Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not Just Any Thursday in November

Forty-six years ago today Richard Darnell Wilson came into the world weighing 8 lbs. 3-1/2 ounces and measuring 21-1/2 inches long. Yes Rich would have been 46 years old today if he had not committed suicide at the tender age of 22. He's been dead for 24 years and I still miss him so very much. I can't help but wonder what he would be like now. How many grandchildren would he have given me? Time has taken away the pain but nothing can take away the ache in this mother's heart. I've shed a few tears tonight. Something I haven't done in years. Tears can't bring him back nor do they wash away the loneliness I feel without him in my life. I think he would be proud of his little brother and the person he's become. And I think he'd be proud of me too for simply hanging on no matter what. We miss you, Rich. And I have always been proud that you were my son and I had the privilege of loving you. I still do, you know. Love you. I always will.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Odd Day

What an odd day this has been! It disappeared on me. I got absolutely nothing done and the day is over and I'm deep into the night. Oh I did do a few things. I finished one neckwarmer and started another. (Hopefully I'll have enough done by Christmas for everyone that's on my list.) I ran errands, although I found the bank and the Post Office closed, same for the print shop (where I almost risked life and limb to cross the highway to get copies made for my husband only to find them closed). I struck gold at the drug store. Got my $37 refund and picked up two free 2010 calendars and then headed to Kathleen's house for some one-on-one knitting advice. Mostly just checking to make sure I know what I think I'm doing (you figure it out). I was right on with my vest but still traveling scary waters as far as venturing into the unknown of knitting goes, and my little fountain hood will turn out all right even though I didn't join the ends correctly on the circular needle. Oh I did it correctly according to the directions I googled, but it wasn't Kathleen's way and therefore there's a slight problem with it that I wouldn't have if I'd trusted my memory of how she told me to do it. See, I did remember correctly, I just didn't trust my memory. Usually that works best for me because I have the absolute worst memory on planet earth. So that advice was good and I'll do it her way next time. But I'm really struggling with the hood on the circular needle. It is very difficult for me to get the unworked stitches off the cable and back onto the wooden needle points. It's exactly like trying to work a size 4 stitch onto a size 6 needle. The needle is too big or the stitch is too small, whichever you please. But I've never knitted in the round before so maybe this is always the way it is. Anyway I'm not having any fun knitting the hood. Not yet. I haven't given up and started over again. I'm persevering. I'm sticking with the plan. Oh yes, I paid my car registration today too although I couldn't put the cash in the bank because, as I said earlier, the bank was closed. That means I must go out again tomorrow to make the deposit. The thing is (with the registration fee) I've had the cash for the registration for over a month stashed away in a safe place. I was thinking my registration was due in December (that was the caddy) but I happened to think about it today and looked it up and wouldn't you know it, it was due YESTERDAY which means that I had to pay a $24 late fee for one lousy day. Go figure!! Also I had an executive board meeting to attend tonight at 7:30 and I remembered it at 7:35! Then about 8:00 I remembered it was Wednesday and I had forgotten to take my walk! Again!!! Ever have one of those days??? So this has been how my day has gone. And on top of all that hubby needed a gazillion things today. I'd no more than get settled on the couch with my knitting and he'd ask me to get something for him or make something for him to eat or any little chore whatsoever. Now I'm not complaining. I know he can't help it. He can't do things for himself when he can't walk, now can he? No he can't and I fully realize that but the "service with a smile" tends to darken with use. Before I knew it I found myself gritting my teeth every time he asked me to get him something.

I just wanted to sit and knit today. To lose myself in yarn overs and purls and feel the soft pull of the yarn through my fingers. But my knitting today was not relaxing or satisfying because I'd no more than pick it up and then I'd have to lay it aside to do something else. Pick it up. Lay it aside. Pick it up. Lay it aside. That's how it went all day.

My house is a fright right now. There's so much that needs to be done and I don't have the ambition to do even the smallest chore. I just want to knit. Which is what I should be doing now, undisturbed and thankful. But here I sit complaining in my blog. My blog that no one reads any more which is partly my fault but who's pointing fingers. Where was I? Oh, yeah, all I wanted to do was sit and knit today and relax to the feel of one needle gliding across the other. It's very soothing to knit and if you're the least bit stressed you should give knitting a try. But don't try to do it with a hubby who can't walk and do things for himself. The two don't mix. Water and oil. Okay I've complained enough. It's just that it was such a weird day. Nothing turned out right and nothing went according to plan. I feel like I've lived someone else's life today. All that aside, let me thank you for praying for hubby (and me). His leg (and my attitude) definitely need it. And I'll ask you to please continue to remember us in your prayers. Hubby's leg seemed a bit better today. Still swollen. Still red. Still very, very painful. I just need to cope. That's where your prayers come in. Yes, thank you for praying for us, especially hubby. He's the one in pain. Well we're both in pain but his is physical. Mine's only mental. But I still need prayer. Weird day. A really weird day. And I am in an equally weird mood. I'm sorry. I think I'll go knit for awhile and then go to bed. It's after midnight as it is. I wish I could just click my heels together and my house would be clean. Ginny talked about her laundry piled high and muddy boots on the porch. I don't have the muddy boots but I sure have the laundry that needs to be done. Tomorrow will be a better day. I will get up and get to work and get my chores and errands taken care of before I sit down to knit. And I will get to that laundry that I've said I was going to take care of every day this week. That and the vacuum. I'm going to go knit.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Prayer Request

We have been very busy around here for the past few weeks. It all started simply enough. A couple weeks ago I noticed hubby's leg was swollen from the knee down to his toes. I suspected a possible blood clot and took him to the emergency room. They did a sonogram and failed to find a clot so he was sent home with instructions to wear an orthopedic stocking and keep his leg elevated because one could still form. As the days went by the swelling decreased except around his knee. And hubby began experiencing a worsening of the pain. Seemed that every day it hurt him more and more. I took him to his doctor and he ordered another sonogram to make sure a clot had not formed since the first sonogram. Again there was no clot but there was a build up of fluid in the area. His doctor ordered an MRI of the knee and we got those results this morning at 8:15. Seems that he has a cyst up inside his knee joint that is pressing on all the nerves and vessels in that area. Which as we all know is a very tender area. On top of the cyst is the fact that he needs a full joint replacement on that knee. He has "severe" deterioration of the bones and other arthritic problems. Right now, of course, the problem is mostly the cyst because it's bulging and literally making it feel like his knee is going to explode. I noticed tonight that his right leg is discolored, like if you put a rubber band around your finger and watch it turn red, so I know his circulation is not normal in that leg, the cyst is pressing on the vessels, restricting blood flow. He has been referred to an orthopedic surgeon but that can take up to a week here where we live. We love living up here in the foothills but things happen at such a slower pace up here. If we lived down in the Valley, he'd probably be scheduled for surgery by now. So I'm asking all of you to please pray from my hubby. Pray that the cyst goes down and releases the pressure in his knee which will lesson his pain a great deal. Pray also that he gets in to see the surgeon as soon as possible (like tomorrow) and that they get this thing properly taken care of. A knee replacement is a major thing to contemplate but if it has to be done then it has to be done. Hubby is quite a bit older than I am and at 78 this will be no easy operation for him to endure. He just had spinal neck surgery on August 24th. Since then he seems to have one problem after another. The surgery appears to have gone well but he's prone to spasms in his neck and shoulder muscles. Please pray also for that. Pray that God will work into this a wonderful blessing. (If anyone can do it, God can.) Pray that he gets on top of this pain and the disorder in his life and that in some way this will draw him back to God and to church. This is a hardship for me also in that I'm not able to be away from him for more than a few minutes at a time because he needs so much help getting around. I picked up a walker for him today and that has helped immensely. He can get around so much better using it instead of the two canes he was trying to use. Pray that it won't get so bad that I'll need to call for an ambulance to take him to the ER. We almost went that route last night. Obviously he had a terrible night last night. He was simply beside himself with pain and he couldn't get into any position that would lessen the pain at all. So please pray that he will sleep well and get rested.

I'm still walking 3 days a week and I got all my yarn and projects organized in the spare room. It looks a lot better in there I must say. And for an added bonus I know where everything is, yea!!

I'm not really writing a blog tonight. I just wanted to let you know about the latest events. Oh, please pray for me too. I may be a lot younger than hubby but I have my limitations too. I can no longer pick people up and move them around the way I used to do when I worked as a paramedic on ambulances. And I tire more easily than I used to. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you in advance for your prayers for us. I wish this weren't happening so near Christmas. We may not have the Christmas we'd like to have if the resolution to all these problems doesn't happen for a few weeks. We'd like to get in and get it done so that he'll be able to enjoy the holidays. He was able to attend his ship's reunion in Reno in September just a couple weeks after his neck surgery and just before this latest problem cropped up so he was blessed in that way. Until next time...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why Is It?

Why is it I always feel the need to write when I should be putting everything in order and getting myself into bed? Guess that's when things weigh on my mind. Things like the need to add a little exercise into my lumpy life. Since I took up knitting again a couple years ago (gee, has it really been that long! that wasn't meant to be a question) I have become less and less active and more and more a growing lump on my end of the couch! What's the matter with me? Didn't I feel great when I used to walk 6 miles a day? Yes, however now I whine such things as: Oh it's too hot to walk; or, Oh it's too cold to walk; or, any other of a million excuses I can come up with when pressed. So I have been thinking that I need to add a little exercise to my life. I can never stick with an exercise routine (my yoga mat I got two years ago for my birthday has never been unrolled) but I was able to stick with walking everyday (back then!) and, as I remember, I even looked forward to my time with the Lord. (I always talked with the Lord while I pounded the pavement. I didn't really pray. It was much more like just talking and I'm sure the people in the cars going passed me, thought I was insane talking to myself like that! Ah, if they only knew Who I was talking with, that would wipe that smirk off their faces. The God of heaven and earth! The Almighty Sovereign Lord of the universe! The King of kings! The Creator! God!) Where was I, oh yes, I need to start adding exercise back into my life (now that winter's right around the corner and it's going to be so tempting to whine about the cold) and the best exercise I can think of and will continue with, is walking. I've got some good shoes and I have plenty of clothes to layer on so I have no excuse, right. (Oh give me time. I'll come up with one.) Anyway I've been thinking about walking again for the past couple weeks. Then Sunday at church we were asked to take some flyers and distribute them around town. I thought that was right up my alley as it would get me out walking again. I could certainly canvas my neighborhood and then maybe I could just keep walking even after all the flyers were gone. So I did good. I took 35 flyers and wrote on the map that I would do the 2 blocks around my home. Yesterday, I was charged and managed to do a million things including walking around with the flyers. Only thing is I ran out of them long before I ran out of houses. So last night at knitting group I went upstairs to the sanctuary and picked up a big handful of flyers. (64 flyers! Yes, I counted) Today I meant to finish my 2 blocks and hit a few apartment complexes before going home. However one thing led to another today and the only thing I got accomplished was my bed and a nice long nap on the couch. Shame on me! But I have hopes for tomorrow. I'm going to get out there and walk and then I'm going to keep right on walking all winter long (except when it rains - now watch this be the wettest year on record) and shed a few pounds or at least feel a little better. When I finish with these flyers I'll go pick up more and walk again on Friday to distribute them. I'm hoping that by then I will be "in the habit" of walking and can keep it up. Sounds like a plan doesn't it? You see, that's the only negative I can find about knitting: You can't knit very well while walking. (Although my friend Ginny can knit quite well while she's walking, carrying her baby on her back!!) And if you knit as much as I do, you turn into a vegetable rather quickly. I know this to be a fact because it has happened to me. I have turned into a couch potato with a pair of knitting needles in its hands. But I am determined to turn over a new leaf. I will resolve not to knit until after I've walked if I must but I will start walking again. Nothing like 6 miles a day I can assure you but anything will be better for me than nothing. I will work up to an hour a day. That will be my goal. That's not hard. It really isn't. All you have to do is walk for 30 minutes then turn around and walk home. You can even walk the same route home if you want. You don't have to have a course to walk! Will I shoot for every day? I don't know on that one. I'll start out with three times a week and see where I go from there. I have decided that this absolutely must happen. I sit waaaaay too much while knitting. Yes, and I believe I am literally knitting my life away. It is not healthy to sit all day long. The thing is, I know this, so why am I having to give myself a pep-talk here? Because I'm weak. Because I'm spoiled and have grow lazy. Okay. I have my mind made up. I will start walking starting tomorrow. (Wait a minute, didn't I actually start yesterday? Yes, but I had not resolved to do so. And now I have.)

I'm going to start making a list every night of chores I need or want to do "tomorrow." I used to do this all the time and it really works for me. Yesterday is proof of that. I had 12 things on my list to do and I did all 12 of them. That's such a great feeling to cross that chore off and pick out another one! I will do this with w-a-l-k at the top of my list. And until it gets really cold, I will try to do my walking first thing, like it's the most important part of my day. I can't think of a better way to start a day off than to have an hour's conversation with the Lord. I wonder how many calories you burn talking to God. Anyone ever stop and figure that out? Someone, somewhere probably has documented that praying burns X number of calories per minute or per hour. But I don't know who or where s/he documented it.

These decisions are monumental stages in my life. I wish I could explain how sedentary my life has become so you would understand their magnitudes. Making a list every night = 6.5 on the Richter Scale. Walking = 9.9 on the Richter Scale. These are big events in my life. To me anyway. There's no way for you to feel the ground shaking the way it's shaking under me right now. But I resolve to do these two things. Do them right away and do them until they become second nature to me. Do them until a day without them would be hugely disappointing.

Another thing. I resolve to organize my knitting. This is a huge step for me too. My corner of the spare room is piled almost to the ceiling with skeins of yarn. Some full skeins, some partial skeins, and some just scrap. I am determined to get in there before this week is over and organize everything. I have boxes of balls of yarn and I have dozens of balls of yarn that have no boxes. Everything is just piled in there on top of itself. It's sort of layered though, I noticed that tonight when I was in there looking for a finished neckwarmer I had knit. On the very bottom is a layer of balls of yarn all in various stages of use and a few projects that I've started but haven't yet finished. On top of that is a layer of plastic bags and shirt boxes of finished projects. On the floor is the huge plastic bag that holds two afghans for Christmas presents (I think I'm safe here, I don't think they read my blog). But then on top of the layer of finished projects is another layer of jumbled up mess of balls of yarn, some new, some partially used. Then on top of them are more finished projects and then on top of that are several shipping boxes that are filled with new balls of beautiful yarn. I even have the project I bought them for, written right on the KnitPicks label! These are my treasures just waiting to be crafted into beautiful things. Mostly scarves and warmers and baby blankets (no I don't know anyone who is expecting) that will someday go to the hospital for babies along with the dozen or so baby hats I knitted last year. Now pretend you are really, really big and you have this equally big spoon in your hand. Now pretend you are stirring this mess. That, my friends, is what my knitting corner of the spare room looks like. It will take a full day to organize this mess but I vow to do it before the week is out! I will be determined because it really, really needs to be done and it will give hubby one less thing to nag me about. No, he doesn't really nag me. He just says things like, "We've got to get that room cleaned out." He says we but he doesn't mean we, he means me. That's the way he nags at me. we've got to do this or we've got to do that. And for some reason that really grates on my nerves. But I know it will please him immensely if I organize that area of the room. What I need are big plastic tubs in which I can organize all the different components of my "pile." (And it really is a pile, I'm so ashamed to say.) I mean, there's a desk in there somewhere, you just can't see it. And somewhere in that mess is all my Christmas wrapping paper and bows. Actually the bows are on top of the pile for some reason. They're in an opened shoebox, laying on it's side with bows spilling out onto my baby hats. When I was rummaging in there earlier this evening looking for that warmer, I saw the bows. I also found knitted things that I had forgotten I knitted. Yes, it's time to buckle down and do the deed. But how am I going to organize it without big plastic tubs to put stuff in? (There's really no answer to that question and I wasn't look for an answer. There is no answer.) Well, I will just get in there and do the best I can. Isn't that my mantra: I will do the best I can? Yes, this will please hubby. And it will also prevent me from having to go in there and rummage around looking for something. Yarn will be with yarn. Completed project will be with other completed projects. Works in progress will all be together in one place so I can see them and actually might even decide to finish them!

So anyway, how's that workin' for ya...

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Fresh Start

I know it's been a long while since I've posted on my blog but I wanted to give it another try. I don't know how often I'll post or exactly what I'll write about but I'm going to try again. I have been asked to give the congregational prayer at church on Sundays about every two and a half or three months and since I write them out beforehand so that I will have a record of these prayers, I thought I might copy those, if nothing else. I do want my blog to slant toward Christian topics and Christian living as that's what my life is wrapped around. Also there's the fact that we don't really do interesting things very often. We rarely go anywhere to speak of or do anything really exciting to write about. I did figure out how to put pics in my blog before taking my sabbatical but I've since forgotten how I did it. I have the instructions written down somewhere and maybe I can dig those out and send pics once in awhile. Yesterday, my granddaughter gave me a couple beautiful pics of her and her new hubby at their wedding back in August. When I figure out how to do that again I'll have hubby scan the pictures into his computer and then send them to me. (I don't have a scanner on my computer and he does.) Then I can post those on my blog.

Speaking of computers, mine has been down for a couple months. I really missed it. The first few days without it was awful. I don't think we realize just how much time we spend sitting at the computer! I know I didn't. Turned out my video card was bad. My son had a spare one in his drawer at home that worked on my computer and so he came over yesterday and installed it. Now I am up and running again. He is so good with computers and so gracious to offer to fix mine on his day off.

I went to a jewelry party yesterday afternoon after church. It was at my granddaughter's house out in the middle of nowhere. She's only about 35 miles away, maybe 20 as the crow flies, but the last 30 miles seem to take forever. She actually lives in Ione or Lake Comanche but it is desolate out there. It took me about 45 mins each way so I put a few miles on the car and time on my bottom end. This is the fourth jewelry party I've been to (counting my own) and I have spent entirely too much money on jewelry. But the jewelry is so beautiful and I do love my jewelry. I never get dressed in the morning without putting on my jewelry for the day. I just feel naked without it. But I really did get carried away especially considering it's very expensive jewelry. And it's costume jewelry at that! But I got several beautiful necklaces and 3 or 4 pairs of earring. Yesterday I bought a simple pair of pearl posts or studs and a turquoise and silver necklace. I really go in for the bling. I like lots and lots of beads and shells and stones and chains and anything else they can sting into a necklace. And I love multiple strands! It's lia sophia jewelry I've been buying and I had no business buying so much of it. But I got it at such great deals. $128 necklaces for only $20! Can't beat that. So before I knew it, I'd gone completely overboard and now I'm having the worst case of guilt!!! I bought like I was a glutton sitting down to an 8-course dinner affair. Shame on me!

Michael (usually referred to here as "hubby") had surgery on his neck in late August and things just haven't quite picked up for him yet. I actually think the surgery itself did a lot of good. It's just that he has so many other problems that have surfaced since the surgery that he finds it difficult to think of many positives in his life right now. He's still wearing his neck brace and I think he's getting very tired of it. He sees his surgeon in a couple weeks and I'm hoping he'll tell him that he doesn't need to wear it any longer because I think a lot of his pains are caused by him adjusting and guarding for the brace. He takes it off occasionally but he still compensates for it by keeping his neck and shoulders very rigid and tight. I think he's afraid his head is going to fall off and that's what the plate is in there to prevent. They implanted a 3-1/2 inch plate in his neck to stabilize those three or four vertebrae so he shouldn't need to "protect" or guard his neck as much as he does.

Fall is happening around us. I can't believe it's almost November. Thanksgiving! Then December and Christmas. Where have the months gone??? Trees are turning all over town and when I drive around to go to the store or the Post Office, there are always leaves blowing across the road in front of my car. The nights are cooler but the afternoons still get a tad bit too warm. I'm sure hoping for a wet winter this year to end the drought. Halloween is this coming weekend. It's usually raining lightly on Halloween night. Pepper and I will stay in the back of the house while hubby stays in the front to hand out candy to any trick-or-treaters who come calling. I don't think we had any come last year at all. If we did it wouldn't have been more than just a couple.

The curl is coming out of my hair. You'll remember that all my hair fell out over a year ago and when it came in, it came in curly and I absolutely loved it. It was a breeze to keep looking nice and was very easy to take care of. Everyone loved it, especially me!! Now it is almost as straight as a board. I am devastated to lose the curl I waited my entire life to have. When it came in curly, I really thought it was worth all those months of growing it back. In fact, I would have shaved my head if I'd known it would come back curly but now? Now I'm totally disappointed. I really am!

I'm still knitting but I'm knitting at a more relaxed pace. Lately I've been knitting neckwarmers (officially called neck cuffs but everyone says neckwarmers). I knitted several. Gave away5 or 6 to family members and then knitted 5 or 6 more to have on hand to sell should any of my sisters' golfing buddies want to buy one to wear on those cold, early morning tee offs. I figured I could sell them at $10 each and make a little money so that I could buy more yarn from KnitPicks. I've started a vest (really just a sleeveless sweater, not your typical vest) but I had to put it aside for the neckwarmers. I also needed to order more yarn as I didn't order quite enough the first time. I order most of my yarn from KnitPicks. They have great yarn and the very best knitting needles on the market today! If you're a knitter and you haven't checked them out, please go online (, I think) and check them out. I bought a double set of the wooden harmony needles and a variety of interchangeable cable sizes. And then they came out with the clear Zephyr needle points and I fell head over heels in love with them. I have a complete set now and will probably buy double needles of the most popular sizes. That should permit me to knit without having to move my points around so much. And when I knit in the round I'll use both the Zephyr and harmony needle points to make it easier to differentiate between the two needles. I still have the yarn for several more scarves that I want to do this winter. I'm also going to buy a few skeins from my friend Kathleen to use to make another scarf. She ordered it and didn't like the color and I'm crazy about the color. So rather than her sending it back, she'll sell it to me. I know just what pattern I want to use too. I actually have the yarn to do at least 3 of them. I'm not sure what I'll do with all of these scarves but knitting them will be fun. Kathleen and I are also going to knit ourselves matching hoods (not that we really wanted to match each other it's just that we both liked the same pattern and we both liked the same color yarn). The pattern was in a book I bought from KnitPicks which was just packed with wonderful patterns (so unlike the latest book I bought on scarves). I didn't find a single scarf in that book that I would want to knit. The blurb about the book said they were new and "original" designs. But it failed to mention that they were all ugly at the same time! Guess that's the risk you take when you buy books online. The first book I bought was titled Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders and apart from the fact that I haven't yet found one of them that could be knit with just one skein, all 40 designs were worth knitting. Of course, I didn't buy the luxury yarn. I simply substituted one of KnitPicks wonderful yarns and knitted away. That's what I like so much about knitting. It is so versatile. [For some reason that spelling bothers me but spell checker says there's nothing wrong with it. I apologize if my checker is in error.]

I think I have you about caught up with the things that are going on in our lives at the current time. I was going to post a prayer today too but I think I'll save that for tomorrow or the next day. There's no hurry. I wanted to catch you up with what we're doing and I don't want to write a really long blog. I do plan on continuing my blog in a more routine manner but I'm simply not planning on posting it nearly as often as I have in the past. If you check back every week or so, chances are you'll catch them all as they come out. When I was writing them every day, it was not only time consuming for me to write them but was equally time consuming for my readers to read them. Then as you well know, I took a sabbatical for a few months and now here I am, ready to go at it again but at a much slower pace. So I will leave you with this: May God bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and may He guide your steps toward godly living. May He shower His grace upon you and may you learn to trust Him in all things and may everything you do bring glory to Him and Him alone.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trying to Update

It has been ages since I've written a blog and now that I want to, I'm not sure I can because all my blog addresses were on my firefox (or foxfire) engine. So I'm writing this just to see if it will show up on my blog. Hopefully I'll be able to do this. I ask God to bless you today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nothing Special

Another day; another blog. Actually it has been awhile since I've blogged so it's not like I'm constantly writing blogs. I don't have anything special to write about just the daily events that eventually comprise my life. We had a few really hot days a couple weeks ago but this past week has cooled off considerably. I think yesterday's high was in the low 90s and it's been dipping down into the 40s at night. Perfect weather! I love it getting so low at night. I sleep so much better when the bedroom is cold. I just snuggle down under the comforter and sleep like a baby.

I went to a Fourth of July party across the river and had hamburgers and a perfect seat for the fireworks display at the Junior High school. Their back patio was big and long and the earth just dropped away from their low cement fence and we had a totally unobstructed view of the fireworks. I had a really nice time. Both my sisters were there too. It was nice to get out for a change. I'm not socially bent as fate would have it. It just seems that I usually have nothing to say that isn't about my life with the Lord and so when I'm around nonbelievers, I don't talk much. But 99% of my life is wrapped up in that relationship and my subsequent church activities. I pray for my sisters but they just don't think they need God in their lives at all. So sad.

I have not had Pepper put down. I ran into and unlikely crusader for him when I mentioned my plans to my hubby. He didn't want me to put him down. He wanted me to give another month of thought to it. He's really attached to him, just as I am. But I hadn't realized hubby was that attached. So when we did our shopping for July, I went ahead and purchased another month's worth of dog food. And of course now I'm having second thoughts myself. I really wish we didn't have him but at the same time I'm in love with the little creep!! I had my mind so made up and now I'm all confused again.

My Bible reading is going quite steadily. So far I haven't missed a day or missed a portion of the material. I confess I skimmed a little when I worked my way through Chronicles, and if you've ever read First and Second Chronicle, you'll understand why. Job started out a boring chore but then I really got into it and I enjoyed my time reading it, especially yesterday (which I stayed up and read last night before going to bed - I almost forgot). But there are some beautiful verses in Job and overall it was well worth reading. As I said, I ended up enjoying it. I read Job all the way through a few months back and had found it boring then too. But by the time I got past chapter 20, I was really enjoying it. Much of it went right to my heart. The Sovereignty, Suffering, and Punishment.
What's fair and what's unfair. Did Job deserve to have this happen to him? He was one of the good guys. So many others had to have been better suited and more deserving of this type of suffering. What exactly is God doing with Job anyway? Basically it all boils down to God's sovereignty to do as he pleases with His own creation. When we behave or live righteously we are not doing anything special; we're just doing as we ought to do. We don't give awards to people who do what they are supposed to do and neither does God. The thing to remember is that even in suffering we are to seek the Person of God. To love Him. To worship Him. Why? Because He deserves it. He is worthy of our love and worship. We are not worth the dirt we stand on and anything God gives us is an unmerited gift from the Father, Son, Holy Spirit! We are to love Him. The Persons of God regardless to what is happening in our lives. Things are rough and hard to deal with? Love God. When our struggles have mounted to painful peaks, we are to remember that we are receiving nothing more than what we deserve and are to love God just the same. Our love is for HIM. Not for anything He gives us or does for us but for Him who IS worthy of praise and love and worship and adoration. Even in the midst of great suffering we are to love God regardless of our circumstances.

God is omnipotent and sovereign. We must never forget that. We are called to love Him even when we don't understand Him. Poor Job! He had no answer to his many questions of Why me? And God never gave him an explanation either. Job's little pity party was him thinking he hadn't done anything to deserve such horrible suffering. But then Job comes to an understanding: That is that "though You slay me, I will love You still." Do we say that when things go wrong for us? Do we say, God, I'm going to love you even if you kill me? That's what Job realized. God has the right and responsibility to deal with us as He chooses. And we are to love him. No matter what's going on in our lives at each moment, we are to love Him with all our being. He is worthy of such adoration. Whereas we are worthy only of death. We are the ones who broke the covenant. We are the ones who went astray. We are the ones who thought ourselves better than we are. We are the imperfect, the flawed, the sinners. No matter how much suffering we endure in this life we are getting nothing more than what we deserve. So the next time you go though some rough times, stop and think about Job. Think of what we are: filthy rags. And praise God that He loves you anyway. Even while undergoing excruciating anguish God love us, and we are to love Him for who He is. And we must remember that God is worthy.

That phrase, "God is worthy" has such incredible depth for me. For some reason that one word "worthy" seems to mean more to me than to most people I know. I don't know why that's so but I tend to think that it does. When I am with people and I mention that God is worthy it just seems to be another word to them. The thing that gets me is the realization that God IS God and as God He could be any kind of God he chooses to be. He could choose to be a bad God. But He doesn't. He could choose to mistreat us, but He doesn't. He could choose to make every moment of our lives miserable, but He chooses to love us instead. He didn't have to make food taste good. Or He could have created food that tastes good but given us tongues without taste buds. He could have chosen to have roses smell so beautifully and then given us noses without the ability to smell. He didn't have to give us eyes capable of distinguishing color. Or He could have created this colorful world for His own pleasure, and given it to us as black and white. He didn't have to give us music, fragrance, laughter, love, sex, beauty. But He did. What an awesome God! A God so worthy of our love and worship and adoration. May we fall flat on our faces the next time we talk to Him and show Him that He is indeed worthy! He is worthy of it all. So the next time you hear someone say that God is worthy, think back and realize all that it means. And may the phrase "God is worthy" mean so much more to you from now on.

I am looking forward to Fall now. Summer is just now here and already I am looking forward to Fall. Ugh! Fall would mean leaves to rake and burn. Boo, hiss I forgot about that. Oh well, a little work is good for me. And our yard is certainly not a large yard. We just have a very big oak tree that shelters our entire back yard and it produces leaves three feet deep (or it seems that way). I was looking forward to being able to walk anywhere in my yard and not have to worry about stepping on a little doggy snake. Landmines. Messes. Pooders! Yes, I still want to put Pepper down but it will hurt so much to do it. It's like he trusts me to love him and care for him and I would be breaking that trust to put him down. The thing is, he's not suddenly going to stop snapping. He's not suddenly going to stop throwing a fit every time someone comes to our door. And, oh, my, perish bringing company into his house! Everything we do revolves around that dog. Where we go, when we go, how long we stay, etc., etc. My granddaughter's wedding is next month. What are we going to do about being gone so long? Will I have messes to clean up by time we get home. The cats are no problem. A bowl of water, a bowl of dry cat food, and a litter box and they are set for even overnight. Not so with the dog.

I'm still knitting on my yellow baby afghan. It's taking a little longer for some reason. One very good reason is that I keep making stupid mistakes and then have to rip out all my work and fix the problem and then reknit back to where I had been. I worked on the afghan all day yesterday and got about a foot done but by evening I was ready to knit something else. I almost decided to knit another dishcloth just for something else to do but I already have so many. I also thought about knitting another baby hat but I've already got a dozen of them! So I continued on with the afghan. I did get Jamie's red, summer scarf done night before last. I had such a small amount left to knit that I just decided to sit and finish it. I bought a bunch of cotton yarn last week because there was something I wanted to knit with cotton and can you believe it? I can't remember what I was going to knit. I wanted white yarn for some reason and I just can't remember what that reason was! Frustrating. Very frustrating.

This hasn't been much of a blog but it will have to do. Don't forget to leave a comment so I'll know it's being read. I'll make it easy on you, all you have to do is send your name. You don't have to come up with any words to write. Just let me know you visited. Thanks. And until next time, love the Lord regardless of what's going on in your lives. Love Him and give Him the honor He deserves.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well, so much for promises. Right? But this is the first chance I've had to actually sit down at the computer and write. Hubby has kept us hopping. His neck needs surgery and we have been having tests run with various doctor appointments. We had to go to Sonora yesterday to see one of the doctors at the Northern California Spinal Institute for an EMG. Hubby was not too happy having needles inserted into all his muscles on the right side. I told him he was lucky that he only had to have one side done. When I had mine done it was for both sides. It is a very unpleasant test, I'll give him that. With the test done we left the office with orders in hands for another MRI and an epidural at the hospital scheduled for the 14th. Also we had orders to schedule an appointment to see another one of the doctors who specializes in the cervical spine. We are hoping to have the surgery ASAP. Hopefully the epidural will give hubby some pain relief until we can get the actual surgery done. Last time we went over and saw the doctor he was given some morphine for the pain but was unable to keep it down so he's back on norco which helps some but he remains in a lot of pain. I'm really hoping that we can get his surgery over and done with before the fall. When you live up in the mountains, things take time. I will keep you posted and I covet your prayers for my hubby. That the epidural will alleviate his pain and that his surgery can be done soon.

We are in the middle of a heatwave here. Yesterday we drove over to see the doctor in 110 degree heat. When we got back home our thermometer showed that our high here had been 113 degrees! That's really too hot for anyone. It made for a hot trip over to Sonora and back. At least it cooled off a little last night. Night before last I had the intake fans in our bedroom window blowing across me and still I slept on top of the covers, too hot even for just the sheet. Last night was much better. It is supposed to be hot again today but not as hot as yesterday.

I made the painful decision to have my dog Pepper put down. I don't know yet when I'll have it done but probably before too awfully long. There are dozens of reasons for doing it, not least of which is his sudden tendency to snap and growl at everybody. Even me! And he worships the ground I walk on. The problem is that I love him in spite of his personality. I won't try to find another home for him because of his biting (and a few other flaws). I would just be putting his new owners at risk for being bitten. But I really do love this dog. Or I guess more accurately I should say that I love the dog he could be if he didn't have all these things wrong with him. It's a lot like being in an abusive relationship. Women stay in those relationships because they love the man that their man could be, if he just wouldn't beat her up all the time. It's like that with Pepper. I love the dog he could be if he just wouldn't bite and misbehave. But the facts are that he does bite and misbehave and he's getting worse. It will break my heart but I've decided that it has to be done. After he's gone we will bring Mama (our feral outdoor cat) inside (Pepper would never stand for us bringing another animal into the house). She is the sweetest thing and hopefully she'll get along with Mario and Punky (the cats we already have) and I won't have to worry about her being outside all the time. It's always a struggle to get her into the garage at night but there are too many animals up here that prey on domestic cats to leave her completely outside. That will still leave Little Mario outside but he is still very feral. I can stroke him once or twice when I put the food out but he hisses at me when I do it. Hubby has never been able to touch him. He is really truly wild and I am not attached to him like I am with Mama and I have no plans to get attached to him. Anyway, it will break my heart to put Pepper down but I've made up my mind to do it. Just not sure exactly when. Pepper is always close to me. He follows me from room to room. Sleeps curled against my side at night and beside me on the couch when I'm knitting. If I go outside, he goes outside. He follows me everywhere so it will be like severing me from my shadow.

I am busy reading the Bible. Since the first of the year I have been reading through the Every Day Bible which is the NIV divided into 365 sections to take you through the year. So far I've stayed faithful to that. Then a couple weeks ago our pastor challenged us to read through the Bible in 90 days and I have a schedule to follow that will get me completely through it in 90 days. So far so good on that one but I've got a long way to go. It takes about an hour maybe an hour and a half to read using that schedule. I'm going to really try to keep up with both of them but some days it really is a challenge to read through all that material.

My Bible study of the various disciplines of the Christian life is on hold until I get the 90-day reading done. Because that usually takes an hour by itself and that's just too much. I do miss it though. At least each chapter stands on it's own. I'm not going to suffer by taking a break from it. I can just pick it up right where I dropped off.

We have had a family of Gold Finches visiting our hummingbird feeder the past couple of weeks. My they are such beautiful birds. All that bright yellow flashing around. They can really drain the nectar out of the feeder in a hurry I'll say that much for them. But they are so pretty.

I'm still knitting. I've started a new afghan after finishing the white one last week. It is a pale yellow. I don't like the stiffness of the yarn but it's yarn that I've hung onto for 20 years and I'd like to get it used up and out of the way. What am I going to do with all these afghans??? I have the yarn for one more and then I will move on to something else. Oh, and I've learned to knit in the round! Yea for me!! I don't like it though. I just don't find it fun to work. But I'm currently knitting a pair of wrist warmers in the round. I've taken the first one as far as I know how to take it. I will need to have my teacher show me how to do the next step and she and her hubby are out of state right now so it's just sitting in the spare room until she gets back. That's why I went ahead and started the yellow afghan. I needed something to work on.

Well this hasn't been much of a blog but I've got to get busy around here. I don't even have my bed made yet. I woke up just before 5:00 this morning and hubby was still asleep. And then I started my Bible readings, then I moved to this blog. Hubby is up now so I'm going to close and get it made. Oh and I guess I should get dressed sometime today too! I feel like my blogs are boring now without writing a devotional but it has been a nice break for me. Maybe sometime in the fall I will get back to writing one occasionally. In the mean time stay close to the Lord. He's the best friend you'll ever have. And I praise Him this morning and give Him the credit for anything good in me. On my own I am like filthy rags, but with Him I am dressed in glorious splendor. He is my righteousness. And I praise Him for all the things He's doing in my life. He gives me strength and the will to continue during difficult times. Some days are just hard, let's face it, but we can make it through victoriously if we will cling to Him. His hand is always out-stretched toward us. All we have to do is take hold of it. Praise God!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm Sorry

I know this is way over due here on my blog site but I'm going to have to let it say so many things I want to say and have no time to say them. Hopefully I will get to it really soon. I had planned on writing this with plenty of time but my time got away from me and here I am too rushed for posting. I will VERY SOON write a real blog. I promise. Right now I see that blogger is down anyway. Don't know how long it will be before I can post. But surely as soon as I'm ready to blog, it will be up and running. Who would have thought that I would get too busy to blog! I'm not sure when that will be but I am hoping not more than a day or so. Sorry for the confusion. Love ya...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Been A While

...since I've posted but it doesn't look like anyone has missed me. Honestly I just have not had the time to blog. I've got so many irons in the fire. Something happens or I see or hear something and I'll think "I need to save that for my blog" but then I don't find the time to blog and when I finally sit down at the keys to write, my mind goes blank. I don't do well when I am overloaded with things and I've really got myself laid bare. Nothing seems to be happening to talk about. I have my Bible study on the Disciplines of Christian Living and then I've got two Bible reading projects going. I know. You'd think one would suffice, huh? Well, I have been using the Daily Bible since the first of the year which is an NIV translation divided into 365 segments with a few devotionals thrown in (not nearly as many as I had hoped for, but oh well!) and then my pastor challenged us to read the Bible in 90 days over the summer. So I've continued with my first plan and just added the second plan to it. At some point they will meet in the middle but the 90-day plan is much faster having many more Bible pages to read every day. But I am using a new translation I got for Christmas last year. It's the New Living Bible and I really enjoy it for reading. I'm glad I decided to use that Bible for my second reading plan. The NLB is a very good translation (paraphrase) for just sitting back and reading the Word of the Lord. I wouldn't use it for a Bible study. I prefer the NIV for that. But it's very, very readable.

So I've had all this going on in my life and have had meetings and meetings and meetings and of course I'm still knitting up a storm although I confess I've eased up a bit on it. I don't need to knit as much as I was there in the beginning. It's nice to have settled into a schedule that is more relaxing. When I first went back to knitting last year I almost knitted 24 hours a day! Day after day!! I knitted afghans and throws and shawls and baby hats (which by the way is about time to knit another one). Now I'm pretty well down to just one project at a time. I'm working on a white baby blanket. The pattern calls it an afghan but it's more of a blanket to me. Much tighter weave and a little on the small side for an afghan. I'm using white worsted yarn for it. But I picked up a pattern the other day for another baby afghan that I'll use my lavender (sport?) yarn to make. This one has a much tighter weave and looks and feels more like a blanket than an afghan which I think of as open and loose. This white one will be much warmer than any other afghans I've done. I have plenty of worsted yellow yarn left over from when I was knitting years and years ago (I knew I was hanging onto that yarn for some reason) and I think I will use it for an afghan too. I'm ordering some yarn and patterns today for future projects. I had hoped to order them online but couldn't figure out how to navigate their "store," so I'll do it snail mail. One of the projects is the yarn and pattern for adult jacquard wrist warmers that I think my granddaughters will like to have. The second project is for me. It's the yarn and pattern for yoga socks and yes, I plan on going back to yoga again. I have my DVD and I'll just do it here at home rather than going out to a class. I really need to be doing something. Anyway, I thought they were great looking socks and they don't have heels or toes so there aren't any tricky places to knit (I hope). These may be knitted in the round and if they are, that will give me the opportunity to learn how to knit that way. I do want to learn but I'm secretly hoping that they aren't designed to be knitted in the round because I'd like to just knit them like I know what I'm doing, lol!

[Hubby just took me down to the yard and showed me that we have two tiny cherry tomatoes on our vine now! Yippee!!! That is as close to having home grown tomatoes as we've been in years and years!]

I still have yarn coming out my ears and I'm buying more??? Shame on me! But I don't have any sock yarn around so if I'm going to be doing socks, I need more yarn. I've been thinking about making myself a sweater but I just can't get myself to do it right now. I'd rather knit things! I'm thinking about knitting some place mats too if I can find an interesting pattern. But then, most of those will involve working with more than one color and I'm not ready to tackle that issue yet.

Our weather has been so strange lately. Very cool and overcast for the past two weeks. Yesterday's high was only in the 70s. This is June folks!! We're supposed to be dripping in sweat by this time! I'm not in any way complaining though as I simply do not like hot weather. It just seems weird to have such mild temperatures this time of year. I could go for this temp all year round. The biggest problem we've had going for the past couple months is the wind. We've had an almost constant wind whipping the pollens and molds around activating all those nasty little nasal problems.

One of my blogging friends sent out the cutest chicken pictures today. She and her hubby ordered 27 chicks from somewhere with I think 3 roosters. But her little chickies are absolutely adorable! Harriet is the winner hands down for today's vote. She's got so much personality just standing there in the pic. Looks like she could rule the roost if you ask me. I sure wish I had 27 chickies to play with until they matured into laying hens. They are just so cute. We always had a pen full of chickens when I was growing up. It was fun to go out and gather in the eggs, to count them and see how many you got for the day. Anyway they just bring out the little farm girl in me. I always liked our chickens and I didn't like it one bit when mother would cook one for dinner. That didn't stop me from eating dinner but it made me sad. I would have turned down the fried chicken in a heartbeat if my doing that would save the chicken but I knew that would never happen so why not eat what the Lord has provided? I am not a vegetarian but I would be if I had to kill my food before I could eat it. There are too many vegetables to pick from before you start killing animals to satisfy your hunger. Or that' s the way I look at it anyway.

Well, yes, I know this is a very short post but I've got things I need to be doing before it's time to take hubby to the doctor and see if he can do anything for hubby's nausea and vomiting. As if he doesn't already have enough to handle what with all the pain he's dealing with and then to have this stuff heaped on top of everything else, it's kind of rough around here for Mr. Hubby. But I do need to get some things done. I wanted to vacuum but don't know if I'll get around to that or not. I have gotten the bed made and all my Bible reading is done for the day. There's about an hour's worth of reading every day for me to get my two different Bible reading plans fulfilled. And that's hard for me to sit still for that long. But I think my biggest problem is that I keep falling asleep. I need to do my reading before I start my day and I am constantly fighting the urge to sleep. I must have fallen asleep a dozen times this morning before I got all my reading done. But I can't read during the day (I've just too many things to do to spend my time reading) so that leaves mornings or nights and I end up battling the sleep issue regardless of which one of those I choose.

This hasn't been much of a blog but I keep trying. You have to give me credit for that, I do keep trying. I want to take out the time this afternoon before we leave to get my Bible Study done. I think this discipline is on prayer if I'm not mistaken and we can all use help with prayer in some way. Prayer is such an incredible gift from our heavenly Father and yet most of us get prayer so far pushed aside from our daily activities that we never seem to get around to it. I know that I could improve this area of my life greatly. I just never seem to take the time for it and a brush up on that discipline will do me the world of good. And then I do want to get more knitting done today too. I've got my bed made and the dishes done and that's as far as I've gotten. So anyway I'm going to let this be my blog for today. I know it's boring and I don't even know if anyone out there is still reading it but I keep trying. I think it may be time to put my blog to rest, permanently. We'll just have to wait and see how that works out. In the meantime, stay close to the Lord and improve your prayer time, it can't hurt!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Well boo hiss I cannot get blogger to upload the right image in the right order. You've already seen this pic of my shawl. I'm trying to send a close up of this shawl and it's just not doing it. Oh well, I've pretty well beaten that horse into oblivion any way. So we'll let that go. I think it's past time for that. These pics are all out of order and they keep changing their order but here's a pic of the flowers and plants I have in the corner of the deck by our front door. I can't remember if I've sent that one or not. If I have, please forgive the repeat. Also showing the view from our deck. I don't think I've sent this one before. I give up with the pics. I guess what I'm going to have to do is not do more than one pic per post. Because blogger seems to discard them at will and it places them wherever it feels like putting them in my post. I'm going to leave well enough alone for today and just go with what I have on the page.

I have nothing on my plate for today. I've really been struggling (looks like I just lost one of the pics of the shawl. That's a good thing.) I just can't figure out blogger and how it aligns my pics and how it keeps dumping pics without me telling it to do that.

Okay, I'm going to try to make the type wrap around the pic. Hey, that worked! I was able to get rid of one of the pics of the shawl and still keep my photo by the door. I'm just having a hard time figuring out blogger and putting pics into my post.

Anyway, as I was saying, I don't have anything on my plate for today. Guess I'll take it as it comes. Hubby is going to try to get into the DMV today to renew his drivers license that expires June 5th. He's on the phone right now with the office for his spinal specialist and it sounds like they're going to try and put him off again. This will be the second time they've resheduled him and in the meantime, he's in agony. Bummer!! He's been trying for over a year to get in to see this guy and they keep putting his appt off. He really needs to go get some help and the sooner the better. Looks like Dr. Grant had an accident and broke his foot over the weekend so his appt has been changed to June 8th and he'll be seeing a different doctor. Maybe this is for the best. Maybe Dr. Grant was not going to be a good doctor choice for him. Who knows.

I'm really having a very difficult time getting started on something to knit. I'm trying to start another baby afghan but I just can't seem to get situated. I just can't seem to get a pattern to click for me. But I persevere! I will not be beaten! Oh yeah? That's what I was saying yesterday. Right now I'm back to Tam's dishcloths because I can't get anything else to work up for me. I think I will do as Kathleen suggested and do a small swatch of the pattern before I go to all the work of casting on 200 stitches and then knitting the border only to find out that the pattern doesn't work for some reason. (The reason is usually me. I'm sitting at a wide place in the path and I don't know whether to keep walking or sit down and rest.) Guess I've sort of decided to take a rest. But it seems like I can't get more than one or two rows of pattern stitches before I get into trouble. Maybe it's time to make a new choice and go with a short trial to see how it works out.

I finished my study of Proverbs and am now studying a little book called Christian Disciplines. The first study was about our quiet time. I learned much from it. I learned that what I've been doing for my quiet time is not working because I have been coming just to get my daily Bible reading done and not to spend time with the Lord. I hadn't realized that until the Lord opened my eyes through this study. I have inadvertently allowed my Bible reading to be the center of my quiet time rather than God. I vowed to change but find that even this very morning I fell back into my old ways. Thinking that my Bible reading was what it's all about. I know better but I can't seem to function in that new understanding. I will keep working on it. My next study is on prayer and I know there will be a lot of things for me to learn there. I've really let my praying diminish. I seem to stay in an attitude of prayer rather than in the functioning of prayer. I don't "officially" pray much. But it's like I take everything to God in prayer. It is an attitude. A way of living. Constantly being in this attitude. Constantly recognizing that I am in submission to the Lord's headship for my life. But, while I find that form of prayer in my relationship with God to be most rewarding, I think there needs to be proper prayers at times. I need to come formally to God and seek His counsel and worship Him above all else. But this discipline seems to have been pushed aside. It's not that I don't pray, because I most certainly do. But it's in the method and mechanics where I fail. I don't get on my knees and come before the Lord. I do it on the run, while I'm doing everything else, and I'm not sure that's enough. Granted I submit everything, every attitude and action to the Lord, but I've let the formality completely slip away. If I had to choose just one method I think I would choose the way of my prayer life right now. But I don't have to choose. I can have both forms as I relate to God. I think I need to spend some time cultivating the discipline of formal prayer. Jesus is my Example and He withdrew quietly to pray all the time. Certainly He kept an attitude of prayer, yet He saw the necessity of formal prayer. He saw the need and the benefit of getting alone with His heavenly Father and lifting His face toward Him. I will take the time out to study today and see what I can come up with. Maybe there will be some hints on how to incorporate this formal prayer into my attitude of prayer. Certainly without it I am not functioning at full power. Maybe this study will have some good ideas for me. Sometimes I wish I were Catholic so I could just recite my formal prayers; have a distinct method, time, and place for them. Prayer is so vital for the Christian walk. It simply cannot be done without it. Without prayer we drift off into a hazy relationship with our Creator and that manner and method leaves much to be desired. But it is so comfortable to simply exist in this attitude, rather than get down to the specifics. It's so much easier to just float instead of swim. I think I have become lazy in my disciplines. Perhaps I realized that when I purchased this study book months ago when Ken first got baptized. I had thought I was buying it for him but maybe the Lord was leading me to buy it for myself. I've had it on my shelf for months and months and I'm just now getting to it. But I think it is good, no I think it's crucial, to step back and look at our Christian Disciplines to see where we are in our Christian walk. It's a lot like maintaining a vehicle. Routine maintenance. Periodical care. It's sort of like oiling our hinges so they won't squeak.

It is important for me to keep vigilant in prayer and to use the ACTS acronym until a good habit gets formed within me. There are things I must do to facilitate good prayer time. Pick the moment, find the place, and realize that prayer is more than just asking for God's help. It is the vehicle of our love for God. As my prayers go heavenward God is worshiped. I am adoring my God when I see my proper place in prayer. Submission is an act of worship. But I must cultivate this habit. I used to pray constantly. I had a running conversation going with my Creator every minute of my day but I also spoke many formal prayers. I have become lazy in my Christian disciplines. My formal prayers don't need to be long or complicated; they just need to be. But it's not the number of prayers offered that is important, it is the recognition that they need to exist. I need to pray but I also owe it to God to pray. He deserves my prayers. My prayers must be more than just a long list of needs and favors. They need to be acts of worship to my Savior. As I concentrate on ACTS I will develop a better habit. Scripture says to choose these choices specifically. I need to make an honest attempt to develop a better relationship with my heavenly Father through prayer. What an incredibly valuable tool this prayer is in my life. Can you grasp the value of something that puts us in direct alignment with God? Not only does God hear our prays, He covets our prayers. He is ever prodding each of us into a better and bigger relationship with Himself. He is the power behind it all. Prayer was His idea. It was His gift to us. It's Him saying, " I may be bigger and better than you are but I seek your struggles and your joys. I seek to have a special arrangement with you, individually, just the two of us." Can you grasp that? It totally floors me to think that God wants to have anything to do with me at all. Talk about a mind bender! So now I must take what I've learned and apply it to my life. I could get all anal about this and say that I will get on my knees and pray every day from 9:00 to 10:00 AM, between 2:30 and 3:00 PM and between 7:00 and 8:00 in the evenings. That is usually my way of handling things. I like schedules and routines. I would have loved the military! But God says these forms of prayer leave much lacking. While I need to incorporate formal prayer in my life, I need to let the Spirit lead me on this matter. He will bring it to my attention if I will tune into His frequency, so to speak. How many times a day do I feel the Spirit pulling me to pray and then do not? This is my problem. This is my thing to work on. Is it yours too? I know now that my attention is definitely needed in this area. Have I spoken to you this morning? I hope so.

I have knitting group tonight and we're going to have a little party for Christy to present her with the sampler afghan everyone helped knit. (Except me. I joined the group a little too late to be a part of that.) But I will party too. Christy's wedding in only days away. My how the time does go speedily by!!! Don't you ever just want to reach out and grab time and hold it still for a little while? I sure do. The older I get the fast time goes too! That I can definitely do without. OK I need to get something done today so I best go and do something! Take care...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reliving the Honors

I was going to send two pics of my prize-winning prayer shawl but blogger won't let me do that for some reason. Blogger may be down again. Seems like every time I decide to post blogger is down. Boo! This is a problem I've been having for months now, blogger being down. Anyway this is my shawl with it's ribbon. I wanted to also send a pic of my afghan that should have won something. I know, I know, I mustn't hold grudges. But it didn't help finding out that my afghan was judged along with dishcloths and that I was pushed out by a first place dishcloth. Now, I make dishcloths myself. I know the work involved but it still shouldn't have been judged against a dishcloth.

My KnitPick order came in yesterday's mail and I was thrilled. I've already made one face cloth and a good start on my second cloth out of the same ball. I'm anxious to find out just how many face cloths I can get out of one ball. It would be wonderful if I could get three because that would bring the cost of each one waaay down. Just getting two will divide the cost in half. I wish KnitPicks yarn came in colors other than wheat-like ones. They look pretty bland. But the individual stitches show up nicely. I got a new KnitPicks catalog in the mail yesterday too and I've already decided on about $100 worth of things from them. Mostly for accessories, a needle holder and some blocking boards. But also more yarn. I want to buy some of this cotton yarn that is so soft and make myself a sleeveless sweater for summer. I once had one that I just loved but then I quit smoking and gained all this weight and can no longer wear it. This cotton yarn from KnitPicks is really soft. It would make a wonderful sweater. So all this added together means a large order. I won't place another order until after the first and another check. I've got the money stuck away for it, but I'd feel better having it out of next month's expenses. I wish I could get going on my next baby afghan. I had the border done and the first pattern row but it didn't come out right so I tried taking it back out stitch by stitch and kept dropping stitches. I was never able to completely recover and went all the way back to the beginning. I hate when that happens. So now I have to decide it I want to do it again or go with a different pattern. I know if I go ahead and knit that first row again, I may end up having to rip it all out again. I love to knit but I get frustrated when I first start a pattern row and have it not come out right. I had one too many (or one less) than I was supposed to have and that row called for about a dozen P2SSO in it and those are real bears to backtrack stitch by stitch. And obviously, if I had to take the entire thing out last time, I wasn't successful with my attempt. I don't want to do that again. Guess I'll just stick with my dishcloths and face cloths for the time being. I may get it casted on today so I'll have it to take over to Kathleen's tomorrow to have something to knit and to see if she can figure out what I was doing wrong with the pattern.

It's a beautiful day up here in the Gold Country (the foothills) and I had a nice quiet time out on the deck this morning. I slept late today and that doesn't please me but I just didn't wake up until after 9:00. All week I have been waking up around 6:30 -7:30 and I loved it. It's amazing how much time I have in a day when I don't sleep half of it away. If our day is anything like yesterday it will be quite mild all day long. Yesterday we got by with just running our fans so I didn't have the roar of the cooler to struggle to hear over. [That's a very poorly structured sentence but I think you'll know what I'm saying.]

My grandson is thinking about joining the Air Force with a friend. They want to enlist on the buddy program so they'll stay together. I think the Air Force would be good for both of them but my son laid down the law that my grandson is not to sign anything until my son gets to see the papers. Of course my grandson is 18 and legally able to do anything except drink so he can go over his dad's head if he really chooses to do so. I hope he will let my son be part of the decision making process. Upheavals are going like crazy in my son and daughter-in-law's life. Started out by being let go from his job of 14 years. Now his house is ready to go into foreclosure, his wife lost her job too, and then my grandson also lost his job, and my oldest granddaughter is getting married Aug 9th, and now Michael wants to join the Air Force. Talk about changes. Life is really throwing them some curve balls in the last few months. Wish I could catch some for him. It's hard to watch your child go through upheavals and changes. It's horrible to go through all these changes and not be able to do anything about them. When your kids grow up you lose all control. He feels like he hasn't had any control over his life for months now. And the thing is that we don't have control. Our lives are constantly being affected by the way of this world and the will of God. Is it possible to have one and not the other? As appealing as that may sound, I don't think you have an ounce of control. When things are going right we just think we're under control when really it's the will of God. And when things are going rotten in this life, we need to realize that all this world has to offer us is bitter water and we must seek to cultivate a deeper reliance on our heavenly Father. We must relinquish everything into His hands and live ultimately for the glory of God alone. It brings Him honor when we take negative events and turn them over for good. We must seek to always give the final control of everything in our lives to God. And we must rest assured that whatever happens is for God's glory and our ultimate good, even when it doesn't look or feel that way. It's a tight rope to walk, and a tough row to hoe.

Blogger is not cooperating with me at all today. It keeps freezing up so I am going to publish this and try writing again on another day. Hopefully it will publish. [Well, just tried to publish this and blogger wouldn't do it. So I will have to try again later.]

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Day at the Fair

[It is really Monday May 18th. I have no idea what's up with my blogger's time stamp. Just wanted to let you know that the day isn't right. I can see on my blog that the date is off but I have no way of changing the dates myself.]

Sorry about the repeated picture of myself but now that I want to delete something, I can't get it to delete! Wouldn't you know it would be that way? I've lost several pics by doing nothing and now that I'm trying to delete, it won't do it. So guess you'll have to bear with me while I continue to learn the ins and outs of blogging with pics. The new pic (of the fat lady at the fair) was taken on the 14th when Kathleen and I went over to see what entries won ribbons and which ribbons they won. I got a third place ribbon on my shawl but nothing on my afghan that we both agreed was better than the shawl. I never would have thought that it would win a ribbon. And I also won a second place ribbon on my cookies. First time I've baked cookies in 40 years and I won a ribbon. Between you and me, I should have got the first place ribbon. Kathleen won first so if I had to be second I'm glad it was Kathleen that did it. But she made plain chocolate chip cookies. Mine were peanut butter oatmeal and raisins cookies with nuts. Lots more work and character in my cookies, I'd say. But her cookies were very, very good. I'm sitting here writing this while I wait for her to get here as we have to go pick up our entries today. She said 10:00 but she's usually a little late.

Well, I succeeded in getting rid of that unwanted pic but I picked up an underline that I can't get rid of. Computers!!! They drive me nuts. I see I also went to bold. Okay I just got rid of the bold. Now if I could just figure out how to get rid of the underline.

Just got back from picking up our entries and I'm ready to get started on my next baby afghan so I will keep this post really short. Next time maybe I won't mysteriously pick up an underline. I just looked at my pic again and I have really got to lose some weight. I don't even look like myself. Kathleen and I again marveled at the fact that there were 3 positive praises on the back of the judging slip on my afghan with no award and on the back of the first place winner there were 2 negative comments written by the judge. If the judge really felt that way, I should have gotten first place on my afghan. How funny that this little event has brought out so many competitive thoughts and emotions on my part. I don't particularly like that. I don't think it's attractive or spiritual. Humm, something to work on through the year until next year's competition. I think it's a riot that I won a ribbon at all. My very first time of entering entries into the judging competition. Actually two counting the daily event where my cookies won second place. So I think I did really well. Don't you? I will work on a spiritual overhaul on my attitude.

It's going to be over 100 degrees again today. I think summer has arrived with a vengeance. Fri hubby and I planted portulaca in our window boxes along the deck railing and some in some free-standing pots on the deck mixed with sprigs of Rosemary. And I repotted my cactus, transplanting several to a new pot. It looks really nice out on our deck and around beside the front door. I tried to have my quiet time out in my favorite spot on the deck this morning about 7:30. It was nice and cool and perfect except for one thing. Mosquitoes! I complained and hubby sprayed the entire area (and then some) with insecticide to kill them. It looks like blogger isn't cooperating this morning so I don't know if this will post or not. It's failing on the autosave feature which usually means that blogger is down. I'm going to try to send this and if it won't go through I'll just have to hope I don't lose it entirely. I mean, that would be a really big loss, LOL! I want to get to my study in Proverbs today too (I just have 2 studies left to work) so I've got lots of things cooking today. Speaking of cooking, we'll probably have leftover chili beans (yes, I know it's a weird choice for a super hot day but it's all hubby could think to make yesterday) again for dinner so I don' have to worry about that. I should be cleaning house. But I'll do that tomorrow. It doesn't look too, too bad, I guess. I'm just not the housekeeper I used to be. Rats! LOL. [Added on Edit: I just tried to post and it didn't work so I'll have to try to do it again later.]

Here it is hours later, look no underline!, I didn't do anything to get rid of it. It resolved itself. Anyway it is hours later and I'm going to try one more time to publish this post for my blog. We'll see what happens. Oh, and my study in Proverbs? Well I've given up on it. There once was a time when I could figure out anything. But my brain just doesn't work any longer and it takes entirely too many brain cells to take abstract thoughts and apply them to my life, what they mean for me. I don't know if I'll try tomorrow or not but I got started today and just had to give up on it. Proverbs is not an easy book for me and wouldn't you know that it's also the book I'm reading during my quiet times each morning! I feel like I have Proverbs coming out my ears. There must be something there that God is trying to teach me but I keep resisting. I'm just tired of thinking that deeply. Taking abstracts and turning them into concrete ideas. My idea of a proverb that would go with any of those written in the Bible would be: There are 4 sipper cups of milk on the table, each a different color, how big are the cups? They totally do not compare to my brain. Or, The wicked runs when there's no one chasing him, but the good drink in the cool water. What does one have to do with the other?!!!!! Ugh. I need an attitude adjustment. Okay I'm going to publish and see what happens. The autosave is not flashing so that should mean that it will publish okay. If it doesn't, I'll try again later. My life is so confusing!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just Feeling Brave

Here are a few pics. I'm hoping they will all align into an order of some kind. I think the picture of me will come up first on my blog or at least that's the way it shows up on my blog writing page. This is a pic that I had my hubby take of me so I'd have something to send to Karishma in India. Karishma is a little 8-year-old girl who I have chosen to sponsor through Compassion International. I chose Compassion because they work through the local church setting and the truth about Jesus is taught to them. I've "adopted" children in the past but I was not allowed to write about my personal belief in the Messiah. Compassion encourages us to talk about our faith and to build up the child's faith also. Karishma lives at home with her mother and father and a sibling. Her father is a day-laborer and makes very little money to raise his family. My little bit each month helps tremendously. I am not doing this alone (I would if that were the only choice left open to me) but the entire deacon board at church has gone in with me on this project. It's sort of our project as a small group. I am responsible to make the monthly support donation and to do the letter writing but each deacon contributes $3 a month toward Karishma's sponsorship. That way it is not a big expense for me. It's strictly honor roll. They know if they donated the previous month and if they pay in advance, they know how far they are paid up. This is a terrible picture of me because you can see all the weight I've packed on on my chubby, little, round face. I have gained 40 pounds since I quit smoking and although I can't seem to lose it no matter how hard I try, it appears to have stabilized for me.

The second picture is of our tomato box. We went across the river yesterday and bought all the top soil we needed and the four tomato plants. We bought a cherry tomato, an early girl, a celebrity, and a whopper hybrid. Hopefully we'll have delicious tomatoes in a few months. This first picture is taken from our deck looking down on the box and the next picture is one taken while standing next to it. Hubby is wonderful about using scrap lumber to make things. The wood used for this box was given to us by our niece who was just going to throw it away and my son grabbed hold of it for us. It was an old frame for a waterbed and we had plenty of wood to build the box.

The next picture is of a drawing my hubby made. Hubby is an artist and I thought you might enjoy seeing what type of work he does. He sent me several photos of different paintings he's done and I chose to post this one first. Well it looks like I just lost the second tomato box pic. I don't know where it went but at least you have the one picture. Anyway back to the painting. I have dozens and dozens of paintings in my house all done by hubby. [I want to hit the return key but I'm afraid if I do the pic of the elk will disappear the way the second tomato box did.]

Okay I got brave and just moved my cursor down and clicked it. I'm still learning how to work with pics in my blog so you just have to put up with some of my trial and error attempts at doing things. Michael (hubby) has painted hundreds of paintings using everything from pen and ink to oil. This one is a pen and ink with watercolor. It is my favorite technique.

I have an executive board meeting tonight at 7:30 and that's about it for my schedule. I'm knitting dishcloths hot and heavy. My nephew just got married and my granddaughter and her fiance are getting married later this month so I'm busy making their wedding gifts. Dishcloths may sound like a puny little gift, but they are a labor of love to make them. It takes me about 10 hours to knit each dishcloth. I've chosen to knit them in garter stitch rather than get all fancy because the garter stitch doesn't stretch out as much when it is wet and the garter stitch takes more time because the knitted stitches are smaller and tighter together. It makes for a very absorbent dishcloth. Perfect for all the mop up chores you get in a kitchen.

Tomorrow is my day to go to the county fair with a bunch of friends from my knitting group. We've all entered things into the judging that we made this past year and we'll get to see if any of our work earned a ribbon or two. I sure hope my baby afghan wins a ribbon. It is very, very nice and just may win one. Keep your fingers crossed for me. We will go early tomorrow morning and get our cookies entered into the daily contest (that's what gets us in free for the day). You must understand, I am NOT a cookie baker. I may do a cake once in awhile or a pie if it comes frozen in a box. But I do not bake cookies. However I used a recipe given to me when I was only 10 or so years old by a neighbor who brought the recipe over with her from Germany. I used to baby sit her five boys. Those boys now have grandchildren I'm sure. Anyway I made up two batches of cookies and proceeded to eat one batch all by myself. They were very, very good and I will be baking them in the future for hubby and I.

So far I haven't gotten to my study in Proverbs this week I've had other things going. Hubby and I got our evaporative cooler cleaned out and ready to go for when we hit the high temps that are coming our way. Sat or Sun we are supposed to be above 100 degrees. So we took care of that on Mon and then yesterday was our vegetable garden and tomorrow will be my fair day. I actually need to go to the fair twice. Once in the morning with my knitting friends and then I'll go back later that night with my son and watch Kayla (my youngest granddaughter) vie for the Miss Calaveras title. Last year she came in first runner up. This year we hope she'll take the crown. She would really like to win the title. And for someone who's never gone to the fair, except to watch Kayla try out, I have a long day planned for tomorrow.

Hubby has taken the car across the river to have a heat shield bolted back on the underside of the car. The part simply fell off one day as I was driving the car. I circled around to see what had made such a terrible racket and there it was laying in the middle of the road. I scooped it up and brought it home but hubby couldn't fix it because the car needs to be up on a lift to get to the underside and we don't happen to have a lift around. I sent him with $150 and sure hope it doesn't cost more than that. It surely can't cost more, can it? Oh, I hope not. I'm hoping for to get at least $100 back.

Well I need to get busy doing something. All I've gotten accomplished so far this morning is the bed, a few rows of knitting, and this blog. I need to plan out dinner. We had Marie Calendar's pot pies for dinner last night because that's my knitting night and I get them all prepared with the foil around the edges and then he puts them in the oven about an hour before I am due to come home. That way we still get to eat together and it's piping hot when I walk in the door. I really need to do my study in Proverbs so I guess I'll take something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner and sit down at the table and complete my lesson for the day. It was a bit nippy this morning so I had my quiet time in here on the couch instead of out on the deck. Enjoy the day, my friends and God bless you.