Friday, December 2, 2016

December - my favorite month of the year

Yes - December is my favorite month of the year - even more so than August, which is my birthday month! Why? Not only because we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but because of all the hustle and bustle leading up to it. I love the Christmas music, the shopping online (or shopping without people around me everywhere), and being able to buy things for those I love that might, just might, bring a smile to their faces.

I love finding that perfect something for someone I love. The anticipation of seeing their face when it is opened up is well worth whatever the cost is. I remember the year we got our oldest son a pair of golf sandals. He had been golfing some at that time, and it seemed the logical thing to get him that he would use. I was so excited and couldn't wait to see his face - and it was so well worth it. He was definitely surprised! I rarely can surprise this one, one when I can, it brings me great joy.

I haven't done a lot of shopping yet, have done a little online, but not going out as much. I did go out for a couple hours the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving to catch some of the sales, but the problem is that I don't know what anyone wants this year so it was hard to choose things for them. I feel I have gotten a lot done, and yet, not much. I finally have a date scheduled with my daughter to go shopping later this month. I know she needs clothes, but have no idea what. She tends to not get anything for herself, but get for the spouse and children, and when it gets to her, there is nothing left. So - I am taking her shopping to get her some clothes - and then told her she will have to forget about it cause she can't have them until Christmas. But at least I can help her choose and she can get some new things. I'd rather do that than give her a gift card she will spend on the children; or give her something she will take back and spend on the children.

My youngest is a bit harder to shop for this year. I've bought a few things and am wrapping and putting aside for when he comes home in January. I truly miss my boy and will be so glad when he gets home - and I know I'm not the only one.

All the grandchildren have grown up - it seems overnight - and I'm at a loss for most on what to get them. I laugh when I think of the two grandsons that state "if you don't tell grandma what you want, you get clothes". Well, guess what, they haven't told me, so guess what they are going to get. They make me laugh. I'm hoping we will somehow get to see them over the holidays. If the weather stays without snow up there, perhaps I can get hubby to drive up. It's getting more difficult to get him to go places I want to go....

I love all the baking I get to do cause I get to give it away. I need to make more cranberry pumpkin nut breads cause I want to give to several people here at work. It's cheaper than buying a gift; it's something they will eat (usually); and it won't gather dust (I think). Most everyone here enjoys it - in fact, I brought 10 loaves of the bread in - the little loaves - for a bake sale and they sold them for $5 each - and they sold out right away! I was shocked! I wouldn't pay $5 for it - but only because I'm cheap. Two of my grandchildren have asked for it for their Christmas gifts - and they realize they will get it as I have in years' past. Bread, salsa, and cheese ball. They crack me up.

I have about 4-6 people here in management that I create a bag of goodies for. I can't afford to buy gifts so I bake and try to make things they will enjoy. I want to try a couple new things this year and I will need to start in another week or so getting them done. This is the part I love - baking and making.

What is the best part of Christmas that you enjoy? What do you think of when Christmas is approaching? Is it about worshiping and celebrating Christ's birth - or is it how many gifts you get. Let's keep out focus on WHOM it should be on. It can change your world.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Surely it will be over soon.....

The protests, the rioting, I mean. The sad part, from what I hear, is one person posting on craigslist they pay $3500 for people to protest the election. Seriously? We didn't protest when other presidents were elected that we didn't agree with. AND, these are students who aren't even old enough to vote - plus people in one state who were arrested for protesting - did not even vote although they were old enough to vote! What has this nation come to except a bunch of crybabies that didn't get their way.

It seems like it has been some time since I wrote on here - and it has. There has been a lot going on at work; my boss took a promotion, and to ensure that I can go with her, she got me promoted too. Extra pay is always good come Christmas time. It will be a small Christmas - I know, I say that every year - but no one needs anything, and we just don't have it to spend. I am determined to get something each one may want (whether they realize they want it or not - if I buy it, they want it) and not something they can't use. Most everyone got t-shirts and hoodies last year .... it may be the same this year. Well, just for a couple people. I don't have any ideas for most, but need to start thinking ahead. Need to wait for sales to happen - can't afford to pay full price for things that will be on sale for 1/2 price in another week or so.

Work has been extremely busy. Guess it comes with the promotion. Not really, as we acquired another company and have been working to merge them with us, and then we took on some commercial work as well, effective January 1. The past few months have been training and getting these people ready to work on January 1. It's hard when we keep losing our internet in the building. Oh yeah. That's a happening now and then. Lots of moves too. Glad I do not have to move to another building - but the three people next to me - two went to the building next door on Thursday last week (but are back today because they lost internet in that building) and one went to another building across the canal. The hope is that we will have a big enough building in 1-2 years that can house everyone. My one move should be down the way next to my boss's office. Where we have been trying to get me moved since last December. Finally to happen this December.

Next week is Thanksgiving and we get a couple days off work. Well, from work office. I cracked up the other day when I received a call from my daughter who stated that they had decided Thanksgiving this year will just be the 4 of them (without boy/girl friends) and we were invited. When I affirmed our plan was to be there, she advised she was fixing a ham, so would I fix the turkey, dressing and giblet gravy. It made me laugh. I make it every year and take over there. It was just an odd invite. But it will be nice to have a couple days away from the office, although I have so much to do, I may work some over the weekend.

I remembered the other night that I had purchased a Christmas quilt and shams last year for our bed. I got them out of storage and put on the bed. Yes, I'm ready to start decorating, and may pull more things out over this weekend. I love Christmas and it is my favorite holiday.

I'm so glad the election is over, and the holidays are approaching quickly. I get to be with my children and grandchildren and that makes it so special for me. I don't see them often enough. I will miss my youngest, still in Iraq, but he will be home soon. And with all this, I'm done. Need to get back to work.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Will we live or die.... only God knows.

I will be so glad when this day is over. Election day. In the past, I haven't been that concerned about this specific day. I did my civic duty, and trusted that others would choose rightly. Well, obviously this last two election days, they did not. For the past eight years, we as Christians have been persecuted (as in bakery and flower shops being sued for refusing an order) for our religious beliefs - and yet, other "religions" are recognized and awarded. Our country has been divided racially like it has never been before. Our power as a successful nation had been diminished and nearly destroyed. We cannot share our faith in our offices, are not to have religious items displayed - even at Christmas! (but I do anyway) Christ is being removed when He is the Supreme sacrifice for us.

This morning as my husband and I prayed for our nation, for this election, we prayed that the curse upon this nation brought on by the current - and some past - presidents would be broken. We prayed for healing in our nation. We prayed that God will break the curses due to selfish and self-centered gain by individuals and by political parties. And, although I knew I shouldn't, I prayed that God would bring devastation and curses upon those who have destroyed our Christian nation.

Will God answer me? Probably not that I will ever know about, but I do pray that He will raise up the leader who will rebuild America and bring her back to a righteous nation, one that will be honored as a nation who serves God first and does what is right.

For so many years we have been spiraling downward into the abyss and only God can help us now.

Am I afraid of what the outcome could possibly be today? Yes, I am. I am terrified that this specific person will win. Will evil prevail? I pray not. Stories of absentee ballots being marked in a 'secret room' in Florida, 83 early ballots with different names sent to one address in another city, two senators arrested for registered dead people to vote - is the foundation of the person they are wanting to elect so thin that they have to steal, lie, and cheat, to get votes?

God, will You bring healing to this nation? Will You, Lord, rescue us from the curse placed upon us? Will YOU, O God, restore us? Will You, Heavenly Father, hear the prayers of Your children crying out to You for help?

You only know how this will end. All we can do is trust You.

Help us, Lord, for we cannot help ourselves.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I was daydreaming one day last week.....

Yeah, it is something I do once in awhile. I usually enjoy daydreaming, and on my way to work, for some reason, I was thinking of this one scene in the movie "Shall We Dance" starring Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, and Susan Sarandon. In this one specific scene, Richard Gere is coming up the escalator, dressed in a black tux, carrying a single red rose. (Ok, I'm hopelessly romantic at times) Susan Sarandon turns, sees him, and is puzzled why he is there. And the reason? He came to dance with her. While she is working late. Her two co-workers were in near-tears over the scene (as I was). They danced, and then went to a party. Not going to tell you all about it.

I was thinking of that scene as I drove in to work yesterday, and a small car pulled in front of me with words written on it's back window. Well, not written, but professionally printed. It must be a business, I'm assuming. It got off the Interstate before I could read what it was about. Oh - what did it say? "Pure Romance".

Did that not fit in with what I was thinking? Pure Romance. Something most women, and occasionally a few men, think of.

I went further in my thinking after that, and began to think of how God loves to romance us. If one is sensitive to it, they will recognize the coolness of the morning created just for them. Or if they would just pause and glance about, they may find a rose or a daisy or a flowering weed, for that matter, created to bring joy for that moment.

God loves us so much, He goes out of His way to show us His love. He does so many little things - and we miss them, because we are distracted, or angry, or indifferent. But they are there.

As I pull out of my driveway most mornings I will pause to look at my roses and admire their beauty. I admire how our yard always looks so nice (thank you Mr. Landscaper!!). I admire the paint job completed on our house that has brightened it up.

It's all about romance. What have you done lately to bring about romance in your life? Was it an unexpected note? A neatly timed, yet unexpected, call? Was it bringing a rose to the one you love, just to say "I care about you.".

Maybe it is even cleaning up the house without whining. Keeping the bathrooms clean. Doing the laundry one week so your spouse doesn't have to. Or just taking time to sit together and just talk. Go for a cup of coffee or tea. Ice cream is even better.

And it isn't just your spouse or significant other. What about your children? Of course it isn't ROMANCE - but showing them that you care in different ways.

What is your idea of pure romance?

Friday, October 14, 2016

it's been a rough week....

I have heard of people losing their pets and how sad it made them, but I had never truly understood their sorry until it happened to me. It has been, well, I can't really say a 'rough' week, it's just been a different week. I have found myself looking for Marley, wondering where she is, what she is doing.... she used to sit at my feet at the dinner table; now that spot is empty. At times she would sit on the futon with me when I did my quiet time; now that spot is empty. She laid next to my chair. She kept hubby company while I was at work. Her presence is certainly missing in our home.

It's been a different week, too, in that my boss has been on vacation all week doing the - what we called 'The Dad Tour' - as she and her husband were visiting both her dad and his dad this week back east. It's been quiet here at work, and with all the changes going on, that can be a good thing, and one that is uncertain. A couple positions were eliminated a week ago - in leadership - which is interesting. One, I'm not really sorry to see go for I did not feel he was a good leader. However, this other one is also my friend, and I will be sad when it is time for her to go.

Sometimes they say our health is reflected in things that are going on around us. I can understand that. With missing Marley, the changes here at work - well, I find I just want to be quiet more. I want to be alone more. I want to step back. Depression? Could be, somewhat. I recognize that. And that is acceptable, as long as I don't allow it to control me. I did allow myself to step back and just be quiet the other night. Hubby was at church, and when I came home to an empty house, I wanted it to be quiet. I didn't turn on the TV, nor radio. I sat in a chair and worked on a quilt for most of the evening. I just wanted to "be". And it was good.

I'm finding too that - but I do blame it on the cooler weather - I don't want to wake up in the mornings! Even though I go to sleep right away at my usual time, I find it very difficult to wake up to get ready for work. Many times I wish I could just sleep another hour or two. Tomorrow I will get to sleep a little later, but I do have a full day planned.

Last week at church I got "cornered" (seriously!!) that my adopted aunt's apartment is a total mess. Now mind you, when she lived in her house, I was over nearly every Saturday to clean and help her get things done. But since she moved to the independent living apartment, I had hoped she could keep a much much smaller place clean. I was wrong. Although I have gone to see her and taken her out to dinner, every couple weeks, I haven't gone to her apartment as she has met me at the door, and also wanted me to just leave her at the door when we returned. But last Sunday I was told her apartment was a mess. My first instinct was to mention that I am only "adopted"; she has a niece who will be inheriting everything, who lives barely a mile from her. Since when did cleaning the apartment become MY responsibility?

But I couldn't say that. I love my adopted aunt and I will happily go over and try to help her sort things out. She's 94 and she just finds it hard to let go of mail, of anything, actually. I am sure what I will find when I go over. But I will go over tomorrow morning. No, I haven't called her yet; I told hubby that we can go out for breakfast, then I will purchase a breakfast for my adopted aunt, and then call her to tell her I'm coming over. She can sit and eat while I work on bringing some type of order to the apartment.

Lord, help me to know what to dispose of and what she will need to keep! I don't mind helping her at all, I love this adopted aunt who loved me when we first came to that church and needed a friend. She, along with her siblings, loved on us and adopted us as niece and nephew over 30 years ago. I just find it interesting that her niece who will inherit everything - does nothing to help her. So sad.

Well, I need to get to work as it is another workday. Hope you have a great day!


Friday, October 7, 2016

Today is the day...

It is going to be a tough day. Even now, the tears gather in my eyes, knowing what this day is going to consist of. It is only 7:08AM so for now, can only wait.

Our beloved Marley has reached her final day. That brings tears flowing down my cheeks to even write that statement. She's had good days and bad days since we found out she had lymphoma. Two days ago she wouldn't eat breakfast - but we did get her to eat dinner. Yesterday she would neither eat nor drink water; just laid either on the tile floor, or if hubby got her to go outside, she would go lay in the dirt in the shade. Last night about 6PM she went to her crate, and laid down. I think we managed to get her up once to go pee, but she went back to her crate and refuses to move from it. She just lays there, eyes blinking. Ever so often she will shift her body.

The nodules on her neck this morning are huge. I'm talking at least golf ball size. You don't have to touch them to see them. I'm hoping she isn't in pain, and yet, once I thought I saw a tear...and that broke my heart. We've managed to get a little water in her by taking a straw and dropping water through her teeth. She then would raise up and lap up a little from a small cup.

Our hearts are broken. Hubby is taking it hard because he is with her all day - so whether he meant to or not, he has become very attached to her. When the vet is open, we will pick her up and take to the car, and go to the vet. It's hard to think that one would have control over life and death this way, but death for her is imminent, and we do not want her to suffer. We will say our goodbyes one more time, stay until the end, and then leave her.

A friend at work thinks I should get her ashes, but we have discussed this and agree that we don't want them. I had asked her 'what do you do with them?' She commented when her dog died, she got the ashes, and it comforts her. I'm sorry to sound crude.... but they are ashes. I could just see me knocking over the urn and spilling them all over the floor. sigh. I have our memories with Marley, and that is enough.

So with this news, I'm done for today. I'm working from home so until we leave to go to the vet, and when we return, my thoughts need to be focused on work and I can get some things done. Perhaps that will help me to get through today.

So long, my Marley girl. I love you so much.

Addendum. And it is over. Our precious Marley is in doggie heaven. Hubby and I both were calling the vet with questions of 'is it time'? 'is it the right thing to do?' and still wondering if we should. But we finally took her to the vet. And then it was over. We stayed with her a few minutes, shedding our tears, and saying our goodbyes. My heart is broken. But Marley will always live on in my heart. God speed, my Marley girl.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Recent happenings...

This post is mainly to update family - although I think only one person occasionally still reads my posts. Which, I must admit, have gotten scarce lately. I had gotten off track of what I wanted this blog to be. In fact, I think since 2013 my entire life has been turned upside down and spit out due to other people's insecurities and accusations and comments. It wasn't a normal spit it out and let's move on, it was hateful. And very damaging to my very soul.

But I have moved on past that and even this morning as I reflected on how I have worked my way back to living life again, I know I still have a ways to go. I recently finished reading a book titled Without Rival by Lisa Bevere. I saw myself in some respects in it, and yet, not really. What am I talking about? The book talks about comparing yourself to other people. Is there a special list you want to be on and you don't make it - does it upset you? Is there someone's attention you really want and someone else gets it - is that a problem for you? (I'm not talking parent/child here). What about if you see someone who seems to be more "spiritual" than you, or more "athletic" than you, or more " (you fill in the blank) " than you..... how does that make you feel? Are you comparing your abilities, skills, and yourself to this person's abilities, skills, and standards? DON'T! God made you in His image, gave you specific gifts, (yes, it is your responsibility to develop them) and He is the one who has good things planned for your future. Anyway, I reflected on how in the past I always wanted to be like my little sister, because I thought she was funny and beautiful. God showed me years ago that I was doing that - and I shared that with her. THAT didn't go over good - that I wasn't going to do that any more. Anyway - on to my story from last weekend.....

Last Friday, one week ago from today, on my way home from work (as usual) I called my older sister, J. I called numerous times on my way home, and got no answer. I shrugged it off and thought maybe someone had taken her out to dinner. Monday on my way home from work, I again called J, and again got no answer. I called numerous times with no response. Not that I was worried, but I was concerned, for this sister lives alone. I called her son to go check on her; he didn't answer his phone. I called again. No answer. I called my younger brother, no answer. Called my sister again and still no response. Called my little brother again and got him. I expressed my concerns about J and asked that he run by and check on her.

Well, he had something else going on, he'd have his wife call her (like I had been calling her for nearly an hour with no answer!!) and would get ahold of her son, who wasn't answering his phone. By now I had arrived at home. I texted my older brother to see if he had talked to J over the weekend - nope, it had been over a week. I text my little sister to see if she (since they are not 'friends' I doubted it, but I was grasping at straws)had heard from her over the weekend. No one was volunteering to go immediately go over to check on her (granted it was 9PM) - two said they would go if I thought they should. Again, this was Monday, and I had no answer on Friday, and was getting no answer on Monday either.

Long, long story short..... My little brother got ahold of J's son, and he went to the apartment - where he found her on the floor in the bathroom. He called 911 and she was transported to the hospital, where she still is today. She is to be moved to rehab, if all her tests come back ok.

Seems she went to the bathroom just before I called on Friday, fell, and didn't have the strength to pull herself back up. She laid on the floor for four days - Friday until Monday evening - before she was found. Without food, without water. She did have enough sense to flush the toilet, get her fingers wet to keep her lips and tongue from drying out. And, yes, she did make a huge mess on the floor. AND, from what I understand, she had a cane in the bathroom and banged on the walls and floor, trying to get attention from anyone. No one heard her - and her floor is destroyed and I assume the walls are too. I believe that her keeping her lips and tongue at least wet kept her alive, although I don't think she would have made it another day. She had been without all of her medication for four days; no food, and no water to drink. She had been spending most of her days in bed anymore, watching TV, so she had lost muscle tone in her legs and had to strength in them to even stand up. I'm sure she crawled TO the bathroom, and when she fell, she couldn't move. Her lack of medication over the four days also made her incoherent, as well as lack of fluids.

The first day I called her in the hospital she was still incoherent and hallucinating. She would say things you knew were totally off the wall - she was not in Tennessee, she was not doing this or that - we would have to let her talk, then bring her back to the subject. The second day I called she was better, but still incoherent at times. Finally she said, "I've got to go - I've got stuff to do". I have no idea what that was about. Yesterday I talked with her and she seemed to be overly drugged. Not sure if I could explain it. She had been without her meds for four days, the hospital did a medication reconciliation (meaning they checked to see if she really needed the drugs and if they worked together or against each other), and I don't know if they are giving her the regular meds or something different. We didn't talk long.

She is to go to rehab today, and I will call on my way home from work tonight to see if she made it. She will probably need to move to an assisted living location, or at least get a "help me I've fallen and can't get up" button.

What is really sad is that she commented Wednesday night that I was the only one who ever checked on her frequently. I try to call Monday-Wednesday-Friday on my way home from work. Occasionally I will call on the weekend if she texts and says "call me". Usually it's something she has seen on the news and wants to tell me about.

So that is my story. I don't know if she will ever completely recover from this, but my prayer is that she will accept this as a second chance, a 'do over' and will start being active and being involved with life. She wasn't taking care of herself, she just didn't care. I am sure I will hear at some point she wished I had let her die there. But I'm glad I pursued getting someone to check on her, even though I wasn't confident something was wrong. One day we don't talk is no big deal (then), but when it was a Friday-Monday, I was concerned.

Do you have someone in your life that you haven't touched base with for awhile? Pick up the phone or send an IM to check on them, on their well-being. You just may save their life. I'm grateful God used me, 1800 miles away, to check on my big sister.