had picked for them was strapless and not a style my big girl would look particularly good in, but at least it had a full skirt and was comfortable. So the m of h convinced the bride to change to a very tight, very form-fitting, strapless dress. So my daughter had to pay $120 for a dress that will look bad on her and that is so tight and straight she is uncomfortable and can hardly move in it. Then as they left the store, she was told they were going on to two other stores to look at dresses for the bride. They didn't know where they were but would follow the bride's GPS. My daughter was informed they would not let her follow them across town because she drives the speed limit but she could sit and wait there until they called to tell her where they ended up or she could just go on home since she really wasn't even needed any more. Then they took off and left my daughter sitting alone in her car in the parking lot again, but this time in tears. She drove home with a horrible headache and feeling like a total outcast and like she had lost her oldest friend. I was furious and really thought she should call and cancel her dress order and tell the bride to find someone else. But she is too kind-hearted to do that and will just go ahead and be miserable. What can I tell her? Not all girls are as mature as she is. Not all friends act like friends all the time. I am so proud of her for sticking by her beliefs and doing the speed limit even though it meant she had no lunch and caused her to be rejected by the others. Although the bride herself was not overtly mean to my daughter, it angers me that she allowed the maid of honor to be. It angers me that she chose that mean girl to be her maid of honor when my daughter has been a much better friend and much longer than this other girl and she knows how that girl has treated my daughter. We had planned to spend a lot of time and work and money making a very nice gift for the wedding, but I now don't want to do anything special for her at all. I've heard of "bridezillas", but have you ever heard of maids of dishonor? I told my daughter as far as I can tell she has two choices, either refuse to be in the wedding at all or paste a big smile on her face and be a much better friend to the bride than the bride is being to her. Do any of you know of another option that I am missing?

Anyway, that is my blogging for today. Thank you for letting me ramble. I think maybe I'll go try to take down my Christmas stuff.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Well, it's a new month, new decade, and new year. A friend of mine recently lost his grandmother at the age of 110. She had lived in 3 centuries, and parts of 12 decades. Can you imagine all the changes she saw? She would have been born in 1899. Just think of her seeing her first automobile all the way to the space shuttle. All the way from the first radio and TV to hand held computers. From crank telephones where you told an actual operator who you were calling to teeny tiny cell phones. I think I've seen a lot of changes in my own life, and I'm less than half her age. My first cell phone (mobile phone) was about the size of a lunch box and sat on the console in my car when I went on my rural mail route. I got 15 minutes a month for $15 and my husband dared to say I "wasn't worth that much money". He thought it was a wasteful expense. Now our cell phone bill is over $100 a month and all 3 of us carry one of those little buggers in our pockets. I grew up without TV due to religious reasons, and you have no idea how often I wish we still didn't have one. I hate how it is on constantly when the others are home. I hate the Dish that brings in so many poor choices of programming. I remember when I was a teen trying to shape up, how I'd lie on the bed or floor and do sit ups and leg lifts and etc. till my muscles screamed for reprieve. Now my daughter has a Wii and Wii fit plus. She does hula hoops and marches in a band and does boxing and kung fu and yoga and step aerobics all without leaving her little balance board in the middle of the livingroom floor. Then when she gets done it automatically weighs her and tells her what her BMI is and even graphs it for her so she can see how she's making progress toward her goal. Do you remember the little "wing windows" on cars? Not sure why I just thought of them, but I did. So much has changed since I was born in 1958. I used to sit and write letters by hand and stick a stamp on the envelope and mail it off to my pen pal. Now I just update my blog and figure she'll check it when she has time. I used to find out what was going on in the lives of my cousins when Grandma came to visit us and told us the latest news. Now I can get on facebook and in no time at all I know what my cousins are doing today and what they had for supper last night and what their kids are up to. I can even see photos and videos of them at any given time. I wonder what this decade will bring our way. More wars? or peace? What new technology that we can't live without? Births? Deaths? Sickness? Health? Marriages? Divorces? Whatever it brings, I want to walk closer to my Lord in 10 years than I do now.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dare I say Happy Holidays?

I know, I know. We are to be an example to the world and say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays. And I did do that very regularly this season. But I picked this title because I wanted to relate our Christmas but also look ahead to the new year. So please forgive me for deviating from Merry Christmas.

Yes, we had a merry Christmas and I hope you did also. The weather forecast was for 2 days of ice then 20 inches of snow then more ice. So on Wed. we postponed the big family Christmas dinner which I was to host, from Christmas Day to Sunday after. I also changed the menu from ham and turkey and trimmings to soups and snacks and salads and sweets. The storm didn't really materialize as forecast. That was fine with me and I thoroughly enjoyed being "sorta stuck" at home, just the three of us. We got up and opened gifts and ate Land of Nod Rolls for breakfast. Then we played with our new games and then ate lunch. My daughter was really surprised and thrilled with her wii and wii fit plus. She hadn't even asked for one knowing they are expensive. But as a family we had fun bowling and playing tennis on the wii and she has thoroughly enjoyed the wii fit plus, working out for an hour a day every day since then. My big gift from my husband and daughter was a record player that plugs into the computer so you can change your records into MP3 or burn them onto CDs. I will enjoy listening to all my old records once again, when I figure out how to run it. I have my mom's old records of the Chuck Wagon Gang and the Big Brass Marching Band. I have dad's records from his college music appreciation days by all the classical composers. I have the local church groups of my childhood like the Gateway Singers and the New Creations. I have my favorite groups from my college days like The Bee Gees and Bay City Rollers and Cat Stevens. And I may even have some old country like Hank Snow and Hank Thompson. I was excitedly telling my niece about my gift and how excited I was and she tried to burst my bubble by telling me they already sell those old records on CD. Well I doubt they have them all and besides it would cost a lot more to go buy them on CD when I have them already on record and can copy my own. Right? Anyway, we had a good Christmas and I hope you did too.

Today we went to a funeral of a former neighbor of ours. In fact my husband and his brother farm that guy's former land. This guy was 93 and had been in the nursing home for 6 years. As one after another stood up and told stories about this guy and his faith and how he impacted their lives, it became very clear where his priorities had been. And then his son told how he'd been to see his dad on Nov. 28th and they had a nice visit. On the 29th he was called and told his dad was bleeding internally and vomiting. The ER doctors wanted to do surgery but this dear old guy said "nope, I don't want surgery, I just want to go home to Heaven". The son agreed that the family would honor his wishes. So he was put into hospice and when he went to sleep on the 30th, he woke up at 6 AM on Dec. 1st in the presence of his Lord. What more could you ask for? I can't picture anything better than going to sleep and waking up in Heaven. After the funeral another neighbor said to me, "well that is final, there aren't any do-overs" and I said "nope, that's why you have to get it right the first time". So how does this tie into New Years? 2009 is pretty much gone. There are no do-overs. But 2010 is a new year and a new decade and a whole new chance to get it right the first time. I want to live my life in such a way that when I die all the stories told about me will be a testament to my faith and all will know that I woke up in the presence of my Lord.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have a very blessed and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

Well, as an update to my last post, the doctor did call the following week and say that my bloodwork indicated an infection so he needed me back in Rochester the next day for another test. The weather was good so we were able to go up and back in one day. The test wasn't pleasant, but bearable. It was a needle aspiration trying to find fluid in the new knee to test for infection. It would take 5 days to culture and he would call me this week with the results. If it is infected, I will need surgery soon to remove the new joint, pack it with antibiotics and then spend two months in an immobilizer with no joint. After two months back in to replace the joint. If it isn't infected, then I am scheduled for surgery on March 19th. I can again begin bugging them for a cancellation and chance to move up on the schedule. He also released me to go back to work with some major limitations. Limited bending, twisting, turning, stooping, kneeling, walking, no lifting over 10 pounds, and sit behind a desk only; rather hard to do as a nurse. I asked work if they could find me something I could do so I don't run out of sick leave and they said no they can't afford to pay me to do less than my full job. If I run out of sick leave then I will have to take leave without pay and that would save them money. So here I sit at home yet worrying about sick leave and trying not to worry. And here I sit waiting for the phone to ring so the doctor can tell me whether it is infected or not. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and he hasn't called.

We finally got the Christmas tree last weekend and it's somewhat decorated. My daughter hung the lights and tinsel and in fact cut down the tree herself. Our cookie exchange was last week so lots of goodies to eat here. It has been snowing since Sunday and now today we have had sleet and snow and more sleet. We are to have ice today and tomorrow followed by snow and wind Christmas day and the following two days. So today I called all my inlaws and canceled Christmas Day dinner with a tentative rescheduling for Sunday if the roads are passable by then. I also changed the menu from ham and turkey to soup so I can make it at the last minute if the roads are good enough for people to travel and so if we have a lot of leftovers we can freeze them. The freezers and cupboards are full and we are hunkering down here to wait out the storm. I had gotten no shopping done, so last week a neighbor lady went with me to push the cart and help me and I did it all in 2 hours at Walmart. Then we went out to lunch and had a nice time together. It was good to be all done. Sunday our high school Nu Hi Chorale came and sang at our church. It is a yearly tradition that I really enjoy; church tour is when the public school choir goes to all churches in our school district on 2 Sunday mornings and sings 3 songs during the service. It is so good. This year though it moved me to tears. I miss the kids so much. I could look at those kids and knew what so many of them have gone through to get to this day and see them looking so angelic in their choir robes. I don't miss the politics or paperwork of my school job, but I do miss the kids very much. I missed the Sunday School Christmas program Sunday night because the roads were so slick with snow that morning that I was a little afraid to go back out on them after dark. I wonder if we will have Christmas Eve service tomorrow night. It will be a quiet day here on Christmas. Neither of our boys will be home so just the 3 of us to celebrate together. It might be kind of nice actually to be able to sit back and actually enjoy family time together.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and that you will reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. It is Christmas because Jesus came to be the Christ and Saviour of the world. He was born so we could be born again. That is truly a reason to celebrate.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow storms and doctor appointments

For weeks and weeks I've waited on my chance to see a doctor at Mayo in Rochester for a second opinion on my knee. My original surgeon did a scope on July 22nd and then did a total knee replacement on Sept. 9th. However, I can still not walk without a walker and even with it I am in a lot of pain and it often goes out from under me and I almost fall. The physical therapists and I discovered that my kneecap was on the side of my leg not in front where it belongs. When I asked the original surgeon about this, he told me I was fine and that if it wasn't better in a couple of weeks he would go in with the scope again. At that point I called my family doctor and asked for a different surgeon. Finally this Tuesday was my chance. A major snowstorm was forecast and I was to be at the clinic at 7:30AM so my daughter and I went to Rochester on Monday night and stayed in a very old guesthouse near the clinic. It did snow all night and all day Tuesday. I had xrays from about every possible angle and then saw the doctor. I really liked him. He was very personable and very thorough and explained everything. He agreed and the xrays confirmed that indeed my kneecap is on the side of my leg. But then after a thorough exam he felt there was more wrong than that and that perhaps my muscles and ligaments might not be attached to the kneecap to keep it where it belongs and to allow my leg to hold itself straight. He said this cannot be fixed with a scope so that would have been another wasted surgery had I allowed it to be done. He ordered labwork to check for infection and he ordered a very thorough ultrasound of the knee to check the muscles and ligaments. He said we may even have to replace the new joint I got in Sept. He will call me next week to tell me the test results and how extensive the surgery will need to be. However, he has hundreds of patients awaiting surgery and he only does 12 per week. So I am worried how long I will wait and how long recovery will be and if I will miss the whole year of work. If I do what will we live on and what will happen to my medical insurance through work? I know, I know, God is in control, but it is hard not to worry.

Anyway, I got done at Mayo about noon or so on Tuesday. It was still snowing and a blizzard warning went into effect at noon Tues through midnight Thurs. AM. So I called home and my husband checked the radar and it was right upon our home at that time. So since with my walker I'd be helpless if I were to go into a ditch, and I had a 70 mile drive home, he told me to stay put in Rochester. So I checked us into a Super 8 for the next two nights. On the way there we stopped at a store for paper plates and lunch meat and buns and milk and juice and cheese. We had a nice room, 2 beds, a table and 2 chairs and a 27" tv. There was a nice lobby with tables and chairs and a fireplace and there was an indoor pool and whirlpool which we had no clothes for. So Tuesday afternoon and night we sat in our room watching the snow out the window. We had sandwiches for lunch in our room. For supper we had pizza delivered. All day Wednesday we sat at our motel and watch the snow blow by and listened to the wind howling at our window. We did go down to the lobby and play cards for awhile and for lunch and supper both Cassandra hiked through the blowing snow to the Denny's next door and brought us back hot meals. The rest of the time we hung out in our room reading books and doing crafts and watching TV and she did homework and we played on her laptop computer. It was an okay break. We were a little sad that we were stuck in a city with movie theaters and shopping malls and restaurants and we couldn't leave our motel. But we were warm and dry and had all our necessities met. About 11AM today Thursday, Cassandra shoveled out our car and got it warmed up and we loaded our belongings and headed for home finally. There was still snow blowing across the road in places and lots of icy patches on the road, but we were careful and we got home safely. It is good to be home. In Rochester they got 13 inches of snow. I don't know how much they got here at home but it was plenty and those 50mph winds made some horrific drifts. This was only our second snow of the season and the drifts look like it's been snowing for months. I hope this is not an indication of what the whole winter will be like. If so, my walker and I may just hibernate until spring. I hope wherever you are, that you are safe and warm.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Christmas Lights

On my front deck I have a couple of solar butterflies and a solar lily. It is so cool that all they do is sit in the flower pots and soak up the sunshine and then at night they glow and change colors all by themselves. So the other day I was thinking, somebody should make solar Christmas lights. They keep advertising these LED lights to save energy but just think how much energy could be saved by solar lights. So wouldn't you know, the very next day almost, I found them at Mills Fleet Farm. There they were, solar LED Christmas lights. Now I hate stringing extension cords to the front deck for the lights. I hate going out in the bitter cold each night to plug them in and then to unplug them at bedtime. I've tried putting a timer on the cord so I don't have to go out, but then it gets icy and the timer freezes and won't turn and once again I'm outside in the cold trying to thaw and reset the timer. So this is the perfect solution for me. NO cords. NO timers. The little solar panel sits in the flower pot on the deck with the dead geraniums and soaks up the sunshine all day and as soon as it gets dark my Christmas lights come on automatically. Then after about 6 hours (which is close to bedtime) the lights just go off by themselves. YEAH!!! I love them!

Then I got to thinking about the deeper meaning of all this. Reminds me of the Christian life. Some people have to be plugged into programs at all times to look or act Christian. Some have timers because they only look Christian on Sundays and religious holidays. But I want to be a solar light. I want to soak up all the love and light of the Son all the time so that I will reflect His light to the dark world for all to see.