Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy End of Hurricane Season!

One way I can tell the temperatures are cooler is by Buddy's constant presence.  She follows me and when I sit down, she jumps into my lap.  Long ago I thought this meant she loved me.  I know now it is just the fact that she is cold, but I think there might be a little cat love thrown in.  She purrs and does a variation of kneading with one paw.  So if it isn't love, it is being content at least on her part.  I don't sit still long enough for her to nap.  Really, right now I would love to go get another cup of coffee but I will sit here a few more minutes.  It is also good that God made me with long arms.  Since I am sitting at the desk with Buddy on my lap, the chair is back a little farther than is comfortable.  Last month I finally caved and joined Family Christian Bookstore's reward program.  One of the specials was a traveling coffee mug.  I picked Joy to the World cause Joy to the World is not just for Christmas.  Actually it was written with the second coming in mind, not the first.  A little trivia thrown in.  I have only used the mug for traveling from the kitchen into the study and so far it is doing a great job of holding in the heat. 

Happy End of Hurricane Season!  Although this year, with the drought, I think most of us would have welcomed a tropical storm but not a full blown hurricane.  I had to break into our hurricane supplies for  batteries to use in a wreath and for the candles in the front windows.  Guess I was feeling rather confident this last week of the season.  It is probably safe to eat all the snacks we stored away.  Although something tells me one of us and it isn't the one writing this blog post has already been in the survivor snacks.  Mental hurricane season have my own stash of snacks because someone doesn't commit to storm only provisions and probably isn't going to be too good on rationing if it ever came to that. 

My antique French pot rack has turned out really cute.  I have found a few other decorations for it.  I will take a picture soon and post it.  I have my Erin Dubroc wreath hanging on the decorative apple picking ladder in the entry way.  It looks awesome there.  Again, a picture will be coming.  I hung the stockings that my mom made and a wreath and a little quilted basket done by her hands.  While going through Christmas decorations I came across a shoe box that clearly didn't belong in the decorations.  I think it was one of those things in the moving process, you don't know quite what to do with something so you stick it anywhere just to get it moved.  That box was full of Barbie outfits my mom had sewn.  That stopped the decorating process on Saturday.   I added our Christmas wreath on the front door today.  Had to go and buy a bow to put on it to cover up the wreath hanger.  Looks rather nice.  Yep, simple and tasteful is the way we are going this year.  Lots of pretty lights on the houses in our neighborhood and of course there is the one neighbor that still has all their Halloween decorations out.  Now where is the HOA on that?  Oh, yea, they are in my flower beds counting my plants and they have probably discovered the illegal bougainvillea in the backyard. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hyper, Cyber Monday

Roy has Celebration practice tonight.  So it is just Buddy and me for the next couple of hours.  It is a fireplace kind of night and for the first time, I turned on the heater for the house.  We didn't explode so all is well.  Last Monday Stevie was able to do my highlights and I went back today for a haircut.  Afterwards I met Kathleen for lunch.  Then I made a quick stop at The Nord Rack and Target.  Fighting fatigue, I headed home.  I've taken it easy since arriving.  One thing I wanted to do today is put up the wreath on our gate.  Finally found where we put the D batteries so I was able to add the red bow and hang the wreath.  It looks beautiful. 

We didn't make it to church yesterday and we didn't even turn on the web cast.  I slept like a teenager till 10:00 am, but age reality hit once I got out of bed.  We didn't even feel like going out to lunch and the take away on going out is, we could have beat all the church people to Fuddrucker's.  (Roy was hungry for a hamburger)  Instead, since it was so cold and windy, I made Taco Soup.  It was delicious. 

This morning, once again, I tried for the smokey eye look.  Once again, no success.  I've decided I can achieve the sunny to partly cloudy look at best.  I read all the instructions and watched the video...eye makeup still looks the same.  Oh well, guess the trendy make-up looks aren't for me. 

Since I didn't participate in Black Friday, I participated in Cyber Monday.  Found a few deals that were too hard to decline.  The UPS man is going to love us. 

Since Roy is at practice, I will be setting the garbage out tonight.  Just went through the kitchen and got rid of all the leftovers from Friday.  We had the fam to lunch after my mom's memorial service.  It was a rather nice way to finish the day.  All week since I knew the family was coming I would think, oh, can't wait to show_______ to Mom.  Sadly, too soon I realized it would be the family but mom would be absent.  Hey, she is present with the Lord, so I know she is not complaining. 

My mom's service was sweet and rather different.  The family arrived at the cemetery before 10:00.  We were escorted to her grave site.  The preacher guy asked if we had a song that our family liked to sing.  Mind went blank, actually both Doug and I thought of songs, but they weren't really songs appropriate for the occasion.  We decided on Amazing Grace.  Can't go wrong with that song.  After my dad placed my mom's ashes into the ground, we sprinkled sand on top of the vault and then watched the men fill in the square hole, can holes be square?  I also know it's hip to be square...anyway, we watched in silence with a few tears shed.  We went back to the chapel building and began welcoming friends.  Once it was 11, we formed a line of cars and returned to the site.  My brother and I said a few things about my mom.  It was interesting we hit upon some of the same qualities but we both mentioned things that the other one didn't.  Lisa P sang He Touched Me and John Butler said a few words.  He is the preacher guy.  He did something that was rather surprising and he hadn't told us he was going to do this, he ended the service by opening up the floor, but out there it would be the astro turf carpet, to anyone who wanted to say a few words about my mom.  My insides did a huge jump.  In reality most of the people there were my friends and most of them had never met my mom.  I think my dad either made the decision for that not to begin or he misunderstood what John said.  My dad stood up and thanked everyone for coming.  Whew...those, is there any comment times really throw me for a loop.  One should never concede control of the floor.  I am happy that both Doug and I got through our prepared words without crying.  I am so thankful for my friends that came to the service.  It means so much to me.  The cards, emails and Facebook messages have been so encouraging.  God's peace and presence was there on Friday.  His peace has surrounded me this past month when this journey began.  I thought I would have heart monitor readings all over the place, but even in the most difficult moments and decisions, His peace and grace sustained. 

Saturday and Sunday I went through all the Christmas boxes very slowly.  So much of our Christmas decorations came from my mom.  She either brought them home from trips or she made them.  There were some tear-filled moments as I went through everything.  Saturday I stopped when I found a shoe box filled with Barbie outfits that my mom had made.  I decided I had looked through enough things for one day.  My mom's legacy is found in the little details of life, through the things, people and events she loved. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let Us Give Thanks For it is Right to Do So

Roy was out bright and early this morning.  Sequisha was due for her scheduled maintenance at the dealership.  Three times in a week, she's been on I-45 south.  That would have to be a record because we are rarely out that way.  One of those trips was to my mother's memorial service.  I'm still treasuring and pondering things in my heart on this one, so that subject will be reserved for another time and post.  But, it went well.  God's peace and presence surrounded us and it was a service that honored my mom, told her story and gave glory to God. 

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, we just might have started a new tradition in our household.  We had a leisurely morning and around lunch time we went to the Bass Pro Shop.  Yes, the outdoors person's shopping mecca and no we haven't become outdoorsy types but we did drop some $$$ there much to our surprise.  Roy found a coat he can wear in cooler temps when he is out and about taking pictures.  He also found Merrill boots, in his size on sale.  That right there is a Thanksgiving blessing.  We moseyed through the household area and found some holiday dishes that we both liked.  Festive dishes featuring a pine cone motif that will do well for both Thanksgiving and Christmas...  Now I know you are thinking, girl, you don't cook, you rarely have dinner parties and you don't cook.  Yes, but the dishes are microwave/dishwasher safe...  In fact, I think we will use them the whole month of December and not save them for special occasions.  They fit with our casual lifestyle.  We bought a few other things that I won't bore you with, but this was great good news; they have cinnamon glazed almonds, cashews and pecans reasonably priced.  The pecans were a hit with my nieces yesterday. 
The Santa and snow village they have for kids is well done.  Christmas pictures with Santa are free and the activities in the area, crafts and a large area for remote controlled trucks, tractors and cars for the kids and well...some adults to play with. 

After our shopping excursion we headed out to the country-side.  These past few weeks on the way to Brookwood, I have seen several places I wanted Roy to take pictures of.  So we grabbed his camera and spent a couple of hours driving around getting the shots.  It was the perfect day to do this, weather was wonderful and the traffic was light. 

I've been eyeing the abandoned railroad trussel.

 This is another one I spotted that has probably been abandoned longer than the other one.

 I spy with my little eye an old Hunt Retreat sign that hasn't been taken down on the road less traveled getting to Hunt Retreat. 

 A brand new sign with the church logo is on 359.
 A picture at dusk of our house with minimal decorations
 Night time with the same minimal decorations.
After our excursion to the country, we headed over to the Black Walnut Cafe for our Thanksgiving Day lunch.  It was really good and it wasn't very crowded at all.  We ate around 4:00, so we went at an off time. 

The rest of the evening we did our last minute things to prepare for Friday.  For once in our lives we rooted for A&M and we were saddened along with the real fans and supporters of A&M.  Now that A&M is coming to the SEC and since we root for LSU...we probably won't be cheering them on any time soon. 

Our first Thanksgiving on the prairie was good.  Loved seeing families out in the afternoon riding bikes and playing at the playgrounds.  Lots of family Christmas pictures were being taken around some of the scenic lakes.  Roy and I are blessed by God.  We are so thankful for the things we cannot see and for the things we can.  We are grateful for our friends, many who feel just like family, who walk with us in joy and in sorrow.  We are truly thankful this holiday. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oops, Another Thanksgiving Week Post

OK, I'm back.  I thought I would at least make it to the weekend before posting again but this blog and writing are helping me cope with situations that are unbelievable.  I'm going to write this again, one of these days I am going to write a book like Ellen Douglas: Truth, Four Stories I'm Finally Old Enough to Tell. Only I may have more than four stories to tell.   Right now I kind of envy my mom being out of here and not having to deal with the daily dramatics that keep one so...well so prepared and on their toes. 

Roy asked me last night if it would be OK to wear his dress jeans, good boots and blue blazer to the graveside service.  He said he wanted to dress like Keith Moore.  I don't know if he can carry off the look.  I can see all my friends who operate under the proper thing to do, cringing at his choice.  Who knows, I just might suggest to him that he wears his service day choice. 

Today my hero, commonly known as Roy, braved the early morning cold and went to HEB to do some shopping for the after the Friday service lunch we are having at our home for family and friends.  We have ordered most of our food from a local tea room but there are few side dishes we needed to add.  He got back with everything on the list...well almost, he didn't get cherry tomatoes, so he is going to go back in the morning and get some...along with more Dr. Pepper Bold.  He loves that drink.  Meanwhile I was doing the predustination before the maid got here.  Roy and I got things in order and then left to run a few errands, like pick up shirts from the cleaners.  You know really fun stuff.  We ate Bar B Que for lunch, went to the bank, and then went to the tea room to pick up our order.  We were a little early, everything was ready but not boxed up.  So we headed across the street to Bill's antique mall.  Little did we know that this trip for the Friday meal would become a little more expensive.  Once we got into the store, we did our usual thing there.  Roy headed for the free cookies and the opportunity to visit with all the older ladies.  I looked around and found a few things but hit pay dirt on my way back to the front of the store.  There right before me was a circa 1900's desk with drop top in the arts and craftsman style of furniture...which I love.  The vendor had just brought it in from her car, it didn't even have all the drawers in it yet.  She gave me an excellent deal.  So she and Roy turned it right around, took it out of the store to Sequisha and loaded it in while I paid for it and a few other fun baubles I found.  We almost forgot to go back and pick up the food.  I was so Proverbs 31 woman with this furniture purchase.  I had almost ordered a chest from Pottery Barn this morning but decided it would be too hard to move the bed to get the extra inches it would need beside the bed.  I saved Roy $700 plus. 

We returned home with the food and tried to get it put up yet stay out of Crisella's hair.  She was in full tilt cleaning mode.  We decided not to bring in the new piece until after she left.  Once we took care of the food, we headed back out the door and to Goode Company to pick up a pecan pie.  If you haven't ever had a slice of their pecan pie, you need to.  Love that HOV going and coming on the Katy Freeway.  We made a couple other stops looking for some gift cards and then headed back home.  Crisella was almost finished but we still wanted to stay out of the way, so we began working on our Christmas decorations outside.  We have our two little trees up.  I will have to take a picture and post it on Facebook.  I got the fire pit stuff out of the garage and set it up on our versatile courtyard table.  Maybe we will do S'mores in front of the fireplace this weekend.  Roy and his safety moment went to the Tractor Store to get some duct tape to secure the extension cords.  I think he just wanted an excuse to go to the Tractor Store to see what kind of deals they had for Black Friday.  He also found out that Bass Pro Shop is open on Thanksgiving.  I see a trip in our future tomorrow.  On his way home he picked up a pizza for dinner.  He is my hero from early morning until dinner time.  :)

Tomorrow I plan to rest up for what will be an emotionally charged and emotionally draining day.  My therapist encouraged me to save up the energy for Friday and then veg on Saturday.  She told me I will be exhausted and I believe her.  It is difficult at times to keep the energy reserves up with the daily drama and details that have hit hard in the past few days.  It didn't have to be this way.  Oh well...

I know that God's grace is sufficient.  That grace has been carrying me for the past two weeks and I don't think God will run out of it sometime Friday morning.  I am thankful I got my thoughts for Friday's service in good form and edited.  Praying that I can honor my mom with them and not slobber through it.  Note to self, put some tissues in your purse.

Once again I wish you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.  Roy and I have semi planned to eat dinner out and well, that trip to Bass Pro Shop just screams Happy Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Week Thoughts

Thanksgiving week.  The traffic is no longer on the freeways involving a commute from home to job and back, it is in every conceivable parking lot adjacent to retail establishments.  Roy is one of those Thanksgiving week vacation people.  It has been fun.  We've been staying up late and sleeping in.  We've done things together and done our own things.  Yesterday, I spent a greater part of the day in the land of sugar.  Stevie was able to get me in for highlights.  It actually took longer than the usual time which involves a hair cut.  I'll have to back on Monday to get the cut.  I went a little early to shop the Super Target, the Family Christian Bookstore and Whole Foods. 

Today, we eased into the morning.  We had several things to do here at the house and then we stopped by Peggy's to drop a couple of things off.  What was going to be a few minutes turned into a laugh-fest, so time went by quickly.  Roy finally made all the man motions to let me know he was ready to roll, so we left for our next destination...Target.  We've been debating over outsourcing our Christmas lights or just use this year to decorate minimally.  With everything that has been going on, our attention is somewhat divided.  So today, we decided to just do some candles in the windows, a wreath on the gate and two lit Christmas trees at the gate.  I didn't think there would be any of the pre-lit small trees in an urn but there was one box left.  So Roy had to go back to the front of the store and get a cart.  I thought it best we not get a cart at first because I can find all kinds of things to fill it.  Tomorrow, while we have to be busy or gone while the maid is here, we are going to put up our Christmas decorations.  Many in the neighborhood already have their lights on their homes.  We did a late lunch at Lupe's and then headed over to Mardel's.  Neither one of us have ever been to a Mardel store.  Wow, it was really nice.  Since FBC is changing to the Holman Bible next year, we were able to score two of those babies...on sale and I found a devotion book for next year.  After all the fun we had, we headed home to do one more dreaded chore.  Roy got in the attic and brought down a bunch of our Christmas decorations and frou frou.  For someone who has not decorated their condo for Christmas in many a year, we have a lot of Christmas stuff.  It's going to be difficult going through the boxes because so many of our decorations were either made or bought by my mom.  We also need to re box or repack a lot of the Christmas stuff into containers that have locking lids.  The locking lid containers were much easier to haul down the attic steps.  That is a project to begin on tomorrow.  At this point in the day we were both exhausted.

Last night I didn't fall asleep until 2:00 am.  Right before I fell asleep I began to think about my mother's service on Friday and the words I need to prepare.  I've been using my blog to write out memories and I needed to edit and fine tune.  So many fun stories were making me giggle as I tried to lay or lie there very quietly.  I thought about this antique picture my mom had of Jesus.  It had been given as a gift to her great grandparents.  It is just an oval picture about 6 inches in length and maybe 4 inches wide.  Somehow, I don't remember how it started, but when I was there in the home while my parents were out, I would take that picture of Jesus and hide it.  Sometimes my mom found Jesus in her underwear drawer.  Other times, he would be waiting in her china cabinet or other places around the house.  I went over there once to hide Jesus and my mom had tied the picture to the nail in the wall and requested, as if coming from the Lord, not to be moved and she quoted Psalm 1.  I think my favorite hiding spot was on the switch of a living room lamp.  My parents were hosting their Sunday School class party.  My mom and several of her friends went into the living room and as my mom turned on the lamp, she exclaimed... I found Jesus!  Her friends were wondering if she had rededicated her life or might be making a profession of faith, although they had to wonder about that.  My mom explained, and showed them the picture.  They all had a great laugh.  Once we got the Christmas boxes in the garage, I came in and edited.  My prayer is this, I can honor my mom and get through the whole thing without ugly crying, complete with snot running down my face. 

Sunday evening we went to see the Houston's First Baptist Church Choir and Orchestra experience at Clear Lake Baptist Church.  It was wonderful.  I sat there on the second row and sang just about every song with them.  Well, that is every song with the exception of the Christmas music.  I don't know those songs and apparently neither did Peggy.  She got through the first song OK, but when they sang the Gloria song, complete with Latin, she didn't know a word, much less when to sing.  I peered around John to take a peak and watch Peggy.  She and I got so tickled.  I was laughing so hard, I was crying.  She is singing "stop looking at me" to the Gloria tune.  I knew the whole choir could see me laughing and several admitted looking over in the direction that had my attention and saw Peggy struggling with it all.  They got a little tickled as well, but looked back at John directing to save themselves. 

We bought wind chimes and put them out in the courtyard.  Roy was concerned we would go crazy from the noise but the key is, don't hang them high.  We have them on the fireplace utensil stand that came with our table and chairs.  No utensils we are making it useful until we find some cheap untensils.  I'm really enjoying the background of the chimes this evening. 

Roy has volunteered to go to HEB in the morning.  Bless him.  We need to pick up a few side dishes for Friday's after the service lunch we are having at the house.  I ordered some chicken pot pies, salad and desserts from the Scotish ladies with the tea room.  I was going to make the Paula Deen cheses biscuits again, but decided stress wise, Sister Schubert rolls were the way to go.  We are also going to pick up a Goode Comapny Pecan Pie. 

The page will soon be turning onto another chapter of life.  Friday is the epilogue or it could be the introduction.  I know God is faithful and His grace and peace have been carrying this child for the past two weeks.  Happy Thanksgiving!  That's in case I don't get back on the blog till Saturday. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More Mom Memories

Living out near the ends of the earth reminds me of days long gone when Sundays not only included Sunday School and church, and maybe if we were lucky getting to eat out at the cafeteria or the El Patio Mexican restaurant, but most Sundays when we were younger included a Sunday afternoon drive.  To my brother Doug and me, B.O.R.I.N.G!  To my mom, a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon.  My dad would drive us all around the surrounding countryside on the Farm to Market Roads Texas is so famous for.  If we were to travel those very same roads today, we'd be smack dab in the middle of First Colony, New Territory, and Cross Country Ranch.  It seems like there is always a historical marker on most roads and my dad usually wanted to stop and read the marker out loud to us...  But my mother would usually say, "Can't we just see it from the car?  That became one of our favorite family sayings.  Funny as time has gone by and my sense of adventure has lessened and my knees make it difficult at times, I find myself thinking or saying the same thing, "Can't we see it from the car?"  I almost missed out on seeing the model home that won our hearts last January because I was tired and said I would wait in the car while Roy and Peggy went inside the house.  So glad I changed my mind. 

My mom made occasions fun.  She always baked our favorite cake for our birthdays.  At Easter she made a cake that looked like an Easter Bunny and she encouraged us to help her decorate it.  If she baked a pie, somehow there always  just happened to be extra dough.  She would roll out the dough, put butter, sugar and cinnamon on it and roll it up like a jelly roll and cut the dough into bite size pieces and bake them along with the pie.  My mom also had a great recipe for iced sugar cookies that we made every Christmas.  Even after I was married, my mom would help me bake those cookies to give as gifts when money was tight for Roy and me. 

Last Sunday when we ate Chinese food with Bill and Peggy, we all remembered eating chop suey at home, out of a can, made by Chung King.  You made rice, heated up the contents of the can and put crunchy noodles on the top.  For the longest time my brother Doug and I didn't like chop suey.  We learned not to mix everything up but keep the rice and noodles separate from the junk we didn't like.  We couldn't leave the table until our plate was clean.  We'd wait till Mom got busy in the kitchen and Dad was reading the paper.  Carefully, Doug and I would put the chop suey back in the serving bowl and then eat our rice and crispy noodles.  No one was the wiser until much later in life, when we told Mom what we had done. She wasn't too happy to be told of this and other dinner hijinks.  Doug and I were not fans of oatmeal for breakfast.  Mom didn't serve it very often, but when she did, we would put up quite a fuss.  We called oatmeal boo after awhile.  Why, because when we'd ask what's for breakfast, she say oatmeal and we would cry boo. 

My mom had a quirky side.  She loved her church and her women's Sunday School class.  There were several years she had a teacher that didn't talk very loud and my mom complained she could not hear her.  This teacher participated in the fine Baptist tradition of giving out verses to different ones in the class to read out loud and always called on my mom.  My mom never cared too much to read verses aloud.  She told me once she had a dream that she was in Sunday School and the teacher asked her where they were in the reading of verses out loud .  In her dream she answered, "How in the hell would I know?"  My mother never cussed.  I never heard her let a bad word slip.  In fact the one and only time I heard her say anything that remotely would be considered a bad word is when she called me a jackass.  Truth is I was probably acting like one but come on, I was in junior high and who wants to take their younger brother with them.  I was going to Astro World with friends and we just might meet some cute boys!  Oh one other thing that kind has to do with church and church attendance.   I will never forget the Sunday lunch that mom had stayed home from church to cook and prepare for the crowd of family and friends that were coming over after church.  We had all sat down, my dad sat at one end of the table, my mother at the other end (closest to the kitchen) and the rest of us were squeezed in at the table.  My dad asked my mom to say the blessing...she began her prayer and in the course of praying she thanked the Lord for the good services at church that morning.  In the midst of that sentence, she realized she hadn't been to the good services at church that morning, so she did a mid prayer correction and added, I wasn't there but You were,so I am sure they were good."

Friends were very important to my mom.  She has had good friends all through her life.  As a child I was intrigued to hear the story of my mom and her three friends who had borrowed a car and the car's  brakes didn't work.  So when they came close to her home, they slowed the car down as much as they could and my mom jumped out of the backseat onto the grass.  I've mentioned before what a prolific letter and card sender she was.  She had friends she talked on the phone with everyday and friends that she went shopping and to lunch with.  One time, Roy had rented a convertible for me and I went over to take my mom on a ride.  She said, let's go get Mary Jo.  Mary Jo was in her robe and had curlers in her hair.  As I drove the two of them they hooped and hollered like teenagers as we drove around the neighborhood and they made sure we went past all their friend's homes. 

It seems to me after writing this, the acorn doesn't fall too far from the tree.


When one is not an early riser, it is sometimes difficult to be married to one who loves the early morning wake up.  Around 6:40 am I heard a noise and it awakened me from deep sleep.  Silly me, I thought it was in the middle of the night and either our ice maker was working late into the night or maybe it was the noise of someone breaking in.  Neither, it was Roy.  What?  He got up early because we had discussed going out for breakfast the night before.  I asked if he would wake me up around 7:00 and finally I hit the floor at 7:15.  He is taking off all of next week and already has plans to go to Life Time for early morning work outs.  This schedule is going to totally throw me off. 

Yesterday we went to the memorial service for my friend Patty.  She was a friend from my tennis days.  She was lots of fun, enthusiastic and one of the friendliest people I had ever met.  Roy and I sat with her tennis friends. I was glad to have Catholic friends to the left of me and Roy, former Catholic altar boy, on the right.  This way hopefully I wouldn't faux paux.  Lots of standing and kneeling, singing songs that had different words to very familiar Baptist tunes, and closed communion.  Only Roman Catholics could participate.  It was a beautiful service, actually it was a Mass.  Later on Roy commented that it was one of the sexiest dressed services he had ever gone to.  I didn't notice, I was concentrating on everything that was taking place with the functionary disciplines of the service.  There was a reception afterwards at the Houstonian, but we didn't go.  Instead we went to the Nord to meet Dena for dinner.  We all had a great time, great conversation and great food.  Ah, strength will rise when we go into the Nord, we will go into the Nord.  Afterwards, Dena and I perused the cosmetic and shoe departments while Roy headed over to the TVs in men's shoes. 

When we left the Nord, we made a stop at the Play Grocery Store.  It seemed so strange being there.  I don't think I have been there since August.  How are they functioning without me?  Probably very well, since I only played there.  We picked up a few of their holiday specials and I think our total bill came to $57.00 and some change.  Everything fit into a paper bag.  As we got closer to home we realized we needed to make a HEB stop and since it wasn't very crowded...we stopped.  We bought about $57.00 worth of stuff and we had bags upon bags.  So if you want to stretch your shopping dollar, don't go to the play grocery store. 

A Man Called Peter was on TCM last night.  It has been some time since I last saw it.  This is a movie about Peter Marshall, a preacher from Scotland.  His wife is Catherine Marshall and she wrote several books.  Kind of corny but the Gospel was preached in that movie.  Loved all his sermons.  Kept me up past my bed time.  Thus this brings us back to why I wasn't so happy about being an early riser.  Lot of energy expended yesterday.

So, Roy and I went to breakfast and then he headed on into Houston for Celebration practice, a hair cut and run a couple of errands.  I did some damage at Target and then went to La Centerra for a bit.  I don't have anything to wear for my mom's service.  I could wear what I wore to Patty's, so I found a back up outfit just in case.  Also found a top I can wear to a couple of holiday lunches I've been invited to. 

Just for fun here are a couple of pictures that are a blast from the past.  I tried to get them in order but something must be out of order in my understanding so....

First picture-high school graduation and mom's big hair.  She could only hope her daughter would tease up her hair too, but I chose the long hair hippy look.

Second picture- Easter 1956 or 57

Third picture- Mom bringing me over to meet the grandparents, I think.  Could be just a load of laundry that she wanted to take care of while visiting with my grandparents.

Fourth picture- Family portrait in the early 1960's

Fifth picture- lovely 70's.  Mom and me and she made the dresss.

Finally, I had to end with the coolest 8th grader around.  Notice I have my camera and I am ready for any photo op.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Stills Gots the Fog Brain Thing

I still feel a little foggy brained.  Think foggy brain is being prolonged because we haven't had my mother's service yet and grieving (and I'm grieved to have to use that word) has been put on a delayed pause.  So we make the long march to next Friday with an interruption of Thanksgiving.  Don't get me wrong we are full of thankfulness that my mom is in heaven, with her right mind, free and whole but it is the unusual aspect of having to think of what we might do.  Roy and I went to the zoo last Thanksgiving and Roy is hoping upon hope that we will go again this year.  No one is there, of course most everything is closed but he is there to take pictures.  I wrote about it here.  I also have to think about the lunch after my mother's service on Friday.  There is no way I will have the energy to do two meals in a short turn around period.  Today I went and ordered chicken pot pie, salad and several desserts.  Then we will need to fill in with some other side dishes and such.  This is not in my natural or spiritual giftings to have to think about this kind of stuff and then pull it off.  Thankfully, Roy is taking off next week and will be able to help me sort through all the plans and logistics. 

Thank God for my therapist Cheryl.  She is in the life saving business...  I had an appointment with her today.  Christ centered counseling at its best.  Before my appointment I had about 20 minutes, so I decided to stop at Walgreen's and pick up a prescription.  Fog brain here dropped my credit card on the pavement...hello wide window drawer.  I had to get out of the car and believe you me there wasn't much space between the building and Sequisha, bend down, not an easy thing for me with tons of space, pick up the card and get back into the car.  I was praying the whole time because you know I didn't want to get stuck.

Even after moving, the people who sent tons and tons of worthless mailings to my mother in law have caught up with our new address.  We get off several mailings each month by using their postage free envelopes or emailing them and asking that her name be removed.  There are days all the mail is for her.  One thing I have noticed in these mailings, whether it be about money or health, it is all based on fear.  Fear has to be the biggest marketing tool used against senior adults.  I don't consider myself one except for any instance where it is beneficial, discounted meals or close in parking.  Or the marketing is geared toward, everyone else gets __________ and you are being left out.  Send me money and I will tell you in my newsletters how to get everything you have coming to you and more...  it is really, really sad to read all these scare tactic letters and know there are people duped by them every day. 

More fog brained things, I put my cash back in the bag that had bananas when leaving the grocery store.  Thankfully, it was all there and hadn't blown out of the bag.  I've been that lady that aggravates me.  I have been parking Sequisha all over the place...anywhere but between the lines and I have not corrected my parking.  I've just walked away thinking, they'll deal with it.  Yea, big scrape on the side of the door if I don't watch out. 

It is already crowded in the parking garages at The Galleria.  I had to stop and pick up some gifts.  People are crazy in parking garages.  I of course am only crazy in how I park not in how I drive. 

Maybe I should go take a little nap and listen to the sound of the fog horn sounding forth in my brain. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Morning Catch Up

It's an overcast morning out here on the prairie.  The house behind us is ready to be bricked and another house on that block is at the really noisy stage of building.  Buddy has finally settled into her early morning nap and I sit here at the computer catching up on blogs I read and answering some email.  There are several items on the to do list for the day and I hope I get those taken care of this morning. 

It has been a roller coaster this week.  Emotions running the gamut.  Crying at the strangest times.  Remembering things about my mom and writing them down.  I've experienced kindness and thoughtfulness from friends.  Words of encouragement, flowers and expressions of love have been gratefully received.  These expressions have made the week and the start of this new chapter a little less scary.

The mental fog is lifting.  It is getting back into the routine of daily life.  I realized I missed the nation wide emergency testing last week.  Doesn't sound like I missed too much.  The 11-11-11 day passed and we didn't mark it in any special way. 

On Saturday Roy and I went back out to Brookwood and got some more roses and a beautiful bougainvillea.  The bougainvillea is not listed on the HOA's official roster of acceptable plants, so that puppy is on the back patio.  On Sunday Roy planted the roses for me and I re potted the geraniums and supervised the transferring of the bougainvillea into a planter.  My mom loved her garden and worked it all the time until she couldn't remember how to do it.  I am not going to plant any type of garden or do any extensive landscaping at this time, but I do feel a little closer to and honoring of my mom with these meager floral additions. 

Saturday morning, instead of going out to breakfast like we normally do, Roy made pumpkin pecan pancakes.  They were delicious!  Later on in the day Roy started his fence project.  He has already sealed the wood but he is fighting like crazy to keep the fence from turning gray.  The stain Lowe's mixed up for him wasn't quite right.  Too yellow.  He went back and they reformulated the mixture and it is just right.  Roy was so playing the Tom Sawyer bit telling me how much fun painting the fence is.  Uh, yea....I will let you have all the fun Roy. 

Well the day awaits and Buddy is here meowing at me for her morning snack.  Ah, the little things of life. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Joy and New Mercies, They Come in the Morning

Yesterday morning I woke up early and I was fully awake when Roy called to tell me my mom had passed away.  Even when you know that this news is not unexpected, I don't know if you are ever fully prepared.  My dad was there with her when she made her transition from this earthly life into her inheritance and future.  I sat at our island counter and bawled.  The tears were a mixture of sadness, relief, and joy.  I did the 2011 thing and posted her passing on Facebook.  One friend texted me back the verse, joy comes in the morning.  Yes!  What a word, my mom had found her joy that morning.  She was free from that hateful, conniving, thieving world of Alzheimer's.  She was overwhelmed with joy being in the presence of her Savior and Lord.  Mom was greeted and welcomed by her mom and dad, friends long gone on before her and new friends she didn't even know. Maybe she is even getting to sing a duet with one of her favorite Gospel singers, Vestal Goodman.  I like what Cassi wrote, your mom and my mom are meeting for the first time and that just blessed me because Cassi means so much to me.  His mercies are new every morning...and my mom experienced the greatest new mercies of the morning and of her life. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

You've Made Your Bed, So Don't Lie or Lay in It.

My mom has the greatest sense of humor and sense of playfulness.  She was always doing something funny.  One Sunday afternoon while my dad was taking a nap, she got out the fingernail polish and painted his nails on one hand.  We all had a great laugh until we found out, she was out of nail polish remover.  Back in the day on Sunday, NOTHING was open, no stores, she went to the next door neighbor we had never met and asked the lady if she had any remover.  My mom tends to the shy side, so this was a huge deal for her to go next door. 

Mom is not a big game player and the only time she would play board games with us was when it stormed.  She hated storms!  She was afraid of lightning and thunder.  So playing a board game with us helped her take her mind off of the weather.  She never really sat down and played with us but she did help us make some great forts out of blankets.  She would let my brother and I play in the sacred living room, but only if we would promise to have everything picked up before my father got home.  Oh yeah, she said that a lot...wait until your father gets home.  She sent me to my room a lot to think about what I had done but being ADD, my attention span on my wrongs and what I could do to make them right lasted only a few minutes.  The next thing you'd know, I had stuff pulled out and I was playing or I would be reading a book.  When she'd come back to my room so that I could tell her where I went wrong and apologize, she'd be a little miffed that I had gone onto other activities and hadn't given my wrong doing too much thought.  When my nieces were into Barbie dolls, we were playing Barbie's one night.  My parents had recently unearthed my 1960 Barbie and the girls had theirs.  It was a rare occasion that my mom joined in to play.  You know what playing Barbie is like, they hop around to everything, you make them talk in falsetto voices, and other than driving Barbie's car, Barbie and her friends just shop and take naps.  We could tell this whole Barbie lifestyle was not sitting well with my mom.  She stood up and announced that until we could play Barbie's in a way that had some focus or direction or schedule that didn't include shopping and naps, she would be back to play.  That whole memory just cracks me up because maybe somewhere deep inside her she had once had more focus, direction and schedule but two kiddos and a husband sometimes messes up that whole scenario. 

My mother was my first audience.  I was always putting on some type of production where I played all the parts.  My best thing was lip syncing to her records.  She had some great records both 78 and long play.  Only those above the age of 50 are going to know what I am talking about.  The rule, if you used her records, you had to be very, very careful with them.  Once my brother broke one of her records, so she went into his bedroom and broke one of his. I think it was Scruffy the Tugboad.  My brother and I were speechless because this was so out of character for my mother.  It is ironic that my mom who had great music disliked, no really hated musicals, especially Oklahoma.  I would sing songs from it when I wanted to tease her or maybe even aggravate her.  My mom's take on musicals, they are telling a perfectly good story and then they have to ruin everything by singing songs. 

I think I get my love of writing letters and sending cards from my mom.  We would go to the drug store and read the cards to one another and laugh ourselves silly.  She was known for giving great birthday cards.  They always fit the person.  She would see a card and say, I'll get this and send it to __________ for their birthday.  My mom corresponded with her mother religiously and she had childhood friends who kept up with each other through life.  My mom would be so delighted when she had received a letter or card in the mail. 

Even though Alzheimer's has taken so much from my mom, there is one thing she did everyday until almost the end of living in their home, she made the bed.  She really didn't like an unmade bed and making the bed was one of the first things she had us do when we woke up...make that bed.  To this day, rarely a day goes by that I don't make the bed.  It just sets a completeness to the beginning of the day or something. 

I'm not too sure about this, but I think I wasn't that pleasant to be around when I was in junior high.  Seems like there was a lot of angst and tears.  The battle within still wanting to be a child yet at the same time I was feeling all grown up and like all 12-14 year olds, I believed I knew quite a bit and had all the answers.  Funny how as we mature most of us grow out of being a know it all.  Since this back in the olden days where girls had to wear dresses or skirts every day to school, I suddenly fell in love with wearing skirts.  Why?  Because my mom would kiss me goodbye and watch me walk down the sidewalk, but once I was out of her sight, you got to know I was rolling that skirt at the waist band so I would be in fashion with all the other cool and yes, we were all insecure girls.  I also would get my socks off to complete the total complete cool look.  At the end of the school day I did the whole process in reverse so that once I arrived home, my mom would see me just as she had when I left in the morning.  Years later she told me she knew I was rolling my skirts and ditching my socks.   Seems like I had an inordinate amount of blisters on my feet during those years. 

During junior high I had to take two semesters of home ec.  I did ok in the cooking and foods semester but I did horrible in the sewing semester.  I got the mumps and missed quite a bit of school that semester.  Since the home ec teacher and I didn't see eye to eye, what me be a smart Alic?  Anyway, she let me take the dress I was working on, probably more like butchering, home one night to complete it.  Mom to the rescue.  She made that dress and only made a B.  Unfortunately, her daughter had forgotten to bring home the facing pieces and thus my mom made due with what fabric we had.  The B came because we didn't have the required 3 inches of facing around the arm holes. 

I just had this great thought...if a kiss doesn't wake her up maybe I will go over there and sing some songs from Oklahoma.  Nah, I don't want her leaving this world thinking...Nancy, you and I were having a perfectly good talking and sharing your heart with me...we were remembering some of the most wonderful stories of our lives and then you have to go ruin it by singing songs. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mom, I Need Some Help With My Hair

Today was a hard day but it was a peace-filled day.  We went to see my mom in her latest residence.  After seeing her today, this will probably be her last earthly residence.  Her next home, heaven.  I was prepared knowing she would not be lively or vibrant as she was last weekend.  She was asleep when we arrived and she never woke up. Her breathing labored and shallow.   I sat beside her bed and told her how much I love her, what a wonderful mother she is.  I thanked her for all the laughter and fun she brought to life.  I thanked her for all the sacrifices she had made for my brother and me.  I apologized for being disobedient, you know just sometimes, and I thanked her for raising us to love Jesus.  I leaned over and kissed her on her cheek and jaw.  Both times, she made a little pucker and kissy noise but never awakening.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought maybe my kiss would have the same effect on her as Prince Charmings had on Snow White or whatever Disney princess that gets awakened by a kiss.  I stood there a long time looking and taking in my mother's features.  She has always been a thin woman but she has lost 14 pounds in the last week.  My mother would not be happy knowing that she has gone several years without a body wave in her hair.  When I was a kid, my mom went every week to the Flair Beauty Salon.  She got blonder from time to time and she always had a good wash, set and tease to her hair.  She slept in a thing called a magic turban to keep her hair in place until the next appointment which was always on a Friday.  She even slept on a silk pillow case to keep that beautiful unnatural look that all the women wore.  I used to be bothered that when I grew up I would have to give up time to go to the beauty shop and get my hair done.  Ah, thank goodness for the late 60's and 70's when a weekly trip to get a bea-fon-te wasn't required.  She really tried to instill in me the love of a good permanent.  I got the Tony permanent at home and a few salon ones in my day.  Every Saturday night my mom would roll my hair on spoolies and later on pink hair curlers.  A few times we even tried those curlers that had brushes in them and they hurt.  She would roll my hair and then wrap a scarf around the curlers and in the morning I should have perfectly curled hair for church.  Only thing, I have never been one that can sleep very still.  By morning the scarf was flung on the floor and we would hunt for those curlers soon after awakening.  My early hair years were just sad, but my mom never gave up on me and good hair. 

My mother loves the sun, sitting by a pool getting a tan or a trip to the beach.  She hated and feared getting near the water.  One summer we had a pool membership to a place called Hawaiian Village.  My brother and I loved the fact there was a snack bar right there by the pool because the city pools didn't let you have any food or drink near their pools.  I believe I was in the second or third grade the summer we had that pool membership.  My mom would sit there on the edge of the pool and tell me to be careful because she couldn't swim.  There were life guards.  That is the summer I taught myself to swim because you had to know how to swim to be able to go down the slide.  Most days mom packed our lunches but we always got to have an ice cream bar or Popsicle from the snack bar before leaving for home.  I think my mom loved that pool membership because she would take us to the pool in the mornings and by early afternoon we were beat and would take a nap when we got home.  Let's just say that my brother and I were like most other siblings and could find any reason to fuss and fight with one another.  When I was in high school my mom joined the YWCA and took a beginning swimming class.  She didn't finish the class because they were using empty coffee cans to keep them above water and I don't believe my mother believed that two coffee cans would keep her afloat enough to learn how to swim.  I loved that about my mom because she was always sympathetic when I began some class and wanted to quit after just a few times.  She would let you quit, my dad would make you go in order to build character into us.

I really don't know if I can decorate for Christmas this year.  It might be too difficult.  Most of the ornaments we have, my mom made or she would always pick out ornaments when she and my dad would go on trips.  We found the ornaments in our Christmas stockings that she had made for us when we were kids long into adulthood.  Up until several years ago, she always made peanut butter cookies for my brother and gingerbread men for me.  Even after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's she'd bake Christmas cookies for us but my gingerbread men became ginger snaps because she could no longer remember how to use a cookie cutter.  I have one of the last gingerbread cookies she ever made for me.  She did a self portrait. 

Another thing my mom tried to really get me interested in was sewing.  Never had the patience for it.  She made my Barbie some beautiful outfits and she made me some beautiful outfits as well.  Being tall in a non tall world, her sewing made slacks and pants for me so I didn't have to wear high waters.  While packing things up this summer I put away some pillows and other fun things she had made for me through the years. 

I'm sure I will have a few more blog posts about her.  I want to remember the real and raw emotions during this time.  Just for fun tomorrow I might just spray some hairspray on my hair, really nice and thick.  Never learned how to tease me hair, so maybe I can just dry my hair upside down and then spray it.  Yep, my mom would get a good laugh out of that and then she would try to smooth it down so at least I would be presentable. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

What the Beep?

Our world at the condo was kind of quiet.  Our appliances were so dated.  They were so 14 years ago.  Never, no not once, did they ever let us know their cycle was completed.  Neither our washer nor our dryer announced the clothes were done.  The only way you knew the dishwasher was finished is, you could hear the TV clearly.  Once the dishwasher stopped we had to be quick to turn the sound down as not to disturb any of our condo dwelling neighbors.  Our microwave had a ding sound but it never repeated itself to remind us we had cooked food ready to be consumed.  I faintly remember the few times we used the oven, there was a loud and obtrusive buzzer that went on with infinitude until someone rushed into the kitchen to turn the blasted thing off. 

Here in Katy we have been introduced to the world of beeps.  Both the washer and the dryer have a series of beeps to announce completion.  Because of Roy's, Paul Revere, mishaps with the alarm system, many a time we jumped to find the remote control to shut the thing down.  Now that we are veterans, the washer and dryer beeps don't quite move us the way they used to.  The dishwasher beep still alarms me since we usually run it later in the evening.  I used to head toward the laundry room thinking, I don't remember starting a load of laundry...but now I know, dishes are ready to be unloaded, that is if we chose to do so.  Then sometimes we have the I will wait you out and use every clean dish in the dishwasher before I officially unload this thing.  That doesn't happen very much, but I'm sad to report, it has happened in the past, but not the recent past.  Our refrigerator beeps if the door has been left open.  The microwave continues with intermittent beeps if we don't retrieve the contents in a timely manner.  The oven timer beeps loudly.  Yes, I have used the oven, but not as much as the microwave.  The entrance doors to our house beep every time you open one. 

Now, wearing a heart monitor, I beep.  When I take a recording there are a series of beeps.  If the monitor is full, it beeps.  Or if the batteries need changing, another series of beeps.  Can you imagine my surprise when I started to beep intermittently in the Hobby Lobby.  Roy and I had gone to lunch and we stopped in at the ol' HB to pick up some picture hanging wire and hooks.  When I beeped in the frame department, I wasn't too alarmed because it was just us.  Since Roy is the faster one, he began a hurried jaunt to the check out...because there is always a line or a price check or a return gone bad.  When I finally caught up to him in line, I was one continuous beep.  You know like the beep in movies right before a bomb goes off?  At that moment I had to decide whether to toss all modesty aside and get to that monitor to shut it off or be swarmed by HB security because they're thinking maybe I'm one of those crazed people that strap bombs to themselves.  I glanced up to see the reaction and situation around me.  There were some intense looks and a lot of heads scanning the area to see who the beeper was.  Thank goodness there wasn't a TSA agent buying craft supplies behind me.  I would have been subject to a pat down and of course after that much touching, I might have to ask for a cigarette.   So as not to draw attention to myself, I calmly reached under my t-shirt and sweat shirt to unhook the monitor and get it out where I could see it. far.  Then I unattached the monitor from the wires.  Of course I'm standing there with a set of wires and electrodes coming out from the bottom of my sweatshirt.  So I think, well maybe it was a bad connection and I reattach the wires into the monitor.  Nope, beeps start up again.  Quickly I rip the wires out of the monitor.  It is then I decided before anyone could announce a Code 3 on register 2, to just go on out to the car.  When Roy catches up to me at the car, he asks, "what the beep is going on?"  Now that was pretty funny.  Once I got home I found the source of my beeping.  One of the electrodes had come loose and beeped to warn no readings were going on. 

So that's the whole beepin' story out here on the prairie. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stress Shows Itself in so Many Unbecoming Ways

Stress is a like one of those lizards that changes color.  Not like the Boy George song, but I'm comparing the continued changes and shapes stress takes on ones body.  And you'll notice I had to give a description because between my misspelling and Blogger spell check, we could only come up with comedian.  A couple of weeks ago a stress related rash rocked my neck, upper grandma arms and hid in the cellulite on the back of my legs.  That rash was annoying.  Stress manifests itself with a rapid and racing heart beat.  Even at times the heart that beats to a different drummer with the regular beats and then a long pause before the beats resume.  That's always a lot of fun.  My latest manifestation of stress...vampire pimples.  On my chin, my 57 year old chin so this should not be happening, I have too big ol' zits perfectly spaced and resemble the bite mark of a vampire...  Now on Halloween night handing out candy to the little children, the look came in handy.  Now that I am back to ordinary life, the vampire zits are annoying and they are annoying on so many levels. 

I love all the thankful blog posts and the FB status'.  I am thankful for many things, but today with the lingering vampire zits and as "twilight" hastens, I am thankful for Perricone MD tonic that dries up zits.  It has taken a while, but the stuff is finally beginning to work. 

I'm just hoping that any new stress related symptoms don't result in connect the dot zits or a big ol' Bozo the clown zit resting at the end of my nose. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Almost Missed It and Living Life Like a Tree

Wow, I almost totally missed the Half Yearly Sale at Nordstrom.  Not that I went there today, but saw it on Facebook.  This is an event that normally makes it onto my calendar.  Guess I have been distracted.  I did get online once I got home today and got several sweet deals. 

I believe in 5000 mile check ups with my therapist.  It has been just over a year since I had my last one and with everything we're facing on the horizon, it seemed to be a good time to check in with Cheryl.  So, I had an appointment this morning and as always, life saving and life guiding thoughts were generously poured out.  She has saved my life in so many ways.  I felt so encouraged when I left her office.  It is said that timing is everything and the timing of my visit coincides with some drama that has reared its head today.  Nothing new, no surprises, at least the drama is consistent and no curve balls are thrown in. 

My mom is holding her own.  She was heavily sedated last night, so this morning she wasn't able to participate in physical therapy.  She needs to get up and walk.  Now, I don't know if she'll be taking up her mat and walking like the guy in John 5, but she needs to get up and walk.  She is still able to swallow, so that is very good news. 

I wasn't too sure if I would be able to host the Phase 10 group which is formally known as the Bunco group on Monday night.  I have decided to follow Jesus yes, and I have decided that I can have  everyone over for dinner.  It is not going to be a cool night but we can still drink hot chocky or Diet Cokes by the outdoor fireplace.  I ordered the chicken pot pie today and plan to mix up a little dough in the bread maker.  I am so happy to have these friends over for my first official social event. 

Last week I was reading about the verse that says, the heart is deceitful above all else.  Who can understand it?  The commentary in my study Bible said that mind would be the better word instead of heart.  Yes, that makes much more sense.  The mind is so deceitful.  No wonder Romans 12 tells us to renew our minds.  Who can understand the twists and turns of a mind deceived?  That's the whole thing about being deceived, the deceived one has no idea that they walk in duplicity. 

Wisdom from the Lord
5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?
10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.”

I do not want to live as a stunted shrub in the desert, with no hope for a future.  Who would want to live in an uninhabited salty land?  A couple of weeks ago I bought a pendant of a large and mighty oak tree.  I've been wearing that necklace a lot to remind me that if I put my hope and confidence in the Lord, I will be like a tree, planted by the river and such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.  Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.  Goes along with Psalm 92.  This is how I desire to live. 

On a comical note, I  almost became Mrs. Paul Revere today.  Somehow I had set the alarm while in the house and when I went to leave all the warnings were going off and counting down till the alarm would sound.  Fortunately, I never had to let anyone know one if by land, two if by sea.  This was my first alarm near mishap.  So glad it didn't develop into anything major. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My First, My Last, My Everything

It has been a long time but we experienced our first trick or treaters last night.  All the kids were so cute in their costumes.  Most of the kids were 5 and under, but there were a few older ones mixed in.  We opened our gate, turned on the fireplace and sat outside waiting for the kiddos to come.  At first we thought no one would come down our block because we are on a cul de sac and away from the main hub of the neighborhood.  It took a while but finally the trick or treaters arrived. 

Sunday afternoon we had our last snow cone of the season.  Bahama Mama closed on October 31 and we will have to wait until April to have our next delicious treat. 

As many of you know my mom has Alzheimer's.  I HATE that disease.  All diseases are cruel, painful and steal, but Alzheimer's steals the heart and personality and leaves the person a shell of their former selves.  Mom has been in the hospital because she no longer remembers how to swallow.  As we spent time with her over the weekend, she was anitmated, a little more lively and talkative.  Granted, we don't understand a lot of what she says but here and there you can actually hear words.  She even played a game of pulling her blankets up so that her toes were exposed.  She would laugh when we covered them and waited a bit before she pulled her blankets up off her toes once again.  Sunday evening she was evaluated by a hospice nurse.  Monday, we had an appointment with the people from Memorial Herman Hospice.  When Roy and I arrived my dad had a happiness about him, my mom could once again swallow.  She passed the speech pathologists tests and had eaten quite a bit of her lunch.  Of course we were so excited to learn of this news, yet we are some what apprehensive because the Alzheimer's journey is full of twists and turns, forward moving and back stepping.  The Dr seemed quite satisfied that she could go to skilled nursing and so last night around 5:00, she was transferred to the place my dad has picked out.  We are hopeful and we trust God.  Even though I slept in today, those new mercies were there waiting and God's new mercies were waiting for my mom when she woke up.  You know I have written this before, but when we sing the Doxology at church, I have to change the words from "early in the morning" to "early mid morning my song shall rise to Thee." 

It is difficult seeing my full of life mother like this, but in all of this, she still has a sense of humor.  I was singing a hymn to her on Saturday and she looked at me and began her way of singing, I hope.  It just happened to sound like a dog howling when something hurts their ears.  Hopefully, that wasn't commentary on my singing.  She still knows how to give kisses. 

Saturday evening I realized I had never seen my mom's hands.  She kept them under the covers.  My mom has always had the most beautiful hands.  Always soft to the touch.  Starting as a child she had me using hand lotion after every time my hands had touched water.   Saturday as I was praying for my mom and dad, I asked the Lord to see my mom's hands once again.  God gave me such a gift!   On Sunday, we couldn't keep her hands under the covers.  She held my hand and even did that little swingy thing you do when you hold hands with the ones you love.  There they were those beautiful hands, with a few more age spots, but those age spots only enhanced their beauty.  I always look at people's hands even though they say that the eyes are the window to the soul, I think hands tell the story of a persons kindness and gentleness. 

Late Saturday afternoon, Roy and I stopped at Brookwood to buy some plants.  We got two rose bushes and some geraniums.  My mother has always had such a green thumb and I wanted to honor her by planting the roses in the front flower bed.  HOA flower rules be danged!   When we mentioned buying and planting plants to her yesterday, she had a moment that seemed to say she knew what we were talking about.  I cannot tell you how many times I have thought, oh I need to call Mom and ask her about this plant or that tree. 

The roller coaster will continue it's wild ride and we know that God knows every thrill to be experienced and every scary moment that will happen.  His grace is sufficient.  I have experienced the peace that passes all understanding.  I figured since I am wearing this heart monitor for the month that this weekend my readings would be all over the place and that I would have more episodes than usual.  I've not experienced one while being with my mom.  I am thankful for that. 

If you think of us, please continue your prayers for our family.