Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Anniversary to My Folks!

 
Today is the 57th wedding anniversary of my Mom and Dad, Rose and Charlie. That's them in the picture above, along with their oldest great-grandchild (they have 3!), Emily. This pic was taken at my nephew Stephen and his lovely wife, Andrea's, wedding a couple of years ago. Wow! How time flies!!!
 
I read this quote this morning:
"When I have learned to love GOD better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now."
~C. S. Lewis
 
That's the kind of love I pray the man the Lord brings into my life will have. That he will love the LORD far more than he ever will me. If he does, then I will be extremely blessed.
 
I've always wanted to be married and am still waiting, trusting God for that man. I have learned over time that God is faithful and He knows my heart's desires. He also has plans for my life and continues to work those out. I have also learned to be content in where He has me - not always easy, but definitely worth trusting Him with my life!
 
I can tell you that I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that my mom and dad love each other and their children and that they love their extended family that has grown over the years to include sons- and daughter-in laws, grandchildren (and their spouses) and the great-grandchildren. We are blessed so way beyond measure to have this awesome example of love lived out before us!!
 
I'm holding out for a love like theirs!!!!
 
 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

If I Could Hit Rewind.....But I Can't!

 
Yesterday's posts took me back to elementary school days, times when things seemed simpler. While I would not want to go back and relive life, I do wish that some of the simplicity of those days still remained. Where the worries and concerns of a day were washed away with a parent's hug or kiss or the smile of a friend.
 
If you had told me then what I know now....yeah, probably would have done some things differently. But, as I have learned over time, one cannot live in the past, cannot live in the land of regrets, but must focus on the here and now. Time has also taught me to not worry about tomorrow, as that day is not promised to us, but to live today for today.
 
Health issues keep making me be reflective on what I could have, should have, wish I had, done differently. I should be this skinny minny, but I'm not. Food has always been a comfort and the poor old body has paid the toll for that choice. Yet, I believe there is always still hope, while I live and breathe and face each day. The choices are not always easy ones, but they do impact me, whether for bad or for good.
 
I don't mean to sound vague. These are just the thoughts of a crazy lady who is now up to four doctors that she sees and wonders to herself if there's any way to return this body for a new one or at the very least, improve what is left of the clunker she has. Even clunkers can be kept running, you know! They just may not look too great on the outside, but the inside keeps humming away, if given love and TLC to the works that makes 'em go!
 
What I got with Cash for Clunkers
 
Hmmmm....maybe clunker isn't the term I want as that implies that I'm ready to toss the whole kit-and-caboodle, no redemptive qualities....and that's not really accurate! With some hard work, things that might seem bleak at the time, can be turned around!
 
Here's a thought....prayer is often like that for me. In the middle of my bleakness, there comes a hopelessness that wants to overtake and wreck me. Inside *and* out! Prayer, though, is what turns things around as I turn to God and give HIM that hopelessness and this broken body, along with its cares, concerns, and worries. HIS peace, perfect in every way, is what restores me and that's something that starts on the inside and works itself from the inside to the outside, where the world can see peace in action. When I am at peace inside, I am at peace on the outside, too!
 
I mentioned the four doctors: one is my primary care physician, Dr P; my cardiologist, Dr D; my internist, Dr A; and the newest member of the group, my urologist, Dr M. 
 
Where things are at right now is that the health issues I have dealt with over time (high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and most recently, the congestive heart failure), have left my kidneys not functioning at their highest potential and so now we can add kidney disease to the list. Yippee! NOT!
 
A recent CAT scan (my first) showed a couple of things. First, my kidneys are smaller than normal for someone my size (altho, I am not sure 100% what that means!). From what Dr M told me, most are 10 cm in size, where mine is around 8 cm. So I guess those centimeters would point to them being smaller than usual. Let's add to this now the fact that they have seen a kidney stone that's about 8 mm in size, just hanging out in my left kidney. Not blocking anything, just hanging out. According to Dr. M, this could have been there for years. We have no way of knowing since the CAT scan was my first one! It could not give me any problems or it could turn into one very big problem!
 
I go next week for another X-ray of the kidneys, followed by another visit with Dr. M. At that time, I think we will determine what comes next with that stone. There is a concern that if they go in and blast the stone, it could also weaken the kidneys, which are only functioning at about 30% of the their capacity as it is.
 
So.....yeah, I could so totally stress about this. But I know that stressing will not fix anything. Resting in the Lord, trusting HE knows what is best and that HE cares about me and all this health stuff...that's where I need to be....at peace, inside and out.
 
To be honest, this health stuff gets overwhelming at times. Then I look around me and see others who have more trying circumstances and issues than mine and it puts things in perspective. It could be so much worse!
 
 I do need to do better with what I need to do to remain healthy. And I admit that I struggle with that. I need to exercise more, eat more healthy, and keep focused. Some days are harder than others.
 
This is a journey. It's one day at a time. One step at a time. I hope by writing and sharing that it helps me and maybe, just maybe, encourages someone else to know that they are not alone in the struggles of life. To realize that each day we are given is a blessing....and to make the most of what we have been given.
 
Thanks for reading my ramblings.....may you be blessed beyond measure today!
 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waxing Nostalgic - Part 3

One more poem to share....this one I have only recalled the gist of it over the years. But reading it today brought it back! Enjoy this final post of my Waxing Nostalgic!
 
Little Boy Blue
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)
 
The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
And his musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.
"Now, don't you go till I come," he said,
"And don't you make any noise!"
So, toddling off to his trundle-bed,
He dreamt of the pretty toys;
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
Awakened our Little Boy Blue---
Oh! the years are many, the years are long,
But the little toy friends are true!
Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place---
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting the long years through
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
Since he kissed them and put them there.

Waxing Nostalgic - Part 2

Yet another poem that has stuck with me over time....
 
September

The goldenrod is yellow,
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curing in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges haunt their harvest,
In every meadow's nook;
And asters by the brookside
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all those lovely tokens
September days are here,

With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

- Helen Hunt Jackson
 
Grateful is what I am for teachers who imparted wisdom, who taught with enthusiasm, who gave their all to their pupils, and impacted my life. Yes, there were those teachers who didn't really teach me much, but there were soooooo many more who did! They made school a great place to be and I'm blessed beyond measure to have had them in my life.
 
And then....ah, yes!!!....and then there are the lifelong friends that I have gained over the years as well, Life has been better because of them! And as time keeps passing, more and more people have come along that have made this journey called life easier to do.....just because they are who they are and what they mean to me!
 
Yes, I AM blessed BEYOND measure!

Waxing Nostalgic....Part 1

What can I say.....there are some things that roll around in your head for years! The beginning of this poem is one of the ones I've had since grade school, when Miss Ross had us learn this. Which makes it either 3rd or 4th grade ... She was an awesome teacher! (I was blessed to have had her for 1st, 3rd *and* 4th grade!) Oh....and she also had red hair...and so did I....at the time!  Enjoy!!
 
 
The Duel
by Eugene Field
The ginham dog and the calico cat
The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
T'was half past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat
(I wasn't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
 
The gingham dog went "Bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "Mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
 
(Now mind: I'm only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfulest way you ever saw--
And oh! How the gingham and calico flew!
(Don't fancy I exaggerate--I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
 
Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about that cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)
 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ready to Get Creative....Again!

Rather dreary day out today as it rained overnight and more precip is in the picture for this afternoon. A good day to stay inside and chill out....or warm up under a blanket...or just do indoor stuff! Me, I opted to sweep AND mop my kitchen floor this morning....it had been a while!

Doctor visit with cardiologist, Dr D, went well yesterday. Says I am making good progress and I look better than the last time he saw me which is a little more than 2 months ago. It was a good visit with him and he encouraged me to keep up the good work.

His words of advice yesterday were to cut back on "two whites": salt and sugar. The sodium one, I have been diligent to write it down, even when it means I go over the total I'm supposed to intake for a day. The sugar one....man, I will be honest.....I know it's for my own good, but I'm having a little bit of a problem trying to figure out how to start accounting for that one. Good thing I see my primary care physician next week....I can ask him about that!

Which makes me wonder about artificial sweeteners and salt substitutes....are they worth the effort? Are there potential problems with those as well? Cutting back isn't half as hard as cutting out....especially when so much of our food anymore has both salt and sugar in them....just read the labels!

Can I admit to feeling a little down in the dumps about something....and you may think I'm crazy, but.....I miss baking! Not so much missing the eating of the baking as I am the creative avenue of baking. Does that make any sense?

Baking always feels like a creative outlet to me. Well, actually creativeness in the kitchen just always made me feel good. Yeah, I know....crazy, but true!

I came across a recipe for easy homemade hamburger rolls that I'd like to try and I gasped when I saw the amount of salt it called for....1 1/4 teaspoons! Panic mode kicked in.....I don't know why, but it seemed like a lot to me! An option is to leave the salt out....but do I dare do that? Will it change the flavor? Do you know what I mean?

I just know I have to be *creative* again in my cooking, look those sodium and sugar things in the eye and let 'em know I am not gonna let them stop me from being creative in my kitchen and I am gonna eat good food that is healthy and good for me. I'm gonna be brave and experiment and go to new frontiers that I haven't gone to before! Now....somebody push me out the door to get started!

I'm still trusting God will work out things regarding my kidneys. I'm encouraged that my heart appears to be doing much, much better.....just am hoping and praying that the kidneys will also have their chance to bounce back!

Did a 1 mile walk with a Leslie Sansone DVD this morning that I have never watched before. It was a classic walk, with basic walking moves. So I did not let the weather stop me from moving! And the stretches at the end of the walk were wonderful! My plan is to get in some kind of exercise at least 3-4 times a week. Between walking after work at the high school track and these DVDs, I think I'm on the right track. Dr D said to not overdo it, to let my body let me know when enough is enough. Good advice, don't ya think?

I'm off to get things ready to go for work tonight and then it's sleepytime for me! Praying you have an awesome and blessed day!!!



Thursday, August 9, 2012

NOT A #

As I was getting things ready for my visit with the cardiologist today, I began to get a little discouraged. Why? Because of all the “numbers” that I keep track of for the various medical professionals. Part of the discouragement comes from feeling defined by either a single number or a set of numbers. Really, is that who I am?
 I heard God speaking to my heart, and wrote this down: “Remember…who you are is not defined by a number, but by Whose you are….what is reflected from the inside will always be far more important than what the outside shows."
What does that mean to me? I got to thinking about all the things that numbers are involved in:
My age - 55, soon to be 56
My car - a 2009 PT Cruiser (can't forget that theres a number for the registration, my liscense plate, my driver's liscense number, miles on the car)
My address and zip code and phone numbers
My blood sugar levels, blood pressure, weight and a bunch of other things associated with my health that involve #s
My social security number
The balance of my banking accounts
The cost of groceries, the bills, and gas
Calories, milligrams of sodium intake, ounces of water drank
Loads of laundry
Tick-tock of the clock -being on time - waking up, going to sleep, taking meds, yes, all affected by numbers
Times around the track to equal a mile
Measurements for cooking and baking, sewing and such
Whoooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!! (See what I mean....numbers, numbers, numbers!!!!!)
Even the sum of these will never define who I am. God, Who knows the number of hairs on my head and the grains of sand in all the world, doesn't care as much about the numbers of my life as He does about me - the, if you will, total sum of me.
I'm so grateful He gets me, understands me, loves me and will take the time to remind me that I am not a number to Him. He cares about how I react to all those numbers and how they affect my life. But He is more concerned that I'm finding my peace in Him and leaving all of it up to Him.
I want that more than anything....the peace of God. So, I give Him all my numbers today and let Him direct my path. Gonna get out there and live today for today and let the numbers just roll away....God has me (and them) in His hands!
And because I know that this is true.....I am blessed beyond measure!

A prayer for today (author unknown):

"My closest friends, dear Lord, are a reprieve for my soul. Their acceptance sets me free to be myself. Their unconditional love forgives my failings. Their kindness gives me a sense of worth. Thank You for these people who are a reflection of Your love in my life. Help me be a friend who will, in turn, lay down my life in such loving ways."

Be blessed today!