Worth It

Tuesday this week I had my eyes dilated. If someone would create the eye drop to reverse that dilation they could make a fortune!! I SO dislike the experience and would pay extra for that reversal drop. I know the doctor wants to examine the back areas of my eyes. It is necessary, especially with Type 2 diabetes like mine. I get it. I just hate it later.

This afternoon I get my second Covid vaccine. Grateful for the development of the vaccine. Even after one dose I had to really watch myself to remember to mask up, clean my hands, keep my distance, especially from ones I love or haven’t seen for almost a year. Inklings of psychological freedom!

After the pneumonia injection I had a badly swollen arm for over a week. Hoping since I only had a mildly sore arm after #1 Covid shot I will have no reaction to the #2 shot. But even if I have side effects, it has to be better than contracting a potentially deadly virus. My husband and I are both high risk and we have been vigilant and most careful for the past year.

Please get your vaccination and stay safe! Even if you get the vaccine and catch the virus you are reportedly protected from the worst of the symptoms, probably protected from hospitalization and death. So worth it!

“Holy” Cards

Death came early in my life as so many relatives were much older than me. My mother gave birth to my sister and I late her life. In childhood the “holy cards” from funerals became some of my cherished possessions. I remember as a teenager pinning them to the wall near my bed. Even today, I have a few to help me center during my prayer time.

We are not only packing, but as we were readying to show the house we stripped away all sorts of things from our lives. Molly, do you really need all of this stuff? Is this part of that 2021 ‘Transform’ word now being experienced? Less and less of me and more of You Lord! Had to put away those cards.

Now I need to hold fast to my Lord without those images to center me. He is love and grace and mercy. There is no image that can comprise all of His attributes. I must simply let Him guide me and keep hold of my hand.

Lead on, O King Eternal.

Likely ten weeks until we are moved, unpacked and beginning to settle again. Lord, continue to keep us well, I pray. Over 500,000 deaths in the USA due to Covid-19 and still counting with new variants looming.

Talking with Tony about packing made me realize anew how many open containers of cleaning agents I have and I need to pack. Will we really leave things for him to do or go into a frenzy doing packing ourselves? And then our energy runs out. Help us pace ourselves for Your work and kindness towards each other.

Rhythm or Melody?

Grandma Snapp played the piano most of her life. My Grandfather was a preacher. Grandma played the piano. My mother, their only daughter for 21 years, was made to lead the hymns standing on a soapbox.

In her last years Grandma Snapp drummed her fingers on the table. That made my mother crazy! I always imagined she was perhaps playing part of a piano piece?

When I turned 65, I found myself unconsciously drumming a rhythm with my fingers. When I realized what I was doing I wondered, do I do it because Grandma did? Is it hereditary? I am not a pianist. The rhythm seems comforting.

iPhone will let you set your vibration signal. I have mine set for incoming calls. Guess how I set mine? Yep, same rhythm! Find it under ringtone, custom vibration.

Our Gardens

Consider this quote from Joy Harjo:

“Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their families, their histories too. Talk to them, listen to them. They are alive poems.”

As we make more plans about our upcoming move this spring this quote spoke loudly to me. If you have followed my blog for a year you know my attachments to our gardens and trees which we have cultivated over the last 15 years. (Difficult to grasp we have been in this house that long!) Some of the bulbs, ferns and the rose bush we brought from our previous home.

The quote above encourages me to remember, talk to them, listen to them and acknowledge that they are alive poems. When we moved here part of the motivation was I could no longer keep my gardens due to arthritis. And then at this address my husband kept building flower beds and I kept putting in perennials, especially spring flowers.

It is hard to say goodbye. Now I must decide what plants are going with us and what we leave behind. At the last house the new people did not keep up the flower beds. That was sad. At the house we are moving to there will likely not be sod in the yard or a place for a flower bed for weeks or months. Our son assures me my plants can live in pots for quite a long time. How much can I truly care for in the near future?

Can the old rose bush tolerate another transplanting?

Should I do a cutting of the pussy willow shrub? Is this the time to pare down not only our possessions but our gardening activities, too? Most likely true. Most of the plants and bulbs we could easily purchase again (or sneak over here when no one is home if they do not have cameras and dig up what we cannot live without!) Evil woman’s mind at work.

At this point I think the rose, one or two fern crowns and columbine. Time will tell!

January Flowers

January is the month to purchase flowers at Kroger’s. They had roses for $10 a dozen. I ordered the color I liked through Click List. They were gorgeous! There is no certainty these days that roses will open in a lovely fashion, or wilt and bend over, or stay frozen in the pose of the bud. These opened gradually and in a remarkable fashion. Especially at $10 a dozen! I also splurged and ordered a bunch of tulips. They did not have the small bunch I ordered, so they queried the proposal that I mighty want to accept the larger bunch in its place. Well, certainly! Especially since they only charged me the smaller bunch price.

The wonderful thing about tulips, once they are cut – they are the only cut flower that continues to grow after being cut. (I think I learned that from a weatherman on TV.) So I made arrangements of the two flowers.

Four days later the arrangements looked rangy. The tulips had grown, as Tim Hedricks told us. So I cut the tulips back and changed the water, letting them bloom on!

Aren’t they sweet? Too bad they have no fragrance!

I liked them so much I bought the two flowers again this week, although in different colors! They are especially soothing as we tear up the house, take down photos and favorite things off the walls getting ready to show this house. We have lived here about 15 years. Last time we moved we had lived there 30 years. Raised two kiddos there. So this is not as emotional as leaving where the babies grew up. We do have some wonderful memories here, though. As I went out to walk Lucky last night I remembered the Peter, Paul and Mary song that started, “This house goes on sale every Wednesday morning And taken off the market in the afternoon.” Written by Tom Jones. Now Taylor, if you read that, it’s just a song! You know we intend to move!

I counted in the bedroom. Bob had about 20 nail holes to patch. And my favorite deep purple wall will need painting according to realtor advice. The realtor wants to meet in about 4 weeks and show the house March 1. Seems too early to me, but we are adamant about a clause that gives us two weeks to move out AFTER we close on the new one.

Glad we did not wait until we were any older to do this! Every evening we are weary and making lists of what else needs to be done. Quite a pandemic distraction!

Oswald Chambers

I have read his book My Utmost for His Highest for many years. This year I bought myself a perpetual page-a-day calendar with his personal prayers entitled Knocking at God’s Door. Here is the prayer for January 11:

Lord, the hilarious simplicity of trust in You seems almost levity until I remember You, and dare not not be glad! Spread joy and gladness all around us this day.

Oswald Chambers

Usually there are things of joy and gladness around me IF I will simply notice. When our children were young, say 1977-1987, we were able to purchase a small vacuum called a “DustBuster.”

A CLASSIC CREATION – – An original 1979 model of the Black & Decker DustBuster (pictured here), as of 1995, is a permanent part of the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., right next to one of Thomas Edison’s first light bulbs and Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephones in the National Museum of American History wing. The handy vac is celebrating its 30th birthday in 2009. (Image courtesy of Black & Decker / NOT for sale via The Times)

Today I learned from Wikipedia: “The design originated from the Apollo space mission, where NASA required a portable, self-contained drill capable of extracting core samples from the lunar surface. Black & Decker was tasked with the job, and developed a computer program to optimize the design of the drill’s motor and ensure minimal power consumption. That computer program led to the development of a cordless miniature vacuum cleaner.”

We got rid of that appliance years ago. Now we are going to build a new home that will have mostly laminate floors that look like wood. I found a good sale at Kohl’s and on the advice of a friend purchased a Eureka vacuum called a Blaze. It has a long handle and a floor attachments which can both be removed to create, yep! a ‘Dustbuster.’ Bob is using it right now as he patches places where we have hung photos frames, sands and paints the patch. No, it is not cordless, but it seems more powerful than the original one we owned.

Wikipedia continues: “By this time, (about 2008) it is estimated that over 100 million “Dustbusters” had been sold. “Dustbuster” has become a genericized trademark for a handheld vacuum cleaner in some parts of the world, due to its success as a design and worldwide recognition.” Just like we call facial tissues, Kleenex, and cotton swabs, Q-tips.

I find it so amusing that over 40 years ago we needed one to clean up after kiddos and now we need one to clean up after ourselves and our hairy dog! Yes, Beagles do SHED!!

Be glad and spread some joy today. Even if the gladness comes from a simple appliance like a Dustbuster!

Comfort

When I was 17 by family of origin blew up. I ended up in Juvenile Court and was made a ward of the state until my 18th birthday, several months later. My mother and stepfather were deemed unfit to finish raising me. I went to live with Becky’s family. She was my friend all through our public school years. Her Dad drove me to high school everyday, with Becky and her brothers. Those mornings Dwight was on his way to teach music at the elementary school where my cousins attended. Her parents attended the same Episcopal church where I attended. They had at least 5 kids and were willing to house me until classes began at University of Cincinnati.

Becky’s mother’s name was Maria. I admired her so very much. She was a tremendous comfort giver without trite sayings or false wisdom. Once when I was upset over the family blow up she drew me into her large kitchen. They had a huge gas range with a drawer on one side.

It might have looked like this.

In the drawer she kept her saltine crackers. They were never stale from humidity because of the pilot light in the range. They also were warm. She sat me down at the table, made some tea and brought out those crackers with jelly. I was comforted by her listening skills, but also by her comfort food.

Maria was a lovely lady of faith and artistry. Her home was a comfort. I saw her many years later with a brace on both wrists. She suffered from arthritis. My heart was saddened by her pain. She assured me the braces helped. I never dreamed then that I too would someday wear a wrist brace.

She told me once how her beloved husband, Dwight, courted her and brought her a bouquet of Sweet Pea flowers. I planted Sweet Peas and was able to take her a bouquet.

I miss her dearly and think of her often. She is one of those women I want to emulate. May God bless her soul and keep her close in heaven. I look forward to seeing her again!

Not Petrified Me

As I’ve written before, the Holy Spirit brings me songs when I am headed for or have reached a roadblock. When we traveled through the petrified forest of Arizona, Bob had never seen anything like it. I had a memory of seeing it from childhood. We were able to purchase a few pieces from a gift shop in town. Some were polished. One is shaped like a triangle. It reminds me of the Trinity.

Piece is larger than life

The other morning I picked up the triangle piece and held it during my prayer time. Wanted to carry it all day, but knew it would be too uncomfortable in my pocket. Then when I least expected it, this song came back to me.

I do not want to become an old woman who is stuck in her ways. I am certain there are already some things I do that someone has created new and improved methods for not yet adapted by me. For the most part, I want to conform to the Lord like the Living Water He provides for me. I want to be flowing, not like Jello or petrified wood: congealed, hardened, stuck.

So my prayer for you is that you will loosen up in 2021 and learn how to flow better. Velma Frye published a CD called Take Heart. Here is her song “Ever Flowing.” the lyrics were written by Sister Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB July 28, 1939-April 24, 2020. I heard her teach once and as SO blessed. Hope you enjoy the song. You might have to click on the link.

https://youtu.be/xIqEXCXeTU0

unpolished piece on the bark side
Unpolished core side

Movie Dinner

Our Christmas Day celebration was unusual. Celebrating with family was over and no big dinner plans for just the two of us. For the first time ever I got Bob to watch the humorous movie “The Christmas Story” which has nothing to do with our faith. He has always loved BB guns and had only seen portions of the movie. “You’ll shoot your eye out!” In that movie when the neighbor dogs steal the Christmas dinner, the family goes to a Chinese restaurant. So I suggested we order Chinese for our Christmas dinner, too. We called the restaurant to be certain they would be open. I know the woman who works there is a Christian and we did not want to take any chances.

Sure enough they were going to be open! So here was my Christmas dinner this year!

Cashew Chicken with Vegetable Egg Roll and broccoli from Bob’s Sesame Chicken! YUM. And we always get two meals from Chinese Takeout so that made double yum, but only one egg roll.

Not posting any big end of the year ideas. We have each had a difficult year in our own ways. I think the second verse of 2020 (i.e., 2021) will be much like the first. Glad the vaccines are here. Unlikely the virus will become under control for many more months to come.

Meanwhile, I am downsizing in a major way! Have compacted my sewing room. Will likely only sew a few masks and do mending in the future. I have one more t-shirt quilt in mind, but that too might not happen! Gotten rid of the major portion of crochet patterns collected over the years. As a crochet teacher I had collected many patterns. I got nostalgic when I found patterns I had made for my children and grandchildren. Following the advice of my friend Betty and our former Pastor, Bob Gerhardt, I am trying to embrace growing older gracefully. Letting go of things from the past is one way to do that.

Next we move to the main floor of the house and down size there, too. The builder should break ground on our new house in February. They say it will be ready in May. I’m thinking Bob will be ready to move in April and I won’t be surprised if it takes until June.

So don’t shoot your eye out, wash your hands, wear your mask and social distance for months to come. We each want to live to enjoy thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s 2021.