Covid-19 Vaccine TOGETHER

I am so thankful for each of the scientists who worked on producing the vaccines. Bob and I have both had 2 doses of the Pfizer brand. After the second dose we both had a couple days of feeling just crummy. Had already planned to lay low and let our bodies adjust. We are much better now.

I must admit, I have been cringing the past few months with all the ads on TV about the vaccine and showing those needles filled and up close, in arms, too.

When I was three or four I played jump rope with my sister and her friends. They were trying to get me to do double dutch.

I fell. I broke my leg. I rode in the backseat of the car many miles to the hospital. I was put in traction for 6 weeks. (Think 1954.) My father was in the same hospital with one of his many heart attacks. In 1954 there was not much they could do about heart disease. At one point they rolled our beds into the same room so I could see him. When I came home from Good Samaritan Hospital I was in love with the Sisters of Charity who took such good care of me. I am certain I learned the Presence of Jesus while there. I remember them holding my hand when the doctor was ready to cast my leg. The wraps were hot and I was so afraid.

Once home I was also terrified of white coats and needles. I was so fearful my parents could not tell me about any doctor appointment the night before because I would get very worked up. I worked for years to overcome all of that trauma. And I succeeded.

As to those ads showing the injection and those needles. I was more than unsettled knowing I would get that twice. I did okay. The first nurse to administer it did not do well. The second nurse was great.

We are still washing our hands. Avoiding crowds. Wearing our masks. Keeping our distance. But there is a sense of coming freedom!

We still need to keep well so we can get moved and unpacked! Bob says this virus will likely become like the flu. We will eventually get annual injections. We are both in high risk categories, but so grateful for the vaccine developers, nurses who administer the injection and the other people who actually get the injection to help keep it from spreading and killing people.

TOGETHER, yes, we are in this together and we can get through this TOGETHER. I praise God giving the scientific community the wisdom and methodology to develop these vaccines. I rejoice that He is able to keep us. I cannot answer the questions about those who died, and those who grieve their passing. I have been holding my breath afraid that Bob or I might die before we get this house built. So far, it looks as if we are moving there together.

Regardless, I will continue to praise my Lord and my God. He is “worthy to receive glory and honor and power for You created all things and by Your will they were created.” Revelation 4:11 NIV

This song keeps following me and I decided it fits right here. All along there was another in the fire. And He remains with us.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

–Daniel 3:16-18, 25

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!

I Feast So That

I feast upon Your word, chewing on Genesis, ingesting Psalms, pondering the Gospels, reflecting on the Epistles. I do this because I need Your light and guidance.

Before I know it, I am led into meditation. As Your Spirit leads my heart and mind, the food of Your word rises up in revelatory moments within me. You show me the path.

Your word is a lamp for my feet,

    a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105

When difficult situations arise, You give me Words for the weak and weary. You draw them from the memory bank we have built, You and I together as I feasted upon Your Word. Help me to lay up these lovely treasures in my heart and mind. I feast so that I have a Word to share in times of need.

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,

    to know the word that sustains the weary.

He wakens me morning by morning,

    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

Isaiah 50:4

If you have been fearful about sharing your faith or insights gained through your personal struggles, perhaps feeding upon the Word of God will help you know how and when to give a Word in the right season.

Apply your heart to instruction

    and your ears to words of knowledge.

Proverbs 23:12

Sold!

This housing market is nuts. An impossible prayer request, I prayed we would know who should live here next. 17 showings on Saturday. 4 on Sunday. 8 offers. Yes, I was wiping down door knobs and other likely touched surfaces. At our realtor’s suggestion we even printed a sign that read “Please leave all the lights on for the next showing.”

Since I had NO clear direction as to which buyer, we sat with our realtor Sunday late afternoon reviewing all the offers and decided what offer would be best for us. Ended with cash offer, no inspections and no appraisal. No more people traipsing through our house!! No waiting. Done deal.

Monday morning we were both absolutely exhausted from the stress and excitement. (Also, 2 old people without their naps for 2 days. Ugly.) Kidding, but we are still tired on this Tuesday.

We have the signed contract. A relief that this part is finished. The idea of making our home look like a sterile Air B & B for weeks was daunting!

Photo by r m Dutina

Yes, we had absolute faith that this house would sell. No, we had no inkling for how much! The neighbors are delighted! Their property values just went up. We are moving in about 8 weeks. Today is writing, mundane errands and more rest from the real estate market. Then back to packing and planning.

Thanks for your prayers! As the crocuses begin blooming and the first daffodil opened this morning we are continuing the process of saying good bye to Siesta Drive! Letting go of these flower beds and lovely shrubs is difficult, sigh.

Gratefulness.org

Want to subscribe to a daily gratitude quote? This is the place for you! They also send out a monthly newsletter with things to challenge your spiritual growth.

Since we have been cleaning and packing I have been paying attention to things that I had not thought about in a long time, like dovetail joints on our furniture.

A recent quote read:

Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides.
ANNE LAMOTT

Makes you think doesn’t it? Barring the pandemic, why are we not more likely to be of service when that is where joy resides? And who doesn’t want more joy?

David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine Monk and major motivator at Gratitude.org. Once he posted a challenge to write out 100 Gratitudes, not only numbering the items (What) but also asking that you detail the WHY of your gratitude. It was an interesting challenge. The first few I was more prolific on the whys than the last few. Guess I found it too hard to have to detail why I was grateful. What a spoiled brat!

Gratefulness and gratitude cannot be overstated. The practice reminds us that we are not in charge, no matter how much we want to be!

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!

Reading and Current Events

I have a message every Friday from Book Bub. I signed up a couple years ago. You tell them your favorite genre and they send you suggestions of books from free to $2 or $3. Their self-description reads: ” BookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover books they’ll love while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. Upon joining, members receive unbeatable deals selected by our expert editorial team, handpicked recommendations from people they trust, and real-time updates from their favorite authors. BookBub works with all major ebook retailers and devices, and partners with thousands of the industry’s leading publishers and authors to promote their books. BookBub was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.”

So currently I am reading “Light From Distant Stars” a novel by Shawn Smucker. Last night I read “Cohen wonders what it’s like to monitor so closely the mortality of strangers, to watch as death gathers them up, sometimes slowly, stretched out over days or weeks, and sometimes in a moment, before anyone can catch their breath.” As most of you know this virus mortality is taking an enormous toll upon the health care workers. Even the fictional medical TV shows are portraying their difficulties with so many people dying alone with only the health care worker to hold their hand and comfort them in their final time on earth. Yes, they are heros.

Isn’t it interesting that this book published in 2019 about a man’s father dying struck so close to home in Ohio in 2021?

Predictions are that a total 450,000 Americans might die before mid-February. Thank goodness most who are diagnosed have mild symptoms and are not likely to die from Covid-19.

So what is a woman to do? Have not been well for several days. I can’t tell if I have had mild food poisoning and a sinus infection or Covid-19. So this morning I went to get tested (Monday 1-18-21). They did a drive through test. Came to the car and swabbed my throat. When I called my daughter to tell her I was tested (so if it is positive she won’t be surprised) found out her household is not well either. Her husband ran a low grade temperature yesterday and isolated himself. The teenage Grandgirls did not feel well when they went to bed. Being a day off school they were sleeping in as usual. Emily has had Covid, but not feeling well herself. So either we all have sinus infections, or whatever. (Update: one Grandgirl tested positive.)

I have no fever, but our friends in New Mexico tested positive and never had fevers. If my test is positive (2-7 days for results) I might list my symptoms for you. I have not had a combination that screams YES! for Covid-19.

I have five of the above.

Try to stay well! Here are some ideas I have collected about Covid. “Wait it out. Be patient. Try to stay alive.” “What can’t be cured must be endured.”  

Donkey Trail 1990

Stubborn Beast

90-6-25 Donkey Trail ©Molly Lin Dutina

“While traveling on the road of God’s will I hit a dip in the road and got jostled off the path. The dip occurred where the Lord asked me to do something, but fearing His will I inwardly said, “No!” Francis of Assisi was familiar with me when he called himself “Brother Ass.” I locked my knees, dug in my heels and soon resembled a stubborn donkey that must be pushed, pulled and cajoled to be made to move. Blind to my disobedient nature and still pouting before the holy ways of the Lord I decided if He really loved me, we could compromise on another way.

“I stepped onto the Treadmill of Debate, a perpetual conveyor belt going nowhere but in circles. Fearful and resistant to God’s will I asked, “Why?” and presented Him with all of the “What-ifs” and “If Onlys.” I formulated brilliant reasonings for resisting His ways, deluding myself and dropping further and further away from His light.

“Until I accepted His will, relinquished my ideas and gave all things over to Him I could not continue on the adventure of serving God. As usual, when I actually arrived at the point of resistance it turned out to be so unlike what I had imagined might occur, that later I wondered why I was so silly and donkey-like not to yield immediately in trust to Him. My efforts to control led me onto a futile treadmill going Nowhere. God’s mercy urges me to let Him direct my steps and enjoy His fellowship in the Now Here.

“Help me to trust You more, Lord. I want to live present to You in the Here and Now for in this experience alone is my salvation. As I begin to err, thank-you for taking me off the highway and into Your discipline. You truly are “able to keep me from falling and to present me without blemish before the presence of Your glory with rejoicing!” (Jude 24)”

Conundrum of Safe Shopping

So I place my online order and picked up went to get it 2 days later. I get home and my husband says “Wasn’t this buy one get one free?” Yes, those notebooks were on sale and we only got one. So what would you have done with this online order? Would you have ordered two and hoped one was free? Or would you have ordered two and hoped you did not get four? I called the curbside phone number and the person who would decide if I was due another notebook was out to lunch. So, I have one notebook and no definitive answer yet. And the receipt has yet to show up online. Grrr.

Placed online order at another store. Had extra time before my pickup slot. Decided to dust and straighten up the house. Get to the store and realized my coupons were at home on the table. Drats! So I went home, unloaded groceries, ate lunch. Went back to the store. Put on double masks and went in to get my almost $9.00 refund. Came out to the car, washed my hands, took off the masks. It was worth the drive, even with gas and mileage. I am the one who used to cut coupons, wait until they had expired and THEN take the coupons to the store.

I get so frustrated with these safety measures, but so far neither one of us is sick with Covid. We do have colds, but so what? They are not severe or loaded with possible Covid symptoms.

It has been said, “This, too, shall pass.”

Retailers are saying this is the new way of shopping. So much for saving the planet. Some neighbors get Amazon deliveries two and three times a day! Guess I am just an old woman who would like to browse through the grocery store again. Online you cannot raid the markdown bins.

Cluttered

Yes, I know this is a cluttered photo. I snapped it to share with my daughter. This is my “Christmas Cactus” true name Zygocactus. Mine usually blooms sometime during the winter. This being the year of Covid and doom and gloom, death all around, mine decided to bloom on November 13 and bore mostly DOUBLE blossoms and buds! Yes, I was amazed, surprised and thankful. By November 13 most of my garden flowers are long past blooming. I did have an occasional carnation and snapdragon, but no more bouquets like April-September!

That corner of our office is no longer cluttered. We have been going through the house like the Tasmanian devil cartoon character!

Ruthlessly throwing things out like notes from retreats I have taught in the past. The four drawer filing cabinet is down to one. I just need inspiration to finish that one! I looked at one thing in the office and realized I had not even touched it in a year. Away it went.

The basement is unrecognizable. We have pared down, given away and trashed many items. This is one of my husband’s dreams some true. He knows I call him “Mr. Tidy.” I am not nearly as tidy as him. So Mr. Tidy is enjoying this process. Now he is amazed, surprised and thankful. I am getting into it. Covid staying at home has done this weird thing to me!!

Know anyone who wants some vintage crochet patterns? Yikes.