~~~~~~~~~ "We are here for only a moment, wanderers and sojourners in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace." I Chron. 29:15 NLT

Monday, September 29, 2008

Look At These Prices from the 1950's!

I remember eating lunch at the Woolworth's lunch counter when I was working during the 1960's. But before that, in the mid 1950's, I cherish the few times I went shopping with Dad & Mom in Newton, Kansas where we sat at the counter having a hamburger and a shake. Yummy!
What we wouldn't do to have these prices again. (Click on menu to enlarge and read it.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Your daddy had to put on a mask and gown because he had a cold. Maybe that's why you had your eyes closed those first couple days--you may have gotten a glimpse of that "masked bandit" and it probably scared you.

Of course, right from the beginning you could melt your daddy's heart with a look, your smile, and your tears. Thirty-two years later you share the same brain waves or something--at least you share the same sense of humor that's fun to watch. All you have to do is look at each other with that special twinkle in your eyes and you're privy to a joke that leaves the rest of us in the dust, asking "What, what's so funny?" (Altho' some of us are beginning to catch on!) I'm glad you and your daddy have a good relationship. God blessed us when he gave us you. It's a huge task that's given to parents to provide everything a child needs to become an individual in their own right. You prevailed over the mistakes we made and taught us how to lighten up. Continue in the wisdom God has given you and enjoy the journey.

Today, our baby is 32

Posted by PicasaYou were so tiny, 6 lbs. 4 oz. at birth. I felt like I was holding a little doll. Here we are getting ready to leave the hospital. Within a couple weeks we'd be back in the hospital because you had a milk allergy, and once we put you on soy formula you thrived.

You were contented and happy and it was easy to get a smile out of you. It's impossible to sum up my love for you in this small space, and I'm suddenly at a loss for words (yes, believe it or not). Since that first day you have filled my life with joy and gratitude. Now you are exeriencing that love in your children. Cherish each day, time flies by so fast! I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Love you today and always. Mom

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Last Saturday was a beautiful day, though a little warm, to be at the Arts and Crafts Fair in Hillsboro, Kansas. We recalled last year when it was wet and cold. I went with our daughter and her two children, our precious grandchildren, who were so good for the six hours we tramped around the streets ogling at the booths. This has been one of the largest Arts & Crafts Fairs in Kansas for at least 30 years. The population on this one day swells from 3,000 native souls to twenty to thirty thousand. Many have to park at the fairgrounds and school buses shuttle them to the town square. There didn't seem to be the usual 300+ booths which made it easier to move up and down the streets, even with our awkward stroller.

It's interesting to see the hard work that crafters put into their wares: stuffed animals made out of chenile spreads and patchwork quilts, tie-dyed clothing, dried-flower decorated grapevine wreaths, purses and bags made out of all kinds of material including the tops of leather cowboy boots, wooden toys and furniture, framed artwook, pithy sayings calligraphed on wooden hearts and other shapes, kid's cloth tee-pees, painted and appliqued sweat and t-shirts, to name a few.

Of course, there was the usual tantalizing array of home-made food and baked goods: New Year's Cookies, Verenika, Bierrocks and German sausage, Borscht and noodle soups, Zwiebach, Peppernuts, Kettle Korn, funnel cakes, walking tacos, caramel apples, pie and ice cream. Staying on any kind of diet was impossible.

Walking most of that time was a real test of endurance for this old lady. On our way out of there we enjoyed refreshing sno-cones. I collapsed when I got home and caught up on my fluid intake. When we lived in Hillsboro I had as much fun gazing--out the front window of my quiet, warm, or cool home--at all the people passing by with their arms full of merchandize, as I had shopping. Thank goodness, this fair only comes once a year! I'm sure the planners agree.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This is how I feel at the end of some days

"I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older. Then it dawned on me . . . they're cramming for their final exam." ~George Carlin

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For both cat & dog lovers

How do cats sleep like this, and why or how is this dog putting up with that. Must be friends!

If dogs and cats can be friends, can dog-lovers and cat-lovers be friends?
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

I always appreciate a good joke...

however, I grew up Mennonite, so unless you are, were, or wanna be a Mennonite, you may not understand some of the Mennonite jokes--altho' Mennonite behavior is probably universal. In that case, welcome to the "club."

There are these three ministers on a boat. A Baptist, a Catholic and a Mennonite. The boat is sinking in stormy seas. The Baptist minister yells to the catholic "I haveta confess. I had an affair with our church secretary and with another member!" The Catholic priest realises that it's his turn to make peace with his maker and confesses his sins as he yells back to the Baptist "I've gotta confess myself. I tend to nip a little at the holy water when noone else is around and enjoy getting plastered." The listening Mennonite minister just sat there, listening with his mouth wide open.

The storm died down and the boat stayed afloat. All are relieved, but the Baptist and the Catholic minister are concerned about their confessions. They turn to the Mennonite minister and encourage him to confess his secret sin, also. The old Mennonite minister sat silent for a moment, debating whether or not to drag a skeleton out of his closet. Finally, he said "I have a real problem that neither of you would understand." The Baptist minister says "Well, speak up!" The Mennonite minister, in a sigh of resignation, said "I really find it difficult to keep myself from gossiping."

(Resource: http://members.tripod.com/~Willoewen/menlon.html)

A Day In my Life...in case you want to know

A month ago I wrote about change. Let's see how far I've come.

This was me yesterday morning: Awoke at 8:00 a.m., but lolly-gagged in bed till 8:30. Not too bad considering that most mornings I fall back asleep and don't wake up again till 10:00 (late nights on computer). Knowing that I had a 10:45 appointment, I took my thyroid hormone pills right away and while those were cooking through my system, took a quick shower. I usually wash my hair the night before because otherwise it would take me twice as long to get ready. Shower done, I did my hair and was getting set to apply make-up. It was 10:00 and I was doing great. Then I made the mistake of answering the phone!

I had to answer because it was hubby and I never know what kind of crisis he might be having. He called to remind me that I hadn't printed his business cards which he had been out of for a couple of days. I decided to do it right away so I wouldn't forget again.

The file came up different than I had saved it the last time. But instead of going into the print preview to see how it would print out, I messed around trying to get the 10 templates to line up in two rows of five instead of just one down the left side of the page. When I finally checked print preview it showed me it would print the way I wanted it to. By the time I had them printed it was 10:15.

Rather than stopping right there I considered it wouldn't take more than a couple minutes to check my email. Yes, well, it was a quick delete for this one and that, but there was one from our daughter's friend, and any time I get an email from someone I know I have to read it right away. Erin was inviting me to a candle party in October, and she had a link to the website: http://www.goldcanyon.com/. I had at least 25 minutes before I had to leave for my appt. so I thought--what the heck, I'll give it a five-minute glance. Ha! I knew better, but I did it anyway.

Almost fifteen minutes later I was going to have to hustle to make it to my appointment, throw on some clothes, get my stuff together (for going to the library, which includes the AlphaSmart2000 I use away from my computer), and get to my appointment only 5 minutes late. Am I ever going to learn that when I'm ahead I could keep it that way?

What am I willing to do to change my tardy ways, and my habit of procrastinating? Was the morning going too "perfectly," and if it was why did I need to shake it up and spoil the reward of being on time? Should I blame my hubby? I know better than that. It would have taken less time to let him leave me a message or for me to make a note so I wouldn't forget about printing his business cards later (which is what I should have done the first time he asked me).

Oh well, there's always another day to change my ways!

How hard can change be?

On August 17, 2008 I wrote: I've got to get my life together! Is the neuropathy and the pain a big enough excuse for staying up late (can't sleep because of pain) and sleeping in late (don't want to get up 'cause the pain starts over again) which gives me a hopeless feeling about getting anything done the rest of day? Is it the pain that really makes me do that? Or just plain old Laziness? An inability to deny my selfishness? Making myself an exception so I don't have to do what I know would be better life choices than what I'm doing now? I can't do it on my own--I need God's help, that's for sure. So why can't I just surrender? Perhaps I need to be kinder to myself, give myself some slack?

Daily, I tell myself, "I can't live like this anymore." Maybe I need to volunteer some of my time to something more satisfactory than just the church library. Or I need to spend more time and effort at helping make it a more attractive library--use some of the silk ivy leftover from Amy's wedding to add some green to the place, find a way to display new books more prominently.

I'm so diffferent than I was when I was a fulltime mother and a parttime librarian. Those roles disciplined me, and now I have little discipline. I feel like I don't have much to wake up for in the morning--what could I do today that I didn't do yesterday? What's important enough to me to make me get out of bed in the morning? I have to figure that out or changing what I do will be just another drudgery like the diabetic diet. That's another story!

Life Interrupts

Poetry by Tess Gallagher

I Stop Writing the Poem

to fold the clothes.
No matter who lives or who dies, I'm still a woman.
I'll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt together.
Nothing can stop our tenderness.
I'll get back to the poem.
I'll get back to being a woman.
But for now there's a shirt, a giant shirt in my hands,
and somewhere a small girl standing next to her mother
watching to see how it's done.

~from Good Poems, Garrison Keillor, Pengiun Books, 2002

Yeah, just like this!

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Who hasn't had this happen to them?

(This cat is a "little" basket case, just like me!)

You find something festive that you would like to slip into. It seems a little small, but you're QUITE SURE that in recent years,you've worn this size.

It might be a tight fit, but you still look GOOD!! Hey, we've all been there.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Old Folks at Home

This was DH and me yesterday (Sunday) morning thirty minutes before church was to start. He said, "I can be ready in thirty minutes, can you?" Me, "Well, I can try," foolishly thinking wishes always come true. Another glance at the kitchen clock made me realize that it was hopeless. It would take a miracle and someone quicker than me to get myself ready to go out in public in that amount of time.

At first I thought I might be feeling guilty, that I could be commiting an unforgiveable sin. Yet, I believe that God understands that we occasionally need a complete day off to get our rest. DH had a rough week driving around the state, sometimes four appointments in one day, to do in-home sales. He was ready for a day of rest. Going to play with our grandchildren the evening before added to the week's accumulated fatigue. There's hardly a moment to take a breather when we're running after two pre-schoolers. Okay, enough excuses!

I enjoy the whole Sunday morning experience because it's the only time to worship with a congregation of other Christians. It's encouraging to know that others are enthusiastic in their love for God and in glorifying the one who has brought us through another week. Worship prepares us to anticipate the next week knowing we're not alone in our walk with Christ. I need that affirmation and encouragement to remind me of my purpose as I wander here on earth. Where else can we experience that kind of fellowship?

After realizing that what I was feeling wasn't guilt, I made the best of the rest of the day. Hubby and I listened to a local church service on T.V.--not the same as being there. To forget my sense of loss at not having fellowshipped with other Christians I read for a couple of hours on our back porch where the sun was finally shining after several cloudy days with almost eight inches of rain soaking us from Friday through Saturday. After a couple of naps and a couple of light meals I was okay, but I'm certain that next Sunday I'll set my alarm and get up when it goes off! No more of this foolishness.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Our nephew's beautiful garden

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Sis on the computer

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Derek in a pensive mood

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Long Time Passing

It's been two years since I added anything to my blog spot. I can't believe it's been that long! So much has happened I hardly know where to begin to catch up. I've changed the look of the blog and like it much better. I've added some of my favorite bloggers and other interesting links. I highly recommend them.

When I last wrote we had one grandchild, a precious girl who is now 3 1/2 years old and just started going to preschool. She's an intelligent and a happy, precocious, presence in our lives. I'm often reminded how carefree childhood can be, and I'm relearning how to have more of a sense of humor, how to be spontaneous, how to have fun in everything we do, and how to live each day at a time. I know some of these very things I love about her are likely frustrating to her parents...she gets too enthusiastic in hugging her little brother, she babbles on to anyone who will listen and we never have to guess what she's thinking because she thinks out loud, and she has spurts of energy where she runs wildly around the house neighing like a horse. She likes to help set the table, cut up watermelon or honeydew with a plastic knife, but she doesn't always like to pick up and put toys away anymore. She's perfect company for anyone who may be feeling a bit lonely.

Her little brother joined the family in January, 2007. He has the same blue eyes, but blonder hair than his sister (he's what you call a real towhead), is quieter, and keeps most of his thoughts to himself. But his face is a dead giveaway as to what he's feeling or thinking. He lights up my day with the sunniest smile, a smaller imitation of his sister. His pout almost breaks my heart, and he seems to know it. I often find him in a pensive mood but he won't tell me what he's thinking. Of course, he hasn't learned all the words he needs to talk to us, but I have a feeling even when he has a good handle on language he will still keep a lot of things to himself. He takes more risks than his big sister, a lot of times because he's trying to keep up with her, but isn't old enough to do what she's doing. He raises quite a fuss when we won't let him do what could be quite harmful to him. He sits quietly reading a book or building a tower with Legos, that is if his sister doesn't interrupt him. Then it's time for Nana to read a book with one or both to help diffuse over-enthusiastic sibling rivalry.

Being a Nana is more wonderful than I ever imagined it would be. Even on days when my chronic pain is at it's worst, just getting a call from my daughter which often includes a hello from Alana or Derek helps me forget what's bothering me. Hours of pain are erased when I spend time playing with, and caring for, our grandchildren. It's afterwards that I groan, moan, and limp around like an injured horse (who's lost its neigh), and complain to my hubby, Papa, that I can't budge another inch. But it's all worth it. Yes, and yes, grandchildren are real gifts from God, and also our children, who are the first blessing. But sometimes I've wished it could be lived backwards...if we would have our grandchildren first (I know, it's impossible), then we could hopefully enjoy our children as much as we now do our grandchildren. I remember it was the sense of responsibility, perfectionism, and constant vigilance to protect them that hindered me from just letting go and enjoying the moments each day, week, month, and year.

I'm not saying I didn't enjoy our son and daughter. There was real joy in those times of spontaneous connection in the moment. There was a feeling of great reward when they responded to our love which included times of discipline and consequences not to their liking. We all survived those times and we had fun in spite of them. I just hope that our children mostly forget the struggles and remember the good times. Going to the pizza place in Spring to celebrate the beginning of Summer. Going back to the pizza place and shopping for school needs and clothes in Fall. Having popcorn and watching a rented movie on a stormy winter's night. I especially want them to know we have always loved, and always will love them. I think our relationships have evolved more to a friendship level now. At least that is my hope. Is it possible to stop being a parent, or a child of parents? Hopefully, we can reach a level of maturity where we put those roles in perspective and let go to experience and enjoy each other as the individuals we are.

On the lighter side: Kansas has had a mild and wet summer. Having grown up on the farm and having a farmer for a son-in-law I find that the growing seasons still influence my life. I love Spring and Fall, especially Spring since I was born in April, and Spring is a life-enriching time. Everything is reborn in Spring. As a child I loved summer. School was out, and I could bask in the long sunny days as I read a book or helped my mom freeze or can garden produce. Any hot weekend was an occasion for home-made ice cream served with angel food cake, lemonade and iced tea. Chewing on ice cubes while reading or working was a pleasant way to cool down. It still is a pleasant way to cool down, but better than ice cubes are the low-cal, low-sugar fruit smoothies I make to subdue a hot day. Mmm-Mmm!

I like Fall because it's a time to slow down and think. Cool, rainy afternoons are just right for catching up on journal writing, setting goals and planning, considering what I can do on those cold winter days when snow keeps me housebound. Will I attempt to get out my scrapbooking materials and finally finish the album I began soon after Alana was born and is still only half done? Maybe I'll write that short story or start a novel. Saturdays might be spent baking some bread or cinnamon rolls to warm up the kitchen and enjoy the scents that remind me of pleasant memories from the past. It's time to get out the full-spectrum lamp that I can sit under while I read or work on the computer to drive away the gloom of SAD. That's the main thing I dread about winter--the short and cloudy days that keep away the sunshine which I absolutely need to feel happy.

I guess I can always come to my blog here and surf the links and favorite other blog spots to drive away the gloom. I'm feeling better already because I have something to look forward to. I wonder if anyone will read this blog and find something that speaks to their heart and will inspire them to share or comment so we can carry on a conversation about life? I can only hope and pray that will happen.