Friday, December 10, 2010

Some Advice

One of my children is struggling so I wrote some advice based on my own experience:

This has been a difficult year for me. Several people have asked me how I have got through it. So many firsts….the first year I have celebrated a birthday without your dad. I celebrated the first Thanksgiving without him. Now it will be the first Christmas. How have I managed?

The source of my strength and courage, as is true of everyone, is the presence of God. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, God is with us, right beside us and within us through every good time and every bad time of our lives. God is not responsible for the bad things that happen to us any more than God is responsible for the good things that happen to us. God is just there for us with courage and strength to give to us. But like any gift, we have to accept it; I have found God in my wonderful friends, and even in my animals. I have stayed busy doing things that needed me to do them.

At first, after your dad died, I threw myself into cleaning my house and doing my yard work. I had you and you were a loving influence in my life. But all the while, during those terrible months when he suffered with the lymphedema, I knew God was right with us, giving me and even your dad the strength to meet each new challenge as it presented itself. I only felt myself weaken once. It was the night he went down in the utility room floor and I couldn’t get him up. I sat on the floor and cried…feeling sorry for myself and him. Then I got up and called the EMTs to come get him back to bed.

From that point on, I knew God would sustain me.

During that last week, you kids were with us. Together, as family, we pulled together. God’s Spirit was found in each of you as your love for your dad and me was expressed in so many ways. Our friends brought in the food to sustain us during that week, their love and concern sustained us as we saw God working through them as many of them came to visit him.

Afterward, we all found the strength to prepare for the Celebration of his Life. God strengthened us and sustained us through the love we felt for one another and your dad as we drove to the reunion grounds to scatter his ashes…just as he wanted done.

After that week, it was a matter of staying busy, enjoying the company of many friends as they called and asked me to one lunch after another and to one meeting after the other. I immersed myself in “good works”. I invested one morning a week in visiting with Phyllis while Bob Avery went to breakfast with his friends. I went through her declining health with him, trying to be support for him. Every time she went to the hospital, I was there with her and him. After he had to put her in the nursing home, I began to visit her even more regularly.

Every week, at least one person calls me to have lunch with them. I always accept because once we begin to refuse to go, they stop asking us. I also ask others. I invite Phyllis F on a fairly regular basis. She has been alone ten years since Harold died. I ask Bob A. He has a wife but she is really gone. Only her body remains.

Between Coffeyville Ministerial Alliance, Independence Ministerial Association, MC3 (the clinic board) and PINCH, the organization your dad belonged to, and all my friends and family, I stay busy and I see God expressed in their caring for me and my caring for them.

So make a friend and do things with that friend. Immerse yourself in your work and make a great success of your career. You know you have it in you. And most of all, learn to enjoy your own company. Until you do that, you will not feel like a whole person.

Friday At Last

It's Friday and I have nothing planned until tonight when we attend the Windsor Place Winston Unit Christmas Party. Bob A, Denise and I will leave here about 4:30. It should be interesting since the residents all come down with Sundowners about 4:00 i the afternoon. Maybe the party will distract them tonight.

I will go with Bob A to the Dearing Cafe this noon for homemade chicken and noodles. He thinks they offer it every Friday.

I had a good time at last night's Coffeyville Ministerial Alliance party at the Trinity United Methodist Church. There were only 12 who attended. Lee planned it too late for the others to make plans. He didn't announce it until Monday of this week. But there was lots of good food and great fellowship. Our theology isn't the same but we never talk theology we just enjoy each another's fellowship. Let's see. The Church of God, the Community of Christ, the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Baptists and the Methodists were represented. I think that's all. There were four Methodists, two Presbyterians, one Community of Christ, one Episcopalian, two Baptists and two Church of God represented there. That's a great variety.

There was just as much variety in the food.

Marilyn won the drawing for the poinsettia but she already had one so she gave it to me. That was sweet. I didn't have one.

I suddenly remembered that I didn't get my ceramic Christmas tree out of the closet. I will do that today. Phyllis made that for me years ago when she was into ceramics. I treasure it.

Scott called this morning and we talked awhile.

I have decided to have the Christmas dinner over here. I will just fix my chicken and rice dish and ask John (who may have to work) and Leslie, Bob A. and Christina. That will be four or five of us but we will have Christmas dinner. Leslie said she would bring the pie. Bob said he would bring the rolls and I will fix a salad and a veggie dish. That should be plenty. I had asked the Bucks but they are having family in and their place is small so they begged off.

I doubt if any restaurant will be open Christmas day. That was the original plan.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday at Last!

I say that because I finally have a free day. The CMA dinner at Trinity United Methodist Church is not until 6:00 this evening. So I can choose to do whatever I please with the day. I will go over to the mall at 10:00 when they open and take stock of the things I have in there. Maybe I will go to Bartlesville.

Slinky slept through the night again last night. He got me up at 4:00 to go outside to potty. Then came back in and went back to sleep for another hour and a half. Missy got me up at 4:30 to go out so I tossed her out. As I have said before, if she wakes me up, out she goes!

I got my first Christmas card yesterday. I may get some of mine ready to go today. I will do them a few at a time because I will include letters in some of them.

I used my gift certificate from Juanita at Nanny La Rose yesterday and got a new long sleeved black tee. My other one, which had come from Wal Mart, shrank when I washed it. I washed it in cold water too and ran it through the dryer on "delicate" so I will give it to the thrift shop at the Presbyterian Church. I also bought a cooling rack for cookies at Sayers Ace Hardware.

I noticed that when I finish my blog on the new computer with Windows 7, it does not give me the option to edit my remarks....strange. So I do that work on the laptop with XP.

I will make my Waldorf Salad this morning and cover it and let it marinate in the frig today.

More later...

I got that salad finished and then went downtown to look around at the malls. Not much going on there.

My brother-in-law called me back. I had wondered if he had watered the poinsettias when he was out to church. He hadn't. He asked me if I had eaten. I hadn't. So he met me at Braum's where we had a bowl of chili. Then we went out to church and watered the flowers.

Tomorrow is the Windsor Place Christmas party and we will all go. Bob A will pick up Denise and then get me and we will all go together.

I am attempting to make plans for Christmas dinner. I think since there will be so few that I will make my chicken and rice casserole and have a salad and a veggie and hot rolls and call it Christmas dinner. Leslie will make the pies this time. John may have to work. But they may close the plant for Christmas. We will see. I am going to make peanut clusters and some kind of bread for Christmas Eve. I will buy some eggnog at Braums and we will open our gifts.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Very Busy Wednesday

This is the day I get my hair cut and done. Afterward, I will pick up Juanita for breakfast and then fool around Independence until 11:45 when I will attend Independence Ministerial Association. I will leave Slinky in the garage. He will not like that but it is too cold to let him outside. It's 22 degrees outside. The hot water tank takes the edge off the cold in the garage. I bought him another bed Monday so I can leave it in the garage. He will probably spend a lot of evening time in the garage since I am not going to stay home and babysit him if I get an invitation. I have a PINCH meeting this evening at 5:30. Afterward I may eat dinner out with Marilyn and the Bredesens.

More later...

Jack and Marilyn weren't at the meeting so we didn't eat dinner out afterward which was fine. I had a nice lunch this noon. The meeting was good and I was elected vice president of PINCH for the coming year. Just what I needed..another responsibility.

Now tomorrow evening I have another dinner. It's the CMA Christmas get together.

Then Friday I have the Windsor Place Christmas party.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Tuesday

It's Tuesday again and I will clean my house this morning and then go see Phyllis. I haven't seen her since Friday. I will put Slinky in the garage for that since it is very cold.

The olive oil in Slinky's ears didn't work. He still shakes his head constantly. I was told the olive oil on cotton to clean his ears would kill the ear mites. We can dispel that myth. I think the Benadril has helped his allergies though. He isn't constantly digging on his skin now.

There isn't much going on today besides those two things.

I bought some gifts for our adopted family from Salvation Army. The single mother is 22 and her girls are 2 and 3. I will set aside some time today to wrap those gifts. Next week, before the 16th, I will deliver them to the Salvation Army. They will deliver them to the family. We will also have a food basket for them.

Tomorrow I will go back to Independence to get my hair cut. Then I will pick up Juanita for breakfast and later go to the Independence Ministerial Association meeting at 11:45. It will be held at the Congregational Church this time. I really don't like moving it from church to church because we never know where it is meeting until the last minute. I liked keeping it at Mercy Hospital.

More later...

Phyllis was sleeping in her chair when I went to see her. I tried to wake her but she was "out". I stayed about twenty minutes but I could see she wasn't going to wake up so I left. I went to see Gerry too but she must have been in her therapy. I left her a note.

I started to read this afternoon but developed a mild headache so I took an Aleve and watched "You've Got Mail" instead. I had seen it several times but I saw it again. Yesterday evening I watched "Mrs Doubtfire". I had seen it several times too but there just isn't much worth watching at the movies or on TV anymore.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Monday

This morning at 8:00, I will put Slinky in the garage and go see Gary about my struts. Then if he has to give me an appointment to get them done, I will go on out to Leslie's to clean. I am also going to get Slinky another $9.98 bed so I can leave one in the garage. He's going to have to get used to the garage this winter. I will not be home all the time.

I also need to stop by a Wal Mart store and buy some Christmas gifts for our little adopted family from the Salvation Army. I will sack up some groceries to put in the basket too. I need to get Phyllis a Christmas gift for the Windsor Place Christmas party on Friday from 5:00 until 7:00. I will probably get her some lotion or bath powder. Denise got her sugar free candy.

I will have my leftover lasagna for supper this evening. I'd better not forget that good food.

Wednesday is my busy week this week and that depends on the weather. If it does snow, I will not attend the Independence Ministerial Association meeting on Wednesday and I will not have my hair cut either. I will just wash it myself.

Here is a poor photo of Mary Beth being baptized yesterday and a better one of her confirmation.

More later...

I can't get my car into the shop until a week from Thursday. So I will drive it with ruined struts until then. It will cost around $500 for all four to be replaced.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Busy Sunday

Today is the baptismal day for Mary Beth. The service will begin at 10:30 this morning and after the baptism there will be a break for brunch and then the confirmation service will begin. I will not want lunch after that brunch. I will take my own car this morning because Bob A. may go to Chanute with John and Sue to a concert and then to their house in Neodesha afterward for refreshments. I will then be able to drive myself home from church.

This morning I will make my coffeecake to take as my part of the brunch. I will start it in about an hour. It's almost 7:00 AM now. I will go out early to check the water in the font. I want to be sure it's warm and full because Carletta is very ill and she is doing the baptism of her granddaughter. Sue and Carletta will do the confirmation. Sue will be the spokesperson.

I will get my letters done this afternoon and then just relax this evening. I was exhausted last night and went to bed after falling asleep in the recliner. I woke at 2:30 feeling strange and got up to take my blood pressure. It was 189/92. I took an Aleve and went back to sleep. That was my intent anyhow. Slinky woke me up three times...unusual for him. He usually sleeps through the night. The last time he just wanted me to get up and get his breakfast. It was 4:00 AM. I came in the kitchen and bawled him out and told him to get back to sleep. I never heard another peep out of him.

I got up around 5:30 and took my time coming into the kitchen. I dressed and made up my face first. I gave him his oatmeal after he ate his dog food and I put a Benadril capsule in it. He has terrible allergies. The Benadril seems to help a lot. I also heard if you put olive oil on a cotton ball and rub it in his ears, it will kill the ear mites. He's always been troubled with ear mites. So far, so good. He is lying at my feet here and not shaking his head or doing any scratching....not yet anyhow.