Friday, January 30, 2009

Mushy Alert

The oak trees in our front yard cast long shadows across the drive this time of year. It reminds me of one of my favorite pictures of the boys when they were little. Firstborn is armed with sidewalk chalk and is creating a masterpiece on the canvas that is our steep drive. And baby James is happily grinning and kicking in his infant seat just enjoying being outside. Today those shadows crossed James' vehicle like a sash as he poked the address in his navagational device. He has so much stuff --- loose stuff, that he hauls with him on these trips to Lawton finding an apartment, and now going to sign up for utilities for the first time in his life. At every Army Post, he has been in Army housing---like a barracks or dorm. This is his first apartment. And he picked it out all by himself. Thankfully, it is on the first floor, so we can help him move without too many trips up stairs. And it is supposidly in a good section of town. And within 10 minutes of Fort Sill.

How far we have come---from that little bouncing baby boy that was just happy to be alive and kicking to the little guy with his green blankie, to the boy of Star Wars toys and Jurassic Park. Those trees have cast shadows on his trucks, toy size and man size. Those trees have watched him wash his truck, and mow that yard, and rake those leaves. But, mostly, these days, those trees have watched him drive away. And they will see a U-haul truck come and park and collect all those treasures, all the furniture that he has either had around him or collected down through the years. And maybe the old couch which used to hold the scar he etched in the arm until Dad sanded it out and restained and sealed. One day he was bored, and using fingernail clippers gouged a nice crease in the wooden arms.

Today I also have been given the privilege, the honor, and happy duty of waiting for a special package. But, that is a secret. But, those trees will see the delivery truck come, and go. And those trees will be my witness as I sign for that most precious package. This is the house we brought Baby James home, and from here he is launched, and from here we wait for the next stage, and the next visit.

I hope these trees will be silent witness to this next stage. We love their shade in summer, but not so much the sticky time of aphids. We love the color of their leaves, but no so much the dusty raking chore. Those trees throw sticks at the cars parked in the drive--and every once in a while, a resounding clunk signals a score of a bigger branch on the roof or cars.

I have time to stop and stare. I have studied the trees. And the three joined at the base by the side of the drive are astounding to me in their parallels---two are close, as James and Ben are close in age. And two show branching out while one may not branch out for a while. The hollow where they meet holds rock treasures, a few sticks, and recently snow and ice. Little boys like to climb and hide there. Some would say it is one tree---if viewed from above or full of leaves, but each trunk is bigger than most trees that stand alone. And yet these are joined, and their roots fight the brick walkway and burrow under the drive.

We have lived here for almost 30 years. And these huge oaks have grown along with us. Some years ago we lost a huge one by the street and mailbox. When Bob felled that sucker, he cracked the brick walk and it still bears the scars of brick chipped even though the bricks are level with the ground, and he had boards laid down to break the fall. Three other trees near the street were felled last year as their tops died first and fell into the yard. And the oak nearest the house is so full of the parasite mistletoe that we wonder if it is next. And a huge chunk of bark, plate sized, has fallen off the side near the base. That cannot be good. Is it a sign of some deadness within?? If that tree fell onto the house, it would come into the kitchen and boys' bathroom.

I did not used to like this time of year of bare trees. But, star gazing is easier, and satallite passes easier to see. And at dawn and dust, I like the way the bare branches frame the sky. And only in winter, the sun casts the shadow of trunk and branches over the whole street--just like how my sons are casting their shadows in jobs that make us safe.

Go gently, dear James. Those trees have seen you in diapers and now uniforms. Snow boots and combat boots. Cowboy boots and running shoes. Those trees have witnessed us holding your stuff, juggling your phone and wires and cords. Those trees have seen you haul in your favorites from Pei Wei and Schlosky's, your backpacks and your Bible. Those trees have seen you talking on the phone, even praying on the phone with your Lady Love. Your Dad pondered aloud one day, "what is James doing out there in his truck in the drive?" But, the trees knew. Nothing gets by the trees.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Blanket Apology---I tried to raise them right

I tried to raise them right. I tried to teach them to send thank you notes. And at least thank you phone calls...although thank you notes are better. But, I can't make them. Sometimes it gives me an excuse to call them...but if you have gone to all the trouble to make/mail/send/give my sons a present, please contact them for the confirmation that they received it. I am sorry. I tried to raise them better. Next time someone asks---Did Andy or James or Ben get the _____??? I will practice saying: "call them".

How about sending Grandmother a cell phone picture of the great-grandchild in the new knitted red vest? That way Grandmother can see whether or not it is too big. Just a thought.

Not just Fog, but Freezing Fog !!!

The freezing fog left a thick layer on the windshields. Bob had to scrape his windows before he could drive to the train station.

Soon as the sun comes up and burns off the fog, I am headed to Walmart to buy more supplies. We are out of vitamin C tabs. James has been taking them to kick his cold early. I have trained him well. This fog extends all the way into Oklahoma, so no hurry getting on the road. Hopefully, James will find an apartment today near Fort Sill. And start the moving process.

But, first thing, as soon as I can safely drive, I am going to go see if Uli came back home. The phone number she usually calls me from is not working, so I will go by and hopefully talk to her or her sister. I have a flier ready to go if not. But, let us think positively. There are still icy patches on north shady places... but, let us think positively. I woke up before 4am. Couldn't think. And it dawned on me that Uli's last message was probably still on our call notes---and sure enough. Jan. 19th at 12:19pm she left a message and I had saved it. Where are you Uli?

Poking around on the police website I found a page for tracing stuff, but what about missing persons. Don't we have a page for that? If Uli has come back home to her sister, then I will email our pastor to get out that good news. And call the APS lady back. I have notes to myself scattered all over the desk. Poor people's phones get disconnected, and this whacky weather has made it difficult for me to get down our steep driveway. But, I have the van parked where it will get sun, and that should melt the ice soon. Why did it take until today to think about making a flier? Why am I so slow? Are the privacy laws interfering with finding people and then getting out the news when they are found?

I am so thankful for my husband. He is much more objective when it comes to emails and bouncing ideas off of him last night and this morning has helped as we wait for news about Uli. Some emails make me shake my head in wonderment. I turn those over to Bob because he has a cooler head and wonderful way with words. And I do not trust myself these days emotionally. We have been given this test for some reason. Maybe it is just a dry run for another test up the road. I have been so thankful for COP training which helps me be calm on the phone to police officers and APS personnel. And while we do not patrol much, the training gives us eyes and ears for whenever we are driving around---to church, to the store, and to know when to call stuff in.

A time of change---James moving, Ben at photovotaic training this week in Waco, and phone calls to firstborn, Andy up in Ohio with his family. They were suppose to get nine inches of snow yesterday, and their base was shut down. So, the grandchild was getting an extra day with parents home, and the grandchild was running around the house in boots. I hope they took pictures. Grannie cannot get enough pictures. It brings back memories of firstborn when he was two and had brand new snow boots that my Nannie sent him. The boots had this cool sock thingy that fit on the foot first, then the sock slipped easily into the boots. I think we have a picture of James wearing them years later, too, with a blankie wrapped around his neck playing in the snow.

Hey, Mother, are you reading this?? I wish Bob's brother and his wife would read it because their email asking how things are going last night---I did not know where to start. Maybe I use too many words. Who has the time to plow through all this? Ha.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Husband is Amazing

The ice storm put a thick layer of ice on the cars and walks. It is dry in the drive under the cars. Now I wish we had hidden the car in the garage so that Bob did not have to spend fifteen minutes chipping ice off the windshield.

Bob works for the power company. He always has to go in. He is also on the storm watch team, so he has to go. Sometimes he serves 12 hour shifts, depending on the storms. He goes in no matter what.

All the school districts wisely closed on this one. There is no traffic on our street. Can't wait until 7:30 am when the sun comes up to see what it looks like. I can't quite see the shrubs in the back yard, and they usually hang low with ice. We had a small ice event a couple of weeks ago, or was it one month ago? And it was so tempting to trim the back wild bushes because the branches were bent low enough for me to reach.

Poor James is wanting to go eat lunch with his girlfriend, but I don't think this ice will melt until afternoon. And hopefully, it will be all gone by evening so that there is no refreezing tonight. And hopefully, he can safely travel back to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and hunt for an apartment. I called one place just to see if one bedroom apartments are available. He will need $350 for one month's rent plus $250 deposit and a $20 filing fee, and then there is the utilities change over. The manager said they would work with James, as they understand he needs to report Tuesday and start in-processing. Hopefully, if he finds a place, he can rent a U-haul and get moved in this weekend. Each school or training and post has been different. This is the one we have been saving furniture for since May and before. This is it. I have been squirreling away good boxes and stuff for setting up for years. After Ben moved out two years ago, we had space in the little house in the back yard. Andy and Lauren donated an old microwave. I have plates, cups, flatware, towels, etc., all set aside. And we have lived in crowded conditions furniture-wise, because I knew James would want to take his desk, bed, dresser, book shelves, and beside table. And maybe the Cargo "loveseat" couch. But, he won't know what he is missing or needing until he unpacks it all. Trash cans, for example. Spices, condements...restocking a frig and freezer---all these add up to make moving very expensive. And no telling how long he will be there. A year, two? Our little house will always be available if he gets deployed and needs to store stuff instead of paying rent somewhere or a storage facility.

6:49am Bob called from the train station. He is one of just a few cars. He said that he traveled at 20 miles per hour at the most, and kept lots of space between him and the two others on the road. He said he would call when he made it downtown Dallas, but wanted to encourage James to stay home today.

Soon. Very soon, we will be lighter of furniture, and we can turn the back bedroom into a real, live guest bedroom that James can use on the weekends. And we can turn the tiny bedroom where the guest bed is now into our sitting room. Hopefully, we will move our living room stuff into there temporarily to repaint the living room when we have the time and energy. No more stubbing our toes. Ha. And space for the grandchild to play if/when they visit. Ah, space. And the closet for toys. I have kept the Brio train set, and the Chevron cars (two of everything because James and Ben were like twins, only one year apart) and hundreds of matchbox cars. We can store them in the new sitting room closet, and make room on the shelves for more albums.

Well, I bet that sonogram gets rescheduled today. Oh, well. Maybe next week.

OOOooo---I can see the outline of the back bushes. They are not weighed down. This ice storm is different!!! Maybe there will not be as many power outages. Whew. Thank You, Lord!

As I said, my husband is amazing. Never sick. Never missing work. Faithful. And he has always had a great sense of humor. We watched a few more sermons from Mars Hill Church online last night, and the pastor is dealing with such new believers that he cannot assume anything. There is so much I take for granted. We live such a peaceful life. Thank You, Lord! In the series on Song of Solomon, the pastor was discussing the so many practical things in getting along. And the tendency of selfishness in our culture. Go to Mars Hill Church dot org. Such encouraging messages. God's Way is just so sane, and peaceful, and kind and loving. No yelling. No highs and lows. Serving. Thoughtfulness. And he describes what repentance looks like. Repentance is such a churchy word that we take for granted, but need to stop every once in a while and define.

5pm Clear skies all day. At 9:30am the back yard south facing roof started dripping. By noon, the front yard, north face started dripping. Ice still lurks in the shade. I slipped trying to put garbage in the side yard garbage can. And I set up the fan on the front step. If I can keep it dry until sunset...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Ice Storm Cometh

So, posting may be light for a while. It does not take much ice on branches to bring down power lines. Poor Oklahoma---looks like ice and sleet cover almost the whole state.

James tried going to Fort Sill yesterday to look for housing, but the icy roads prompted the housing folks to encourage James to come back Thursday when the weather is suppose to be better. And if James finds and apartment, the weekend is looking good for moving stuff. We could rent a U-haul and make it all in one trip, or stuff things in vehicles and make a day of it. Bob teaches Sunday School, but maybe Saturday or Monday we could help get him settled. He found out that there is no available housing on post. A lot of the apartments, according to the pamphlet have studios and one bedrooms listed, but we need to call a few and see whatall is available.

Yesterday was also Bob's birthday. He likes apple pie, so I etched "Happy Birthday" onto a Mrs. Smith's pie and baked it just before he came home. He prefers apple pie to cake. And I think he would have been just as happy with a candle stuck in an ice cream sandwich. We are keeping Braums in business buying their ice cream sandwiches.

We played Scrabble. Bob won. And we watched a few more Mars Hill Church sermons online.

From my trip to Walmart to procure more victuals, I also gathered things to complete the box to our missionary relatives and mailed it. And I sent a book to Abby that I found at Cracker Barrel on our trip. I hope Abby sees the resemblance between the characters in the book to herself. And maybe there is enough John Deere green in the book to keep Andy's interest.

Radio weathermen say our ice event will be from 6pm to 3am. And a rapid warm up by 11am tomorrow. Nothing compared to what Oklahoma is experiencing.

Half inch icicles on the birdfeeder drip every once in a while. Half inch of ice predicted after midnight. But, maybe the evening commute will be doable for the Dad.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Are There Other Women Silently Suffering Out There Like Me?

Whoa. Thrown a curve. Weeks and weeks of gushing, flowing, spotting and then this morning, I was hoping I was finally going to have a day off. A slower day. A break in the action. Things seemed okay. I got up early, listened to a few Mars Hills Church sermons online. Drank some coffee. Got ready for church. Bob's Sunday School lesson was great. Then, half-way through church. Wham. I have never felt so tired, so wiped out in my life. Yikes.

We came home from church, and texted James to see what his lunch plan were, as James and Amber went to Amber's church. And they had some plans, but we were waiting for a while, just in case they called or were free. I sat down in the recliner, and I could not get warm. I was so chilled. And tired. Took a nap waiting. Then, dived into the bed and turned the electric blanket on. Poor Bob got NO lunch. I was out like a light. I would wake up and be too tired, too lazy to even turn over. I did not take my vitamins yesterday, but, whoa, this is a different tired. And the spotting began again. Stained everything. Great. Not.

So, I will trot to the sonogram on Wednesday, and to the histeroscopy on Feb. 6th, next week, and then a follow up with the main gynocologist. Two more weeks of this hanging in there, and they may say its normal. Okay with that. Rule out some stuff, and proceed with the shutting down of the baby carriage.

We listened to the Mars Hill Church sermons tonight together. I wanted to hear them again, and Bob was willing. Bob kept himself very entertained today with his post on obama's six days of destruction. Too funny. He is such a good writer.

All I can write about is this female stuff. Hey, if this is the fireworks finale---if the ovaries and uterus like to go out with a bang---then okay. In a few months, hopefully, I can look back (if everything quits) and say, hey, that was it. One last hurrah with a two month long period. Okay. But why is it accompanied with extreme chills and weariness? And why did I feel like passing out in church? My prayer was, just get me home. Home in my own bed, in my own chair. I hate passing out and scaring people or causing a commotion.

And then this lady showed up at our door twice this afternoon, looking for her retarded sister that we tried to help almost a year ago. This gal, looks 25 years old, but mentally, she is maybe ten years old, and money wise, and math or numbers, even younger. She faithfully attended our church for years and participated in activities with none of us the wiser. And when she was assaulted in her apartment complex, we were told about her mental challenges, and then things made sense. But, like I say, she was always good at our church---respectful, encouraging, helpful, faithful... Bob and I started picking her up and taking her to church when her arm was in a sling, and pins in her elbow, even though our church is literally next door to the apartment complex. We just wanted her to be safe.

And thankfully, we found out that the perp was given fifteen years, and had prior years in prison, but our young friend ran away again, and her sister can't find her. She came by here thinking the girl came here, as she had run away before and we had tried to help. Things went sour when we insisted on bringing in the police to help the sisters resolve their problems, and to protect our reputation. And the sister has not allowed us to pick up the girl for church in almost a year now. But, now we are hearing a different story, and the sister wondered aloud in front of us today, why didn't we pick her sister up for church anymore. Why indeed. But, at least she called the police this time to report her sister missing. I asked about an Amber Alert, but she was told that her sister is too old. But, being mentally challenged, she is in great danger. She could be talked into anything. And I do mean anything. Wasn't there a case of a mentally challenged girl in Dallas that was found using the Amber Alert?

Maybe its time to get help from city authorities. The sister says she is convinced that her sister is still somewhere in the apartment complex. But, she also said something about the bus stations. But, the girl has no concept of money, so she would not be able to purchase a bus ticket. Sadly, she has no ID on her. The sister keeps it, she says, for safekeeping. I want to be willing, and ready and able to do whatever we can, but I do not want to be pulled into the drama and conflicting stories. I am not a professional. I do not understand the girls mental condition other than what I observed for three years. And two of those years, I was clueless that she had any issues. She is from an island in the south Pacific, so a lot we chocked up to culture.

update---wow, great website recommended by a commenter. At last, info on what might be ailing me. fibroids---it has been probably ten years since a sonogram revealed I had those. I guess they are on the move. From what I read, they have their own blood supply and everything. Wow. We will see at the sonogram on Wednesday if that is the culprit.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday with the Furnace furnacing

What a difference in today's weather. We slept with the windows open Thursday night, and Friday night the cold front approaching, we closed them. I wonder if it even made it above thirty degrees today.

A nice quiet day at home---James fetched Amber and she made some sweets for a fund raiser. Her cooking made the house smell wonderful. We played Scrabble. James and Amber won beating Bob and I by over 150 points!! They bingo-ed. Twice?! But, playing with just seven tiles each team made for a long game. I prefer playing with fifteen tiles, as we can get a game done in one hour.

A little laundry...a few dishes...a little poking about on the computer...

And we joined Rush 24/7 today. Since the president says republicans should NOT listen to him, we decided that was motivation enough to finally join. I have been a faithful listener for years. I set the radio going to catch Hal Jay in the morning on WBAP, then Mark Davis, then Rush comes on here at 11am. I can get a lot of housework done while listening. While driving back from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on Thursday, we could only catch part of Rush's radio show. So we got caught up listening on the website. And it is faster, because, no ads! I wonder how you hear all the fun fake ads and songs, though??!! I will need to poke about on the site some more.

Rush has a wonderful response to Obama's attack HERE

You will need your dictionary. Rush uses some really big words. The eastern liberal elite may be surprised...I'm just sayin'

Friday, January 23, 2009

Military Cakes

James graduated from Chemical Corps School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri yesterday. Bob and I drove up with Amber, James' girlfriend, to attend the graduation. Thirty-three second lieutenants are now headed all over the world. Some to Hawaii, one to Germany, one to Korea, and it looks like James is the only one sent to Fort Sill from this class.

We heard some wonderful speeches at the 9am ceremony. And the Bird Colonel promotable, Colonel Smith gave each of the parents or spouses an opportunity to talk if they wanted to. I am so glad Amber got to see this as part of her introduction to the Army as she said it was her first time on an Army post.

Last week they had a "dining in" which is technical Army talk for a fancy dress dinner with optional dancing. James got to wear his dress "blues" for the first time. And at that event, there was a cake, a big sheet cake, that was whacked with the saber, and James said it splashed everywhere, and onto even Colonel Smith's head.

So, yesterday, at this graduation ceremony, there was another huge sheet cake, and I saw the saber laying there and wondered if it would be a group holding-of-the saber like at commissioning or what. But, come to find out, the youngest in the class---our James was designated to cut the cake. And somewhere in his brain, or he was told to just gently cut the cake with the saber, not whack at it. But, Colonel Smith joined him behind the cake, and I could see Colonel Smith whisper to James either what to say, or what they were going to do as we gathered 'round. James held the energetic Colonel's wrist---and from where we were standing we could not figure out if the Colonel stopped the saber in mid air or what, but the dear Colonel got this strange look on his face and stared at James with a questioning, "Lieutenant??!!" And they attempted another try. With a resounding, whack, they cut the cake. And we found out later, that James had been the one to stop the saber in mid air. James was determined that he was going to follow directions and cut the cake, not whack it. And now it makes sense, the Colonel's mutterings about recycling... (as in recycling James through the program). When we told our Air Force son about the cake cutting, he asked if James' court marshal was next week??!!

The cake tasted good. Half white sheet cake and half devil's food dark, dark chocolate. Cake for breakfast! Only in the Army! I love it.

I blubber way to easily. When they stuck the microphone in Bob's face, he has poise and composure to say something wise, but I just had leaky eyes. I wish I could shake hands with military folks and say thank you for serving with blubbering. Maybe I just need to practice more.

We live in a huge city. We rarely see folks in uniform---except for those coming and going from our home. I wash uniforms all the time. But, to go on a military post, or base, and be greeted by serious yet friendly faces that want to see your ID, and to see huge camo-colored equipment and plaques everywhere, and buildings honoring heroes from all our wars---and to see huge crowds of folks in uniform---this was wonderful. And I love it.

There are so many women in the military nowadays. Something we did not see thirty years ago. And the women wear their hair short, or pulled into tight little balls behind their head with spikey strands in a star-burst pattern at the nape of their neck. Off the collar is probably the technical term. The beret hugs the head snuggly, so there is no way to shove hair up under the beret. When you sit behind these women, in a ceremony like yesterday, you have lots of time to study and ponder if that hurts. I hate having my hair in a pony tail (not that it is long enough), but these women make it work.

And we got to meet the dear lady that kept James' floor (as in third floor level of fifty rooms?) clean. He lived in a furnished small hotel-like apartment for five months. He had a small kitchen and desk and bed and this lady assured us that James was not the worst. Her next group arrived tomorrow, as classes are constantly rotating in and out.

And we learned a new song: The Chemical Corps Song:

We are the dragons of the battlefied
The U. S. Chemical Corps
Dragon Soldiers of the battlefield
We proudly serve the land we're fighting for
We rule the battle through the elements
Proudly wearing our gold and blue
Dragon Soldiers who will lead the way
And serve America with honor true.

We got to sing the Army Song, too, and heard them all recite the Soldier's Creed.

And I just love the Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. These are defined. Memorized. Not just words.

The Chemical Corps traces its history back to World War One.

And I finally learned who Fort Lenard Wood is named after--Major General Leonard Wood, a Soldier, statesman, surgeon and winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars. Today, Fort Leonard Wood trains approximately 60,000 Soldiers each year---36,000 in basic combat training, and 24,000 in advanced individual training.

Now to Fort Sill...

James's next chapter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hampton Inn whirlpools are overrated

Hello from Missouri, the "show me" state. The rolling hills are pretty, and the bare trees seemed to allow the sun to linger in the golden to pink sunset.

This morning, we watched the amber sky brighten going to Amber's house. Was that Regulas up on the tip of the quarter moon? We encountered heavy traffic until we got to downtown Dallas, and we were so thankful that we were not in the heavy traffic headed into Dallas from the north. The metroplex as extended beyond McKinney nowadays. wow. Green fields of early winter wheat did not appear until almost Oklahoma. A late breakfast in Denison at the C. Barrel and where I found a book for the grandchild up in Ohio. Amber waves of grain in Oklahoma---oats maybe, that they let go to seed? Amber waved at the amber waves of grain. And we had fun talking. Amber probably thought I talk too much.

We showed her the strange and getting-old McDonalds that stretches across the freeway in a huge arch at Venita, Oklahoma, and we made it to the Cracker Barrel in St. Robert near Fort Leonard Wood by 5:45pm, but the service was slow, and Amber and James went on to the Colonel's Bible Study. Bob and I have been checking out the rooms, and experimenting with the whirlpool. It is weak, and dangerously slippery. But, good for a thorough soak.

We have been given this gift of a day to visit with Amber and tell her little James stories. Bob is still trying to figure out how to work the tv. Amber will have her own hotel room tonight. Her own king size bed, and fancy whirlpool. James has to report for 7am practice in the morning, and the graduation was moved up to 9am. So after he turns in his room key, and transfers some stuff to the van, and signs some stuff, we will head back south. Back to Texas, and home. James needs to report on Sunday to Fort Sill. Housing may be a challenge, but he has ten days to find a place and get moved. Fun. Fun. And then his job begins after all the months and months of training.

I am thankful for safe travel on pretty good roads. Heavy trucks from Springfield, Missouri to Fort Leonard Wood where the roads are like a roller coaster... but, wonderful, clear fair weather.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Memories

I remember watching President Ronald Reagan being sworn in---having discovered and made official the fact that I was pregnant with our Firstborn, Andy. And President Reagan's presidency was like a wing of protection over all our boys. Andy was born in 1981, James in 1986 and Benjamin in 1987.

I was not sure how or even if I'd even want to watch the pageantry today. I did not sleep well. Got up at 3am so I would not disturb Bob with tossing and turning. But, I have c-span up, and I am amazed how this process---the motorcades, the assemblage at the Capital, it marches forward in precision and in an unstoppable wave...the peaceful transfer of power.

I was impressed with Pastor Rick Warren's sermon/prayer. (folks cheered in the middle of it!) Not only did Pastor Rick Warren pray in Jesus' name, but he started with about five versions: Yeshua, Hey-seus,..... Jesus... (I'll have to get the other ones once they are reprinted.)

As I finished knitting a thick, two-strand hot pad from two different balls---mixing the colors of brown, and copper and tan and a potpourri ombre of oatmeal, teal, purple dashes--which remind me of the purple and red and blue coats and me madam defarge.

John Roberts must have lost his notes----he bungled the oath. And BO is now trying to get his stride in his fancy speech, trying to look presidential. The only relaxed ones on that stage are the Bushes. In the cold, cold air, he'd better wrap it up soon, or they will all come down with pneumonia. Michelle's dress/coast ensemble is the oddest color of green-yellow-tappestry. The purples behind her look rich and warm.

He, BO, pauses, but there is not applause. They must not be able to hear his words.

Make him repent, O Lord. Repent of the lies---come clean about who penned the book. Repent of his leftest, socialism and if he will not repent, then, please, O God, remove him. If he will repent, then fill that empty suit with Your wisdom, Your Grace, Your Justice. Meeting threats with words may not cut it. Please protect our soldiers. BO speaks "purty" words about defending our way of life, and putting the muslims on notice.

God, there is no accident with You. You allowed Barak Hussein Obama to come to this place. Hedge him in. Make Him Your servant, or give him your fist, because he should know You. He claims to be a Christian. He claims to have sat under the ministry of a Bible church. He has no excuse.

And please bless the retiring President George Bush, and his family. Please protect them and guide them, and give them purpose. Thank you for this peaceful transfer of power.

And please work on my heart. Please remove all prejudice, meanness, bitterness, and pride from my heart. Your will be done. In Jesus name. Amen

We travel forth to watch our James graduate from Chemical Corps School tomorrow. We have watched James travel from Fort Knox, to Fort Sill, and then to Fort Leonard Wood. Now he finishes his time at Fort Leonard Wood, and we get to be the cheerleader...and this trip, this time, we get to take with us the one he loves more now---Amber. What fun! We are being given the gift of a trip in the car of nine or ten hours with Amber all to ourselves.

Time to make new Inaugural Memories---on this clear blue sky day.

Good grief, how long was that parade?? four hours?? five? Yikes. This day is only for the healthy and fit. Their feet have got to be killing them, and they have dancing tonight. Balls. And there is such a stark contrast between the military precision marching and the high school bands that have to do erotic dance moves?! Michelle sure likes to move. I bet her husband gets tired of dancing tonight before she does. Just a guess.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Sunday Afternoon in Texas

Bob has spread fertilizer, and weed stuff on the yard with his spreader. I helped water the front yard a little, but he likes doing it, so I did not fight him when he came to finish. Now he is fighting the back potty. Bob wants to install a new wax ring on the master bath potty. The bolts are being stubborn. I hear power tools.

Gorgeous day. We went to Sunday School, where Bob gave an excellent lesson in Col. 3 and then church where the pastor is teaching about the book of Acts. Lunch, and Home Depot and Braums. Windows open. Breeze from the north, but temps in the sixties.

Bob dropped a bolt into the sewer line. bad. But, I suggested he use the wet-dry vac to retrieve it. good!

Playing with fonts

Whenever I try a different font, the blogger thingy won't "publish". So, with Bob sitting behind me maybe I can learn to do some different fonts. Come thou font of every blessing...

Trebuchet---reminds me of the contraption Andy made to fling stuff across the room. Was that for physics class?

Verdana sounds and looks like veranda. Come out onto the veranda and see the sunset...

Georgia? How come this font gets its own state? What would a Texas font look like?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bumper Sticker Ideas



inspiration from listening to the great sermons at Mars Hill Church dot org

Sun is going down on this Saturday

Like a pair of old fogies, we both fell asleep in our chairs after a late lunch. I remember my grandparents all needing naps after lunch, and now we do, too! How funny. Sallycat interrupted our repose by leaping on top of me. And when I did not let her knead me and claw my chest, she jumped onto Bob and woke him up, too.

I got a letter from Dr. George today reporting that my blood tests reveal normal range hormone levels and thyroid. That's a relief. I guess the constant flow is just all in my head. Maybe my body has put me on the perpetual menstruation diet. hemorrhage. Can you spell hemorrhage? Just hemorrhage those extra calories away. See Spot and Stain diet.

Time to do the daily load of laundry. Clorox is my friend. It makes white towels white again. And kills germs in non-white loads. Just a little tablespoon drop. And a spot of Dawn removeth a spot of blood in those knit slacks.

Listening to Mars Hill sermons from Revelation. Neat stuff online.

And Bob noticed my haircut! He did so with much trepidation because he knew I had not had it cut today, so, was it yesterday?? or one day last week, and he just did not notice? James usually noticed right away, but with James still in Missouri, poor Bob knew he was in trouble if he was just now noticing. But, on the other hand, if my haircut is so severe that Bob notices, I guess she whacked off a lot from the back, so I will get comments at church tomorrow. I asked her to leave more on top as it curls. So, my "wedge" gives me that triangular head look.

Bob has his Sunday School lesson all ready, and printed out, too.

And I am so glad that the Scrabble bug has bitten our dear friends in Atlanta. Time for us to play a game.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday, Our coldest---23 degrees (chill factor of 14)

And the radio weather reports icy rain west and south. Bob wore his ski cap Andy gave him, and a glove. We have a bunch of left gloves.

Wasn't that an amazing story yesterday afternoon--Miracle on the Hudson River. Wow. I can't imagine how cold that water was. The pilot had some glider experience. Geese knocked out both engines?? A goose can weigh 20 pounds, can't it? I think jet engines can handle a small bird or chicken, but a goose is another story.

I heard the story about the plane coming down on the Hudson River in New York City while I was driving away from the doctor's office about 4pm. My appointment was for 2:15pm, and I got there early enough to fill out paperwork. I bet I signed my name a dozen times---privacy laws, payment policies, and I noted that the front office folks don't care what your ailment is. They just want copies of your insurance card. It is not a good sign when both couches, at both ends of the room are worn out and stuffing showing in the arms. I would think a couch cover would not cost that much. Slipcover, isn't that what they are called?

When it was my turn, the medical assistant could not record my weight, as their scales were too small, and she could not record my blood pressure as her cuff was too small. This was not a good sign, but I had had those things recorded at the two previous appointments, so I was not worried. The urine sample was me making another mess. And they have this cutsy little door just big enough for you cup, but you get the fun of writing your name on it with the used up permanent marker yourself.

And I should know better by now, but the same instructions of take off your pants and perch here on this high table sitting on this pad, and cover yourself with half of a tablecloth...I should have used my own common sense and sat in the corner chair until the doctor came in. Good grief. One cannot knit perched up there, and the art on the wall was so boring, and the sounds of doors, and running water through the walls---the wait seemed way too long. But, when the doctor came in, she did an internal exam, and said I needed a sonogram, and maybe that exam with a fancy light. Lovely. Can't wait. They do sonograms on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so I am scheduled for the end of the month. This doctor was none too concerned about whatall vitamins I take, and I guess you have to produce evidence of blood clots and heavy flow before they believe you. Maybe she has seen heavier flows. Sorry I could not produce enough to impress her. Do some ladies save up their pads and clots? I guess I could keep them fresh in ziplock and in the freezer... I should have put a gross out alert on this post. Sorry. Snarky humor. I could have brought my stained sheets, and underware. Someone needs to design a pad that catches what flows up your behind when laying on your back. Pull-ups for those heavy nights. Butt crack pads.

I am sure the pap smear and other tests will rule out cancer. They drew two more vials of blood for hormone checks. And I left for the grocery store for more lettuce and apples.

Ben agreed to go to supper with his old folks, and we let him choose. Ben loves fish. Fishrock. It was good---but Bob said, too heavy for supper. I should have insisted he order something lighter, I guess. I did not make him choose the hubcap full moon platter. My pecan incrusted trout was good. And they serve it on a sizzling cast iron pan, so by the time you get to the broccolli, it has cooked a little more right before your eyes, which I was glad, as it looked like it needed a few more minutes.

We came home and watched the President's last speech on C-span. Sorry, but that speech writer gets a D minus in my book. Too flowery, too waste of words which our dear President cannot wrap his mouth around. I sure wish he had found a plain speaking speech writer that understood his way of speaking. I believe in working with what your are given. Why give him words to trip over? Why not just say, thank you and goodbye, and it has been an honor and privilege to serve as your president. Why is that so hard? All the radio folks were startled by the applause---they did not see the speech, nor realize it was done to a special crowd, as they talk about it this morning.

Geese, birds take down one airplane, so now the news folks are obsessing about birds. Yikes.

Time to take my vitamins, or I am gonna need a nap. And that sweatshirt should do the trick to take off the chill, now that I am cooled down sufficiently from my hot bath. And I need to change my pants already---I just bled through a pad, underpants, pants and two layers of towel. Once a day gusher. I just wish it was on a more faithful schedule like the real Old Faithful. There is no warning. No cramps. And since my bath, I have just been sitting. 7:40am more later

later---tired. going to bed at 8pm I did get my haircut, and folded clothes while watching Brietbart TV online. And we played Scrabble after supper. I used some big words I learned, like MORAINES: the debris glaciers collect, seen from space.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

But, what happened on Wednesday (yesterday)?

Whoops. I hit the enter button, which made this post appear all published without a story. Let me try again. Yesterday, Bob had meetings in downtown Fort Worth instead of his usual trek to downtown Dallas. So, he said he'd be coming home for lunch. He also had a trip to make to the eyeglasses place for receipts for our insurance paperwork from 2008, and the maddening trip to the tower in downtown Arlington to redo paying a ticket for his little bump in December. I did not know this, but when you are involved in bumper cars on the freeway, and the police are called to investigate, and things back up for miles, you are issued or mailed a ticket for the honor of getting rear-ended, and bumping the car ahead of you. Who knew? Bob's ticket came in the mail with no indication as to how much was owed. That mystery number was to be obtained online. Which Bob tried to do. Then he sent in a check for what he thought was payment due, and got another letter from the city saying they wanted more, but again, exactly how much was a mystery. Bob asked the policeman/clerk at the tower downtown Arlington, and found out that about the only way to figure the amount was to appear in person. I guess they make it up as they go along. I hate to think that injured, wheelchair bound or recovering and still bandaged folks have to trip into the seven story tower to inquire what the cost of the day for tickets is. Maybe they want to eyeball folks, and see how much you might be able to fork over. I don't know. Just guessing.

So, Bob came home for lunch, (peanut butter and jelly--just like President Bush!)and then back down to Fort Worth for another 1:30pm meeting. He has been crafting an emergency contingency plan, so he meets monthly with folks as they move from the computer code stage to the gathering stats in the survey stage. It made me smile to think that those that don't bother to reply to whatall they'd need in a disaster just confirmed that their job is not that necessary. They may find out the hard way if there is a flood, fire, or storm.

I fixed supper after Bob got home, and we trotted off to Wednesday night Bible Study. It was a small crowd. A few prayer concerns, with different ones out for surgery, one dear saint in the hospital, and one suffering the loss of his mother. Our Pastor is teaching about the book of Acts on Sunday, so the Wednesday night Luke study is sort of a parallel, both being written by Luke. I usually get a dishrag knitted during the Wednesday night class. So, I finished the yellow one started at church, and the weathered rose colored one I had started earlier in the day reading stuff online.

Brietbart TV online was hard to pull up yesterday, and it had been freezing/jerking on Tuesday, so I rebooted. Still no luck. So, Bob walked me through re-installing Foxfire. But, when I re-installed RayV, to watch Brietbart's show from earlier, firefox would not come up again. So, I had to re-install foxfire again, as that is where my favorite sites are bookmarked. Internet explorer still works, and so I had purused a few bookmarks that I had not transferred. It was like visiting old friends. Getting caught up on their doings.

We listened to another Bible lesson from Mars Hill church in Seattle online while playing Scrabble. And Bob beat me by a few points. He pointed out that we were neck and neck for a while. I had turned off the furnace yesterday when I had the windows open for a few hours, and so when the house felt cold during a potty visit at 4am, I remember to turn the furnace back on. It had dipped to 65 degrees inside. The weather radio report says we are experiencing a windchill of seventeen this morning. (Thursday, Jan. 15) And it is clear and beautiful outside. Cats patrol the backyard. They don't seem bothered by the cold. And the birdfeeder is empty. I have seed to replenish---should have done that yesterday afternoon.

Doctor's visit today---gynocologist. Can't wait to get some questions answered.

Mark Davis on WBAP is revisiting his visit to the Oval office yesterday. It was fun to hear Rush's luncheon there on Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Roto Rooter

Used to be that twice a year we'd need to have our main sewer line cleared of tree roots. With a few trees gone from the front yard, it looks like we are down to once a year. I keep the receipts up in the bill basket, because I can never remember the last time they were here, and with the name change a few years ago--it went from Gene's Roto Rooter and Sewer to Metro-something.

Our main line sewer plug access is hidden in the front bushes. I marked it with a huge rock that looks like a pet gravestone, so it is pretty easy for me to find. But, man, I wish I had had my strong, beefy, muscular, and way-more-coordinated husband dig it out this morning, but he left before dawn. We realized last night that we best not put it off any longer. The toilets gurgled over Christmas, but they often do if I run the dishwasher, washer, and then drain the tub or flush at the same time the appliances are dumping. Last night, we found mysterious puddles by both potties. But, they had not overflowed. Things had stopped for a few minutes when I emptied the tub, but then everything slowly went on down.

But, I dare not risk it by doing a load of laundry nor dishes until the plumber roto rooter comes. We are third on the list. Yippeee. I put the washer on a soak load, but it looked like it emptied after two hours. This just is not a good time to be without a means of soaking and washing stained towels. I have a washer full. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to my perpetual leaking/gushing/spotting and my appointment at the gynocologist is this Thursday. I have never had a period last a whole month before.

I woke up at 3am and listened to the trucker radio show on WBAP for a while. When I am restless, that wakes up Bob. So, he got up super early and went for a walk or jog--he came back sweaty. We ate the last of the heavy-duty muffins for breakfast. I love packing in the fiber in muffins--and these had pecans, oats, jam, and whole cranberries.

noon---the plumber has come and gone. I had the main plug all dug up and ready. I know to open the garage door and plug in his extension, and have a tub ready to dump water. Soapy water. And he was here and gone in ten minutes. It had been over a year. He found a plug of roots near the house, and another near the street. So, it needed it. And he explained the mystery of the two puddles by the potties. After lots of plunging (low flow cursed toilets) the wax rings have given out. So, replacing the wax rings will be the next not fun job for Bob. But, Bob's butt crack is way better, in my humble opinion. $80 with the five dollar senior discount. Don't you love that slap in the face? I am only 52, but I guess I look one hundred.

Too funny. But, now I am able to run the dishwasher and the washer and take a bath. And flush the toilets. We are free flowing again.

When the boys were toddlers, I bought wax rings by the case. And kept them in the inside bathroom closet because they would melt in the garage. Bob thought I was crazy, but our toddlers were flushing fools. They were a team. They flushed onsies, and washrags, and it wasn't until we caught them trying to flush rubber ducky that they were busted. We put a L-hook on the bathroom door after that. And weekend after weekend, Bob would have to lift the commode and fish out what they flushed, and reset it with a new wax ring. That was back in the days when Walmart was not open 24 hours a day, and forget plumbing supply or Home Depot even on Sunday. Ah, the memories. Now our firstborn has a child of his own. I wonder if the grandchild has flushed anything yet. Nowadays, children have more interesting things to flush like cell phones, and such.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Last Presidential Press Conference

If you did not see it, go to c-span and watch it in full. It is good. Good to see his expressions, relaxed manner, passion, and attitudes. Wow. Did we really need Anne Compton snarking about the last two rows being empty?? Would someone check those facts, please?

He kept us safe. And reporters are contempt ridden.

An Open Letter to President Bush:

Welcome back to Texas. Thank you for keeping us safe these last eight years. Thank you for taking care of the troops. There are some soldiers in Afghanistan that still have not received their winter gear---so if you wouldn't mind sending Air Force One on one final mission, I would really appreciate it.

On immigration, I am trying to keep an open mind. Yes, I agree, compassion is in order. These folks are going to a lot of trouble to get here to work, and yet, why don't you visit the critical places---the hospitals, the border, the places straining resources to do their jobs. We need secure borders, and we need law enforced, and then we can be compassionate. If you think our great country can assimilate all the illegals, then say so.

I hope you enjoy your new life. I pray for your protections---from the deranged, and the sick, and the insane. I pray for your protection from the revenge seeking democrats that need a scape goat. I pray you enjoy your retirement, and future grandchildren, and do the hard job of saying goodbye when its your parents time to go to heaven home. Write your book. Defend your Presidency. You have time now. Get your voice out there and look for God's new mission for your life.

Over fifty-five million of us did not vote for Obama. Over fifty-five million of us held our nose and voted for McCain, and I was thrilled to vote for Palin. So, please do not let the loud, crass, rude deranged critics get to you. You answer to God, and when your race is done, I am sure you will hear, "Well done". May God Bless you with a long, long and productive life.

But, who has the courage to ask how long they've been wearing that lab coat?

Hospital scrubs carry germs that can kill you. Read it here.

This was another thing that bothered me last week at the doctor's office. The doctor was wandering the halls in his lab coat, and the nurse shoved my hand up the side of her scrubs to take my blood pressure.

When was the last time you saw a doctor wash his hands in your presence in the exam room? They think gloves protect them and you.

The article says you'd need to scrub the scrubs and lab coats with bleach to kill some of these resistant germs. Lovely.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What does love look like around here?

He fixes me coffee. And helps me out in so many different ways. Always cheerful, always willing. Even if it means putting aside his computer and whatever he has been reading and come rescue me.

Love means cleaning up after me when I cannot. Love means cleaning me up when I am too weak. Love means taking my arm and helping me up and down.

Love listens when I grouse, and encourages me when I question. Love is indeed, so patient and kind.

Love picks me up when I am down. And hugs me close when I am cold. Love calls and emails and writes funny stuff that makes me laugh. Love holds my hand, and smooches my neck. And cuts the hair around my ears. He even counts the Scrabble tiles when the math gets to be too much for me.

Love gets my door, and holds it wide, and waits for my gait even when my nose is checking out the moon. Love waters, and mows. Love changes out the hundreds of Christmas light bulbs. Inside and out.

Love plants. Love plunges. And love unplugs what he plants.

Love smiles, and endures snoring. And sets all things computers right.

Love listens. And is wise. And is witty and manly and close.

What does love look like around here? Why, love looks just like my dear husband, Bob

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wonderful Website

Hot Air links to a story about a cussin' preacher. Well, we listened to a bunch of his messages today, and I did not hear him cuss at all. They were good. And anyone brave enough to take on the story of Judah and And go the the sermons, and click on any that peak your interest. Good stuff. And a great supplemental for during the week. Who knew God was doing a mighty work in Seattle??!!

Today was the grandchild's SECOND birthday. Can't wait to hear how the Pupcakes and presents and celebrating went. We have been thinking about the grandchild all day. Looking at pictures on the digital frame. Called up there and right in the middle of the party---my timing is terrible.

Bob is working on his lesson. Dishwasher is humming. I made muffins this evening. As we listened to a sermon from Genesis and then Revelation. Bob beat me at Scrabble.

Its cold outside today. Talked to James. Learned some new military terms. James got his fancy dress blues uniform. And wore it to a "dining in" last night. When Bob and I dine in, we do not dress fancy. But, Bob said it was what they called it back in his days in the Army, too.

James' blues vs Blues Clues

James told us today that he wore his brand new "blues" to a "dining in" last night.

A "dining in" is a military term for wearing your fancy dress "blues" uniform to a social function. James also had an opportunity to speak to the full bird colonel and found out that the colonel has a friend who is going to be in command of the unit James is going to---and that this unit is presently deployed to Iraq, due back in April.

Let's review our new Army military terms: blues, dining in, and full bird colonel.

Blues fancy military uniform is the one Bob married me in. And it is not to be confused with "Blues Clues" the popular show our grandchild likes.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Another Perigean Moon coming up on Saturday

The first perigean moon of this year, but it will look a lot like last December's. Big, bright, and beautiful. Perigee---a wonderful word for Scrabble if you are awash in eeeee-s.

And now for something lighter: Hair

Age three, age nine and age sixteen---those sides were a hoot. wings? wisps? With a mind of their own. And how about those octagon glasses. The bigger---the better to see you with!

It wasn't until I was much much older did I learn that you comb curly hair when wet and then leave it alone unless you need to scrunch it with more water-wet hands. I did not know this when little, and tried combing and brushing curly hair resulting in friz, and uncooperative hair.

Maybe I am my own worst enemy...

Gushing again. Big blood clots again. And then I remembered that when I ran out of some vitamins I get from the chiropractor, I had let it go for a few months. I just get tired of taking so many vitamins. But, then when I started having female problems, I remembered I was out of the B vitamins, and two others that I had finished the capsules, and not restocked. So, when I was at the chiropractor the other day, I got the DHEA and he also recommended Pregnenolone capsules to "even out my hormones" and hopefully help with the heavy bleeding. When I googled these products today, they have quite a few articles on the side effects of these products. So, maybe if I set these aside for a while, and just stick with iron in the multi-vitamin, things should calm down and I will take everything with me to see Dr. B on Thursday and see what she says. Until then, I am sitting on towels again. (and more gushing on Saturday morning. NO warning. Huge blood clots, and I am wondering if this is going to be an every morning event?!)

Kitties are patrolling the back yard this morning. They are so entertaining to watch.

And today is moving day for Bob. He gets a real live office with windows and a door and walls. No more cubicle hell. Bob needs the quieter place to write computer code. And its almost time to run ad valorum tax again---something he does each year, because the power company has to pay tax on each pole, each piece of equipment, and to each tax county. Bob's program used to take a dozen computers running for a week. Now, computers do the work in minutes---but making sure they are reading the correct files, and tweaking the program eats his time this part of the year. Consumers don't always know that they are paying these taxes because the cost gets passed on to them in our electric bills. If only our government would stop taxing business---we would all start living cheaper.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rudeness and Hormones don't mix

Life is too short to allow a medical assistant to shake their head at you and tisk tisk the answers you give them. Life is too short to stick around when a medical assistant tells you, "you are not going anywhere." Life is too short to be lied to. When I specifically ask if I will be given an opportunity to talk to the doctor first, don't tell me what you think I want to hear. Be honest. And when I find it necessary to ask for questions to be repeated because English is not her first language, lets not waste any more of her time. Be honest. Why do medical assistants think it saves time to perch you on a high table half dressed to take your whole medical history? I am 52 years old, this is going to take a while. Why do they assume you know the drill? Why do they assume you are compliant?

When a doctor hires rude staff, that is not a good sign in my opinion. I know doctors are busy, and the medical profession is in trouble, and they are trying to pack in as many patients as they can. I know. But, we vote with our dollars. And I do not tolerate rudeness at eating establishments nor where I choose to get my hair cut, nor where I shop for groceries. Life is just too short. It is bad enough that where you have insurance, or whether you even have insurance is more important than anything at the beginning of the visit. This group even wanted to make a copy of my drivers license AND insurance card. And when they ask you certain questions over and over again--okay, I realize it is just easier to ask instead of getting copies from the front desk. Maybe they don't know you have already given this information on the phone and at the front desk.

And, as my husband says, things will probably only get worse during the next four years as we march toward socialized medicine. But, to top it all off, when I called my regular doctor to let him know I'd had a bad experience with his referral, the receptionist who answered the phone told me that Dr. G was out of the office today and there was NO way to leave him a message. When I asked if it was possible to write down my information on a piece of paper and leave it in his inbox, she said, no, because then they would have to pull my file, and something about the file runners, and she just could not take a message. Wow. Why don't these doctors pose as patients and try to communicate with their own offices and see how they are treated? The whole 'check - with - your - doctor' thing is getting harder and harder to do. Stunning.

I don't argue. I don't send food back to be spit upon. So I am not about to piss off the folks who lay out the instruments they are going to insert in my private parts. Do I look stupid?

The best, most courteous treatment we have received lately is from our auto mechanic. Maybe he can refer us to a good doctor.

All this to say...

Bottom line: Jesus did not heal for healing sake, but to point out He is God, He is the Messiah.

Don't just just love the bottom line? For those of you in a hurry, you can stop reading now. You got it. And for those of you with weak stomachs who do not want to hear the gory details, here is your warning to stop reading now. Come back when you are premenopausal and looking for what is normal, what to do, and how in the world did my great grandmothers do this??

Here is what I wrote yesterday to hold in my hand at the doctor's office because I was feeling faint. And I figured that if I had to lie down on the floor for some reason, the note would speak for me. Melodramatic? No, just way too practical. I did not want to get hauled off to the hospital for just fainting. A doctor's office is not the best place to be sick, in my opinion.

I keep hoping my periods are winding down, and ending. But while I skipped April, I paid for it with a super heavy period the end of May. I skipped September, but super heavy October. Super heavy in November, and from December 17 until today---still spotting, blood clots, gushing, having to sit on towels on chairs, having to clean the toilet seat of blood each day, staining sheets, mattress pad. Feeling weak. Trying to remember to take my vitamins.

Has any woman every died of a too heavy period??

High blood pressure problem the end of September when I stepped on a roofing nail, and went to the doc-in-a box for a tetanus shot. They said to “watch” it.

Chills during heavy flows. Couldn’t get warm.

Feeling faint. Cramps.

Thinking is cloudy.

(end of note)

Feel for my longsuffering (microsoft really needs to enter Bible words into its dictionary---longsuffering is underlined like I misspelled it or something) longsuffering husband---his wife is like some science fiction creature birthing blood clots the size of worms. I think he goes to work each day thanking the Lord he is not a woman. And wondering what he is coming home to---remember that demon possessed little girl in that movie who could swivel her head clean round in a circle?? I did not see the movie. Too scary, but I have been caught unawares by that scene.

All this to say---the story in the Bible of the woman who touches Jesus' garment to be healed of her bleeding...this story sure comes to mind these days. I voiced it aloud this morning, and Bob, who is much wiser on spiritual matters, digging out the original meaning of the words, the customs, and the theology--how it all fits together, reminded me that Jesus did not heal for just healing sake. Jesus answered John's disciples, when they asked John's question, "Are you the One, or should we look for another?" with go back and tell John--look at what I do---the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear. And while walking along on His way to raise a little girl from the dead, a desperate woman thought to herself, "if I can just touch His garment..." which sounds so Catholic. As Bible-believing, literal, evangelical Christians, we are not "into" doing stuff like touching a robe or using prayer cloths because we see those as temporary gifts, like tongues, that God used until the Canon was complete. We have everything we need in God's Written Word. Scripture. God does all the work. We trust in Him. There is no "work" in the trusting. There is no "work" in the believing. That is the Way God designed it. His Son deserves all the glory. If we can DO something for salvation, or if we can DO something for living faith, then that is adding to His Work. Jesus did it all. As Christians, living day to day, we lean on Him to work through us. There is no reward except for things done through Him. We are His. Trusting, believing, depending on Christ is likened to eating---there is no merit in eating.

So, for this poor woman, who had been bleeding for 12 years, the Bible says, who had consulted doctors and lost her fortune in the process, who in her culture of the time would have been considered "unclean" and limited in where she could go and what she could do...for this woman to call attention to Jesus was not her intent. She quietly thought to herself, and yet the Bible reveals those private thoughts. Why?? Why not heal her quietly, and let her go in peace? She would have been so relieved, so excited. She might have told her closest friends and neighbors. Why embarrass her further? Was Jesus being cruel? The Bible records her story in THREE of the gospel accounts. This is a big deal. For a event to be recorded once is a big deal, and twice is for the lawyers in our midst, a validation, but to be recorded three times---this is front page news stuff. Why not just shout it from the rooftops???

In the Luke account, read Luke 8. Read Matthew 9. Read Mark 5.

I'll wait. Read it for yourself.

In each case, Jesus corrects her thinking---your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

We are not given her name. But, I'd like to think she was one of the women who supported Jesus's ministry. And I don't think she was told why this was so public. But, maybe it was to give us women, in each generation, women who bleed and have problems know that Jesus cares. He knows. And He knows that if He were to walk down the street we women would be grabbing Him and begging to be healed of this curse. He would be mobbed. He would have to hold us back and remind us that it is our trust in His Work that saves us for eternity, and He would remind us that He is sufficient for our daily walk.

But, don't you want to ask Jesus---what is that monthly bleeding all about?? What's up with the monthly cycle. From age 13 to 52 the sign of the childbearing messy, how inconvenient, and especially for poor women without access to daily showers and fancy washing machines?? What is it a picture of? Ridiculed by the commedians, sneered at by the if we had a choice, as if we decided to do this once a month. So many suffer in silence. So many are denied help because of lack of insurance or because their culture denies their existence and dresses them in shrouds.

I'd love to ask the elder women in our church about their experiences, but I don't want to embarrass them. And so many have had their own trials with the bladder tie up surgery, hysterectomies, and cancer. My own grandmother suffered, and not only did they do a hysterectomy, but they put her on mood altering drugs, which was the common treatment in the fifties and sixties.

So, dear lady of Mark 5, Luke 8, and Matthew 9---maybe Jesus has taken you aside in heaven and told you why He needed to embarrass you so comfort women for thousands of years to come.

And when things happen in our lives that just do not make sense, may we remember that Jesus does know what He is doing. He controls history. And He is going to set everything right. There will be no more tears in heaven. No more bleeding. No more pain. No more cramps. No more "sanitary" napkins. No more tampons. No more jokes about being "on the rag".

Maybe its a good thing I never had a daughter. I admire women who can put a positive spin on this unique-to-women cycle of life. It seems way too complicated for evolution, in my opinion. This was NO accident. This cycle has Intelligent Design written all over it. And ever since Eve, this is how God brings new life into the world. And I am so thankful for each of my sons. They were SO worth it.

I started at my Grandpa Howe's funeral. Poppy, we called him. Nannie and Poppy. My Mother had prepared me. She was very open, and warned me about what was coming. But, the event is tied in my mind to Poppy's funeral. I was 13, and he had fallen off the second story of the house he built painting or adjusting a shutter. He slipped off the roof in an "accident" and fell head first to the cement step by the front door crushing the back of his scull. I was headed to Bible summer camp when the accident happened. I took the call and pedaled down the street to find my mom at a neighbor's house and they shipped me on to camp because they did not know the seriousness at the time. My other Grandpa James came and collected me at that camp a few days later, as Poppy had died in the hospital. His heart was strong, but they pulled the plug because of the severe brain injury. My Grandpa James, the farmer, collected me while babysitting my siblings. He was an amazing man, too, who would live to be almost 100 years old. I can picture the truck, the old farm work truck, and my two brothers and sister inside riding along in the cab as we drove the hour or two back to Farmer City, Illinois. Come to think of it, summer was the busiest time for a farmer, but he set it all aside, and entertained four of his grandchildren while Poppy died. Poppy and Grandpa James served together on the school board, and knew each other all their lives. They were not friends. Poppy was a smoker and a drinker. Grandpa James was what we call a tea-totaller. But, they were respectful of each other. I never heard them disparge the other. Poppy and Nannie danced. Grandpa James brought Grandma James flowers. They were just very different, but amazing men. Manly men. Each had sisters and were very respectful of women. I was so blessed to have two wonderful grandpas. And I always knew they loved me, and expected me to grow up and be respectful of others.

I'll never forget Nannie, even in her grief, trying to get me to use tampons. Tampons were a relatively new invention, and I had not a clue. Just the uncomfortable elastic belt and pads with strips that tied into that belt was cumbersome enough for a novice, like me, but Nannie thought tampons were the greatest invention. I tried, but good grief. I was just too green. And later, in high school, a lot of girls died from toxic shock when they did not use tampons properly.

Hey, when you are 52, it is a walk down memory lane with some of these devices---do girls today think those pads that stick to your underwear (I hate the word, underware) have always been around??

You have not lived until a tab came loose from one of those metal hooks on the elastic bands---whoooops.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Took my vitamins today

Beautiful day here weather wise.

I finally broke down and called our doctor and got an appointment. The front desk of said medical practice says I have not been there since 2006 which is hard to believe. I usually show up once or twice a year for urinary tract infections and coughs or something. But, I avoid going to the doctor like the plague. Because no matter what your ailment---oh, by the way, did you happen by a mirror lately and notice you are fat?? It never fails. I do not see the connection between a sore throat and my obesity, but what do I know?? My friendly chiropractor keeps things working. But female stuff is wearing me out. I have even grossed out my dear, patient husband. And one does not get much housework done when one has zero energy.

Anyway, a trip to the medical doctor is blog fodder in my opinion because they give you and hour to ponder a good blog post. And why does the rebelliousness in me rise up when I see signs on the walls forbidding cell phones?? Why, we could all be texting our friends and neighbors and passing the time more enjoyably, but, NO. No cell phones. Or what? Does it interfere with their equipment?? Praytell. Please. I gotta know the reason behind these rules that I am forced to stare at for over an hour. And a few people cheated. Should I tattle? And the waiting room TV turned to some medical channel cable show. I was ready to take a vote on turning that thing off. Please. I think a soap opera would have been more entertaining. Soup in winter. Who knew?? But, watch the salt, and if you make it from scratch, you can control the salt. Good grief.

And I am thankful they fit me in. But, why not be honest and say, you are last?? And you will feel forgotten. And that is okay. And why does the nurse that leads you to the entry want to take your weight first thing?? Okay. And I could have saved her time on the blood pressure cuff---do they never check big men?? Damn that thing bites. Mine was normal, which was a surprise. Doesn't angry show up on your blood pressure?? And here, honey, I know you feel faint, but perch up here on this high table. Right. I am 52 years old, and cranky. I did not fit in your lovely reception room chairs. I will sit over here in the corner, thank you.

Isn't it fun how we get to answer the same questions three and four times??!! Maybe they compare notes later to test your honesty. And even though we have dragged ourselves down to this building for 27 years, the insurance card is more important than any history of paying promptly for 27 years. I kid you not. You just feel all wanted and appreciated when the clerk tells you you have been "pinked" which means she has marked your chart with a pink marks-a-lot, and you must come back by here on the way out to make sure your insurance company has not changed their mind. Pinked. Think I can get away with it in Scrabble tonight? I am going to try. But, Bob does not always take minimum wage worker words as gospel.

DUB. The doctor is sending me to a specialist, a gynocologist. What fun. And they did not trust me to make the appointment myself. I got to stand next to "Regina's" desk for twenty minutes while she made the arrangements. Remember the part where I feel faint? I got to imagine myself laid out on the floor, as the only chair was taken. But, I made it. And was sent on to the lab for bloodwork. I asked Regina what DUB stood for, but she said she forgot. The lab lady knew her stuff. And filled three vials lickedy split. I thanked her for her skill. And trotted the paperwork back to the doctor's office like I was instructed. I thought for sure they'd ask for a urine specimen, but alas, no. I drank all that water for nothing.

The front desk lady mumbled something about us having a health savings account, so I could go. Whew. I am usually guilty of using the wrong card, or not getting the proper receipts. With trips in my future to a specialist and another lab, the paperwork and receipts will add up for months, and six months from now, we will still be trying to sort this day all out.

I came home and googled DUB. Dyfunctional Uterine Bleeding. And wouldn't you know it---caused by obesity. Wow. What would they do without us fat people causing major ailments?? The tests will rule out cancer. And the bloodwork should reveal my hormone balance or imbalance. And seeing as how I was ready to snap---let's hope its hormones and not just my old sin nature?! Ha.

I got the birdfeeder filled today. And sat in the sun like a mud turtle for a few minutes. Vitamin D wouldn't hurt. Church tonight. And a whole dishrag knitted to prove I not only collected blog fodder, but used my time wisely whilst waiting. And amazed my fellow inmates. Some ladies remark they crochet, or they wish they knew how to knit. Others ooohh and aaahh over the knitted garment emminating from my two sticks (knitting needles). And little kids grin and stare in disbelief, today's little guy was too dumbstruck to even ask a question. His mom was constantly on him to sit still, and I don't think he could to save his life. While knitting entertains the kids, I have to be careful they don't fall on them as they creep ever closer in wonderment. I could have sold a dozen today. Didn't think to bring the finished ones with me. And I have to think of some other word for dishrag. Dishcloth sounds more elegant, somehow.

I got DUB. How lovely. Wonder if the blood work showed me anemic? forgot to ask that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time for Bed

Beautiful day today. The clouds parted, the skies cleared, and I ventured out to Walmart and restocked the toilet paper cupboards. And I found some more amber colored Christmas bulbs. 75 percent off. Then back home and out to lunch with my friend one street over and her cute grandson and thankfully, I-30 was backed up headed east, so we had plenty of semi-trucks to talk about. My friend's grandson loves trucks. I wish I could translate or illiterate exactly how he pronounces "ambulance". Too funny. And the U-haul trucks are shaped like ambulances to him. And we passed a U-haul farm. After fortifying ourselves with Chick-fill-you-up, we watched her grandson compete with the other two and three year old verbal girls in the play area. Baby girls out talk little boys. But, it is important how a little guy lines up his shoes and hangs like a monkey from the supports.

The beautiful day turned cool when the wind whipped around from the west. Whoa.

And when I walked around the block in coat and scarf I was amazed how many pine trees lost branches in our small ice storm. Man, pine trees must be super weak. Huge branches lay in yards in against houses and fences, and in places where I did not realize there was a pine tree. It is a wonder we did not lose power. Made me remember that trip home from a Bowl Game when firstborn was a freshman in the Aggie Band, and six inches of wet snow fell during the game, and we watched exploding pine trees on the trip home from Shreveport. They broke with huge sounds like shotguns and cannons. And during the half-time show, a tuba top flew off, and an official was chasing the tight formation around the field. No way was the tuba carrier going to break ranks.

Night. Night.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ice Storm Upon Us

Icicles hang from the birdfeeder, and roof rack on the van. Bushes bow low from the weight of ice on their leaves. The lights have blinked three times. And so, we may lose power for a day or two. It is raining, but the temps are hovering at 32 degrees. And folks south of us have lost power. From 84 degrees on Saturday to this. Wow. Summer to winter. Most of the trees have lost their leaves. But the ice may bring down weak branches. Winter wonderland.

And now at almost 5 o'clock, the rain seems to be letting up, and the trees normally bare and black look shiny white with ice. A thin skin of ice, but ice indeed has changed the color of the trees. The temperature hovers near 32 degrees, and things still drip, but slowly.

I am living dangerously with potatoes in the oven baking. Bob called to say he was getting on the train for home, and that folks just south of us in Dalworthington Gardens have lost power, and some 50,000 are without. But, in Dalhart it is 50 degrees? Too strange. The snow storm that dumped on Houston a month or so ago dumped snow 280 some odd miles south of us when our temps were above freezing. So conditions are similiar, with Dalhart being warmer than us.

Baked potatoes for supper---if the power stays on, with a splash of hot sauce, and butter and maybe ranch dressing.

The sky is clearing to the west just before sunset. Everything is wet and glistening.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fifty degree Temperature drop after 1am this morning

When we went to bed late last night, we were hot and sticky and waiting for the cold front. We went to bed with all the windows open. At 2am, I closed our bedroom windows, but not until 4am did I close the windows all over the house--and since it was 61 degrees INSIDE the house, I turned on the furnace. So, the house was warm enough when we got up saw James off at 6am. I poured half the coffee into two of his travel thermos type mugs, and he packed the last of his stuff in his truck. He had packed most of the truck last night---when it was so hot and sticky. And we put furniture back, and boxed up breakables he was going to take with him.

So, what a shock this morning to get the breath sucked out of ya walking across the parking lot at church and it was closer to 35 degrees down from the 84 degrees of yesterday. It dropped fifty degrees from 1am until 8am. Yikes. Can't put on enough layers today. Sat in my coat at lunch. Tried out Panera Bread Company. They insist on a whole apple and a bag of chips with sandwiches or soup. I don't know. The sandwich was messy. drippy. How fresh is the bread? Why don't they put it in hygienic bags so its not such a production to purchase a loaf? The line was out the door after we got there.

Bob and I tried watering the front yard, but the wind made it a miserable exercise. Freezing rain maybe in the morning, but since it is coming from the Baja, by the time it makes it over the dry dessert, the rain is pretty enemic.

James made it back to Fort Leonard Wood by 5:30pm, but the line was long checking back in. So he did not head to Cracker Barrel for his supper until after 7pm. And he has 5am PT and urine test in the morning. What fun. And in eighteen days, he leaves Missouri for Oklahoma.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

AMBER house at night

Learnin' Me some Facebook

It is Saturday---garbage man came, and it is suppose to get up to eighty degrees. We may need to run the AC today before the cold front comes later tonight. I sweat at 75 degrees.

James helped get me up and running on facebook yesterday so I could post pictures for my sister, and showed me how to "poke" people--and I have found a whole passel of people who are not great emailers nor bloggers, but lo and behold---there they are on facebook. I wondered how nephew Joel and his dear wife, Alegria were doing, and whether they were able to go to Christmas at J's and sure 'nuf, now I know! And pictures of my nephews--my brother's boys---cute pictures right there on their momma's facebook. yeah! Aunt Joyce/Grannie cannot get enough pictures.

I wonder if there is a tutorial for facebook for the elderly, like me?

I wonder why the streets got wet in the night from heavy, heavy dew?

I wonder what just fell in the garage, and what caused it to fall?

I wonder what made me ask James this morning at breakfast---can I credit the Lord for putting questions in my head??

We installed the gold/orange lights on the front of the house last night. Who knew that Christmas lights both made in China but in different packaging have different shades of gold/yellow? Now you know. Exterior decorating with lights is a tricky business. But, cheap!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday, the Second of January in the Year of our Lord 2009

I am so spoiled. My son, James helps me download pictures from his digital camera and shows me how to post them on facebook. I tried emailing the pictures to my sister, but they kept bouncing back. Now she can see them on one of her son's facebook pages if she does not have one. There is facebook, and myspace, and twitter---oh, my. Funny, how I know more about twitter than James because I have heard the folks at Breitbart talk about it.

I drove the Toyota today. I found the windshield wipers and everything. I had not driven in weeks because Bob has been home on vacation. I ran errands. Found more bulbs for the lights out front, and at such a deal. 75 percent off at both Home Depot and Walmart. So, just one dollar and fifty cents for a box of 25 Christmas light bulbs and they come attached to this handy cord. I was wanting one color to install one solid color of light to wash the back wall of the front of the house. The boxes only came in assorted, so I bought five boxes. Since 24 is easier to divide, there are four colors per box, and so six greens, (for St. Patrick's Day) six reds for Valentine's Day, six blue and six orange/amber colored times five boxes means I have 30 bulbs for our house washing with color experiment. Maybe I should have gotten one more box. Ha. But, I think we have enough from what is on the house already. It is tempting to get enough to go all around the house, however.

As you have probably noticed, Walmart took down the Christmas candy and put up the Valentine candy the day after Christmas. Wow. Just think, that chocolate heart you give your lover on Valentine's Day is gonna be at least two months old.

And my Tastefully Simple order arrived today. Yippeee! The Chai tea is interesting. Spicy tea with milk. And my hand must have slipped when I ordered the strawberry rhubarb jam. Instead of the number 1, I received eleven. So, I went back to my email, and checked my online order, and sure enough, it is my mistake. There sits "11" instead of just one. Silly me. I now have gifts for my neighbor, and folks at church that gave us something, and whoever else wants some strawberry rubarb jam. What a hoot. I am not a very good item by item checker, but I have learned my lesson. The almost dozen jars of jam came in a huge box with cardboard dividers and bubble wrap. Bob will laugh at me. Oh, well. Maybe he has a friend who needs a jar of jam. I will need to eyeball the orders more carefully in the future. Jam anyone?? Maybe it tastes good in coffee cake? Instead of a swirl of blueberry jam---I will just use strawberry rubarb...this year. A year supply of jam. Too funny.

And I remembered to mail the water bill. I have been carrying it around with me for days. It is supposidly too dangerous to mail stuff from our home mail boxes, so we trot them over to the post office. But, I need a clear purse with slots for mail that I can see and then remember to mail. A slot for the want list. And a slot for pictures, and a slot for mail. I'd be able to spot that phone ringing in my purse if it was clear. Ha.

What gorgeous, almost too hot weather. Amazing. January?? Feels like spring.

Our nephews came to town to attend the Cotton Bowl. What a perfect day for the game. I can now say I know people who have attended the Cotton Bowl. I have lived in the area for almost 30 years and had no desire to go to a game, nor have I ever known of anyone who attended a game. But, now I have. My nephews attend one of the colleges playing. Old Miss. Strange name for a college. But, what do I know? Both teams had the same red color, too. Texas Tech, the one in Lubbock, is the other team playing.

Something in the air is making me sneeze. Pollen must be high today.

James is sorting through his stuff---deciding what to take back to Missouri for the twenty days left in the course, and what to leave here to take on to Fort Sill in February. He needs more shelving. We have been discussing his new tea kettle, and coffee press and coffee grinder. We just wipe our coffee grinder out, but his new one can go in the dishwasher, but I was saying he'd have to leave it out to completely dry between uses. His coffee grinder even has lights! What will they think of next. And he can set it for the different grinds---coarse, etc. We try to keep our coffee pot extra clean, and the mugs, and filter basket. But, not our grinder. Sometimes I grind oats in it, or pecans, but I just wipe it clean.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year !

Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary to my folks. Back in 1955, on a cold January 1st in Illinois, they got married in a little Bible Church close to the farm where my mom grew up. I have seen pictures. My mom wore a teal-blue colored dress. She says it was dad's favorite color. I remember seeing the dress in some of our moves, but I think a flood did in the taffeta when I was a teenager.

We ate lunch with Bob's sister, Beth and Bonnie, and Bonnie's son, Will. Will told us about his excellent adventures in Australia.

Another beautiful day here in Texas. My sister's sons, James and George are coming to town to attend the Cotton Bowl because their college is playing in it. I have never met anyone who actually attended a Cotton Bowl game. This will be a first for me. The Cotton Bowl stadium at the state fair park was recently renovated, but next year's Cotton Bowl is going to be played at the new stadium here in Arlington. The Cotton Bowl parade and game used to be played on January 1st. I guess they finally wised up and put it on January 2nd so that they did not interfere with New Year's eve celebrations.

More later.

Later (10pm) We enjoyed more cousins, and treating everyone to Ben's favorite place, Joe's Crab Shack. Bob goes back to work tomorrow. James introduced Amber to the Serenity movie.