Best News in A Long Time!!

Bob was bemoaning another pre-op physical. It will be too many days between his first cataract surgery and his second, more extensive cataract and eye surgery in December. So they require another physical. He went to the doc, got check up with nurse practitioner and blood work. (Will we ever see the actual doctor again?!?)

When the results came in he was thrilled, (me, too!). The kidney values were normal and the best he has ever had since his serious illness in 2018!! His kidneys are completely healed!

If you know someone who has ever experienced kidney failure in the midst of sepsis you realize how important this is. At first in 2018 when they put him on dialysis there was no indication how long he would need the multiple times a week treatment. Perhaps for the remainder of his life? Slowly his kidneys showed signs of beginning to function. Very slowly. Then gradually he was told he no longer needed dialysis. He was cautioned to be very careful with salt intake, certain medications, even over the counter ones, etc.

So he has been very conscientious since then. Now this good news! Best reason I have ever heard for repeated physical check ups!

All glory to “Jehovah Rapha”: the God Who Heals. I do not understand how He heals or why He sometimes chooses not to heal, but each time I see His healing touch I am moved to worship.

Jehovah-Rapha has the power to heal physically (2 Kings 5:10), emotionally (Psalm 34:18), mentally (Daniel 4:34), and spiritually (Psalm 103:2–3). Neither impurity of body nor impurity of soul can withstand the purifying, healing power of Jehovah-Rapha.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Jehovah-Rapha.html

Report on Lucky’s Vet Visit

Yes, she was terrified. When she went for her check up in July they emptied her anal glands and she cried. One was really bad. So she is not brave at the Vet.

She was given oral medication for the flea infestation. Vet said some fleas develop a resistance to the drops. Today, Tuesday, she is scratching less and more peaceful. When I brushed her this morning I found a few live ones still on her. We are washing all her blankets and pillows. Sweeping the house like crazy. Bob will set off a bug bomb soon and we will vacuum again and again to try to eradicate those evil pests.

Her eyes look better this morning. The vet said this med were best absorbed with food. Lucky was fed before her 5 PM appointment. While I opened her new pill vet went to get a little “snack” for her. Before vet returned the pill was gone. She fed Lucky about 1/3 can of wet dog food. Luck-Luck was delighted with that!

So we will be purchasing flea tablets from now on. Keeping watch over her to make certain she is flea free!

You do NOT want fleas, trust me!

At Best Buy

An older man walking with a cane was leaving the back of the store as I stood in line at the Geek Squad service desk. He took two steps and seemed to gasp. I thought perhaps his oxygen was faulty? He had a small black bag over his shoulder. The store greeter offered him their wheelchair. The man shook him off. I watched him go to his car to make certain he was okay. He made it on his own. Otherwise, I was going to grab the Best Buy wheelchair and offer to escort him to his car. The store greeter asked if he could help me. I told him I was watching the man to be certain he made it to his car. He told me he was watching too, on the front door monitor. I commented the man did not look well. Store employee agreed.

The nice man at the Geek Squad desk was able to release my computer to me early. It has been running extremely slow and making writing this blog and other tasks frustrating. So I took it in for a tune up.

When I was finished and had loaded my computer back into my trunk, I noticed the man had returned but had not yet exited his car. Went to speak with him and offer my empty cart if he wanted to use it to walk back into the store. Asked if he was okay.

He said he was embarrassed. He got in the store previously and thought he had lost his wallet. He went home to see if he had left it there. Turns out he was not carrying oxygen, but a murse, “Man-Purse”. He had put his wallet in the wrong pocket. He was so angry with himself. That is why he was huffing as he left the store. Just so, so angry. I assured him we all do those sorts of things.

He said growing old is hard. I said it is not for sissies! He laughed and said his mother used to say that. He said “Someone above has always looked out for me. Call it Him or Her or whatever you want.” I assured him I need all the help I can get and rely on God all the time.

We continued to chat. I asked him to be gentle with himself. We all need help. Be kind to himself. He was then smiling and breathing better. He took my cart back into the store.

As I drove away I wondered if he might have benefited from a meditation I heard recently. Are you familiar with the app “Calm”? I recently listened to a morning meditation read by Tamara Levitt. The link to Calm explains her role as “A meditator of over 25 years, Tamara is the Head of Mindfulness at Calm, where she writes and narrates the company’s meditation content, a role she has held since 2014.”. That morning the title captured me. The reading was “Age Mindfully.” I was so impressed I transcribed it. Below are portions of her writing. She is quite gifted.

Getting older isn’t easy. As we age our memory beings to fade. Our body begins to slow down. And the world responds differently to us. We can’t trivialize these challenges. They are real. And they can feel scary. But if on top of those real challenges we resist our changing reality, we are sure to suffer.

Tamara Levi

I am now convicted. In my concern for the man as he left the store I assumed his murse was an oxygen unit. I am wondering though if he might have been more patient with himself over the misplaced wallet if he had grasped the idea that resisting the challenges of our changing reality brings us suffering?

Many authors of many types explore the ideas of impermanence and the transitory nature of life. I will address that in another posting. Tamara went on to say:

We can allow impermanence to be our teacher, observing our changing reality and then rather than resisting the aging process, we become more able to embrace it with a sense of openness. With less resistance we are more easily able to flow from one year to the next, one stage of life to another.

Tamara Levitt

Less resistance. Sounds good if I can actually embrace and accept the changing phases of my strength, age and abilities. The good news is my right foot and leg are improving and I might get rid of this orthotic boot very soon! Physical therapy pays off. The exercises will be needed the rest of my life.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4 NIV

Even when I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come
.

Psalm 71:18

Late Summer Joy

It seems I have waited all spring and summer for the Jewelweed. I knew it bloomed but I had not noted when the flowers arrived last year. So fitting that the Latin name is Impatiens capensis, wrote impatient Molly Lin. Until we moved to Platform Street we had never had this lovely plant growing on our property.

Turns out this year the flowers were showing in late August. We had a flowerbed cultivated across the back of our yard. It was my sincere hope that the Jewelweed would not be erased by that plan. The good news is the Jewelweed stretches across our yard and the yards on either side of our property. It is said the name Jewelweed was given because it appears to sparkle when wet.

When I was a child l learned to recognize the tiny cornucopia-shaped flowers so I could find the seed pods when they formed. The magical pods, that when ripe, would explode at my touch and create tight coils from the edge of the pod that looked like ribbon curls at Christmas. Then I learned this was the ingenious way the plant spread its seeds.

Internet photo shows some seeds in burst pods

Rather like Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” the Jewelweed gifts me as I watch the hummingbirds and butterflies seek out each blossom for nectar. On the edge of my seat watching sparkling jewels when leaves are wet, cornucopia flowers, feeding station for hummers and butterflies, exploding seed pods, the plant that keeps on giving. I do not contract poison ivy, but have been told if you are exposed to it you should crush Jewelweed leaves and rub on the exposed area. It will diminish or eliminate the rash.

Jewelweed Trembles© Molly Lin Dutina 22-9-5

Jewelweed trembles
Just one stalk at a time
Not breeze
Hummingbird making
Morning patrols

Preparing supper 
I glance out kitchen window
Trembling Jewelweed
Nourishing hummers and butterflies
While I fix vittles
for dog and people

So learn to see this plant. If you get to walk in a park you might come across it. It also grows in ditches and likes wet places. Watch for those treasures in plain sight!!

Internet photo

Themes Fold In Upon One Another

Have you ever had a recipe that said to fold in ingredients? Here is a bowl before ingredients are folded in.

The week of August 8 our church leadership was hit with another wave of Covid. Many of those afflicted have already had Covid, yet they are ill again. One of the women in our small group in her 80’s has Covid. There is another in her 80s in our group, 2 of us in our 70s and on down the age numbers. Our host decided it was best to cancel our biweekly group. So we will have no meetings for the month of August. (Another meeting was canceled due to attendance number too low.)

Then I wondered if we should meet for the Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 discussion. So far 2 out of 4 have said yes. Phillip Keller wrote

He leads his flock gently, but persistently, up the paths that wind through the dark valleys. It should be noticed that the verse states “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” Somehow, in a serene quiet way I am assured all will turn out well for my best because He is with me in the valley and things are under His control.

pages 100, 102 A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

Reminded again a contemporary saying, “The best way out is usually THROUGH.”

That brought me back to the challenge by John Eldredge in Resilient. One question he poses on Page 8 is

If another pandemic were to sweep across the globe next week, some brand-new deadly threat, and we found ourselves back to quarantines, living under the vague threat of suffering and death, in a state of constant uncertainty about the future, with no clear view of the finish line – how would your heart respond to that?

Eldredge – Resilient

When it comes to our household the threat isn’t exactly vague. Pneumonia is also circulating around here. You might remember in 2018 my husband contracted influenza with pneumonia and was hospitalized in ICU with a ventilator, septic shock, organ failure, etc. The medical community was not certain he would survive that first week. Today we have been double vaccinated and double boosted against Covid in this household. Still do not want to tackle Covid and pneumonia at this address.

So I found myself wondering “Have I gained the resilience to go through this round?” Oh yeah, I never finished the book! The skills in each chapter have been strengthening. Now throw in the fact that I have been in pain with this plantar fasciitis since mid-June and in this orthotic boot since end of June. Now Doc is prescribing 3-5 sessions of PT to see if there is improvement. If not, then steroid injection. If no relief then surgery. I wanted to run from his office screaming NO SURGERY! But then again, I cannot run right now. Molly, can you be resilient through this too?

On page 125 Eldredge wrote:

The survivor understands that their present situation is something that they are moving through, passing through. They are enduring with resilience, which is why Jesus encourages endurance. This is not my lasting reality; this is simply my present reality. We are tapping into the help of God and the strength that prevails simply to see us through these times.

-John Eldredge

He goes on to say “This frame of mind changes everything,” Yes, John, it surely does. I have had foot pain and been clumping around in this boot for so long that I forgot this is just something I am going through. It just seems as if it will go on forever.

How to get my stability back? Joy & Strength reading for 8/15 quoted Joshua 1:7 “Be thou strong, and very courageous.” Yes, Lord help me with that, too. Strong and very courageous. She quoted Frederik Temple as saying

God does not require from you to be sinless when you come before Him, but He does require you to be unceasing in your perseverance. He does not require that you shall never have fallen; but He does require unwearied efforts. He does not require you to win, but He does require you to fight.

Frederick Temple

To change my frame of mind to going through this, with Jesus, enduring with resilience because Christ Jesus the King strengthens me. I fight back the darkness of discouragement and press on towards the light and the upward call of Christ Jesus. The themes from those three sources touched the struggle within me and folded in together to help change my attitude and determination to fight back the darkness and strain towards His light and upward call.

FOLDED IN UPON ONE ANOTHER

Are you ready to tackle your current personal challenge with these quotes? Do you know in the depths of your being that your Good Shepherd goes with you through this and every challenge? Are you persevering in ways that are strong and courageous? I challenge you to take these quotes and principles of the Kingdom and apply them to your personal challenge. He IS with you and for you. Trust Him to se you through this.

Streams in the Desert

Mrs. Charles E. Cowman compiled quotes from Sunday School lessons, sermons, books and Scriptures that were published under her title “Streams in the Desert” in 1925. A friend gave me a copy that was in the 29th printing in 1950. My friend did not like it due to the older style of speaking. Now it has even been published in contemporary English.

In 2005 Bob bought me a copy that was published as a journal with lines to make notes. I have noted things over the years. IN 2018 I posed the question, “Molly can you read sea charts and navigate by the stars? No.” This morning when I opened it the bookmark fell to June 1st. Ha! I love her quote from Charles Spurgeon, known as a “Prince of Preachers” during the late 1800’s.

Why dost thou worry thyself? What use can thy fretting serve? Thou art onboard a vessel which thou couldst not steer even if the great Captain put thee at the helm, of which thou couldst not so much as reef a sail, yet thou worriest as if thou wert captain and helmsman. Oh, be quiet; God is Master!

C. H Spurgoen

It reads something like: Why do you worry yourself? What use can your fretting serve? You are aboard a vessel which you could not steer even if the great Captain put you at the helm, of which you could not so much as reef a sail {I do not even know what that means!} yet you worry as if you were captain and helmsman. OH BE QUIET; God is Master!

I got the OH BE QUIET part. Aren’t there times when we need to tell ourselves to shut up and sit down? Lately I have been in an orthotic boot trying to recover from Plantar fasciitis. That pesky ligament in the bottom of your foot that can get inflamed. My trusty foot surgeon basically told me to go sit down, do icing, stretches, rest, Tylenol, steroid tablets, wear the boot and rest: i.e., quit walking so much. Once out of school, does anyone heed when they are told to go sit down? Well, if the pain is bad enough this one does.

Molly, OH BE QUIET. You are not a foot surgeon and you do not know what is best for you. Sit down and hush. As the weeks have plodded on with me thumping along in this orthotic boot, strapping and unstrapping the front blade on with the tearing sound of Velcro, I have repeatedly told myself, “Buckle up, Buttercup and Hush! Stop complaining and be grateful you have good medical care. How many women on the run from Ukraine need an orthotic boot and do not have access to one?”

What am I worried about? Bob has had to do the dog walking a minimum of twice a day for the long walks. I do the short ones at 11 AM and 8 or 9 PM if I am able. Bob has been doing the shopping except when I go to a store and get a wheelchair cart. I am really trying to get better and store the boot until next time I need one. We have not walked along the lake road in a long time. No museums. An occasional movie. yep, fairly sedentary here. It is truly a pain for me to drive any place as it is my right foot and I cannot drive in the boot. If I drive for more than about 30 minutes it hurts to drive even with a slipper on.

Oh be quiet, Molly. Go sit down and write your blog.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

    do not fret 

Psalm 37:7 NRSV

Three times this psalm says ‘do not fret.” I always say God knew to write it 3 times because I would not catch it otherwise. Be quiet. Be still. Jesus, my Captain says: “Do not fret, over dog walks or shopping lists, or housework or other errands. Yield to this current situation and heal. Ride the storm of right now and let Father be in charge, because Molly dear, you are not.”

Humor and Aging

Without your glasses are you using the Spray ‘n Wash stain stick or Underarm deodorant?

With your glasses off are those eye drops or scalp drops?

Steroid cream says do not use internally. Doctor says apply to your gums. Go figure!

If you are on a low salt diet is it okay to soak your foot in Epsom Salts? How about swimming in a friend’s in ground salt water pool?

Level of pain determines which cream I use on my face! Arthritis and TMJ are NO FUN!!

How come we find time to do so many things, including visiting others, and rarely find time to do things for us (like shooting photos downtown or cutting quilt squares)?

Since I never learned how to cook for two I have plenty of food to share with others!

My, oh my, this life brings humor if we are willing to look for it! I do not envy my kids or caregivers as I age. How come I think many of those comfort options will be dropped then as non-essential? A counselor who did her internship at a nursing home said she wants to hire someone when she grows old to pluck the hairs that grow in unusual places. How about my left elbow? Can I count on you to do that for me?!?

  • Best News in A Long Time!!

    Best News in A Long Time!!

    Bob was bemoaning another pre-op physical. It will be too many days between his first cataract surgery and his second, more extensive cataract and eye surgery in December. So they require another physical. He went to the doc, got check up with nurse practitioner and blood work. (Will we ever see the actual doctor again?!?) […]


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    Saturday

    Saturday used to bring up thoughts of cartoons, unlimited: Tom & Jerry, Roadrunner, Bugs and the gang. Then it brought up my children watching those shows and me having time to myself. And now? Well, this close to Christmas it usually means too many activities to be done in too little time! How are you […]


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    Advent Began November 27 This Year

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Sunday!

I did not get this post written on my usual writing day. And next week looks even worse as far as quietening time for writing. But seize the day! Here I am for the Sunday posting and when I opened my computer Bing told me we are at “Halfway Day.” Frankly, I never remember hearing about this day in my entire 71 years!

“It’s Halfway Day, the midpoint of the year. We’ve lived through 182 days of 2022, and today is the first of 182 days left—we’re halfway there. It’s up to us whether we see this as a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty day… But the past is gone, so we’re all for making the most of the remainder of the year.”

Saith Bing

That certainly rang a bell though! Let’s make the most of the remainder of this year! Last week in our group study I mentioned that Psalm 118 is the center book of the Bible, (someone taught me that years ago), and verse 8 in the center verse of the Bible.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in humans.

Psalm 118:8 NIV

Now I think that is certainly true!

Pondering what to write I remembered a praise song based on 1 Thessalonians. It does not seem to be on You Tube, but the words are easy to read, something else to accomplish EVERMORE!

Rejoice evermore.

Pray without ceasing.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 KJV

So how would you finish this blog? What could you write? Here are some of my thoughts.

Getting along with a family member much better. My closest neighbor/friend has finally gotten home from Florida. Our entire home is finally painted inside. Tiles in bathroom are repaired and cleaned. Josh did our windows! Cliff built some window sills. Holy Spirit is present with us always. The Word is powerful and has never lost its power. We got 3 turkeys thawed, baked, cut up and stored, (not to mention shared and eaten). Awful heat and humidity broke long enough for some outdoor chores to get done. Now it is back. Free online photos to enhance my writing. I have never learned to cook for two – and that benefits others. I love to read and books are abundant! I am grateful for upcoming Doctor appointment as plantar plantar fasciitis is not healing much on its own with boot though I rest, stretch, soak, ice, etc. I pray without ceasing for Cathy and Kathy and Kathy. Others are often in my prayers including Kassie, Sue, Pamela, and Ginny. I give thanks for Jeff, Melissa, Natalie, Juanita, Angie, Bob, Terri, Jessie and Lee. Emily, Dave, Liz and Ellie are delights. Almost every single plant I brought from our old house survived in new flowerbeds. Ferns are flourishing. We really like our new church home. Our marriage continues to flourish though we are aging and slowing down. It is nice to walk Lucky without coat, hat, gloves and scarf. Though a sun hat, ice pack and a bandana are helpful!

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2 NRSV

“A living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” He desires your sacrifice.This is seen as your spiritual worship! “BE TRANSFORMED” by the renewing of your mind. Gain the discernment towards what is the will of God. What is good and acceptable and perfect.

Oh there are so many things we CAN do to please God. No time to focus on the “Thou shall nots” if we are doing the things God desires.

Rejoice

Evermore.

And if you find typos here, yep, Molly wrote it!

Stand Look Ask

Thus says the Lord:

Stand at the crossroads, and look,

    and ask for the ancient paths,

where the good way lies; and walk in it,

    and find rest for your souls.

But they said, “We will not walk in it.”

Jeremiah 6:16 NRSV

I have been familiar with this passage for many years. When I had the recent pain flare it was brought back to my mind. As I seek ways to cope I keep remembering this passage. Stand. Look. Ask. Walk. Find rest.

Seems simple enough. I do not want to be part of the folks who said, “We will not walk in it.” Just like my life verse Isaiah 30:15

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:

In returning and rest you shall be saved;

    in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

But you refused

Isaiah 30:15

I do not want to refuse in things the Lord asks of me. So yes, I will seek medical advice, but I will also look to the Lord for guidance and instruction on how to cope with this part of aging. When Bob worked in the hospital as a Medical Technologist part of his job was to go on the floor and draw blood specimens early each morning. He often had to wake the patients to do that. He asked a man one morning how he was doing. The gentleman replied, “Well, I woke up on the right side of the grass!” We have taken that as one of our bywords when aging and illness throws us for a loop. The alternative would be to not finish out the stories going on in our lives and the lives of those we love. So even when we are miserable, we are grateful to keep on living.

Next time you are stymied in your life perhaps Jeremiah could guide you, too. Can’t hurt to try that as your prayer guide when frustrated. Ask God. He will show you the ancient way, where the good path lies. Please, do not join the ranks of those who said “We will not walk in it” or outright refuse His help.

Various Quotes

I make notes as I read and come across things I want to use in this blog. When I go back to review them I often wish I had expounded with a few key words to prompt myself. Nevertheless, the quotes usually move me even if I do not recall the original impact they had upon me.

Many of my quotes come from Gratefulness.org. I get a daily thought from them. They draw from across faiths and races and countries to find the best ones to use. I am always amazed at the similarities among faiths and peoples irregardless of the differences!

When we trust our creativity we encounter a supreme kind of enjoyment – an amazement at the natural unfolding of life beyond our ordinary way of looking at things.

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Like I was saying, an amazing unfolding of life beyond my ordinary way of looking at things!

In August of 2018 (as now) I was struggling to adjust to a loss of strength and stamina. Chronic pain has a way of draining you. What you took for granted yesterday may prove to be quicksand today. How to adapt to this ever-changing landscape? I was sent the following quote that day.

Loss makes artists of us all as we weave new patterns in the fabric of our lives.

Greta W. Crosby
Early morning in Winter

Saw family doc about pain. I am okay with Tylenol dose I am taking. She has referred me to pain management doctor. I will try my best to keep weaving new patterns from the pain changes.

I think over again my small adventures, my fears, those small ones that seemed so big, all those vital things I had to get and to reach, and yet there is only one great thing: to live and see the great day that dawns, and the light that fills the world.

Old Inuit Song

What in your life is calling you, when all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned … the lists laid aside, and the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest … what still pulls on your soul?

Rumi

That quote I noted as “Why I Write.” To capture my experiences with God in words, to try to tell you what life with the Trinity is like for me, that is what pulls on my soul. Ben Palpant teaches writers to “get comfortable with words like your fork.” After age 6 or so most of us don’t give much thought to how we use our fork. Just can we get it to our mouth? I want my words to get to your heart, your soul, your mind. I want words that will transport you to a deeper, richer place with holiness.

I also make notes as I notice things when we are driving around. “Low-lying black clouds were shifting in thick, grotesque shapes across a fat full moon.” Too bad I had no photo for that one! Perhaps reading it again you can make the photo in your mind?

How about driving home during a winter dusk I saw “Blood red sky through the trees. V8 juice with swizzle sticks.” Again, have to make your own picture in your mind.

Hope your day is enjoyable!