Saturday, February 27, 2010
I started to cut the little one out of the second picture but I couldn't cut those pretty eyes out. The good news is this study and a letter to my sweet aunt made my time for this month - nothing toward the debit I have but hey - I can celebrate if I want to. Eileen called before I left for the study. She was sitting on the beach wearing a light jacket, said the wind wasn't blowing at all and it was wonderful. She wants to move down to their little house when her hubby retires which may be sooner than later. He just isn't sure so they are thinking about trying it out if he has his knee surgery and they can be there a month together while he recovers to see how it goes. It would be a big move for them but she has wanted this for so long I can't help but hope she gets her dream. She is getting closer to the congregation there and even though I would miss her, it would make me happy knowing she is happy. I also spoke briefly with Roseanna - she had a good day in service and got her hair cut today! We were both so ready to get our hair cut! She was telling me they had a fun girls night this week so I know that made Bri happy. Then I received a few pictures and text messages from Fran - they are working on a big surprise for this coming weekend (shhh not going to say) and were going through old pictures. She sent me one of Kurt and her youngest daughter from their trip to CA years ago - they both look so young! They WERE YOUNG!!!! She also sent one of Page, Wen and Chris from Kurt's graduation party but it was even more blurred than this one. We are both getting excited about being together in a few weeks! I can't wait! We agreed there is nothing like good memories and we plan to make some of our own. Big D and I have fallen in love with Manchester's Grill and like that we can call for take out orders. Big D is going to pick up a bottel of Chardonnay (at Food Lion - costs an arm and a leg at the restaurant) and our dinner. Okay - it isn't the best wine but I knew better than ask him to buy me Kendall Jackson - he would have freaked out!!! He is trying a Shrimp Pasta tonight but I'm sticking with one we have both tried and liked that has chicken and Italian sausages. Yum.
Friday, February 26, 2010
pleased. Big D took a picture of the back and I tried to get a few of the sides. I really think I'm going to like it but we'll see after it grows a little. I left quite a bit of length in the back and on the sides. After my shower last night I realized we were almost out of our wonderful soaps. I like to buy large Hand or French Milled Soaps as I have found they last so much longer, create more creamy suds and are more cost effective than the cheaper brands. Yep - I'm a Soap Snob! You can find some great soaps at places like TJ Maxx and a few other stores like it. I don't like strong fragrances but just opened one of my favorites. I love the fragrance of Pear Soap. My dear friend Ann had a wonderful shop and I became addicted to a Pear Soap she carried. Yum. She also got me hooked on the homemade soaps they sell at Whole Foods that I buy now in blocks for the kitchen. I miss her shops (she had two in different locations) and I know there are times she probably does too but at least she has the satisfaction of knowing she was able to have a dream come true and how many people can say that? Ann is so talented in so many ways. I love reading her Blog and following the adventures of her lovely little family. I hope she will be able to continue feeding the strong hunger she has to express herself. She has a talent for making the simplest acts special - from turning lunch for her kids into an adventure to helping them feel free to express their own creations and talents. I can't wait to see her next entry. Miss you Ann.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Looking back in history - a book I have taken for granted my entire life was censored as far as it's being accessible to the "common man" for so many years. That book is the Bible. There are still some places where it is still censored which would come as a surprise to many people who are not only aware of but can not even comprehend such a thing.
Other cases of censorship may come as a result of someone choosing not to report something to the general public as it might cause more more harm than good. For example a reporter may learn of something that might make him a superstar in his profession but when the information would cause an individual harm or anxiety, that reporter may choose to censor himself and not print the information as he may have desired to do.
In the first century, many Christians were put to death for carrying out the commission given to all Christians to continue preaching about Christ even though that work had been censored by the authorities of that day. Many are facing physical persecution and imprisonment even today for doing the very same thing in several countries.
So censorship can come in two forms - one imposed by another authority or one that is self-imposed because of a request or because it is deemed the information is more harmful than good. Freedom to share our opinions on issues and/or people, institutions, movies, plays, sports, whether to pull for Chevy or Ford in NASCAR - is something that comes as easy to us as breathing. When someone asks us to censor ourselves and what we write or talk about; it takes a few minutes to assimilate that request. Assimilate means to take in and utilize as nourishment : absorb into the system b : to take into the mind and thoroughly comprehend dissect that request.
As a minister, we try to listen and think before we speak and choose our words as wisely as we possibly can. That isn't censorship - it is putting the importance of the life-saving message before our freedom to be able to speak it. That doesn't mean it isn't hard to not speak freely of something that is very important to you - but you have to work on self-control and use your words wisely and for the good of others and not just yourself.
I will have to say once more how much I do appreciate freedom of speech - especially with those who love us and accept us for exactly who we are and what our needs are.
Tune in next time for more ramblings of an old lady.....
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
meetings but she hopes to be able to catch a ride about 45 minutes out to see some of the people she used to work with over there. She will probably kill me for putting this picture on here but I love it! I took it at the beach last November and she had just rolled out of bed, not combed her hair or anything but I love that pretty face and smile! I have another one of her she sent me and her Daddy when he was in the hospital for his final surgery. She had turned the shower on and turned around and all but scared herself by what she saw in the mirrow. She took the picture with her phone and sent it to me with the note - where are the squirrels? Her hair was totally hilarious! It looked like a nest of squirrels were still in it and her expression looked like a deer in the headlights! Daddy used to tell her in the mornings when she would roll out of bed on weekends - "don't walk in front of the windows - you are going to kill the squirrels!" and we would die laughing. After laughing my own head off - I passed my phone to Big D and he kept saying - Oh, Oh, Oh - it hurts to laugh but he also couldn't help himself. And NO - I am NOT putting that one on here. There might be a squirrel walking by your window and I wouldn't want to kill it! :-) Overall - it looks like it was a good decision to go. We were enjoying our conversation when I suddenly remembered where I had called! Yikes! Don't even want to know how much that cost but believe me - it was worth every single Euro!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I still miss him - so many things I have wanted to share with him over the years that I know he would have enjoyed hearing. I also think he would have loved seeing how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren came from his loins. He always loved being one of the few who had so many children at school functions and he bragged about his smart beautiful girls to anyone who would listen. He always wanted what was best for us and was proud of all our accomplishments.
I sent this to everyone on my family and close friends list. I just wanted them to all remember him today too. He would have liked that also.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I was also thinking about I.T. today. It still seems unreal to me that he is gone. I know Mae and her children have very hard days but hopefully time will lessen their feelings of pain and loss. This picture was taken 2 years ago - I loved that little twinkle in his eyes when he would look at you. There is still a hole in my heart where he lived for so many years. His son and his family are down at the beach this weekend. His son married one of my beautiful spiritual daughters and she sent me a picture over the phone with the question - Ever See Snow At The Beach? Still one of my favorite views in the world crammed slap dabbed full of wonderful memories of the past 40 years in all 4 seasons. I hope they are having fun. Our snow we got during the night last night is all but gone which is okay with me. I'm still sitting here in my gown and sweat pants just typing away in my "journal". I know Page - I need to get off the computer and get busy on this house. But it truly is like your Gma used to say - you will always have dishes to wash, clothes to iron and floors to sweep but you have to make an effort to live life every day. She was a wise woman in many ways your Dad's Mom was. I loved her dearly. And of course you know how much she loved you. She always made me feel like I had given her a wonderful gift in having you and your brother and being so willing to share you guys with her. She could also kick some serious buttocks playing Scrabble - never know she had a 3rd grade education when it came to that game. :-) I sent Kurt a cartoon from the newspaper the other day. It made me remember how he used to tell me and Daddy that he might move out of our house when he grew up but that he would "never" move far away from us. HELLO! Daddy and I were talking earlier after I called Page to see how she was feeling. I mentioned I hated her being so far away AND sick and he commented that at least we can be proud of the fact they are both productive and strong which is more than a lot of our friends and family can do. What more could you ask for? We aren't going to go there right now - besides, I always promised I would never try to guilt or manipulate my children and loved ones in any way and I plan to hold to that to the best of my ability. If anything, I think sometimes I may over-do it and later wonder if perhaps I should have said something or expressed an opinion. Oh well - it is better to wonder that than to regret that you did put your nose where it wasn't wanted - right? I almost forgot - I had a moment at the meeting Thursday night. If you know me, you know what a Klutz I have always been; falling down stairs, falling up stairs, walking into doors, walking into walls, and many other embarrassing moments. As a result, it is hard for me to be embarrassed because I tend to laugh at myself louder than anyone else. I had a coughing spell at the KH and decided to walk back to the lobby to get a drink of water. As I opened the door to the lobby, I felt something on my shin and as the doors closed behind me, I felt something around my ankles. Upon looking down, I said in a surprised voice - My Slip Fell Off!!! Okay - I was already laughing and when I looked across the lobby and saw Keith about to fall out, I laughed harder. The hard part was when two brothers rushed to my "assistance". They not only "helped" me step out of my slip but we "all bent down together" to pick it up. So I said - "Wow, I must have lost a lot more weight than I thought!" NOT - haven't lost a pound. As a matter of fact, have gained 5 pounds since they put me on BP medicine. Yep - thought I would celebrate. I know - I have to get back on track and be Pro-Active - that will be tomorrow. I called Roseanne because I noticed Norah Jones was going to be in Durham so we agreed we wanted to go and then I remembered - we will be a the beach that week! Oh well - 3 hour show - week at beach. That was a no-brainer. I did want to share Roseanne's beautiful granddaughter Rose. Look at those eyes and that beautiful smile. Bri waited a long time for this little girl and I know she and her dear hubby are enjoying every single moment they have with her. I sneaked this picture off FaceBook. I can't believe I'm on FaceBook. I have made three new friends (friends/relatives of existing friends)and love catching up with people I had "lost" and seeing people's pictures. I have to be careful though - it can become addictive and I am a little OCDC at times. :-) I also have a few people I had to "hide" as I'm sure most people aren't interested (at least I'm not)in their personal agendas. I only have one more thing to share in this Miscellany -Daddy cooked some ribs tonight and I'm in the mood for ribs! Yum! He also wanted me to take a picture of a few left-over eggs he deviled (he made potato salad to go with the ribs). He wanted the kids to see his with the jalapeno on it. Crazy man - guess he will be sitting low in the bowl tomorrow morning - so what's new! Okay - that is all the Miscellany I have for today. Until next time...
The one above is Page coming down the hill by herself. Don't forget to click on picture to see it clearer.
This is where Page and her Uncle ended up when they came down together. He told Leah he had his feet dug in the whole way. The next picture will show you where they almost ended up. Yep - in the CREEK!
And the next one is showing how Page felt about her Uncle almost dumping her in the CREEK!
But doesn't the driveway look much better! :-) So they had some fun along with all the hard work. Poor Kurt didn't haven't as much fun - he had to shovel people out constantly and work on furnaces most of the time.
The funny thing is most of the snow this weekend was from us down into the deep South including GA. I talked to Page1 last night and bless her heart, she is sick as a dawg. This isn't a good thing on many levels. She is supposed to fly out to Europe Monday morning and there is no way she can fly being as sick as she is. It makes her feel so bad because people went the extra mile (and extra $$$) to get her in this class. I did speak to her briefly this morning and she didn't have a fever. We'll see. I don't think they got enough snow to keep the flight from taking off so she will have to decide by tomorrow what to do. It didn't help that she started feeling sick early in the day but the spent most of the afternoon with Bentley's medical appointments and tests. It looks like surgery will be needed before it was anticipated. He is also going to have to get some things changed with his job. I hate when my baby girl is sick so far away from me. But I'm grateful she has someone to take care of her and someone else to snuggle. CoCo - go snuggle Page! LOLOL
Friday, February 12, 2010
Then on Tuesday, the kids and I stopped by on our way to the Book Study - there was still snow and ice on the ground but the roads were passable and it was very cold. As usual, as soon as I hit Mama's front door, I made a bee-line for her little bathroom. She used to say " For goodness sake - there must be a switch because not a one of you ever comes into this house without making a bee-line for the bathroom!" :-) A sweet memory of that night Mama and I used to talk about was that as soon as we walked into the house, Kurt said - "I like your hair Grandma!" We both laughed because she had just brushed it out to be fixed the next day - back then people got their hair fixed and teased and it lasted a week.
While I was in the bathroom, I heard Daddy get up and go into the kitchen where Mama fixed him a snack. My son who was only 4 at the time and called him Grandpa (he is the only one who called him that) was just chatting away and I heard Daddy's voice talking back to him and Mama. My daughter had slipped into the bathroom with me and by the time we got out, Daddy had gone back into the bedroom to lay down and Mama said she thought he would feel fine by the next day.
On the way home that night, I tooted the horn as usual, got the kids in bed and put on my nightgown, long robe, socks and Mama's old corduroy bedroom shoes. Just about the time I sat down on the couch, the phone rang and it was Mama. She didn't think Daddy was breathing. As a rule, we left our keys in our cars back then but that one stupid night, I had put the keys in my pocket book. I remember I emptied my pocket book upside down, grabbed the keys and my wallet, threw my coat on over my robe and took off. I heard Dwight talking to Mama about calling 911 as I flew out the door.
It has taken me many years to realize I can't fix everything. In our family, I don't know if I took on the role of "fixer" and/or arbitrator or it was placed upon my shoulders but I've worked hard to relinquish that role these past 14 years since Mama died. My heart races even now when I remember exactly what I was feeling and thinking along the lines of -"Okay, take it easy now and be careful because there is still ice; OK - you made it out of the driveway now gun it; OK, slow down now for the light and the road will be better after that; now gun it but be very careful; Thank goodness there isn't any traffic but there is still ice so stay in control; Oh Jehovah - please, please, please help me be what I need to be no matter what I find. Stop it! Please help me stay calm so I can be of help."
Bascially though, I think I felt that if I could just get there, it would be okay somehow. As a rule I am still pretty good in a crisis. I have learned how to slow down my breathing and concentrate on listening so that I can think clearly and try to contribute to and/or support resolutions to problems rather than adding to them. I also know better than to "lose it" because then no one will listen to you or more importantly, they will not share any information with you.
I flew in Mama's yard covered with ice and flew up onto the porch - I don't remember hitting the steps but I must have hit a few of them. Mama started crying a little when she saw me and I remember very calmly telling her, "Sit down Mama, it's going to be okay". You know how in the movies, you walk in and the person isn't moving and doesn't respond so you put your fingers on their neck or their wrists to find a pulse? Well forget that! The only pulse you will hear is your own heart beating so loudly in your own ears you can't hear anything else. Daddy looked like he always did but he didn't respond which was totally not normal for him. It was at that very moment that I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do to fix this. I almost lost it but I knew it would really upset Mama and then the police got there within minutes the Ambulance arrived. One of the paramedics was a friend of my older brother-in-law and knew who we were right away. They asked me to leave the bedroom while they put Daddy on the floor to try and revive him. I went in to be with Mama who started crying and that scared me because she'd had a mini-stroke several years before so I calmed her down and about that time, the police who was standing in the doorway watching them work on Daddy said they got a little signal on their machine and that calmed her a little but he told me not to get our hopes up too much. (I have often wondered if our friend decided to give us time to pull it together by taking Daddy to the hospital - if so , he did a good thing.)
About that time there was a knock on the door and this tall, handsome, elderly gentleman in his PJ's, coat and nice hat came in and said, "Hello, I'm your Mother's neighbor from next door and want to offer any help you may need right now." I will never forget his gentlemanly kindness at that time. Mama got up and went into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee and I asked him to be with her while I called all my sisters. Then I went into my old mode of taking care of business and before they got Daddy ready to transport to the hospital I had called all my sisters and several nieces and nephews locally and most of them got to the house around the time I left to ride in the ambulance with Daddy while my brother-in-law and Big D followed us to the hospital. I grabbed Daddy's wallet as we went out - they had taken his pajama top off and we all got to see him as they rolled him out and we all noted later how handsome and healthy he looked. I can't tell you how much he just looked like he was sleeping so that made the reality harder to grasp.
When we got to the hospital, I insisted on going back with Daddy but once again, I was reminded that I was not in control and escorted to the desk. I opened Daddy's wallet to give the receptionist his health insurance information, it fell open to the first group picture we had made as sisters and that was it! I lost it totally! She basically took the wallet, got the information, gave the wallet to BigD and then escorted us to a private waiting room. I got myself under control again and not too long after, our doctor who met him at the hospital (we had called - it was different back then - believe me) came out to give me the really bad news. He said Daddy never woke up and didn't suffer in any way. It appeared his heart had just stopped beating.
Since he died at home and had not been sick, an autopsy was performed. The next day was very busy with getting everything ready for his funeral to be held the next day. In some ways it was a blur but then I can remember most of the details as if it were yesterday. We all felt like we had been kicked in the chest by a mule - wake up, make the bed, brush your teeth, then say - what now? Oh - I know. I'm going to Mama's. Then we would sit and talk and around noon Mama would say, it's time for lunch and get up and start making biscuits. And one day followed another and another and another and another. My first thought the day after Daddy died was - "Who will take care of me now if I need it?" You never stop thinking of your Daddy (and Mommy) as the ones who would "always" take care of you no matter what.
My kids know most of this and even a few more details that I didn't want to put in a public forum but I wanted to write it in my "journal" since we plan to print it out one day so that my granddaughter will have the memory also. Life is precious and can change forever between the hours of 8:45pm and 10:00pm. At 8:45pm, my Dad was talking to my son and Mama and at 10pm he wasn't breathing. Don't take one minute for granted - live every moment to the fullest - even if it is just reading a book you wanted to read or taking care of chores that need taking care of - do it in the moment. Uh Oh - there goes my daughter's Word for the Year 2010 - Present - live in the present. Sometimes it takes remembering something from the past to make you actually feel the Present. Love you Daddy