Excuse me … is that by any chance a balloon up your nose?

November 30, 2011

Why, yes it is.  How observant of you!

Last week, after over a week of being sick and blowing my nose alot, I had a nosebleed that the ER just couldn’t get stopped.  They tried everything (intense pressure, medicated packing and cauterizing all failed), right up to their last resort, which finally worked — a balloon device that is medicated on the outside and is hollow on the inside.

Once it is installed they tape a tube to your cheek and use a syringe to fill it with air to keep it tight.  Then they send you home with your very own plastic syringe and tell you (and your Hubby) to use it to keep the balloon inflated by periodically injecting air into the tube.

Three days later you go to an ENT doctor to have it removed.  (Even then he had to cauterize it again to get it completely stopped)

I’m all better now.  But I won’t soon forget that experience.  And it has made me much more aware of how I treat my nose, because I hope to never have that happen again!

And this has somewhat dampened my enthusiasm for those cute little balloons at birthday parties.

Jean and The Hand-Me-Down Suit

November 26, 2011

I had three older sisters to idolize, but they were significantly older (teenagers when I was born).  Because of that age difference I really never got to be one of the crowd — just the little sister they all babysat for and, well, babied.

Because of our age differences, I was always in a different phase of life than them.  So when I was a young stay-at-home mom with very small children, they were parents of almost adult children and back out in the working world.

My uniform during that time of my life was a sweatshirt and jeans with my hair pulled back in a ponytail (and no make-up).  Beautiful clothes were just not in the cards right then — things our children needed and groceries and household items took priority.

But one time when my second sister, Jean (who was a successful business woman) was visiting, she gave me a beautiful suit that she was tired of (or just saw the sparkle in my eyes when I looked at it).

That suit was probably one of the most impractical clothing items I have ever owned.  It looked great on Jean, but that was when it was accompanied by her great hair-do, perfect make-up and spike heels (suits and spikes were her work uniform).

Being a SAH mom, I didn’t really have a need for such a beautiful suit, in fact, I honestly don’t remember ever wearing the hand-me-down suit.  But I got much enjoyment out of it anyway, just seeing it hanging in the closet, next to my sweats.

The hand-me-down suit was an impractical, never-used, but oh so enjoyed gift from an older sister to her kid sister.

By the way, another gift from Jean comes to mind.  Also during my SAH Mom days, Hubby and I had moved into a little bigger, nicer house and were suffering the to-be-expected financial pains of a larger payment besides all the little unexpected extra costs that frequently come with a move.

Jean came to visit on my birthday and gave me a little box with a device in it that I had never seen before.  I thanked her because I was sure it was something to be thankful for — but then I had to ask her what the heck it was!  It was the control to a garage door opener.  Not exactly a typical birthday gift, but certainly one I enjoyed every time I came home and could push a button and raise the garage door without getting out of the car.

Remember to Pass on “Thankful” … A Thanksgiving Prayer

November 24, 2011

This is the prayer we will pray today.  May each of you have a blessed, thanks-filled Thanksgiving.  You each bless my life in some way, if nothing else than coming here to read what I write.  I am thankful for you.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Heavenly Father, Thank you for all the blessings we have to be thankful for today, especially our loved ones and for your Son who died for our sins.

And please help us to show that we are blessed and loved by being a blessing to others.

When a jerk cuts us off in traffic, may we remember that she may be a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, pay bills and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, seemingly disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly may be a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day, may be a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

And when we get behind an old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles, blocking our shopping progress, may we remember that they may be savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, may we remember each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. And, that it is not enough to share that love with just those we hold dear. Please open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all people in our lives.

Help us to be slow to judge and quick to forgive, showing patience, empathy and love.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen



November 22, 2011

Hubby has lots of family in this area and Bonnie was the wife of one of his cousins.  They lived in a town about a half hour away so we didn’t run into them much, but we did always see them at family reunions and, of course, weddings and funerals.

I always liked Bonnie, but I really didn’t realize what a wonderful person she was until we went to her funeral last week.  We had just heard she had a brain tumor not too long ago, so were shocked when we heard she had died.  But this is an excellent reason to go to a funeral.  I now know Bonnie better than I ever did while she was alive, and she obviously inspired many in her life, and especially during her illness, but also many, like me, who heard about her courageous journey through her illness after the fact.

Bonnie kept a journal that the pastor read from during her funeral.  In one entry she talked about working at being thankful for today.  She said she wasn’t going to waste the things she could be thankful for today because she was concentrating instead of what might happen tomorrow.

One entry was about the technician who took the 31 staples out of the incision on her head.  She talked about how gentle and kind he was.

She talked about her husband and children and how blessed she was by them.  The pastor told a personal story of arriving in her room one Sunday afternoon shortly before she died and there was Bonnie and her family sitting around eating, watching football on TV and laughing!

One of the things I found out about Bonnie is that she loved singing in her church choir.  So, of course, they sung at the funeral.  If ever there was a reason we should all join the church choir now, it is that there is no more stirring music at a funeral than the heartfelt songs sung by a choir celebrating one of their own.

We had heard that the end was near for Bonnie and that she was in the hospital.  But the obituary said she died at home — so I had guessed that she had asked to go home to die.

The last entry in her journal was written in the margin of the last page as she was being taken home.  It said, “Almost home”.

Bonnie’s home now.  But I left her funeral knowing that even though she’s physically gone, she has left a wonderful example to all who knew her.

I look forward to getting to know her better when I see her again.


Clouds Up!

November 17, 2011

The title of my last post, Sun Up!, reminded me of the following pictures which I had taken during some tumultuous weather several months ago.  I was fascinated that the stormy clouds had the appearance of growing up from the ground, or being shadows of the trees in front of them!

The sky is a continuing showcase of nature’s beauty.  Fascinating.

Sun Up!

November 14, 2011

Sunrises are like fingerprints — always different.

What a surprise — the sun does come up other places besides from our deck!  This was taken on a hot, muggy summer morning in front of our house, looking east down our street, through the neighbor’s tree.

Beautiful colors painted by the hand of God.

Don’t worry — I haven’t started acting old.

November 11, 2011


Recently I was turning into a parking lot and  saw a woman driving out whom I recognized, so while turning in I was also looking at the woman in the car that was driving out.

Unfortunately, because I was distracted I ran over the corner of the curb. It was a low curb so no damage was done, but it’s never a good thing to do that.   And the topper was that I quickly realized that the woman I was waving at wasn’t the person I knew.

I can just picture what that woman was thinking after witnessing me waving to a stranger while careening over the curb into the parking lot, “Somebody really ought to take that old lady’s car keys away — she’s obviously become a dangerous driver!”

Ha!  Luckily, I know she’s wrong.  I’ve done that kind of stuff all my life!

just along for the ride …

November 8, 2011

When they first came out, I purchased four cloth bags from the grocery store and had every intention of using them when I grocery shopped.  But unfortunately, I had trouble remembering to put them in my car.  And I finally quit even trying to remember them when I realized that there is a recycle bin for the store’s plastic bags in their entry-way.  So I figured I would still not be wasting plastic bags if I brought them back the next time I shopped (or the next time, or the next time — you know, it’s a memory thing).

But then about a month ago when a group of friends were talking about grocery shopping, one said she always uses the cloth bags.  Not just because they save on plastic bags, but because each one holds so much more than the plastic ones and the cloth ones never rip.  Let this stand as proof that some little thing we say can influence others — after that conversation and her listing the “pros” of using the cloth bags, I decided to re-commit to using them too.

The next time I went to the store, I put the big black tote that I keep the four cloth bags in in the back seat of my car.  And then predictably forgot to take them into the store with me.

But I didn’t give up.  I left them in the back seat, and the next time I went I actually remembered to take them in with me!

But then I forgot they were in the cart, and proceeded to put my groceries in plastic bags (I use the self-check-out most of the time — where you bag your own groceries).  I only remembered them when I walked back to my cart at the other end of the conveyor belt after I had put all the groceries in plastic.  Sigh.

But I was like The Little Engine That Could and kept on trying (I think I can, I think I can) and I am now happy to report, that the cloth bags have moved up from being just along for the ride and are active participants in my shopping experience.

So, I see two lessons to be learned from this story.  1) The cloth bags really do hold much more than the store’s plastic ones and, of course, are much sturdier, and 2) When you are having a conversation with someone, you have no idea which of your words just float away on the air and which may resonate with a listener and make a difference in their lives.

Happy Tuesday!

A Fun Lunch in Tulsa

November 7, 2011

While we were in Tulsa recently, Carla from Carla-at-Home and her husband were there too, so the four of us met for lunch.

We had a great time.  I had talked to Carla on the phone so I already knew that she had a soft but self-confident voice.  And then I met her and she was a perfect match for her voice (I love it when things work out that way, don’t you?).  I would describe her as quietly elegant but with a dry sense of humor.  What a treat to finally get to meet and talk to her.  She and Joe still have family in Tulsa so we are hoping that the timing might be right sometime in the future for another lunch.  One lunch just didn’t give Carla and me enough time to ask and answer all the questions we had for each other.

Carla and me.

Joe and Hubby enjoyed talking to each other too and found out that they also have alot in common.

I’m so glad we got to meet you, Carla and Joe.  You are a great couple.  And now when I read posts on Carla-at-home I’ll be able to picture you!


November 5, 2011
Jay and his shark tooth.
Our grandson Jay has been named the best defensive player of the week for two weeks in a row on his high school football team.  He is a junior and has just recently been made the starting middle linebacker.
We are, of course, very proud of how well he is playing, but are even prouder of how humbly he is handling his success as well as all the hard work, without much playing time to show for it, he had put in during his freshman and sophomore years, preparing for this opportunity.
Good work, Jay.  We are very happy for you and proud of your perseverance.