Monday, December 31, 2007
Another highlight: the candlelight service at our church for Christmas Eve. This has been going on for years, but sharing it with first-time visitors is a treat. David asked to sing "O Holy Night", and we've been told that this was probably the best singing he's done. One woman told us on Sunday that guests she had with her told her, "That man is missing his calling working at Toyota!" I just know we loved hearing it.
Another highlight: Making cookies at Libby's. Going to Libby's is always a treat, especially when the family is gathered there. My cousins, Susie, Martha, and I are learning how to make divinity (or virginity, as it is sometimes known around here). It's always special to learn something that has been a part of family Christmases since a person was a child, especially when that person is as old as I!
Another highlight: Being with our darling granddaughter. Last year she was too little to understand anything about the holidays, but now she is catching on that Christmas is special. Her mama and daddy have a small nativity set up in their living room, and they have been adding to it over the course of the holidays. Lydia said even after they had opened the last box, Cora would go and stand by the nativity and look at them like, isn't there more? She also discovered candy and cookies this Christmas, and Mama and Dada keep a big supply of them in their dining room. She is big into hospitality, so one of the first things she did was run into the dining room and get the box of stick candy to bring to share with us. Fortunately, that time someone rescued it before she dropped it--the next time, we weren't quite as lucky. Now there are no more intact sticks in the box.
On the same line, another highlight (or maybe part of the last one): Seeing the way our daughter and son-in-law have grown as parents. David and I love to watch them interacting with Cora.
Another highlight: Spending time with Annie and Daniel. I am so amazed and pleased with the way my daughter has embraced married life and adulthood. She is so gracious a hostess, and so helpful around here--I really hated to see them leave on Christmas day!
Another highlight: Spending time with Everett. We had the privilege of meeting one of Everett's friends from seminary, which was especially meaningful, since this person has only known Everett as an adult. He told us some great stuff about our son, and seemed to mean what he said. That was special, too.
And probably another highlight: Having the whole house to ourselves for a couple of days, with no need to go anywhere or do anything! Right now, David is kicked back in the recliner watching UK football, which seems to be going well, and I am enjoying communicating with my friends.
I guess that does it...I'm sure there are more, and I may add to the list later, but for now, good night, happy New Year's Eve, and God bless!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
For those of you who endeavor to make and keep New Year's resolutions, I have a link to a pretty good list, but for some reason, Blogger can't decode it. So much for that. Let's just say, it starts with stuff like "Gain 30 pounds," and goes from there. What would you add to that list?
Happy New Years to all, and God bless.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
As you know, it is very important for Santa and his reindeer to be very quiet when they deliver presents on Christmas Eve so no one will know they are there. One Christmas Eve as Santa Claus landed on a rooftop, he suddenly heard a very loud "Snort sniff honk honk snort!" coming from one of his reindeer.
Since he was in the sleigh behind them, he didn't know which one it was. It happened again, only louder this time: "Snort sniff honk honk snort!"
Dogs in the neighborhood began to bark. "Shhh!" Santa hissed. "Please be quiet!"
He went to work lifting the sack of toys out of the sleigh when he heard it again, only a lot louder this time. "SNORT SNIFF HONK HONK SNORT!" Lights came on all over the neighborhood and some people even stuck their heads out of their windows.
Santa was horrified. Jumping back into the sleigh, he drove quickly back to the North Pole. He lined up all the reindeer and announced, "We are not going to deliver another present until the reindeer who is making funny noises with his nose steps forward and apologizes!"
None of the reindeer stepped forward.
Santa held up a piece of paper. "I know who it is, and I have written your name on this paper. But I want to give you a chance to do the right thing on your own."
Still none of the reindeer came forward. So Santa did the only thing he could do - read off the rude-nosed reindeer!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Which leads me to this slightly off-color comment: A couple of weeks ago, we bought some cashews on sale at Kroger's, some weird flavor thing (maybe chili-lime?), and neither of us have much wanted to get into them. This afternoon David said, "That treatment you used on the Asian nuts would be good on those cashews." Next thing I knew, I saw him sitting in "his" recliner, munching away on the undoctored cashews. I said, "Would you like for me to treat your nuts with that spice mix?" and just as soon as I said, it, I realized WHAT I had said and started laughing. His response, "I think that would hurt."
Now I'm off to fix supper, then to fix a Paula Deen recipe, some applesauce muffins (Apple Barn recipe), bag up some novelty gifts, and get some sleep before this bizarre business starts tomorrow at too-early forty-five.
Love to all, and God bless.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
NOW I'm learning that the CHEST is not where the stuff belongs. It belongs on your FEET. I don't know where I read that, but I told Mary C about it before Thanksgiving. I haven't heard if it worked for her, but it DID work for Mr. David. I caught him in the act of slathering it on his feet this morning, then left him here while I hit the stores for a frenzy of impulse buying. When I got back, he told me that the stuff WORKED. He feels better and is barely coughing. Considering that colds often hit him like a ton of bricks, I was delighted that something this simple might be helping him.
Love to all, and God bless.
Love to all, and God bless...and maybe I'll think of what I REALLY was going to blog about in a few minutes!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
We played a new game in the toddler nursery today called "Who Poohed?" We had five toddlers today, although Fei Fei doesn't really qualify, since she isn't toddling yet. Anyway, one of the Japanese workers smelled that really ripe scent that all nursery workers have grown to love, and we went around like dogs, sniffing little behinds until we identified the culprit, Alistair. Of course it took a little work to finally find out who had made a deposit, not just had "poop gas", as Ann's friend Catbutt calls it.
Yumi attempted to pull down Alistair's pants to check, but he had on overalls underneath his buttoned-up jacket. Off with the jacket, down with the overalls, wait a minute, that "shirt" is fastened at the crotch, so off with the overalls, not just down. Yes, Yumi was right, it was Alistair. All this undressing took place as Yumi followed Al around the toddler play area. She then took him to the diapering area and changed him, and then the redressing took place all over the nursery. At least Al wasn't mad at her.
So that's how you play "Who Poohed?", or at least it was today.
Love to all, and God bless.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
I opened a message from Flylady today about super cruising through the holidays. She said to decorate one area of the house, to spend a few minutes putting up one decoration. Well, I already know what that will be, the Santa Claus and elves that I put in a sled last week. I'll bring it up in just a minute, after I get dressed, check my sugar, and eat some breakfast.
What are you going to decorate today? Love to all, and God bless.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Tonight at Christmas cantata rehearsal, I was not behaving myself properly. I have a habit of doing that. I have a habit of finding the ridiculous in the sublime, the unintended funny, the puns that weren't meant to be there, and bringing them to the attention of the choir. If anyone has ever been in choir with me, they know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm sort of like a nominally clean Robin Williams after a couple of Mt. Dews. Anyway, I kinda got off on one of my streaks tonight. About midway through the silliness, I recognized it as a result of the candy I had been eating before I left home and quit. But that didn't stop David from scolding me after it was over, despite the fact that I told him I KNEW what I was doing and knew it was wrong. Oh well.
Love to all, and God bless.
Friday, November 23, 2007
We entertained ourselves after dinner with a musicale. Virgil played guitar, accompanied by Laurel and Margaret (alternating) on the keyboard, and we sang hymns from a variety of hymnals. That is always fun, since not all the hymns are in each book, and when they are, the verses may vary. I kept Jennifer laughing by making up lyrics to hymns that didn't happen to be in our book (or had different lyrics, if they were). Actually, the adults had a pretty good time, just sitting around singing. Aunt Caroline was obviously not feeling well (she had a cold), since very little dancing took place. Aunt Margaret did get up and do some sort of Baptist-approved version of Caroline's country dancing--I even got it on video.
After the musicale, we headed back to Georgetown. Margaret rode with David and me, Jamethan rode with his mom and Everett, and Ann and Daniel brought up the caboose--well, who really knows which one was caboose? I just know we beat the "kids" here. We started setting up sleeping arrangements as soon as we got home: Jenn and Jamie, our bedroom; Daniel and Ann, guest bedroom; Everett, camp mat in the computer room; and everyone else (Margaret, David and me), the living room--Margaret on the hide-a-bed, David in the recliner, and me on the couch. Only no one was ready to sleep. Although we were back by 10:30, it was close to 2 by the time everyone was in bed. We were all curled up in the living room for quite a while, just chatting. Margaret said she was just loving the pajama party, so we kept at it, way too late for normal folks.
This morning, it was really difficult to get going again. We had intentions of going out at the stroke of 9 to buy a new dryer, but it was more like 10:30 or 11 when I went over to Goodyear and cast the deciding vote. I think we've picked a winner, and I hope it will be delivered this afternoon, before Mt. Washmore topples over and floods the basement with dirty clothes. Then I stopped at the grocery to pick up some things for the lunch we had planned with Sam, Ting, and Alex. I had wanted to buy a pumpkin pie, but there was not one to be found in Kroger's, nor was there any Cool Whip to use in a punch bowl cake! Last minute menu changes aren't always fun.
Soon after I got back from the store, David started cooking, Jenn and Jamie made plans to head to Mt. Sterling to see her aunt and uncle, Daniel left to experience the Black Friday shopping rush, David Roth called to tell us he was on the way to pick up his mom, and Glynda called to say she would definitely be here by 1:00. That meant 11 for dinner, at the kitchen table which seats 6. What to do? David kept cooking. Ann started unpacking china and silverware from the bottom of the hall tree. Dishes were washed. Clean tablecloths were located, as well as napkins. Still not enough seats...David said, don't worry, and kept cooking. The kids were sent on an expedition to locate a table in the basement--there are at least three possibilities, and they chose the correct one, with a little guidance from David. Then they brought it upstairs, cleaned it up, moved the hide-a-bed in the living room, and set up the table. Now there was enough seating for all concerned!
Good thing, too, because Sam, Ting, and Alex were ringing the doorbell. Pretty soon we were all seated at the two tables, one in the kitchen and one in the living room, dining on chicken and dumplings, California-blend vegetables, yeast rolls, green beans, and corn salad. Little Alex ate as much as they put in his bowl, and seemed to love every bite of it! He also enjoyed looking through the toy box and discovering the Grandfather clock and rhythm band instruments he had played with when he was here before. It was a good, relaxing, enjoyable meal, even though there was a HUGE amount of dish washing and furniture moving to be done.
Once again, I have to express a huge thanks to God for my wonderful husband. I sliced my thumb on a box of Press and Seal yesterday, and it is acting a little on the verge of infected today, so I am trying to keep it clean and out of the dish pan. He stepped right up to the plate, chopping everything, dishing it up in two sets of serving dishes, one for the kitchen, one for the other table, and making sure there was enough food for all. I love him so much. I know there are a million men for every one David--I'm so glad I got him.
Love to all, and God bless.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Let the thanks continue. Currently the population of 192 has increased by two, Everett and Ann. Thank you, Lord, that RIGHT NOW there is room for everyone! And thank you in advance that as the number increases this week from four to eleven, we will still be able to walk around here!
Thank You for my wonderful husband. This morning he quietly got up, got dressed, fixed his own breakfast, and left for work--before the crack of dawn--just like he has done every work day for the last nineteen years. Thank You for his faithfulness in supporting his family and for the fact that he ALWAYS kisses me good-bye before he leaves. Thank You for his willingness to step in when needed, as he did last night when he fixed supper for Everett and himself. And a special thanks for whichever one it was who began the clean-up!
Thank You for traveling mercies, which You bestow so often on us! Thank You for Everett's safe trip down from Vernon Hills, and for my safe trip to Franklin--a special side thanks that nothing happened to the car on the bridge near Weisenberger Mill, despite the horrible noise I heard! Thank You again for Ann's and my safe trip home from Franklin, for the little wonders You did such as letting Ann sleep during the mundane part of the drive so that she and I could both be awake and alert for the dull-as-dishwater stretch from Elizabethtown to 127.
One more quick thank-you--Thank You, Lord, for Ann's sense of humor! Especially thank You for the hilarious moment in the parking lot at the hospital in Frankfort where she was able to respond with grace to the ridiculous question, "Ann, why do I have a tail?"
Love to all, and God bless--more thanks on the way.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This morning, I got up a little earlier than usual to meet Bobbie at church and pick up the salads, only Bobbie never showed up. So I went down and got the salads myself. I was a little concerned with my own stupidity when I realized that I had put MY two salads into the FREEZER, rather than the refrigerator. What a dunce! I tried nuking them for 2 minutes each in hopes of getting them to thaw a little, but they were still pretty much bricks of frozen food by the time we got to Lexington. (Where was Bobbie? Waiting for me at Cornelia's--Mary Beth told her she would pick up the salads.)
A nice lady at the church offered to take over the thawing of the salads. That was good, because we were all needed upstairs. We had 11 babies in the bed baby room. Little CiCi entertained us again by hollering at the top of her lungs, and yes, she had been fed and changed both. Nothing short of taking her back down to her mom seems to calm her right now, but we will keep trying. Toddlers had 7, including the pharoah and Cleo. The kids in there were pretty calm, but Yuki asked me if I would mind staying in there, since the workers were too shy to discipline little boss man. I said sure and used the teacher voice and look on him a couple of times. He is starting to pick up some English, as in "easy, easy," and "gentle". One time I caught him standing by the fence talking to an imaginary companion, great, dramatic, flourishing hand gestures, explaining something in Arabic. I have no clue what he was talking about, but it was fun to watch him. His sister Cleo was all smiles today. When it was time to go, Moe kept saying, "No home! No home!" and expressing his disappointment at having to leave.
I love Friendship.
Monday, November 05, 2007
We combined tree-viewing with family visiting and got to go trick-or-treating with the Princess. On Tuesday afternoon, we (along with her mommy) picked her up at the baby sitter's house. She was surprised to see Granny and Grandpa, but she seemed to recognize us right away. That always delights Grandpa. We ate supper at Lilly May's, a fine eatery in Red Bank, TN. Our waitress was dressed in a clown costume, including the make-up, and Fia spent a lot of the evening staring at her. Fia, of course, was costumed as a beautiful blue-eyed baby doll.
Halloween was fun from the very moment we woke up, since we woke up with the Princess. (Of course, we could have used a little more sleep...she seems to think whenever anyone sleeps over, it's a good time for her to be a night owl.) We got to baby sit all day, which is a hoot. Grandpa had never been involved with the baby-sitting end of the visit before, only being there on weekends, so he spent so much time smiling that his face hurt by the end of the day. We didn't keep to a schedule, but we had fun. How far off were we? Well, Fia was eating a cereal bar snack when we picked up her mom at 3:15, and she still hadn't had her lunch. (She really does love those toddler cereal bars.)
Wednesday night, we took a little pink poodle and went to Trunk-or-Treat at Grace Church of the Nazarene. This was Grace's first year to try trunk-or-treat, and they did a great job. It was also my first experience with the activity. I wish they had had similar activities when my own kids were trick-or-treating--so much safer, and a lot more fun for the grown-ups. Fia seemed in awe of the costumed grown-ups she saw, as well as the kids she ran around with on a semi-weekly basis. She pretty much just stared at everyone. I did catch one wide-eyed view of her looking up at Nanny, her babysitter, who had apparently been swallowed by a duck. (I've been looking for my camera so that I could post the picture, but GOK where it is.)
Did I mention we were on vacation? After the second all-night slumber party with Fia, we headed out for a chance to see some more trees. Grandpa had been wanting to see Fall Creek Falls, so that was our next destination. Beside the trees and the lake, there wasn't a lot to see there, since the drought had affected the amount of water going over the falls. It was more like Fall Creek Trickle. At least he got that out of his system. We spent the night at the lodge there (which is really nice, by the way).
The next morning (Friday), we headed out with no particular destination in mind and ended up in Corbin so that Grandpa could take care of business--which reminds me, I was supposed to do the same thing today and haven't done it. Yuck. On the way to Corbin, we went through the general stores at Muddy Pond and bought too much candy. We also stopped in Rugby for supper so that Grandpa could remind himself how much he likes shepherd's pie. And of course we saw a few pretty trees.
We were home on Saturday evening after a relatively uneventful trip up US 25--saw some more trees, by the way. Despite the time change, we managed to sleep in on Sunday, so I think we're pretty much caught up on sleep now. All in all, Grandpa had a pretty good vacation! (Me? I would have rather gone to Gatlinburg or Cherry Grove, but there's always next year, I guess.)
Just in case anyone is concerned, the one part of this vacation I would NOT pass up is the time I spent with the Princess and her folks!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
When Aniel first set up this visit, she asked me if I would please dress up. I assumed she meant in a costume, since it is almost Halloween. I told her sure, and that if she said "Trick or treat" when she came to the door, I would give her candy. Well, that wasn't too bright a move on my part, at least the part about candy, since I have been buying (and eating) it regularly since she told me her plans. We've been through at least two bags of orange-flavored Halloween nougats and a bag of candy corn-flavored taffy from W*l-mart since then, and of course my bs has been higher than it needed to be. Today I bought her a bag of Hershey's chocolate to go with what was left of the pb-flavored kisses I bought yesterday. I don't think David will be into the chocolate, because of his chocolate allergy, and I intend to send what is left home with Aniel on Monday. I also made a batch of payday mix. That's a very simple recipe, by the way--a cup of peanuts, a cup of candy corn, mix them together, dump it in a bowl, you're done.
Now I'm on the supper menu, and David is on the housecleaning detail. He just finished making the new hide-a-bed so that it is ready for bedtime, as well as the guest bed in the extra bedroom. I made a batch of cinnamon bread along with a punchbowl cake, and really need to go start the broccoli slaw. We don't have a lot of pressure, though, since Aniel called to say they wouldn't be here until 10.
Time to check the bread--love to all, and God bless.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year's winners. Each is an artificial word with only one letter altered to form a real word. Some are terrifically innovative:
1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people, that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The Bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
7. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
10. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
12. Glibido: All talk and no action.
13. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
14. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
15. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
16. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.
And, the pick of the lot...
17. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
All in all, it was a good two-and-a-half-hour power lunch, with enough food left for my supper. Supplement that with a burrito for David, and no cooking necessary. I do like that place. Oh, and by the way, the little decorative bottle of brandy in the little decorative cooler has a lid that unscrews, and there is a liquid inside that smells vaguely of apples. Hmmmm, wonder if it really is brandy? As the Designated Driver and Tee Totaler, I'll never know.
Love to all, and God bless.
Monday, October 08, 2007
We got home pretty quickly, although not record time--twenty miles, give or take a few, about 30 minutes. Then we ate lunch and talked about what else we would be doing that day. After consulting a friend, we called my folks to tell them to get to town, that "the show was on the road," and David and I headed for John Graves Ford Memorial.
Then we started the waiting game. That lasted pretty long and was pretty boring--nothing much happening for the first three hours or so. Mom and Dad got there, and we had a pleasant little visit. We sort of wondered if maybe we had misinterpreted signs from the morning, since stuff was going so slowly. I also wondered if maybe I shouldn't have some supper, but friends said no, just wait.
H stopped in for a quick visit, then headed home for his own supper--he anticipated having a good couple of hours before he needed to show up again. Dang it, I was getting hungry, too. But all that changed REALLY quickly. Stuff started happening lickety split. Matter of fact, when the girls stopped by the room and had a look, they got on the phone and called H to tell him to get back there! Only problem--no cell phones in 1972, and H hadn't gotten home yet. His wife took her place on the road at the bridge before he could get to his house, flagged him down, and sent him back to town. (Fortunately it wasn't too far.)
He got back in time, took a look at David, and said, "Get dressed. You're coming with me." Within less than twenty minutes, we were having a birthday party for, TA DAH, Everett William! Up until the time he arrived in the room, we had two choices for party guests, but Everett William was the one that showed up. Good thing, too, because his was the only name on the list!
Let's just say I'll always remember October 8th in a special way. Love to all, and God bless.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
1. What the heck am I going to do with my peanut butter jars? Nothing made Molly any happier when we went to see her than to give her an almost-empty peanut butter jar. She'd have that sucker licked clean in less than five minutes. Being part German Shepherd and having a long pointy snout helped on that aspect.
2. What dog am I going to talk about when folks are telling dog stories? Molly is the closest thing to a pet dog we've had since we married. Her living with Libby and Dexter and us visiting her there was the ideal situation for folks who can't be bothered with taking the responsibility of caring for a dog of their own...
3. Is there a dog anywhere who is much better trained? I hope Molly's new family appreciates all the work that went in to training her as far as table manners are concerned--they're surely not going to find another dog like her, who is tall enough to see what is on the table and well-enough mannered to leave it alone.
4. I'll miss the bruises on my legs from her tail wagging--boy, could she wag that sucker hard!
5. I'll miss my mount in the Derby--I could just straddle her. I didn't try to see if she could bear my weight--doesn't matter, I'm not a jockey anyway. (Hey remember, I said she was big!)
6. I'll miss introducing her to Cora Sophie. Molly was great with babies. She would walk around them so carefully, never stepping on them, knocking them over, or anything. And she didn't seem to mind if they used her for something to pull up on.
7. I remember how sweet she was with my mama. Mama dearly loved all dogs. I think Molly was special to her, though, because she had a German Shepherd as a child. When Mama was living out her last year at the nursing home, Libby brought Molly to visit her. Molly had never been to the facility before, but she was a dog on a mission when she got there--she was looking for Ann. She headed down the hall, past the nurses' station, and straight into Ann's room. Then she sat down on the floor and waited for Ann to come in, too. It absolutely shocked us--Mom wasn't in the room, but Molly knew which room was hers and was willing to wait until she showed up.
8. I'll miss Deck's stories about Molly and her sister and mother. See, Molly was part of a family of great dogs. Zena, the mom, had three pups, Molly, Bertha, and unnamed pup. My BFF in my home town had adopted all four dogs when their original owner had threatened to put them down. They were, like I said, great dogs. Unnamed pup found a home of her own, but BFF kept Molly, Bertha, and Zena. BFF and her husband have out-of-town family (WAY out of town family--out of the state, and almost out of the country!) that they visit at least once a year. While they were gone, the mother and her daughters often stayed at Libby's house. It was a pleasure to see the three of them interacting with each other. It was also fun to watch them eating--they had to lie down before they got their food. (This was to keep Bertha from eating everyone's dinner.) And, according to Deck, "Three big dogs make a big pile of dog waste!"
Oh, well. I do hope Molly is happy in her new home. I am really going to miss her, big pile of dog waste and all!
Good night to all, and God bless.
I started of in bed babies with a little dear we'll call MegJoBethAmy, Little Woman, or LW, maybe two months old--one of the five new Chinese babies who showed up today. Not only were there 10 babies, more than half of them were first-timers! Little Woman peed--I knew she had peed, because her diaper was warm--and then started crying. I went and fetched her diaper bag. One problem: I got Pizza Girl's diaper bag, not LW's. Fortunately they were the same size, so I just put one of PG's diapers on LW. Of course as lots of tots her age do, not only had she peed...And also like lots of tots her age, she absolutely HATED having her pants changed! Which was too bad, because before the morning was over, I had changed her three times. (Probably would have been more, but I wasn't in that room all morning.) That seemed to do her for a while. Kyoko, the Japanese woman who has a "key" to working with the babies, got her settled into a swing, and she went to sleep. Good for you, Little Woman, because across the hall in toddlers, more help was needed.
Ramses and Cleopatra were back again. Ramses you may remember from our last blog, is really too old for the bed baby nursery, even though Cleo would fit right in, so we compromise and put them both in toddlers. Turns out Ramses is really too old for toddlers, too--he just turned three in September. Mama tried to get both of them into the 3-year-old class, but the worker there rightfully insisted that Cleo was too young to be in there, and they would have to go back down the hall. Once again I reassured Mama that they would be all right, that we would keep them together in toddlers. And once again, Cleo threw a fit royal. She sat there and yelled and shook her head and kicked her feet and let us know that our room was NOT where she wanted to be. I know those of you who are mothers are aware of this--there is NO language barrier with toddlers. No is the same in all languages.
Ram tested us today with throwing, but soon caught on that throwing balls was okay, throwing hard toys wasn't. He also showed us his musical ability today with the guitar. He had this really cool, rhythmic song he kept singing, sounded like "Two lil duds" or something else I didn't recognize. I told the ladies in toddlers it was probably some obscene Egyptian rap song, and they cracked up. We needed the humor, since at the time Ramses was the only one who wasn't crying. Another thing he did that got us giggling was when he fell off the riding duck and hit his head on the fence in the room--no harm. I asked him if the duck bucked him off--the Japanese ladies collapsed into a fit of giggles then. I said I hoped Ram wouldn't go home and try to repeat that bit about the duck buck, because our luck, he'd probably not get it out right, and they would think we had been teaching him bad words!
Since Ram was settled and nothing was going to settle Cleo short of a tranquilizer, I went out into the lobby just in time to meet a little Korean girl (we'll call her Vashti) and "Ahnya hash a meeka'd" her mom (yes, I know the spelling is way off). Mom giggled and responded in kind, and Vashti decided that maybe, just maybe, I could take her in to the toddler room. She was crying, but not completely hopelessly like Cleo. She settled down pretty easily and started playing. Of course, all Cleo had to do was look over and see me, and she started her tantrum again. What to do? I didn't need to ponder the dilemma long, because Key showed up at the door--We need Susan. Baby room.
Back to the baby room. Little Woman was crying again. I picked her up--yes, dirty diaper again. Throw a fit, LW, I'm changing your pants anyway--oh, shoot, don't pee on the clean diaper! Changing pants again! By then she was really burned out with me. I remembered there had been a pacifier in her bag (not PG's, hers)--no, not what she wanted. There was also a little formula bottle in there, one of the freebies they give you at the hospital. That should have been a clue that this person wasn't a bottle baby... Right. She didn't want THAT, either. No, thank you, rocking was out of the question. Walking the floor? Well, maybe, for about a minute. She wasn't old enough to be interested in watching the other kids, and I couldn't stay in the toddler room anyway, despite the fact that Vashti was wanting me to come back, because Cleo threw a fit when she saw me come in. And it was hard to navigate in that room, since Al was trying to escape and was pretty much constantly underfoot.
I tried sitting down again with Little Woman and tried the bottle again. Cornie, another worker, said, "Is that her bottle?" I replied, "No, but maybe she'll take it anyway." (It really was her bottle, but she wasn't going to take it, so it didn't matter.) So what do you do when you try the pants, the pacifier, the bottle, the rocker, and floor walking, and nothing works? You go look for the mama, at least with the bed babies, you go look for the mama. I found her without a lot of difficulty, brought her back to the nursery, and found a place where she could feed LW. That took care of LW. Good thing--because now Jackie Chan was pitching a fit. Wooo boy, he out-screamed all the other kiddos! Right when the mamas were coming! And of course, his mama was one of the LAST ones to show up! (That never fails. There's a reason why they aren't in a hurry to come back...)
But show up she did, and all the babies left the church happy. Ram and Cleo's mama was once again very grateful for our kindness to her babies, and like I said, that sort of gratitude makes the floor walking well worth the effort. Little Woman's mama apologized about her daughter's crying. I told her no, I should be the one apologizing, because I had not come after her soon enough. We need to set a protocol for these poor little bitty babies--maybe fifteen minutes, and then we fetch Mama? Usually they just need to nurse a while, and then they're satisfied. Anyway, I do love Friendship, and I do love my babies!
Good night to all, and God bless.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
David always called her the gentle giant. You can imagine her size, but maybe not her loving nature. Whenever we went to Libby's, Molly would let the family know we were there with one "Woof". Then she would look to see who was coming and run to fetch a toy to show us. Sometimes she would even be carrying two or three toys! (Hey, she is a big dog with a big mouth.) She took up a lot of space in their little house--she is a house dog, you see, and like I said, she is a big dog! She had a "den" behind the recliner where she would go to get out of the way. It was very common to hear, "Molly, go to your den," and that's where she would head.
Gee, folks, I can't concentrate. This is news that will take a while to settle in and become a part of my thinking. Maybe I'll tell you more tomorrow. Right now, it's about all I can handle to think that Molly won't be at Libby's anymore when we go to visit. I'm sad.
Love to all, and God bless.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Since I have been a huge supporter of the Silver Sneakers program, I didn't like hearing that its water version, Silver Splash wasn't being attended. There are not a lot of fitness programs in our areas for folks with silver in their hair, other than the few offered at the Senior Citizens' Center, and I don't want the ones that are available to disappear, so I decided to go to Splash this morning.
This was my second time at Silver Splash. The first time I went was the first session of the class. At that time, I thought it was an awfully poky class, not well organized at all. I should have given it another shot--it's progressed beautifully. The instructor knows the routine now, all the way through, and isn't continuously going over to consult her note cards. That helps. Also, it's a small class--only six or seven today--and that is an improvement over the 9:00 session, which has upwards of 20 every day. It's easy stuff, for sure, but you can bump up the number of reps and the tempo if it is moving too slowly, which works for me.
I told Ella I'd be back next Tuesday--I guess I'm getting old. I liked the "Old Ladies' Class".
Love to all, and God bless.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Solomon continued his pursuit. And then later, in the book of Proverbs, he writes a concluding thought: "What a person desires is unfailing love" (Prov. 19:22 TNIV). And don't you sense that is true? Don't you agree that the thing we're all seeking is an unfailing love to fill up the hole in our heart? IDENTITY THEFT Reclaiming Who God Created You to Be
by Mike Breaux
I found this great book in the Zondervan Breakfast Club, which is coming to my house every morning, Monday through Friday, by email. Identity Theft isn't in the stores yet, it won't be out until October, and I've only had a chance to read the first chapter. But I've already found it a blessing, a book that speaks to my needs (see Goal post, others on that line).
Some of you may wonder who Solomon is. Solomon was the son of King David, one of Israel's greatest kings, "a man after God's own heart". Solomon was given an opportunity by God to ask for any gift that he desired, riches, fame, whatever. His choice? Wisdom. Since he was to be king, he figured he needed wisdom to make wise decisions regarding his people and his country. Because he didn't ask for riches, God also blessed him with abundant wealth.
Solomon is responsible for three great books of the Bible, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. Proverbs is full of great one-liners, truths you can live by from day to day. There is no real story there, just these continuing bits of wisdom. It much resembles the teachings of Confucius.
Ecclesiastes tells of man's search for happiness. The author tells of looking all over the world for things that will make him happy and comes to the conclusion that there is nothing new under the sun. How often have we older folks seen this, as fads cycle through our lifetimes! The author realizes he has a God-shaped hole in his heart, and until that hole is filled, he will never find happiness.
Song of Solomon is a love story, maybe the second greatest love story ever written. Many Christian couples have read the book together early in their marriages and have found it a great inspiration. If you're wondering why I said the second greatest love story, it's because I firmly believe the greatest love story is the one expressed in John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
If you've stuck with me this far and are interested in any of this, just let me know in the comments and I'll get in touch with you. Love to all, and God bless.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
We had a couple of cute little Egyptian children today, "Ramses" and "Cleopatra". (I hope I don't need to tell you that those are NOT their real names.) They were first-timers. Ramses is around 2, maybe 2.5, and Cleo is close to, if not already, a year. Their mom was insistent that they be kept together, not separated. Ram wreaked havoc in the infant's room while his sister Cleo threw a tantrum fully befitting her royal name. I moved across the hall with the two in tow, into the toddler room (which was in the midst of the "Mommy's gone--I'm scared and mad" crying fit).
Cleo kept up her tantrum for almost the entire two hours she was with us. She did let me rock her, though, and she settled down somewhat when I put her in a stroller and pushed her around a little. Ram enjoyed the toys in the room and showed the typical Middle Eastern mathematical superiority as he recognized and named the shapes before putting them into the "shape-it" ball. He also let the women in the room know that HE didn't have to do what they told him to do, he was above their rule. I've seen this before with little guys like him--it always amuses me. However, he did consent to "fix" the slide after he turned it over--I told him, "Ram, fix it." He attempted to stare me down, but after he found out that was impossible, he turned the slide right-side up again.
What really touched me and meant so much to me this morning was his mama's attitude when she came back to pick the children up. She was without a doubt, one of the most precious women I have met in my two years of Friendship. She truly seemed so thankful to us for taking care of her children. She thanked me over and over. She asked if Cleo had cried all morning. I truthfully told her yes, but that she seemed to be more angry than sad. Then she asked me what she could do next week. I told her to come back and bring her children back. She seemed surprised that we would keep Cleo with all her crying. I told her we LOVED the children, that it was all right with us if they cried. We tried to help them stop crying and be content, but we would NOT stop keeping them just because of their tears. I asked her (Mama) if she had fun this morning. She replied that yes, she had. I then asked her if she had learned any English--I saw that she had signed up for the ESL class--and she replied yes, lots. Then I told her that absolutely she should bring the children back, that (I repeated) we loved them and we were glad that we could take care of them for her. I do not think I have ever seen a more grateful person in my life. Her attitude and amazement at our love for her children made every snotty tissue, every strained muscle, worth while.
One thing about Friendship: it's a ministry. It becomes awkward at times to try to communicate the love of Jesus to these folks, when we've been told explicitly not to mention church or religious subjects to them. It was all I could do to keep from telling Mama today that when we show love to her and her children, we are doing what God does for her--that He loves her, even when she is crying and doing the things that should be making Him unhappy with her. He never abandons her, He never stops loving her. We can't tell her, so I guess we'll just have to keep showing her how much God loves her by the way we care for her children. What a wonderful experience, to be a part of this ministry.
Good night to all, and God bless.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
We had been missing Mrs P in class the last week. She was a dear, dear lady who attempted to keep up with all we did, working so very hard. She had just "graduated" from the pink weights (1 lb barbells) to the purple ones (2 lb), and she was so proud of her accomplishment. Another feat that made her rightfully proud was that she could do our "squats" (go from a sitting to a standing position) without holding on to anything! That might not seem much to you, but for an 87-year-old woman who walked with a cane, it was a true feat!
We questioned our teacher about Mrs P--had she been at Cardome when he taught out there? He wasn't sure, but he thought he remembered seeing her. I knew she was a little bit "down" since her daughter had moved out of state, so I figured we'd just give her a few days to perk up and come back with us.
Monday, when I was doing a volunteer stint at the hospital, I saw a woman with the same name listed as a patient. Then while doing rounds with the beverage cart, I spied the out-of-state daughter in the ICU waiting room. I asked her if that was her mom's name on the list--yes, it was, and Mom had just died, not ten minutes before I came by.
I sat with daughter for a while and expressed my sympathy, all those little phrases like sweet, sweet woman, beautiful spirit, loving heart...Daughter said Mama had only been in the hospital for a few days, that she had fallen at her home and broken some bones and then just didn't recover. The family had been able to gather around her, give her love and support, express their last words...Sometimes deaths can be very beautiful home-goings.
Silver Sneakers has lost one of their true sweethearts.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (KJV)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Bible, this verse was written by the apostle Paul. He lived a life with very little reason for contentment, as far as man can see--imprisoned, beaten, shipwrecked, chased out of town, continually moving from place to place...Yet he did his best to spread God's love to the folks he met, either through preaching or writing to them, but most of all by living a life of contentment.
So now my goal is to become content in whatsoever state I am. Kentucky is easy--retirement takes a little more effort. Love to all, and God bless
Sunday, September 23, 2007
What were/are your goals? What do you want to be when you grow up? I am still undecided, toying between being a missionary doctor in Africa and a professional ballerina. Unfortunately, I'm not moving toward either goal right now. How about you?
Friday, September 21, 2007
We love to tease him about his dates (or lack there of). Last Friday he made the HUGE mistake of telling us he had a blind double date that night. Of course, we gave him NO peace on Wednesday until he revealed some of the details of the outing. Poor guy, when he is embarrassed, he blushes, and since he has a shaved head, we can all tell. I don't think it was a huge success, though, because today when I asked him how the date had gone, he said, "Let's just say it was nothing to write home about."
So NOW we are teasing him about going to a convention next week in Indianapolis. We were disappointed that he wouldn't tell us where he would be staying--one of the "mama's" suggested we ought to show up there next Wednesday, in our work-out gear! That's right, no classes next Wednesday or Friday. I know what that's going to mean--we are going to be absolutely exhausted when classes resume the next week. (Sort of like I am today--David found me sleeping on the couch when he came in from work.)
Love to all, and God bless.
PS: Dummy that I am, I just realized I forgot to leave a tip! (Just like in a restaurant) Here's my tip--shop around until you find a fitness class that you truly enjoy. Then it won't be such a chore to go!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Across the hall, the toddlers spent the better part of the morning letting their workers know that they were, as the baby dinosaur used to say, "NOT the mama!" A couple of the little ladies ended up taking many a stroller ride, up and down the hallway, while the kids who weren't crying decided to have snack twice, once on schedule, and once because Miss Muffet got hungry again. The "board meeting" must have run a little long the second time, because Alistair just conked out on the table. He was still asleep when his mama showed up to pick him up. Like I said once before, if my smart kids would ever show me how to do it, I'd post a picture of Alistair for you!
I hope you're enjoying your week, too. Love to all, and God bless.
Monday, September 17, 2007
What did I find? a person might ask, especially if they cared. Well, I found a cathedral window quilt kit, numerous squares completed, extra fabric ready to be made into squares...Of course, I have no idea how to do that, but I guess I could learn. I found squares of polyester fabric pinned together, possibly in the process of becoming another quilt...I found well-worn cookie sheets, cake pans, a cooling rack that I grabbed, a nice-looking mixer that I set aside, an angel-food cake pan (I held on to that, too)...
In a plastic sack, I found a refrigerator door's worth of magnets, from Canada to Monticello, Branson to Dollywood, patriotic, Easter, Christmas, handcrafted, purchased at craft fairs...What to do with them? I have a refrigerator door (plus the two visible sides) with more than enough magnets now! I will probably give the one that says "Ann" to my little Sasquatch for HER refrigerator and allow her sister to go through and pick one of her own. Then I'll just stick the others back into the bag and tuck them away, I guess--it's too hard to throw them away, when a person remembers seeing them every day for years.
Another sack (well, more than one, actually) was full of note cards, Christmas cards, valentines, note paper...I found two envelopes with the names of my nephews written up in the corner where the stamp would go and small heart stickers down in the opposite corner. After a little rummaging, I found valentines the size of the envelopes and figured out the mystery. Granny had purchased the valentines for the boys and then misplaced them before mailing them. I'll probably send them on to their daddy, for him to do with as he sees fit. Also in the valentine pile were some that had been addressed to friends at Senior Citizens. I don't know who Shorty was, whether Shorty was a he or a she, but Shorty certainly would have received a bunch of valentines, if they had actually made it to the center! One was addressed to Shorty from the Three Gals. I also don't know who the Three Gals were, but apparently they were a trio that others would have known. With the valentines were a number of addressed and sealed Christmas cards. I discarded the ones addressed to folks who I know are no longer in the land of the living, but I have the others ready to give to a friend who works at the center. She can decide what to do with them.
And there were the scraps of everyday life that were so hard to go through--notes about when the "judges" were on TV, grocery lists, a little note with two words, Lou (short for Louisville) and St. Louis...I think I can guess that was a time Granny was missing her boy and knew that she would need to fly from Louisville to St. Louis, if she were to see him. Beside the note was a quick sketch of some mountains and trees. That little scrap will go to my Little Brother, along with the valentines for his sons.
What does one do with the flotsam and jetsam of another person's life? It seems so unthinking to just toss it, all the notes they received, all the cards, the letters, the pictures of folks I don't even know...I'm open to suggestions.
I'm back to the boxes. Love to all, and God bless.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
David and I have a regular date every Sunday. It's an important part of our Sunday routine. We get up, eat breakfast, read the paper (if there's time), and head out for church in order to warm up with the choir before the 9:00 church service. Next we stick around for Bible study (Sunday School) and head home for a few minutes' break.
Then comes one of our favorite parts of the week--we go to the Plum Tree (a wonderful local Chinese restaurant). We tried to figure out several times how many years we have been doing this (eating at the Plum Tree). I guess it depends on how many years the Plum Tree has been in Georgetown, doesn't it! We do love that place. I have told friends of mine that my children think Sunday dinner includes rice and smells like soy sauce, and I do believe they think that.
First of all, the food at the Plum Tree is terrific. Yes, it's a buffet, but not your normal steam-table Chinese buffet. At the Plum Tree, the food is cooked in small quantities and placed in chafing dishes. Either the manager or wait staff is always checking the buffet to make sure there is enough food in the dishes, and more is prepared as needed. You can tell from the quality of the food that it is NOT cooked in a huge amount and kept warm back in the kitchen--no, indeed. It is prepared fresh as needed. The variety is very good. There are always chicken, seafood, and beef dishes, sometimes several of each. Yes, there is the standard sweet-and-sour dish, but also a fantastic hot, spicy shrimp dish and a chicken dish (General Tso) that is so great David chooses to eat it for dessert (well, his third helping, anyway). The egg rolls are the epitome of all the egg rolls we have ever eaten, and our family's standard for onion rings is the quality of the tempura Tron fixes--Tron's tempura onion rings are the world's best.
Then a person has to consider the atmosphere at the Plum Tree. It is a family restaurant, for sure. Our Plum Tree family consists of customers we have watched grow from infants to teenagers, and teenagers we have watched come back with their own infants! There are also dear friends we have met there and enjoy seeing each week. We know each other's hobbies, grandchildren (Nelda has a tableful now), car preferences (John loves his Camry station wagon), musical preferences...and these are folks we only see on Sundays!
But my favorite part of the Plum Tree experience is spending time with the staff. We do love these people. Currently we have the pleasure of regularly visiting with Lily (a nursing student), Xinging (a research chemist), Frances (the mother of former students), Yen (the owner/manager), Tron (the chef), Madison (Tron's 4-year-old granddaughter who calls David Papaw), Ding (Xinging's son, a computer science student at EKU)...plus numerous others who appear and disappear from the kitchen. We've shared birthday cakes (we had a piece of Tron's pineapple-upside down cake today), successes (Lily's acceptance into and good progress in nursing school), recovery from accidents (Xinging's recovery from a broken arm, Frances' accident with her motorbike), sickness (Tron's open-heart surgery, Ginger's glaucoma), weddings (Tron's daughter, Twee, this past summer). Currently we are looking forward to Andy's (Lily's son) citizenship--he takes the test September 27. Also coming up, Sam (former Sunday-noon waiter, current student and evening waiter) will graduate from nursing school this December.
These folks have become dear, dear friends. My mother loved the Plum Tree, and the folks there loved my mother. They sincerely cared for her. When she was not with us on Sundays, they wanted to know where she was. If she was out because she was visiting, that was fine--just tell her they missed her. But if she were sick, pretty soon Tron would be at the table with a bagged order of cashew chicken and fried rice for us to take to her--no charge. When Mom was no longer able to come to lunch with us, they even visited her at her nursing home. When she died, they grieved, just as we had grieved when Yen's mother died several years before.
If you are ever in Georgetown and hungry, be sure and call me. We'll direct you to the Plum Tree, the best restaurant in this area (not just this town) and probably be more than willing to join you for a meal!
Good night to all, and God bless.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Silver Splash is going to be a good program, I think, with emphasis on areas where I need more work (balance and coordination). It's more low-key aerobic stuff, more choreographed, even with music. That's fun, and the different movements are challenging to learn, at least right now. It's a much quieter and less crowded class, since there are currently only five folks compared to the 20-25 who ordinarily make up the 9:00 class. The teacher reminded us to bring water the next time--I just laughed at that, since we never take water to the 9:00 class. But she was RIGHT, I did notice that I got thirsty during the second class. I won't forget my water bottle next time. I also noticed that besides being shriveled up and water-logged, I was really tired at the end of the second class.
I was trekking out to the car with my wet stuff when Emma invited me to go to lunch with Maggie and her. At first I said no, but then second thought and common sense kicked in--I needed to eat pretty quickly, and if I went home first, I'd probably not do that, so I decided to go. We had a really nice meal at Cracker Barrel, after which I felt re-energized (but not enough to go back to K-Mart with the other two ladies! As I told the cashier at CB, after spending $94.00 there last week, I didn't think our budget needed me going back again!). All in all, a good way to spend the morning. Anyone who is considering a water aerobics class, take it from me--it's worth every penny, every minute struggling into and out of wet bathing suits, and every pruney shrivel!
Good night, and God bless!
Friday, August 31, 2007
Saturday, we journeyed on to Chattanooga to help Miss Fia celebrate her first birthday. That was a grand, grand time, let me tell you! David and I got to play with her quite a while before other folks started arriving She is changing so much! I think she remembers us, though, which I treasure, since we don't get to see her that often. The queen says that Princess Fia will think of us as the grandparents who play with her on the floor, and that we do, for sure. We watched her eat birthday cake and a scoop of chocolate ice cream, all without utensils, of course--and did she ever make a mess! The only time she fussed was when her hand got cold from the ice cream she was holding. I found the pair of sunglasses that had traveled home with us after vacation and put them on her to avoid food in the eyes. She ended up taking a bath in the church sink before present-opening took place. We got her dressed again in her leotard and tutu, too cute for words (tutus have a way of sliding down below the belly but hanging up on the biscuits in the back). Oh, I could keep boring you with what transpired that day, but without pictures, you won't get the whole effect, so enough of that.
The princess conked out before we finished cleaning up after the party and stayed asleep for a while after she got home. Then it was off to a sub shop for supper, where she entertained us with her impression of a walrus with dill pickle tusks. Once again, you would have had to see it--and we couldn't get the cameras out before the pickle hit the floor. That child went through four pickles. The royal food of choice this season appears to be anything sour!
The next morning, I fed her royal majesty and kept most of the food going into her rather than on her (an accomplishment of which I am proud). Then she was dressed in her lovely new black, red, and white birthday dress with its jeweled red slippers, and she and the king and queen left for Sunday School. She and her friend Matthew entertained us after church with a duet on the piano--that delighted David, as he had been wanting to see his grand baby at the baby grand. This child not only plays the piano, she also sings! (Plus she is working on dancing, both hula and ballet, which are developing rather slowly since she isn't walking yet.) As soon as she realized she was being recorded, she scooted down off the bench and crawled under the piano.
Tomorrow and Sunday, her Auntie, Uncle Bubba, and Uncle RuRu will be in Chattanooga to continue the celebration. We wish we could be there, too, but too many chefs spoil a pot, as we all know, and for a fact, too many relatives spoil a grandchild! Happy birthday, Princess Fia. We all love you very much!
Good night to all, and God bless.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Tonight to answer a plea for help, I went out to the Center for Lifelong Learning here in our county to help a friend with her ESL classes. According to said friend, she had 22 students on Monday night, at many different levels of English proficiency. She wanted me to work with one particular student, a young man who was attempting some college classes through our local car manufacturer. He could understand all his classes, was able to do the coursework, but was unable to write. He has an amazing English vocabulary, but a great deal of difficulty in constructing even the simplest of sentences. My job, if I chose to accept it (shades of Mission Impossible!), would be to help him master at least simple sentence structure.
It turned out that this young gentleman was occupied all evening tonight with testing. That left me at loose ends, until my friend invited me to observe in her classroom. She had five students who were working on writing compositions in English. One of the women, a native of Mexico City, was writing some relatively elaborate sentences, albeit with some awkward wording, about her job as a fry-cook at McDonald's. I asked her what she had done for her "work" in Mexico City--turned out she was an accountant! Can you imagine a CPA in this country being content doing minimum-wage work in another country? Granted, her English is limited, and her accounting skills would probably not transfer well, due to difference in laws, but the brain that mastered accounting is surely capable of doing something more than flipping burgers!
I wonder how many of our burger-flippers are accountants. I'm sure it would surprise us to find out what these workers have done in the past. Folks from other countries doing minimum-wage work here are not respected--Americans don't take the time to get to know them as anything other than the man who buses the tables, or the woman who shows them to their seat. One of our foreign wait-staff friends has a post-graduate degree in computer programming and is completing a fast-track course to become an RN. Another one has worked as a teacher of English in her native country and is also in an RN program, while working as a temp at the local car factory! A third is a research chemist at the local university! When I tell my friends at church and other places about people like this, they are always amazed. It's as if they don't expect these people to be able to do anything more than clear off a table or take an order.
One of the women I met tonight was from the Congo, by way of Gabon. Currently she is working as a housekeeper at the local college. I asked her to write a sentence or two telling me what she would be doing at home in Gabon. She told me that she loved to cook, and that she would probably be making cakes to sell in front of her house the next morning. She told me that it was difficult to make cakes in Gabon, since she didn't have an oven. I asked her how in the world could she make a cake without an oven! She told me she cooked them in a bowl, on a barbecue. Then it dawned on me that we had differing images of "cake". I quickly sketched something that looked like a layer cake and told her that was what I was thinking of. She then drew a barbecue grill, coals inside, with a bowl on top, and a layer of oil in the bowl, so that she could cook the beignets. (And yes, blogger, I know that's spelled wrong--) Aha, French woman! Those fine, donut-type pastries that are so popular in the French quarter of New Orleans! At last we were communicating! And she did manage to get a pretty good sentence or two out of that!
What I want you to learn from my evening is this: Take the time to meet a foreigner in this country. Don't be concerned with their immigration status. Try to find out what they did when they were in their home land. Think of them as more than a servant--think of them as another human being who is definitely worth your time to know! Love to all, good night, and God bless!
PS Anyone who is looking for an update on Co--she is doing very well, thank you. Her mom had a delightful story for me yesterday about Co trying to help in the kitchen, but I'm going to save that for her to share.
PPS My friend did sucker me into coming back next week. I don't know how long I'll be able to help, but I guess I can give her a couple or three hours!
Monday, August 20, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Apparently that was a good move, because in the next hour, all heck broke loose! Cora started burning up with fever, shaking all over, and even turning blue. L called her doctor's office and left a message, then had the presence of mind to realize this was more than just a "message"--this demanded immediate medical attention! She called 9-1-1, and a firetruck, two police cars, and an ambulance were at the house in less than three minutes. They started her on oxygen right away, and then took her to the children's hospital in Chattanooga by ambulance. G got there just slightly before the paramedics, and he was truly alarmed by the sight of his blue baby.
Doctors and nurses at the ER got her temperature down to 102 pretty quickly. They did another chest x-ray, which did NOT show pneumonia. They also did blood work, a urinalysis, and a spinal tap to try to find out what was going on. Thank God for answered prayers--the spinal tap didn't show any signs of meningitis or encephalitis. What DID show up was a UTI, which can cause fevers to spike like hers did.
At first the doctors said they wanted to keep her overnight, but as her temperature continued to drop and she turned back into her normal playful self, they decided to send her home with a doctor's appointment scheduled for tomorrow for a follow-up. L and G called from the house about 8:30 to say they were home, and that Cora was asleep. I tried to get L to go to sleep, too, but she said she was too worried.
I'm going down tomorrow to take care of Cora for a day or so. That's a job I don't mind a bit! I hope she'll be all better by Saturday. One thing about babies, they can get sick very, very quickly, but they can also get better just about as fast. I guess that's because there just isn't enough of them to hold very many germs for very long! How's that for a stupid theory?
Prayers for the family would be appreciated, folks. I imagine we'll have more of these scares to go through before Co grows up. Love to all, and God bless.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
There was a great group of eight ladies who went, plus two nice-enough men. The women were members of our church's Baptist Women organization, and we went to Martin County to visit the Haven of Rest. Our youth pastor was our driver. I believe Quint (the other man) was there to give him moral support, and to give us someone to pick on!
Haven of Rest is a ministry founded by Eileen M several years back to minister to families of prisoners at the maximum-security federal prison near Inez. Eileen has a building there where the families can stay on weekends while they visit their family member. They are in the process of building an additional building on their property, which will give them, I believe, a total of 24 rooms for the families. As it stands, they have five rooms. Considering what we saw in the immediate area, that increases the number of overnight lodging rooms to...FIVE. Not very many rooms, when you consider the prison houses over 1400 inmates! Do I need to tell you this is a hugely needed ministry? Since this is a federal facility, some of the families have come from as far away as Puerto Rico and Jamaica, let alone the East Coast, California, and Spokane, Washington!
Eileen says she is already booked for Labor Day weekend, for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. She anticipates that there will once again be folks sleeping in their cars in the parking lots. In addition to a place to sleep, there also is a nice lodge-type living room, dining room, and kitchen area where families can prepare food for their meals. There is a small chapel, which looked very familiar to folks from our church--it is furnished with some of the pews that were removed when our sanctuary was remodeled several years ago.
After a quick tour of the facility, we enjoyed a really good meal at a local restaurant, Cloud Nine, which is located directly across the road from the airport. Yes, despite the fact that there are very few touristy places around the area, there is an airport! However, I don't believe they have very many jets landing there--most the air traffic we saw was helicopters. The highlight of the meal for me was a dessert called Clouds and Sunrise, an orange butter cake topped with orange sherbet, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. I shared with Eileen--and Geneva, Emma, Kate--and seems like somebody else! Large serving!
After lunch we visited the thrift shop which helps to fund the ministry. We had donations that we had brought from home. Some of us cannot go through a thrift shop without making a purchase or five or six! I bought two brand-new silicon baking pans, a loaf pan and a 10" square pan, The Sneetches and other stories, and a talking calculator. I guess you'll just have to wait to see who ends up with my goodies.
One of the humor highlights of the trip: Imogene had made apple-nut bread for us to eat on the trip, but didn't remember to bring a knife to cut the stuff. Gloria improvised with dental floss, which worked pretty well until she hit a really big nut. She ended up with a lap full of crumbs, but all who wanted some got to eat it and said it was good.
That was a good bunch to travel with. I'd do it again, but maybe not tomorrow, since my stomach is just now starting to settle down! (Mountain roads are not a lot of fun, if you're riding on the back of the bus.)
Love to all, and God bless.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Summer has come with a vengeance around here--heat index up to nearly 100, even after the "cold front" came through yesterday. Cold fronts have changed since I was a little girl, and yes, Al Gore, the globe is warming. What do I do to help prevent global warming? Well, every morning I go to my "click to donate" sites and save bits and pieces of the rain forest, as well as the occasional carbon offshoot. (I have no clue what carbon offshoots are, but I'm all for patching the leak in the ozone layer!) And ever once in a while, I reuse a paper towel. Maybe that's worth something.
It's been too hot to cook this entire week, but I finally broke down and cooked something today. Yesterday before my stint at the volunteer desk at the hospital, I ran by Kroger's and bought up some very-low-intensity-cooking-required main dishes, as in already prepared Tyson's General Tso's chicken (and no, Yen, it wasn't as good as yours, but it was okay), Nathan's hot dogs, and deli roast beef. Last night we ate chicken with a side salad. Tonight, we had roast beef, swiss cheese, and cooked onion sandwiches. I microwaved a couple of baked potatoes for a side with the sandwiches, but I was too stuffed after one sandwich to want a potato. Usually, when I do those sandwiches in the winter, I cook the onions in the skillet, add the meat, pile the mixture on a hoagie bun, lay some Swiss cheese on top, and run the whole thing under the broiler. Tonight in lieu of heating up the kitchen with the broiler, I microwaved the onions for 2 minutes and then assembled the sandwiches and cooked them in the indoor grill. It worked great, folks. Tomorrow, we'll have the leftover potatoes sliced up and "fried" in the skillet with onions. (David dearly loves cooked onions, and I've gotten used to them myself.) We may have that for breakfast, lunch, or even supper--no telling right now.
Unless David surprises me with something, we have no plans for tomorrow. That's fine by me. When it's this hot, it's just a strain to be outside, even to get to the car and to stay in it until it cools down, so I imagine I'll just sit around the living room and watch "my shows". Anybody care what my shows are? They are (in this order) CBS Saturday Morning starting at 9, America's Test Kitchen at 10:30, Sewing with Nancy at 11, Shay Pendray's needlework studio at 11:30, and Martha Pullen's heirloom needlework show at 12:30. There is some sort of show on at 12 about quilting, but I usually don't watch that one--that's when I may do my token laundry load or fix our peanut butter sandwiches.
We'll be at church from 8:45 until 12 something Sunday (or at least I will--I imagine David will go home and come back after me). Choir is singing at the "traditional" service, a really nice little song about a rock--kind of with a two-stepping rhythm (Jean M will probably start dancing). I work my first stint as a Children's Church worker this Sunday for the 11 AM service, with kindergarten and first grade. Beth H will be my partner, and that's fine by me. I have no idea what goes on in Children's Church, but I'm sure Beth knows, and she will be prepared. I look for that to be a good experience.
With the exception of my Friday night shows, Monk and Psych, and my Saturday night shows, The Last of the Summer Wine and Keeping Up Appearances, that's my weekend plans in a nutshell. I hope yours is just as satisfying for you as mine will be for me! (And I'm open for change, if anyone wants to drop in.) Love to all, good night, and God bless!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Something I have gleaned from reading other blogs is that blog entries don't have to be lengthy to be worthwhile. Also, since I decide what goes in this one, they don't have to be earthshaking news events, either! It's kind of nice to know that a person has a right to lead a boring life and report on the bits of it they choose to share with others!
I am starting to find ways to fill my time. This week, which has been hotter than heck, by the way (temperature almost up to 100 today!), has been a quiet one down here at Lake Woebegone. My usual fitness activities have been curtailed due to the Pavilion being closed for the annual draining of the pool and scrubbing of the walls. I really miss my water aerobics class. That has been great fun, and a big thank-you to Emma for getting me to come! I even miss the Silver Sneakers' class and its chair routine which most of us have memorized by now. Hey, I'm not complaining, it keeps me active, and I do believe it has improved my balance. I can now put my underwear on without having to sit down!
So what have I been doing to keep busy? Hmmm--I brought some stuff up from the basement, weeded through it, finished up a book of Sudoku puzzles (easy ones, folks), got a haircut, picked up a prescription at the pharmacy, did something on Monday--what was it? Oh yes, I went to Irishtown and helped "feed the hungry" (prepare sack lunches for about 100 folks). That's always a good experience for me. I really like interacting with the folks over there. There's one great little lady, Evalina, who has all the sacks set up for us to fill when we get there. She's just a little bit of a thing, maybe 70 or older, but really spry. She keeps the rest of us hopping. Monday there was a little girl there about 12 or so, ready to start middle school. I don't know her name, but she has stuck in my mind (or as my little Jenny said years ago, I got him/her stuck in my heart). I so badly want to go back over there, find that little girl, and take her shopping for back-to-school clothes. Next year, I'll be more prepared for that sort of thing.
Monday afternoon I attended the funeral of a sweet woman and soul mate of a great fellow in our church. They were sweethearts for 64 years and managed to spend her last days together. He is going to miss her so much--he has very little zip left now. Fortunately, he has the knowledge that she has gone to a better place, so at least he can be happy for her.
That expression, "gone to a better place": You know, a lot of folks of my generation and younger think that's just a line of hooey. A lot of folks think when you stop breathing, that's it. It's all over. That's all she wrote, folks. I don't think that, though, and I'll tell you why. All my life I have been led to believe that there is a Heaven, and it's real, and that folks who have come to a saving knowledge of and trust in Jesus Christ will be going there when they die. I have that saving knowledge and faith, so I know that is what will happen to me. I have seen actual proof of the existence of Heaven.
I saw my proof the night my mom died. Mom had a stroke the morning after Thanksgiving, back in 2003. It was a massive stroke, causing pretty much total paralysis and the loss of the ability to talk. There was nothing medical science could do for her, other than keep her comfortable. As her family, we chose not to have heroic measures taken, and we settled down by her side to be with her until she died. Hospice was a godsend, as they often are in these cases. The Hospice personnel were able to tell us so many things and help us and Mom be at peace. We pretty much knew when death was imminent, and my brother, husband and I were all with her at the time she died.
Mom's breathing became slower and slower, much like she was climbing up a mountain. Her eyes were open and appeared to be alert, although she wasn't looking at us. We just sat and watched as she "climbed" up the hill. All at once, she took a breath, looking up, and smiled--a huge smile that stretched all the way across her paralyzed face. Then she closed her eyes tightly, still smiling, and never breathed again. I'm pretty sure I know what she saw. She had fought the fight, finished the course, and kept the faith. I know I'm going to see the same thing she did, one of these days, and what I see will be even better than what she saw, because she'll be there in that host of witnesses, waiting for me.
Enough of that. Love to all, good night, and God bless.