Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wow, What a Week!!! Welcome to our Christmas Grandson

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas celebration! I think ours was above and beyond this year! We had a lovely Christmas Eve at my sister's house, for a brunch. That evening we had our church service for Christmas Eve. Sunday, Christmas morning, we were getting ready to leave for church when the phone rang, and our son was telling us he and his wife were on the way to the hospital to have the baby! We went to church and in the afternoon we had a family party, and the day was interspersed with phone calls from my son in Indiana. A little before 2 o'clock we got the news that we had a Christmas Grandson!

Our little Timothy Michael was 9 lbs and 21 1/4" long, so Anna has a baby brother now. In January I am going up for a couple of weeks to meet the little fellow.

The rest of Christmas was special and fun, and I got spoiled by my family, as usual, which of course I love. Then the next day was my husband's birthday and he was actually off work for it, so we had a nice day together.

Yesterday, we celebrated our 33 wedding anniversary! Well, we didn't really get to do very much yet, but it was still special. Actually, the weekend before Christmas, he took me downtown to Fort Myers' historical River District, and we strolled around listening to the street musicians, enjoying the architecture, browsing in the lovely little art galleries, shops and boutiques, and he bought me a really lovely purse. Then we went to lunch. And this weekend we plan dinner and a movie. But the best part is just the privilege of being married to this wonderful man for 33 years! He's my best friend, and the smartest, handsomest, kindest, funniest, most romantic and thoughtful man I've ever met.

The cold I had turned out to be a lot worse than I had anticipated, so I spent nights sitting up in a chair, coughing my brains out, so that wasn't much fun, and I've had laryngitis so I couldn't talk to anyone, which I couldn't do anyway, or eat, without coughing... but I definitely think the good stuff outweighed the bad this past week. Here's a picture to prove it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

White Christmas, Florida Style!

I'm dreaming of a white Florida Christmas
Down at the beach, that would be swell,
Where white sand glistens,
And children listen
To hear the ocean in a shell...

Hey, what can I say, it's a beautiful day in Florida! I do have a cold - but it's not a Christmas cold, oh no. Must just be a Winter Holiday Cold. Nothing that a trip to the beach won't cure. Wish you all were here!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Blessed Jesus Christ on the Holy Day of Christmas

I am puzzled by people who believe they can celebrate Christmas without celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I can't help thinking how I'd feel if my family decided to celebrate my birthday while excluding me from the festivities.

Or what if people started saying that they wanted to have parades and picnics and fireworks on the 4th of July while denying that the celebration had anything to do with America winning our independence? After all, that was a long time ago. Some people don't even really believe it was all that important, anyway; and what if people from Great Britain got offended by the implication that we won a war against them?

I understand that some people like all of the perks of Christmas without giving any thought to the Host; but is that any reason to hijack it from those of us who celebrate for the Original Reason? No other religious holiday has to contend with people trying to steal it away!

So Merry Christmas to all, but to all those who don't believe in the reason for it, please stop stealing our Holy Day away from us just because you only like the trappings and not the Source of all the Joy that Christmas brings to the world. A Creche is a much more accurate representation of Christmas than a Frosty Snowman or even a Santa Claus.

This is not a just a winter holiday. There are, as people love to point out, lots of holidays in the winter. But each of the others gets to be called by its actual name and be celebrated by those of the faith that it originates with, using the symbols they find meaningful. Christmas is special, but that's because it celebrates the God of Creation becoming flesh and dwelling amongst us. It is filled with joy, hope, love and goodwill; but if you remove the reason for all of those good things, you will be left with a hollow shell of greed, discontentment and over-indulgence. Christmas is first and foremost a religious Holy Day. Without the birth of Jesus Christ, there simply is no Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The First Day of the Rest of My LIfe

Good morning! It is my 51st Birthday today. This has been a "heart-wrenching" year, har har, and I wasn't entirely sure I'd be celebrating this birthday here on earth. So I'm kind of delighted today, and I feel like I'm putting the past year's health problems behind me, ready to move forward and get myself healthy and well.

I haven't been doing a lot of writing, instead concentrating on building up my strength and trying to wean myself off the essential naps of recovery, but stories and articles are beginning to flood my thoughts once again and soon I will begin writing them down.

I had a wonderful dream last night, so I'll close with that for the time being. I dreamed that my step-father invented another one of his delightful toys, like the stilts he built for me when I was young. In the dream, he'd taken a fuzzy bedroom slipper and attached one of those Magic Mover discs that they use to glide furniture across the floor. The slipper then worked like a skateboard, and I spent the evening zooming and zipping around inside an old apartment building, with concrete walkways, tile and terrazo floors and staircases up and down - I had so much fun, and woke up grinning and exhilarated. A great way to start the first day of the rest of my life!

Here's a picture of my stilts

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! Here Are Some Funnies For You

 Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog friends! I will post the sestina directions another time. For now I want to share some funnies about kids someone sent me. Kind of oldies but goodies, hope you enjoy!


*I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt!"

*My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago.

*On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

*A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added, "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

*A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"

*POLICE # 1 While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, "Are you a cop?" "Yes," I answered and continued writing the report. "My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?" "Yes, that's right," I told her. "Well, then," she said as she extended her foot toward me, "would you please tie my shoe?"

*POLICE # 2 It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. "Is that a dog you got back there?" he asked. "It sure is," I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, "What'd he do?"

*ELDERLY While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

*DRESS-UP A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit." "And why not, darling?" "You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning."

*SCHOOL A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"

*BIBLE A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found", the boy called out." What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

All's Well on the Southern Front

I have wonderful news! At least, to me it is wonderful. I had the latest heart procedure, and the doctor said he had good news with a capital G and bad news with a little b. The good news is that I do not need a bypass after all! The stents are finally working properly, so the major arteries are clear. The bad news is that the littler arteries are blocked and that is what is causing the pain - but it won't cause a heart attack. So I am healing from the procedure and beginning to build back my strength. I am very grateful to all my dear friends who have prayed for me. Our God is gracious!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Here We Go Again... sort of

To my dear blogging friends,

Apparently this 3rd heart stent is not working either. I am on (more) medicine to stabilize the angina, and scheduled for another heart cath in a little over a week. At that time, a surgeon will be standing by, and bypass is extremely likely. They say I may be a candidate for some kind of bypass surgery that does not require "cracking my chest open," and I am somewhat hopeful that will be the case. But I am content to leave it in God's capable Hands. I say with Paul, "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." (Philippians 4:11)
I rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom I serve.
I'll visit your blogs when I can!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

“Sophie, Pay Attention (Rhoda, You Too)” Is Perfect for Your Child’s Kindle

Kindle, an e-reader, is fast becoming a favorite gift to give children, or at least to pass down to them when a newer Kindle is acquired. It encourages reading, while providing a variety of books that aren’t heavy, expensive or requiring a return trip to the library. Some versions will also read the book aloud. But now that giving Kindles to kids is all the rage, the question becomes what books to download on them. Finding books is easy, but finding books that are appropriate for your child’s age, reading level and lifestyle is another matter. And of course, the book has to hold your child’s attention! So it was with great delight that I discovered a new Kindle book especially for children that fits all the criteria: “Sophie, Pay Attention (You Too, Rhoda),” by Susan Braun, a blogging friend of mine.

 “Sophie, Pay Attention (You Too, Rhoda)” is a charming chapter book about a little girl learning to to do what’s right. The book tells an entertaining story incorporating a Christian message, yet it manages to avoid being preachy, sugary, or inappropriate. Sophie comes across as a real little girl, with realistic problems of growing up. Through the help of the Sunday School teacher we all wish we’d had, Sophie learns about a girl in the Bible named Rhoda who struggles with the same problems Sophie has. Inspired, Sophie begins to take responsibility for herself, and finds that doing the right thing brings its own rewards.

How refreshing to encounter a stable family unit, not perfect, but supportive; children that obey their parents without bad attitudes, deceit or manipulation; parents who take the time to love and discipline their children appropriately; and teachers that teach children rather than subjects. I especially appreciated the way the girl’s faith was handled, as a natural part of her life, with Scripture being a viable way to learn and grow. All this in a delightful story, perfect for beginning readers as well as those who enjoy being read to.

This book is available on Kindle, and can be easily downloaded from Amazon, for $2.99. The book is billed as appropriate for ages 6-9, but I think younger children would really enjoy it, particularly if they have a Kindle that will read to them; and older girls of 10, 11 and 12 would love reading it as well, especially since Sophie has an older sister. I look forward to more Sophie books from Susan Braun, this talented new author of “Sophie, Pay Attention (You Too, Rhoda).”

Source: PDF version of Sophie, Pay Attention (You Too, Rhoda), provided by the author.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Caring for Caregivers: Hospital Ministry When You Are the Patient

I wanted to say that I am now answering comments with comments of my own; I know a lot of you do this, but I never have before, so I'm trying it out. I like the conversation aspect of it. Also, I wanted to share the hospital philosophy that God has shown me, so I'm sharing (below) an article I wrote about my hospital ministry when I am a patient:

“Please, Lord,” I prayed, “don’t let me so self-absorbed that I miss the people you’ve put me in here to minister to.” I was lying in the emergency room of a local hospital, after having been brought in by ambulance because of chest pain. The doctor had just been in to say they were admitting me, so I knew it was time once again for my hospital ministry.

I have been hospitalized more than the average bear, and like most people who are sick and in pain, I had sometimes felt a sort of “me against them” mentality toward the people upon whom I was completely dependent. But then one time, years ago, the Lord opened my eyes to the needs of the caregivers, and a hospital ministry was born.

Now, whenever I am hospitalized, I ask for God’s help to focus on the nurses, doctors, techs, CNA’s, and anyone else I come in contact with while a patient. I pray that God will give me the words to say to minister to these souls who spend all their days ministering to others. This has completely changed the way I feel when I am hospitalized, benefitting me as well as the people I am there to bless.

Realize that the caregivers are human beings with needs of their own

The caregivers in a hospital are not like personnel in any other business. In the course of their daily jobs, they give so much, doing things for complete strangers that absolutely humbles me, and so often they do it with aching backs and sweet smiles. They give and serve and help and assist, but who is taking care of them? I’ve found that when I focus on them and ask how they are doing, or about their family, or their feelings about their job - they look startled, and then pour out their own particular woes to a sympathetic ear.

I figure it’s the least I can do, considering all they are doing for me, and yet this is not as selfless as it sounds, because like all of the things of God that seem counterintuitive to us when we are being self centered, this strategy actually makes me feel much better. When I take my eyes off me, and fix them on Him, I stop feeling scared, miserable and like a victim whose life is out of her control. Instead, I feel almost like a missionary in a foreign land. Missionaries face danger and uncertainty, let alone inconvenience and discomfort, but they know they have a job to do in service to their Savior, and I  likewise have a job to do in my hospital ministry.

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

It is easy when I am frightened and vulnerable to only notice when someone does something wrong. The things that inconvenience me or cause me pain seem to loom large. But when I focus on ministering to the staff at the hospital, I begin to really notice the myriad things they do that also ministers to me.

Once I begin to notice what they do for me, it is easy to feel gratitude for their service. But I make a point to take it further. First, I try to say “thank you” a lot. I also praise them to their superiors if possible. Secondly, I try to offer a friendly smile. And lastly I try to remember to say and not just think the positive things I notice about them.

This time, for instance, I thanked the girl bringing the meal tray for being a bright spot in my day, and then after my meal, which included a superb soup, I wrote a note saying how delicious the soup was, and left it on the tray. When I woke one night to a vision of loveliness in the form of a beautiful young woman, I told her that she was so lovely I thought I had dreamed her. Anyone who was able to draw blood with out causing agony received special praise! Staff in a hospital are used to working with fretful, hurting people, and a little appreciation goes a long way in ministering to them.

Notice the human being, and not just their impact on you.

When I am intent on hospital ministry even though I am the patient, I try to pay attention to whomever looks tired, worried, happy, or anything I can ask about without being intrusive. That way they can tell me what they choose. The next day, when that person comes on duty, I can ask how their sick sister is doing, or whether their birthday party was as much fun as they had anticipated. Sometimes, I ask a family member to bring a little dish of mints or gum that I can offer the staff. Just little kindnesses that lets them know someone cares about them and that they don’t always have to be the servant.

Pray for the people you come in contact with.

When I am lying around in the hospital, I have extra time to pray, and the people I am ministering to are often in need of prayer. Sometimes, I tell them I am praying for them and sometimes not, as I feel led. I don’t always overtly witness, but to paraphrase St. Francis of Assisi, I try to always preach the gospel even when I don’t always use words. God leads as to who is open to more, and in our conversations I certainly talk the way I always do, which is full of references to prayer, blessings, God’s care and provision, and all the things I just naturally talk about, but I don’t force it, or expect a response from them. God knows what they need, and I ask Him to provide it. I do make sure to ask Him to let me know if He wants to provide more of an overt witness through me.

Be forgiving and merciful about mistakes.

This one can be the toughest part of a hospital ministry when I am the patient, because sometimes the mistakes cause me a great deal of pain, trouble, inconvenience or discomfort. When they have a hard time remembering to come to my room to help me get on or off a bedpan, for instance, it is very hard to be gracious. When they really hurt me putting in an i.v. or forget to give me my medicine on time, or leave me stranded without my call button in a precarious situation, fear or distress can make me forget that they are busy human beings, not malicious or lazy. This takes practice and prayer, and I’ve found the absolute best thing is to remember that my life and well being are not in their hands, but in God’s Who knows all things including my needs, and will supply them. It’s not out of line to ask Him for help and relief, or endurance, and the Savior Who died on the cross while forgiving those who put Him there gives me the grace I need to serve Him.

I never know when God will call me to my hospital ministry, but every time I am a patient, I know there is a purpose for it, and I try to be a servant of the living God, and “bloom where I’m planted.” This time, along with discovering that a major artery in my heart was 99% blocked and putting a stent in it, I also had another opportunity to engage in a hospital ministry when I was a patient.

Source: personal experience

Monday, September 19, 2011

Be Still, My Foolish Heart

My apologies for my absence recently. Unfortunately, I have a really good excuse. I began having chest pains again and on Labor Day found myself once again in an ambulance on my way to the Emergency Room. Another week in the hospital, another round of tests, including for pulmonary blood clots, another heart catheterization and once again, my heart was blocked in the same spot - so another stent; the third in the same place in six months.

Evidently my heart does not like metal stents very much. A bypass is looming, but hopefully (prayerfully) this stent will be the solution. The first time, I thought, "Whew, dodged a bullet! But now I'm fixed and all's well that end's well." Except it wasn't ended, after all. A few short months later I was back in getting a different kind of stent inside the first one. But the first one was a bare metal stent, and there was a 20% chance of restenosis - my heart had quickly formed extreme scar tissue - so they put in a drug-eluting stent. Only 5% chance of this one ever reblocking. But two months later, it did.

So now I "get it." I have an ongoing problem and they can't just fix it. They did tell me, however, that it was not my fault and that helped some. I have been doing everything I am supposed to. I actually crave vegetables now. Never saw that coming. I fix salads with spinach, radishes, carrots, celery, cucumbers, red cabbage, green cabbage, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, precisely 3 olives and sometimes a bit of chicken. That's probably more veggies in one salad than I used to eat in a year! And I like it. Very much. I don't even think of unhealthy foods as "real" food anymore. I've lost 30 pounds so far.

The exercise is a bit trickier, because every time this happens it sets me back to square one. I had just gotten to where I could exercise 30 minutes daily again. Now they tell me that in a few weeks, I can set the timer for 5 minutes and walk around inside my house, as long as I don't hurt and my heart rate doesn't go too high. Once I can tolerate that, I can add one minute every other day. I thought this was a major over reaction, so I tried it after one week. Turns out they were quite serious. I had chest pain for 3 days afterwards.

The medicines aren't much fun either. The slow release nitro pills gave me an excruciating headache for hours every day. But when I quit taking them I had chest pain. So I'm back on them. I chose headaches over chest pain, but this time the headaches aren't nearly so bad, so maybe I've adjusted, hallelujah!

All of this heart nonsense makes me think of my mortality. As a Christian, God has blessed me with peace, contentment and joy in this life. I love my life! But I have eternal life as well. This life is just the journey. Heaven is the destination, and the reward. I mean, really, even if you are having a great time on the ride, you still aren't sorry to arrive at Disney World, right? I am loving the journey, and I am looking forward to the destination. May God help me bloom where I'm planted, and glorify Him in whatever circumstances I find myself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tattoo Review

A teenage girl of my acquaintance recently acquired a new tattoo. She is quite excited about it, and I can't figure out why. I know I'm over 30 and not to be trusted, but if any of these young people asked me, I could give them several good reasons to steer clear of "body art," for their own good. Ah, there's the rub. What young person wants his plans thwarted "for his own good?"

When I was young, the only people I heard of who got tattoos were Military men. The rumor was that they were often drunk when they allowed themselves to be talked in to it. Usually when someone will only do something if they are drunk, it is either a) stupid, or b) painful. Quite frankly, if it is so painful that someone who gets shot at for a living is afraid to have one, what business do I have attempting it?

But there are other reasons beside cowardice that make me reticent. I'm also cheap - and tattoos aren't! When I want to spend way too much money to have someone hurt me, I just get really sick and require medical procedures, like a sensible person. Sometimes I even get permanent scars!

Actually, permanence is behind my major reluctance to be tattooed. I  know what I use to draw on my hand in ink when I was a teenager, and I can assure you that I would be embarrassed if those things were still emblazoned on my hand to this day. What in the world would I want so badly that I'd be willing to wear it on my skin forever?

Some people have answered this question to their satisfaction. I was treated to a "tour" of firemen's tattoos once, and these men had really good reasons for every tattoo on their bodies. But these were battle-weary men, not teens. Teens are prone to growing up, and growing up changes one's likes and dislikes considerably.

There is something else these teens fail to consider. Besides growing up, the sad fact is that many of them are destined to grow, um, shall we say, out! Changes in weight can drastically change the look of a tattoo, as it does everything else. Girls in particular want to put tattoos in places that are likely to change over the years. I was told of a young lady who had a lovely little rose tattooed near her navel. Lovely, that is, until pregnancy caused the rose to bloom into a bloated, ugly blob that did not recede with a return to normal size.

So I am unlikely to ever get a tattoo. (Although my Dad waited until he had a prosthesis due to losing a leg to diabetes - he had a wonderful tattoo drawn with Sharpies that was the envy of all the rehab patients!) But if my entrepreneurial side ever kicks in, I'll be busy coming up with a way to remove tattoos thoroughly, because some day, when these young people grow up and change their minds about the body art they loved in their younger days, the real money will be in tattoo removal!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Steve Hawking claims we don't need God, because the universe can be explained entirely by the laws of physics. But apart from God, how can we make sense of the existence and properties of the laws of physics? How could such laws exist apart from a law-giver, and how could we know that they apply everywhere at all times? The Christian world view can make sense of these things.

God upholds the universe in a logical and consistent way that can be at least partly understood by the human mind. Thus, the Christian world view provides a rational foundation for science. However, Hawking is left in the embarrassing position of having no logical justification for the methods and procedures of science. He must borrow concepts (like universal laws of nature) from the Christian world view while simultaneously denying the Christian God." - Dr. Jason Lisle, Astrophysicist

Friday, July 29, 2011

Perfect Beach Day

We took Anna to the beach today for the first time. We went to Sanibel Island on a perfect day. We saw dolphins, a parasailer, dogs swimming, and this lovely little sailboat. Anna loved the beach and we all had a wonderful time!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Fond Farewell From a Floridian

It was with a fond smile of nostalgia that in the early morning hours of July 21st, 2011, I heard the double sonic boom of a returning space shuttle for the last time. After all, the space program has formed a backdrop to my entire life. When I was born, fifty years ago, the space program was just getting off the ground.

Eight years later I experienced the excitement of the United States landing on the moon vicariously through Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. I never looked at the moon the same way again after that. Instead of seeing an unreachable mystery, I gazed up and pictured men walking on its surface; I wondered if someday, I would be up there too. A couple of years later I went with my family to Cape Canaveral, Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center. We marveled at the enormous scale of all the equipment and machinery, and craned our necks to see all the way up inside a building so huge that if anyone dared to open a window, clouds would form inside.

I visited again as a young wife, expecting my first child. This was in 1981, just as the Space Shuttle program was being launched. We sampled vacuum-packed, dry ice cream, Neopolitan-flavored, to be exact. We strolled the Rocket Garden, and I posed with a roving astronaut, in full regalia. We toured the facility, saw rocks brought from the moon, and dreamed of some day bringing our children to see a launch.

A few years later, I stood outside on a beautiful winter day with my two young sons, excitedly anticipating the send-off of Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space. We watched as the silver-tipped plume rose steadily in to the sky. But just before the Challenger “slipped the surly bonds of earth,” suddenly it went shooting everywhere, and the orderly column of smoke became three large plumes falling back to the earth. I thought, oddly, that it looked as if an enormous banana was being peeled by a giant hand, and I knew something was terribly wrong. Later I cried as I saw Mr. McAuliffe’s face on t.v as he stood beside his two young kids. His expression. turned from pride and excitement to confusion, then horror. As hard as it had been for me to explain to my young children, it couldn’t compare to his job with his own motherless children. I mourned along with the country again when the Columbia and its crew were lost.

Over the years, we watched other shuttles rise in to space, and were awakened abruptly, weeks later, by the distinctive sonic boom that shook our house so hard we thought something had crashed in to it. Every time we would be startled and concerned, then laugh as we realized it was just another shuttle announcing its homecoming.

So July 21st was a day of nostalgia. That child I was expecting is now expecting another child of his own, and the Space Shuttle and I are retired. It is the end of an era, for the space shuttle program, and for me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Good News All Around

I had a great visit with my new cardiologist today. I am released to exercise! That should help with all sorts of conundrums. Exercise helps regulate mood, blood sugar, weight, circulation - I am looking forward to getting back in shape.

I also found out recently that I am getting a super present this Christmas (or thereabouts). A new grandbaby! Anna will have a sibling soon. Don't babies just make you happy? Me, too.

Speaking of Anna, she and her parents will be here in just over a week. I am so looking forward to seeing them all. Hopefully this rain will let up a bit, so we can take Anna to the beach for the first time in her young life. Although I am certainly not complaining about the rain, which we needed quite desperately. I do feel a little sorry for the cows in the pasture behind our house, although I have to admit they seem to like it. Probably cools them off in this intense summer heat.

Wow, does it ever make the grass (and weeds!) grow - well, the flowers, too, though. But now that I can do things again, I hope to weed around the crepe myrtle plants and help hubby mow the lawn. So what's up with you these days?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Movies

We saw three movies this weekend, with varying degrees of enjoyment.

The first was Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon at the theater, compliments of our son. I can't say the story line was my favorite... but visually it was pretty amazing. My guys liked it a lot more than I did. It's definitely a "guy" movie - but if you're gonna see it, the big screen is the way to go.

The next one, from Netflix, is called "Extreme Days." This is pretty hilarious, actually. It is the story of four lifelong friends going on a road trip/extreme sports trip they've planned their whole lives. If you remember being young and having an hilarious trip with your friends, you'll relate to this movie. It is billed as a Christian movie, but it really wasn't, although some of the music was Christian rap and rock. However, this designation kept it clean(er) than almost any other "road trip" type movie. It is very funny but without coarse language, sex, or extreme gross out stuff. There is a voice-over "Jackie Chan" style spoof fight, goofy antics and mild romance, and some great sports shots as well, such as skateboarding, skiing, etc. If you like funny movies, but felt "Dumb and Dumber" was way too coarse, you'll love this movie.

The last movie, also from Netflix, was my favorite. It's called "Bandslam," and I'd seen bits and pieces of it when I was in the hospital. We all loved it! It's about music, and the actors are musicians who do their own singing and play their instruments, which gives it a lot more realism. The plot is a sweet teenage misfit that knows an insane amount about music. He transfers to a school where "Bandslam" is THE event of the year, and when a popular girl realizes how much he knows about music, she talks him into managing her fledgling band so they can enter the contest. Vanessa Hudgens of "High School Musical" fame plays against type as an endearingly strange and unpopular girl. The movie is so sweet, funny and clever, yet doesn't fall in to the usual traps in teen based movies. There is no sex, coarse language or gross out stuff of any kind. The relationship between the kids and their parents is mostly good, with a lot of respect as well as love. Nothing about this movie is predictable and everything about it holds true to the theme right up to the closing credits. I highly recommend this movie, and you can even watch it with your kids without blushing! Amazing!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Anna!

I want to say Happy First Birthday to our precious little granddaughter, Anna! I am a little stunned at just how much I love this little girl. She is a gift straight from the Arms of God. Being a Grandmother is everything everyone said it was and more. What pure delight! I just spent time Skyping with her and her mother, and she is learning and changing and growing more beautiful every day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Back to Blogging!

Hello, my old friends! I have decided to begin blogging again - I've missed you all too much to stay away! I don't know if anyone is keeping up with me at Associated Content; I enjoy writing there, but it doesn't have the intimacy blogging does. So I'll be trying to catch up with all of you in the coming days. Ok, maybe weeks.

In the roughly nine months I've been away, a lot has happened, as I'm sure it has with you all. I turned 50. I like being 50! I think it is a good, respectable age. The half-way point! Not too young, not too old. And being a new Grandma, it seems fitting that I not be in my 40s anymore. Unfortunately, my body did not like turning 50, and my heart rebelled. I started the new year out by getting fit and in shape, but right in the middle of Turbo Jam I began having severe, radiating chest pain - this was back in February - and a 99% blockage in the main artery (the widower-maker!) was discovered, and, as I thought, fixed with a stent. But it turns out stents are more like a patch. Anyway, instead of getting better, I began getting worse, and just last week I ended up back in hospital, getting a stent within my stent - scar tissue had blocked it all back up again. So now we're praying that doesn't happen again, because if it does, I'm facing open heart surgery.

I also got to go spend some time with my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter this spring. My son was in hospital too, with pneumonia, flu, ruptured eardrum and possible cracked rib, so I went up to help out. It even obligingly snowed one day while I was there! A treat for a Floridian, let me tell you. I am happy that I avoided any tornadoes tho! My little granddaughter is the cutest little thing ever! I enjoyed her so much, and she was in major learning mode while I was there, which was a lot of fun. She's about to celebrate her 1st birthday, and then at the end of this month, they are scheduled to come for a visit, hallelujah!

Ok, that's enough for now, don't you think? I want to find out about all of you! Stop by and leave a comment, will you please?
Related Posts with Thumbnails