Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Alarming Facts

I have the latest issue of Consumer's Report magazine here before me. I have taken this magazine for decades and put a great deal of stock in their testing. They also have a great deal of influence in Congress. They have spearheaded much legislation over the years.

They report 440,000 hospital deaths occur each year due to preventable harm done by the hospitals. That seems to be an even more alarmable number than I thought They say it's the third leading cause of death in the USA.
Alarmable, isn't it?

The last time I saw him, I told my doctor not to expect me to come in every two months to "check in" with him. His reception room is full of sick people or they wouldn't be there.  I also told him I would avoid the hospital like the plague since hospitals are full of bacteria...much of it antibiotic resistant.  I've lost two friends due to hospital antibiotic resistant bacteria. I told him if I got sick, he would be the first person I would call but generally I would only come in to get my prescriptions refilled. 

Bob said he probably wrote on the top of my chart "difficult". But I am in charge of my own health care. I also told him that.

More later....

Even Colder Tuesday New Years Eve

It's even colder this morning then yesterday. I turned my thermostat down to 65 last night and I slept better in a cooler house. I awoke about 12:30 but did finally get back to sleep. I slept until 5:30...which is late for me.

I will have my haircut this morning so will be going to Independence. Bob is going with me and we will eat at the Chinese restaurant there. It is so good. It is called Great China and it is great!

Missy has been wanting to go out each morning but she doesn't go far and doesn't stay out more than five or ten minutes. She always inspects under my car right away. That's where she was attacked last spring. She spent a week in the hospital and then I gave her antibiotic shots for two weeks morning and evening after she came home. She was a very sick kitty. I thought I might lose her but she recovered.  But now she is very cautious.  Much as she wants to go outside, the first thing she does is look under my car. Odd...cats must have good memories for disaster.

She also does some strange things here in the house.  For instance, she demands her treats first thing in the morning. She waits patiently for me to dress and get my makeup on but then she wants those treats! She runs straight to the frig. She knows they are in there. Then she always comes in after she uses her litter box and meows at me to get it cleaned up so she can do the other thing. She does not like to do them until after I clean up after the first one. I am truly her staff.  

When I sit down to watch TV, she thinks she should always be in my lap.   This cat weighs over 18 pounds and my legs get numb after awhile unless I'm in the recliner. I usually watch TV in the swivel rocker next to the auxiliary speakers since I tend to hear better there.  When I take a nap, I take it in the recliner. That's when it's o.k. for her to be in my lap.  Funny kitty. She has been creaking around ever since the attack last spring. She's only 11 years old but that attack really took something out of her. When she lies down or gets up, she cries out like her joints hurt.

She generally doesn't like anyone but me (and she doesn't like me much) but she has learned to like Bob. He is around here enough that she has become used to him. When he comes, she comes out from wherever she has been hiding and stays close around us.  Here she is in her favorite chair. It's my favorite chair too.

Tomorrow Bob and I will have Lasagna for lunch.   I have not fixed it in years. It's a little labor intensive and the recipe makes too much. I have decided to make it in  two 8 inch dishes and freeze one of them. I think we can make two meals out of the recipe and that way I can thaw the frozen and bake it later. Bob bought all the cheeses yesterday and I have the garlic bread. Leslie donates the ground beef and it is great lean ground beef.  Bob will bring a toss salad and we will finish up the lemon pudding I made yesterday for dessert.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Even Colder Monday

It's even colder this morning. It's 12 degrees according to the weather on this computer and it will warm up to 40 later in the day.  Brrr..

I probably won't venture out this morning. It's way too cold to be out there. I am hoping Lieberts will have my vacuum sweeper repaired today. I need to run the sweeper. It's been over a week since the apartment has been cleaned.  I also want to change my bed but am waiting for my topper to come first.  I want to see if the mattress pad I have will fit over it. If not, I will have to buy a new one. It's supposed to be here Friday...perhaps before that.

We will eat the rest of our scalloped potato and ham casserole today. I will fix some pudding for dessert. The pie is all gone.

I slept really well last night. Staying up til 10:00 may have contributed to that.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Freezing Cold Sunday

It's only in the 20s here but it's a very wet cold temperature. I never seem to feel either the cold or the heat much but today is the exception to the rule. I have been chilly all day...actually bone chilled.

I went to church this morning and we had a very small congregation. People evidently did not want to get out in the cold. But we had a very good service. Sue did a good job on the sermon.

Afterward we all went to Hog Heaven, a Bar B Q place, for lunch.  I didn't have Bar B Q  because Bob and I had been to Dink's Bar B Q in Bartlesville on Friday and I still have half my brisket sandwich in the frig. I had their chicken fried steak sandwich instead. It was fine.

After that I came home and did my weekly congregational letters and got those with a hard copy out on the mailbox for the mailman to pick up tomorrow.

Then I sat down in the recliner with Missy  on my lap and took a nice nap.

I have ordered one of those 2 inch miracle foam mattress toppers for my bed. I am hoping that will help keep my arms from aching after lying on them all night. I simply cannot sleep on my back. The topper will be in around January 3rd according to the confirmation.

Tonight Bob will come over to watch 60 Minutes with me. Afterward there is another program he wants to watch too. We will each finish up with a small glass of wine that's left in the bottle too. Once we found a red wine we both like, he and I have become old winos in our old age. :) It is called Roscoto and it is sweet instead of dry.

Tomorrow we will finish up the ham and scalloped potato casserole I fixed Thursday.  We will have a veggie and a salad with it. I will fix some pudding for our dessert.  And we will have hot tea with it.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday Again

Where does time fly! It's Saturday again and we will go eat breakfast at Eggberts as usual.  Bob came over last night and we had a small glass of wine and watched PBS together.  We could not find another Big Bang Theory so he went home to read.

I continued to work on my laptop computer which had developed a virus or a malware. I thought I finally got it all by running SpyBot several times and acting as administrator to delete those malware. My Avast had detected the problem. I went into the Wal Mart site to find one of those Miracle Foam mattress toppers and after ordering one, I received an e-mail telling me my address was incorrect on my order and I should fill out an attached form and send it back to them or they would cancel the order after ten days and charge me a restocking fee. I tried to open their attachment and that's where I went wrong. Soon another e-mail came that confirmed my purchase. That was the real Wal Mart and I have been fighting that malware ever since all this happened last night.  I don't know what else I can do. Avast continues to block it but the attack has continued.

More later...

I ended up doing a complete scan of the system to get rid of the malware in it. Then I went out to Wal Mart and reported it to them. They had already had one customer come in and report it but I was the one who brought them the name of the malware. .  

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Busy Friday

I went to Independence today to have my hair done. Afterward I came back home and cleaned up my kitchen in preparation of going to Bartlesville later in the morning.  I pulled out a drawer in my kitchen cabinets and the drawer glide broke. I called my landlord about it and told his son, who is our service person that I was going to Bartlesville and would leave the door unlocked so he could take care of it at his leisure.

Then Bob and I went on to Bartlesville to eat at Dinks Bar B Q, shop at their Wal Mart store  (looking for a miracle foam mattress topper). I didn't find one because it's after Christmas and they must have sold like hotcakes.  Anyhow after we ate, we walked around the mall. There are no exercise classes until the first Monday after the 1st of the year.  We then came back home and read our mail. He went home to take a nap. My landlord's son had come in while we were gone and fixed the drawer glide. That was a pleasant surprise. It's so good to let someone else take care of repairs now that I am renting.

I went up to V & S Variety to get some more page protectors for the cards in my new cookbook.  Then I came back home and checked my mail and my e-mail. My electric bill was quite a bit higher then last month. Of course we had some very cold weather in the past month so I guess I should have expected it.  That's the only utility I pay so I guess I shouldn't complain.

I am trying to come up with something different for lunch tomorrow. I have some left over ham so I guess I'll make a scalloped potato and ham casserole.  I'll put a veggie with it and Bob will bring a salad. I still have pie for dessert.  That should do.

We will eat breakfast out tomorrow morning so I had better go to the bank.   Lunch took almost  the rest of my money today.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Day After Christmas

This will be a busy day. I intend to put away my Christmas decorations and get my house back in order. I took my vacuum sweeper in to Liebert Brothers Electric to have the power drive repaired. I hope they can repair it.  I have had that Hoover sweeper  since Jerod was two years old. That would be 25 years ago. It's been a good one.

I will need to find some boxes to put everything in. When I put away my fall decorations, I used what boxes I had on hand.

I made a pot of my new gourmet coffee my niece and her husband gave me for Christmas. I love flavored coffees. They also gave me a new mug to drink it from. I put it in the dishwasher this morning and will use it later. The coffee is really good though. This one is vanilla hazelnut flavor.  Bob is supposed to come over for coffee this morning but I have heard nothing out of him so far.

Bob gave me a variety of goodies from one of those companies that packages them only at Christmastime.   I have refrigerated it and will eat on it later.

Jeromy and Marlene gave me tea and new family photos. I will get some magnetic photo holders for the ones of the girls. I like to put them on my frig doors where I can enjoy them all year around. . 

More later...

I went to the market and stocked up on sale items. I found some magnetic photo holders for the girls' photos at the Dollar General store. I also bought a bag to store my wreath in.  Everything is put away now.  I even took the leaf out of my table and that made it round.

I put my wrapping paper in a bag and confiscated the box I had it in for my Christmas decorations. They all fit in. .My storage closet is nice and neat with everything labeled so I won't have to guess where I put everything again.

Bob dropped over and brought me some of his warm banana nut bread. Yum! I had to have a small piece while it was hot.

We will eat our leftovers for lunch today. I have half that tuna noodle casserole left and fruit salad and a little green bean casserole.  So we will have plenty to eat.  I imagine he will go home afterward to have a nap. He is subbing today for Barbara and delivering her meals on wheels.  She has gone to Lawrence where her daughter lives for the holiday. We will not have exercise class again until the Monday after the 1st.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Crisp Christmas Day

It's quarter to 10:00 and I spent the morning putting together my Waldorf salad and making the green bean casserole up. I will bake it in Leslie's oven after we get out there. I want it to be hot to serve.

I searched everywhere for Leslie's Christmas gift and could not find it. Luckily I had bought her two. Finally I began taking the gifts out of the storage closet and lo and behold, there it was back in the back of all the other gifts. I had wrapped it after it arrived and it was hidden behind the other gifts. I have the table loaded down with gifts and the frig full of pies, fruit salad and green bean casserole.  We will take Bob's car out to the kid's house. His trunk is larger. I hope everything will go in there and ride alright too.

I hope to get back home by the middle of the afternoon. I always try to clean up with Leslie after our meal. Luckily she has a dishwasher but there are always pans and some utensils to be done in the sink. Tomorrow, I will put away my Christmas decorations. Next year I am going to get another small tree. Even though I had my ceramic tree, I missed having a real Christmas tree. I have a small space in my living room where I could put it.  I bought a few new to me decorations this year to make the apartment look more festive.

More later....

Our meal was very good! Jeromy and Marlene donated the ham the company gave to Jeromy, Leslie made twice baked potatoes and rolls and I took the green bean casserole and the fruit salad. My pies turned out all right after all though the crusts on the pecan pie were a  little dark.  

I took a lot of photos at John and Leslie's as they helped their grandchildren (my "greats") open their gifts. 

I will  post some of them here.  Cheyenne opens her new: baby" Cabbage Patch doll.  Maia received one too but hers was an "older" doll for a three year old (nearly four) Then John and Leslie gave each of them a new trike and they took them out on the drive to try them out.

John has this little half Jack Russell and other half Rat Terrier named Speck. He takes her everywhere with him in his truck.

Last of all, this photo shows the children open their gifts in the living room. Leslie is in the back with Cheyenne and Marlene is behind Maia. 

John and Leslie have this huge tree two stories high. .You can see it in the background. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Very Cold Tuesday Before Christmas

Today Bob and I both have hair appointments. He passed up the opportunity to get his regular haircut two weeks ago and now he feels he REALLY needs one. Afterward we will eat at Big Cheese. But first I will go by the Merle Norman studio and get my moisture emulsion. I am almost completely out now. I tried to get some last week but they had it on order.  They should have it now.

This afternoon I will make my pies for tomorrow for John and Leslie's Christmas dinner.  I will wait until tomorrow morning to make my Waldorf salad. I want it to be fresh since it's mostly fruit.

It never did snow much..if at all. I saw photos of Bartlesville yesterday on the 5:00 news and they got some. I almost broke down and went to Bartlesville yesterday just out of boredom. It's a good thing I didn't.


Well the Merle Norman store had not received my order so i won't go there again. I will take my business to Bartlesville next time.   They didn't bother to call me so I know how important my business is to them. I did go out to Wal Mart and look around and bought a moisturizer from them. I'll see how that works out. I usually have problems with my face breaking out when I try another product.

I am in the process of baking my pies now. The pecan pie is out of the oven and the pumpkin pie is in there now.  I will make the Waldorf salad in the morning.  I hope that pecan pie works out alright. I made it in a deep dish plate and it took longer to bake then usual.

On our way back from Independence this morning, the sun was shining on the ice on the trees and bushes and it was simply a winter wonderland!  It was lovely!

For all my online friends, "Merry Christmas and a delightful New Year!!"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cold Monday

I believe it said it was 16 degrees out there this morning.  Wow! And it was supposed to have been down to 7 degrees earlier.  I am not a winter person. I want to go to Restoration Studies Symposium the last of January and the first of February and I won't go if the weather is nasty.  That is disappointing. I always enjoy those things.

I slept until nearly five this morning and my cat, Missy did too. I turned the thermostat down so the room would be cool and that always helps me sleep better.

Today I will need to go to the market for just a couple of things. I'm out of milk and also half and half. I use that in my coffee in the morning. I also need to run by the bank and cash Bob's check for his season ticket to Silver Dollar City.  I ordered the cards with my debit card.

I will fix a tuna noodle casserole for lunch today. We will have a veggie and a salad with that and I may make up some crescent rolls I have here. I already have lemon pudding.  Anyhow, it should be an easy meal and a nourishing one.

Bob came over last evening and we watched 60 Minutes together. I was out of wine and cookies so we had nothing to munch on as we watched. When he left I took my bath and put on my pj's and stayed up until 9:30 or so before finally turning in.

We did take the gifts for Levi out to church yesterday afternoon. It was very crispy out there. 

Not much to report yet. More later....

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Quiet Sunday at Home

Leslie called last night before I went to bed and said she and Melissa had conferred and were going to cancel church because of all the ice. We were to have had the children's Christmas program and were going to give them their gifts too. But we can't control the weather. And we don't want to be responsible for wrecks and perhaps even injuries.  If I can get to Independence on Tuesday, I will drop off the three gifts Bob and I bought for Levi. I had just wrapped them and didn't get them out to church and under the tree. We were also to have had our Christmas dinner at church. That's been cancelled too, of course.

I went to bed at 9:30 and went right to sleep. I woke up at 1:30 and could see I was going to have trouble getting back to sleep so I got up and drank a glass of milk. That did it. I slept until 6:30.

I have fixed my biscuit and my coffee this morning and am just working on my computer. I downloaded and installed  the latest edition of Java. My browser insisted I needed to do so.  We'll see how it works.

More later....

 Hey! My Christmas cactus is beginning to bloom now.

We called Phyllis and asked her to go to lunch with us at Sirloin Stockade and she did. We had a nice visit and some good food. Now I don't know what I will do with  the rest of the day. Maybe I should take a nap.

There are no exercises tomorrow or for that matter, the rest of the holiday...two weeks.   The woman who runs the senior center is taking two weeks vacation at this time of year.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Freezing Rain Saturday

This will be an interesting Saturday. Right now at nearly 6:00, it is raining freezing rain. It will be a toss up as to whether we go to Eggberts for breakfast. I told Bob last evening that if it were too bad, I would fix oatmeal and biscuits for our breakfast here.  Eggberts sounds a lot better so I will wait to see what he thinks when he drops over.

Then this afternoon after 2:00, we are supposed to go to Leslie's Holiday Open House. I hope the weather clears up before then. If not, the party will be a bust. Bob and I will attend anyhow. I made these peanut clusters for it.

Bob came over last evening and we watched the news together and also one or two episodes of The Big Bang Theory. Sometimes it gets to be just too much. He left about 7:00 and I took my bath and stayed up and watched "The First 48 Hours" for awhile. Around 9:00 Missy and I went to bed.. I woke up at 2:00 but went back to sleep after awhile and slept until a little after 5:00.

More later...

Bob got his cookies baked before noon and came over to help finish off the chili at noon. He went home now to catch a short nap.   Leslie called a little bit ago and warned us about the freezing rain and was a little concerned about us coming out there. It's about 14 miles and the rain is freezing too. We will come but will be extra careful.

I read most of the book Gay gave me yesterday . It's called, "Learning to Live With It".  It was written by a young man from Chanute, the community where she lives, who dove off into shallow water at a lake and broke his neck at age 19. He has learned to live with his disability.   The book is his story.

This is my friend, Gay

  We did risk wrecking and went out to John and Leslie's Open House. The only ones who made it were Cyndi and Jeff.  We stayed an hour and a half and then came on back home. The weather was a lot worse out at their house then here. 

I stayed home after that and watched TV and took a nap. About 8:00 I took my bath and put my PJ's on.  I think I ate too much junk at the kids.

The weather is getting worse this evening. I imagine we'll have to cancel church tomorrow..   Our church is in the country and sometimes we are unable to get in and out of the drive when the weather is bad.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Once Again

I'm not sure if I can get up to Independence to my hair appointment this morning. I think it's raining freezing rain. I will make that decision in 45 minutes.  Also, I plan to go to Chanute to meet Gay for lunch at 11:30 if weather permits.  First we have our exercise class though. I will know more about the weather by then. Winter is so uncertain. We will have the rest of the chili tomorrow noon. Bob still has meatloaf for his lunch today.

Earlier this week they forecast freezing rain and snow tomorrow  but I don't see the snow in the forecast this morning. It won't break my heart. We have the Open House at John and Leslie's tomorrow afternoon and the church's Christmas program and Christmas dinner on Sunday.  Then next Wednesday we have Christmas dinner again at John and Leslie's.

I slept very well last night. I had no arm pain so I pretty much slept through the night. I awoke at 2:15 but went right back to sleep. I had my ordinary biscuit with oleo and jelly for my breakfast.  I brown it in the skillet. I bake them once a week and bag them.

Facebook may be a problem. It was very busy yesterday with people "friending" me  right and left. I am not that interested in Facebook anyhow. My boys wanted me to re-join so I did.

More later....

I got to Chanute to visit with my friend, Gay, just fine. It was very cold but no bad weather...yet. We ate a good lunch and walked around town and looked at various Christmas stores. We had a good visit. I got home close to 4:00 in the afternoon.

Tonight we may get freezing rain and it should continue Saturday morning.  Hopefully, it will let up to just rain by 2:00 when we leave for the Open House. Before we leave we will have chili again.  We will also have our regular Saturday morning breakfast at Eggberts. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Again

Today I will make Chili for lunch. It is supposed to get cold again and tomorrow I am to go to Chanute to meet my old friend, Gay, for lunch. I will send some of the chili home with Bob for tomorrow.

I rejoined Facebook again this morning. Many of my classmates and family are on there so I decided to bite the bullet and see how it goes. I gave it up two years ago after my son, Scott, had his identity stolen off Facebook Some guy in Nigeria stole his name and all his photos and then used them to scam one of Scott's classmates.  Crazy world...

I need to go to the bank again today. I have a check to cash and I forgot about it until last night. 

More later....

Later in the day, I vacuumed the house. Mostly I just worked on the class newsletter. I watched a musical version of "A Christmas Carol" before I went on to bed. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Exercise Day

Tuesday was a busy day. Bob and I went to Independence and bought gifts for the little boy we were assigned at church. We also bought groceries for the two families we adopted for Christmas. We stopped at the church on the way back and we took the groceries and Bobby and Karan's gifts for their assigned child in and put them under the tree in the all purpose room.

When we got home he went home and took his nap and I wrapped our gifts. I will drop them off if I get to go to Independence again Friday morning. We are forecast for some more bad weather but we are on the northern edge of it so we may miss it.   I hope so. My friend, Myra plans to fly off to Wyoming to spend Christmas with some of her children.   I would hate for her to have a delay or even a cancellation.

Later in the day Leslie texted me about Maia's Christmas program over at Tyro. After I learned the time, I decided to attend. Maia is three but will soon be four. She sang her songs...in fact, all the kids sang their songs. For three and four year olds, I was really impressed.  .  I got some photos but I don't know how well they came out. I was quite a ways back. Even with zoom, they may not be very good. I will download one and see.

It's a little dark but maybe it will lighten like Bob's did. She was a small angel and she was the smallest angel of all. The other photos were way too dark so I deleted them.

We have exercise class this morning and then I will warm up the meatloaf for dinner. We will have potatoes and salad with veggies and I still have pudding and cookies for dessert.

More later....

Dinner is over and I'm back to working on my class newsletter. I made more peanut clusters this afternoon too.  I am waiting for them to set up now. This evening I have a PINCH (People for Institutional and Community Harmony) meeting at 5:00.  I promised Marilyn I would help her get ready for it at the Presbyterian Church.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Confused Monday

I finally found the way into my blog. Very confusing. First there was no longer a button for that and finally after I had all but given up, it appeared in the old post again.

I have a lot to do today. First I will leave for Independence at 9:30 to get my hair done and then out to their Wal Mart store to buy gifts for our families that need help with Christmas for their children. Leslie wants me to also buy groceries for them. Bob may go with me and if he does we will eat at Great China. Then we will stop by the church and leave Karan's gifts and the masks for the children's program and bring my gifts home to wrap.

I got my peanut clusters made yesterday afternoon. I put them in Christmas tins took some to Bob and some to my landlords. I also have some for Leslie and also for Bobby.

I play Christmas music every morning on my Bob's Bose player in December. It puts me in the mood for Christmas. I have all my shopping finished now and gift wrapped except for the small boy I will buy for today.

More later...

I just noticed my Christmas Cactus is about to bloom. Here is a photo of it at present. Leslie gave this to me a couple of Christmas' ago.

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Way to Get Into My Blog to Blog

It appears I will have to access today's blog to post the next day's post. Weird! I wonder how that happened? All because I updated my Avast.

After lunch today I made my peanut clusters. I put them in cans for gifts. I took a can over to Bob and also to Merrill and Mr. Bishop, my landlords.

Bob wanted me to take a photo of his table decorated for Christmas. So I took two. They are a little dark. I may have to take them over with my old camera.

This is the second one.

How about that! Blogger must have lightened them up. Now I find I can't get into the blog to compose a new post at all. I don't know what dashboard has done but they have eliminated any entry into my blog to post a new post for another day.

Monday Again

I had a big day yesterday. After church, I came home and did the congregational newsletter. Then I address all the envelopes for the class newsletter and went out to the church to let Leeann in to get the painting projects the kids worked on yesterday. After that Bob and went over to Bobby and Karan's to the Living the Questions group meeting. Everyone brought finger foods and we ate goodies before we watched our DVD. I stayed up until 9:00 and finally convinced Missy that we should go on to bed. I slept well!

Today I will send out a couple more Christmas cards. My landlord fell in the bathroom yesterday morning (he is 93) and broke some ribs. I will send him a "get well" card and a Christmas card. I talked to his son yesterday evening and he says his dad did not go to the hospital. There's not a lot they can do about broken ribs. He will just be terribly sore for awhile.

Missy wanted to go outside this morning while it's dark. I let her out but am keeping an eye on her. She once got terribly hurt out there when another cat attacked her. She spent a week in the hospital and I had to give her shots couple of times a day for two weeks before she finally recovered from her injuries.

I will go to exercise class this morning but will take it easy on the arms.

I am fixing meatloaf for dinner today. We will have potatoes and veggies and I imagine Bob will bring a coleslaw. I have only a pudding for dessert. We finished off the cupcakes. I do have a few cookies left so we can have those with the pudding.

This is a photo from those that Paul took while I was in Hawaii. As you can see, the wind was blowing something fierce. Scott was unaffected because his hair is so short but mine was very windblown.

My Avast updated itself and now there is no way to post a new post on my blog. That key is gone now. I have notified Google.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Church on Sunday

I did not sleep well at all last night. Not only did my arms hurt but I took some Claritin before bedtime and my mind simply would not shut down. I was awake most of the night. I will certainly need a nap today. But first I will need to get my congregation letters done.

I need to stop eating candy. I have been into the candy for almost two weeks now and have put on five pounds. I want to get that off before it gets even worse.

I ate a biscuit and a banana this morning for breakfast. I have to eat something in order to take my blood pressure pill. I bake a batch of grands once a week and then every morning I butter one and brown it in the skillet. Then I put jelly on it and eat it. I like to eat a banana a couple of times a week. That keeps me from having leg cramps at night.

I read the Reporter this morning and then took it over and put it on Bob's mailbox. We share the papers. There's no sense in both of us buying papers.

My granddaughter, Christina, texted me last night and sent me a couple of photos of her girls. Now if I could just figure out how to send them to my e-mail account, I could post them here.

Not much going on right now. I'll write more later.

Let's see if I can post a photo here of my great grandchildren.

This is seven year old Mia. Mia looks exactly like her mother at that age.

This the new baby, Kyla.

My granddaughter sent me these photos from her phone last night. She sent them to my phone. Then I sent them to this laptop. Isn't technology something anymore?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday and Breakfast

Every Saturday morning, Bob and I go to Eggberts to eat breakfast "out". Ordinarily he eats toast and I have a biscuit...sometimes with a banana. Neither of us eats much breakfast....just enough to take our meds. I take a thyroid pill and a blood pressure pill. He takes more then that. But Saturday mornings we eat out and I usually have an omelet with fruit and a biscuit.

I'm not sure what I will do today. I could address the envelopes for my class newsletter. I am in the process of writing it. The news from my classmates just trickles in.

On the other hand, I am about out of my moisture emulsion cream that goes under my makeup. I could run up to Independence and buy that. I would also get new mascara. I am pretty much out of that too. I put a drop or to of water in it last week to stretch it out.

It's cold out there but I don't think there's any snow or ice in the forecast. Time will tell.

The school violence continues. Yesterday there was another shooting with one being critically wounded. The shooter evidently killed himself after that. I wonder how many more children have to be killed before we stop portraying violence in movies, TV and video games to desensitize our youth and the impressionable. I wonder how many more will have to be killed before people really read the 2nd amendment in context. We no longer have militias. That's what the 2nd amendment really says.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

From Wikipedia:

Gun politics have only become a notable issue in Australia since the 1980s. Low levels of violent crime through much of the 20th century kept levels of public concern about firearms low. In the last two decades of the century, following several high profile multiple murders and a media campaign, the Australian government co-ordinated more restrictive firearms legislation with all state governments.

A common misconception is that firearms are illegal in Australia and that no person may possess them. This belief originates due the general perception that only members of law enforcement, the armed forces, or those in armed security protection are authorized to have them. While it's true that Australia has reasonably strict firearms laws, rifles and shotguns (including semi-automatic), as well as handguns are all legal providing the owner holds a valid firearms license.

As of 2007 about 5.2% of Australian adults (765,000 people)own and use firearms for purposes such as hunting, controlling feral animals, collecting, and target shooting.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Again

It's Friday again. Bob and I did go to Bartlesville yesterday afternoon and eat at McCalister's. However I forgot to get the make up I actually went for. I did buy grandson Jeromy's Christmas gift though. I have almost all of them now. I lack one.

I went up to Independence in mist this morning. It was very dark and I have problems driving in mist when it's very dark as well. But I made it by 7:00.

I will go to the bank when it opens this morning. I need to get a money order or cashier's check for Scott. I hope it reaches him quickly.

We also have exercise class this morning.

More later....

We will have dinner later today. We ate a lot of finger food at the senior center. Afterward the exercise class and the finger food party, I went to the bank and got Scott's cashier's check and got it in the mail. I hope he gets it pretty soon. Christmastime is a bad time to send anything in the mail. It may take forever.

I will make hamburgers and french fries this afternoon. I still have cup cakes too.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Out Of Town

Today Bob and I are going out of town. We will go to Bartlesville where I can get my makeup. I am out of Moisture Emulsion and mascara. The store in Independence that carried my products is for sale and I will have to travel to Bartlesville to get whatever I need now. It's always something going out of business when living in small communities.

Bob left awhile ago to go to his Lion's Club meeting. Now he is back but in a little while he will deliver his "meals on wheels". He is substituting for Barbara, who has gone to Lawrence to visit her children. After that, we will leave for Bartlesville. We will eat lunch down there today.

I nearly have my Christmas shopping finished. I have yet to mail the photos to my children and buy one more gift for my grandson. I am waiting for my son-in-law's gift to arrive from Amazon. I got most of my Christmas letters in the mail in Christmas cards yesterday. I worked nearly all day on that project. I even worked some on my class Christmas newsletter. I send out 154 each year. When I get it finished, I will take it to the printer and he will duplicate, staple and fold it for me. Then I will address the envelopes and stuff the letters and stamp them. My next big project is to address all those envelopes. I do that with the computer and printer. Most of the time that works.

I slept well again last night. For some reason most of my arm pain is gone now.

I will need to pick up some padded envelopes today for the photos I am sending to my boys.

The snow is nearly gone now but tomorrow we are to get freezing rain. That will be fun. I will stay home and out of that mess.

More later....

We went to Bartlesville and I got the gift I wanted for my grandson. I got all my packages of fin the mail except one and I will wait a little closer to Christmas to send it off.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Exercises Again

I guess I'll go to the exercise class this morning. My nosebleed has evidently cleared up. It didn't do it this morning. I feel kind of blah though. Maybe the exercises will help. I found some non drowsy Clariten and took one of those. It's supposed to dry up my runny nose and stop the sneezing. We'll see.

I baked biscuits this morning and had one with butter and jelly for my breakfast. I also made a pot of coffee and drank that. Maybe the caffeine will pick me up.

If we don't go to Bartlesville today or tomorrow we won't have another opportunity. I'm nearly out of moisture emulsion cream and mascara. On Friday we're supposed to get freezing rain. If that happens, I will be shampooing my hair in the shower again. I am not driving in freezing rain. Winter! Bah Humbug!

I am starting to send out my Christmas cards and newsletters. I got one finished yesterday to Ron and Joyce. Maybe I will do some more today.

I warmed up our goulash for lunch today. Again, we had green beans and cottage cheese with applesauce. I also fixed breadsticks and we had cupcakes for dessert.

I worked on Christmas cards until 2:00 this afternoon. I will do more later.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Very Cold Tuesday

I'm in a dilemma. It's 5 degrees out there and I have cakes to take to Independence to the Christian Church up there for their dinner tonight. I also have my hair appointment today at 10:30. We got a lot of snow last night. I don't know whether to chance it or not. Last Friday, when we had our first snow, I just washed my own hair. The hair is not the main thing though. It's the cakes. I am not sure what to do. I guess I'll wait until it gets light to decide. It's only 6:20 AM now. I really can't see well enough to see how much snow we got last night. It looks like about three inches though.

I puttered around here by myself last evening. It was too cold and messy for Bob to walk over so he stayed home too. I watched reruns of The Big Bang Theory and part of "Home Alone Lost in New York City". I had never seen that. It was a lot of nonsense but at least it wasn't full of sex and violence. (Actually it was full of violence but the kind that is entirely irrational and impossible).

I'm having nosebleeds again. I sprayed my nostrils with saline solution last night and this morning in hopes of averting that but it did not work. I don't know what else to do. The nosebleeds led to the erysipelas last winter. I sure don't want that staph infection again this winter. It could be very dangerous.

More later...

I'm going up to Independence a little earlier this morning so I can go out to their Wal Mart store and buy a room humidifier. That may be the only answer to my morning nosebleeds. I called, Terry, the pastor at the Christian Church and he says the roads are passable if one is careful. It looks like a couple of inches of snow out there. It's "up" to 9 degrees now too.

My trip to Independence went just fine. After I got my hair done, I met my daughter for lunch. Then after that I went out to their Wal Mart and bought a vaporizer to help get some moisture in my bedroom so my nose wouldn't bleed every morning. I hooked it up and waited thirty minutes or so to see if the steam would help keep me from having a bleeding nose every morning. It didn't appear to be working so I thought I would add a pinch of salt as the instructions suggested. I pulled the plug and took it apart....and what do you know, it wasn't even warm. The motor was as cold as though it had not been plugged in at all. Needless to say, I ran it out to our Wal Mart for a refund. Disgusting! Now I'm back to square one.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cold, Cold Monday

It's 18 degrees this morning and it's supposed to snow this afternoon. We are to get at least an inch. There is still some on the ground now...but not much. I have exercise class this morning. I wonder if I want to get out in it. I did drive since my car did not have snow on it and we picked up Phyllis and drove to the restaurant yesterday noon. It wasn't bad then. I worry more about the driving of the other person then my own. I'm a pretty conservative driver.

Bob is going to meet one of his friends for coffee after the exercise class so I am taking my own car this morning.

I slept pretty well last night. I went to bed shortly before 10:00. That seems to help. Bob came over for our wine and cookies last night. He stayed until 9:00 or so and we watched Big Bang Theory. After he left I took my bath and put my p.j.'s on.

We will have goulash today for lunch. I have some steak bread in the freezer....not much...but enough. Maybe I can get him to bring some coleslaw. We will have green beans and hot tea with the goulash. While I'm out and around, I need to get some milk and then I can make some pudding for dessert. I have cookies.

Maybe I can get a photo later in the day after the snow falls and post it here.

O.K. This is before this afternoon's snow.

I will take another after the next snow and publish it here.

O.K. I looked out after working on my class newsletter and this is what I saw.

More later...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Quiet Sunday Until Noon

Leslie, my daughter, just called to say it is slipperier out there then we might think. Melissa slipped turning into a driveway so they decided us "old folks" had no business getting out there today. There is a winter weather advisory here until noon for the local roads. It's supposed to be over by noon. That's good. Although we are not having church today because of the winter weather advisory. we are supposed to take a bus trip to Joplin to the college there to see a Living Christmas Tree program. I have not heard that they have cancelled it yet so I guess we're still going. I hope the bus driver is careful. It's doing nothing here in Coffeyville right now. It is north of us at this time.

I am just reading my Consumer's Report magazine right now. I am all ready to go so I won't have to get ready later, I guess.

I slept well again last night but when I got up and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and make up my face and blew my nose, it bled. I hope that dry tissue doesn't turn into the erysipelas again. In February it began with a cold and a bloody nose every time I sneezed or blew my nose. It was a staph infection and it took months to get rid of it and it was very dangerous. The doctor told me if it got into my brain, I would get meningitis and if it got into my blood stream, it would cause sepsis and could kill me. I took my Keflex religiously. It killed all the bacteria, good and bad, in my gut and I have to eat lots of yogurt and acidophiles milk to get it balanced again.

More later...

Well the bus trip was cancelled too. We will get our bus ticket refunded but will lose the $7.00 for the concert. Blast! They say the snow is worse over at Joplin. I guess that's the better part of valor just to cancel. Those of us who planned to go will instead have lunch at Sirloin Stockade here in Coffeyville.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cold Saturday Morning

It's 9 degrees here in southeast Kansas this morning. I slept really well again last night. I shampooed my own hair before bedtime and blew it dry after missing my hair appointment yesterday morning. It doesn't look too bad. Having a good haircut makes all the difference.

I want to go to the market after breakfast. Bob will take me out to Wal Mart. I need a list of things after being gone a week.

I think we will both stay fairly close to home today. It is so cold.

This is the view of the harbor at Waikiki looking from Scott's lanai there in Hawaii. The ropes you see there vertically are from the painters. They are in the process of painting his building.

I spent the afternoon changing out the books in my bookcases. I took all the books out of my three piece dining room bookcase and put those in my den bookcase and put those from the den in the one in the dining room. That puts all my church books in the den and all my "history of Christianity" and studies on the scriptures books in here in the dining room. Almost all my newer books the past three years are on my Kindle anyhow. I have stopped buying hard bound books.

Then I sat down and had a cup of hot chocolate. It's 4:00 now. I think I will go buy a paper.

And I did just that. Afterward, Bob came over and we visited. Then Karan came over and we visited some more. Finally everyone left and I read my paper and prepared my Minister's Message for the newspaper on the 14th.

It's 7:30 now and I guess I'll go take my bath and see if there's anything on TV. If not, I'll read.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Strange Friday

This is a strange day. I am still fighting whatever it is I picked up on the plane and have almost lost my voice. I took Cold Ease all day yesterday and still only have laryngitis. My nose is not running. A while ago, at 7:00 in the morning, Bob let himself in my apartment and woke me up. I had missed my hair appointment and the appointment was at 7:00 in the morning. And it snowed last night...the first snow of the season. Here's a photo of it that I took about 7:30 this morning.

Bob came back over awhile ago after I got around and got dressed. We had our coffee and visited. He just left. I had cleaned up the rattan chair that sets in my dining room/kitchen area because Missy had lain in it all day yesterday and it had cat hair in it. Bob sat there. Missy wanted him out of "her" chair but until he left, he sat in it. The minute he got up, she popped right in it. Funny cat! Here she is.

I will stay in today. I will fix lunch/dinner around noon. We will have swiss steak and potatoes, veggies and applesauce and the rest of our pudding and the last two cookies. I will bake more cookies this afternoon. Later on this evening he may come back over to watch the news and have hot chocolate and cookies.

More later...

Well lunch/dinner turned out well. We are both full and he went home to take a nap. I have done the crossword puzzle in the paper he brought over with him. I may take a nap too instead of baking cookies. We will see.

Well, I did get the cookies baked and Bob did come back over to watch TV with me. He brought some of our favorite wine and we had a small glass with some of the cookies.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday Evening

Yesterday was exhausting! I flew in overnight Tuesday night. I slept..perhaps two hours. There was a lot of turbulence. Also, I find it difficult to sleep sitting up. My legs ached and I could not get comfortable.

When I finally got in at 10:09, Leslie met me and we drove down to Owasso and ate lunch at Olive Garden. When finally I got home, I was greeted by a delighted cat. She was under the coverlet on my bed. When she saw me, she came out "meowing" over and over again. She followed me around everywhere the rest of the day. She probably was fearful that I might leave again.

I went to bed at 9:00pm and slept until 4:00am without waking up.

Unfortunately I awoke with a cough. I was afraid of that. On the way over a women sitting behind me on the plane coughed all the way over and she did not cover her mouth. I just hoped I would not get the cough and a cold.

All day today I took Cold Ease. I hope to avoid a cold now. I feel pretty good but I still have a loose cough.

While I was in today, I took down all my fall decorations and put my few Christmas decorations up. I put most of them, including my tree in the church's rummage sale but I kept a few things. So I decorated with them. I took some photos but they turned out dark so I can't post them. I left a basket at the florist to have a small coffee table arrangement done. They will call me when it's ready to be picked up.

Tonight I will take my bath and put my p.j.s on and watch TV. Reruns of The Big Bang Theory are running this evening. Then I'll go to bed about 9:30 or 10:00pm.

This is the doorway from the kitchen into my living room.

And this is the ceramic Christmas tree on my wall console.

I put a few things in each room but not enough to share here.

I'll continue to add a few things from time to time. Then I'll add more photos.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday.....Last Day Here

This is my last day here. Tonight I leave for Kansas again. I leave at 7:50 this evening. I will fly out of Honolulu. I get into Houston at 7:13 in the morning at terminal C. Then I leave from terminal B at 8:39 tomorrow morning. I get into Tulsa International at 10:09am. Then Leslie and I plan to eat lunch at Olive Garden before leaving for home. She must have taken the day off to pick me up.

I have had a wonderful time but I am homesick now and ready to go home. It will be interesting to see if I can sleep on the plane during this flight tonight. Scott has to work today so I will read and just ding around. If I walk across the street to the mall, I will have to take a key to get back in the building.

I spent a couple of hours looking up the schedules for Scott for The Big Bang Theory. I have him hooked on that program now. We watched it a couple of evenings while I was here. It makes him laugh. Anything that makes you laugh when you are depressed, is good. So he will watch it when it is on at a time he can watch it.

More later....

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunny Monday

The rain finally stopped this morning so we went to Scott's office and picked up the DVD's Paul had made for us. Then we went out to Pearl Harbor. We walked around awhile but they weren't showing the video today so we didn't stay. I had seen Pearl Harbor in 1999 so no big deal. We then stopped at a market and picked up a fresh pineapple. After that it was close to noon so we went to Bubba Gump's and had fish and chips. When they learned it was my birthday they gave me a free ice cream sundae. Then we came back to the apartment and opened the DVD Paul made to check out the photos. This is some of them.

Paul took a lot. It was windy in them so they show us rather wind blown.

This is just Scott and me.

And, of course, this is just me.

This is me looking out over the water with the mountain in the background.

We stopped at a nearby stable and petted the horses.

Day before yesterday (Saturday)we took a drive around the east side of the island and the North Shore. I got a few photos while we whizzed by. We didn't stop because they were having the Vans World Cup Surfing Tournament and it was swamped.

This is the Blowhole on the North east side of the island.

This is along the east shore.

These were both taken along the north shore.

This was taken at Waimaha Bay.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lazy Sunday

I say this is a lazy Sunday but we did go first to breakfast and then to Wal Mart where we got a stainless trash can, some trash bags, and some Risotto wine. Then we went to the mall and walked around for an hour or so. We just got back. We are going to watch The Big Bang Theory now. It's 11:30 in the morning here but The Big Bang Theory is on.

It rained all day so we didn't do a lot more but just watched TV.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Busy Saturday Again

It's Saturday here in Hawaii and it's 6:00am. Scott is still asleep. As usual, I woke up three or four times during the night but always seemed to get back to sleep. When I get home, I'm going to go out to Wal Mart and buy one of those miracle foam pads for my bed. It makes all the difference in the world how I sleep. My arms have seldom ached.

Scott wants to take me out to the Arizona today. I guess I really don't care if we go or not. I've seen it once. I would just as soon walk around the mall and browse. If I could find a place to get my hair washed, I would do that. It needs it and I can do nothing with it myself. I didn't bring shampoo anyhow because I never could have been able to get a bottle past security. I was lucky to get my contact cleaner past security. It was larger then the 5.3 ounces they allow....or is it 3.5 ounces? I've forgotten.

I am having a really good time but, of course, I'm homesick. I miss my apartment and even my cat, Missy. I miss my own routine. And I dread the trip back. It's 11 hours altogether and the seats don't tilt back enough for sleeping. I will leave about 7:00 pm and not get into Tulsa until the next morning....around 7:00am, I think. I also have that horrendous layover at Houston which is a good thing since I nearly missed my plane there on the way over when I didn't have enough layover time. That Houston terminal is huge. I had always flown into Houston Hobby Field in the past. But I still have this Saturday, Sunday and Monday before I start back and I am enjoying immensely getting to see my son. He has pulled all the stops out to show me a good time.

More later.......

We had a huge day. First we went to breakfast and this time I had oatmeal. I couldn't finish it so Scott finished it for me. We went to Wal Mart and I bought him a small microwave for his birthday and Christmas. Then after that we went to the mall and I got my hair done. Next we went by Pier One and Scott bought some wine glasses and replaced one water tumbler that someone had broken and didn't tell him. After that we went up to North Shore where they were having the Van World Cup Surfing Championships. It was a mad house. So we didn't stop and park. But we did stop at a great Mexican restaurant where we ate outdoors. I couldn't finish mine so we got a box and brought it back to his apartment where he will eat it later on tonight. Scott also bought some Hawaiian coffee while we were at the restaurant...fresh ground. Before our lunch/dinner, Ashley called and visited with us on the phone.

Then we came back home and prepared to watch TV. Scott is talking to a friend on the phone while I type this.

It's 4:00 in the afternoon now.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Yesterday's Big Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner last night. We waited an hour to eat but we got acquainted with a couple of really nice people from Virginia, Jim and Kathleen, and they asked us to sit with them.... so we did. The Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful. I was only able to eat two thirds of it....way too much food. Then we had pumpkin pie for dessert. We got home and watched the rest of the movie we had been watching and then we went to bed. We were both exhausted. It had been a huge day. Our new friends wanted to stay in touch when they leave Tuesday to go back to Virginia so they took our e-mail addresses and names. They both work for the government.

Today we are going to have breakfast with a friend of Scott's. Afterward we are having our pictures taken. Paul is a professional photographer. I really am not interested in having my picture taken at nearly 78 years old. I simply look like an old woman nowadays. No old woman is really interested in having her picture taken. It is only a reminder of former days when she looked a lot better.(and younger) :)

The rest of the week is up for grabs. We may go back out to the Arizona. My Bob and IU were out there in 1999 when we were over here earlier but I wouldn't mind. Then he also suggested we might go back to the Polynesian Culture Center. We went there too in 1999 but he says they have really updated it since then.

Scott is trying to get his TV back to cable so he can watch cable TV this morning. He has way too many remotes to work with. He has called support and they walked him though getting it. Now he is trying to get his Sony receiver to run everything: his cable and his Sony home receiver. Now he is talking to Sony support trying to get both to work on just the Sony remote. All this at 4:15 in the morning. :) Hey! he got it done. We are now watching cable news.

More later in the day......

We took in a great movie this afternoon. We saw Delivery Man and it was a great movie. Then we went to the market and bought some groceries.

This evening we watched The Life of Pi. It too was very good!

Paul took a passel of photos this morning and he will give us both a CD of them on Monday.

So tomorrow we go to Pearl Harbor to see the Arizona again. My Bob and I went there in 1999 when we were here before.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

First Full Day in Hawaii

This is my first full day in Hawaii. Yesterday was really stressful. I left Tulsa at around 7:00 got into Houston and found terminal C but could not find E-4 where I was to depart. I found an employee and she to helped me and she took me all around the terminal until we arrived at the proper gate just in time for boarding. What a scare. Then when I finally got to Honolulu 11 hours later, I could not find my luggage. Someone else had picked it up. I was going to report it to United and I saw it setting off the track on the floor. The person who had mistakenly picked it up had not even bothered to put it back on the track. How aggravating! A security guard stayed with me out front until Scott arrived to pick me up.

By the time he came, I had not eaten in over twelve hours and was shaky. He took me to the Macaroni Grill in the mall across the street from his apartment. We split chicken parmesan. I was positively trembly and shaky. We had a glass of red wine with our dinner. We came back to his apartment and watched "Two Guns" with Denzel Washington. It was quite good. He had it on Apple TV. We went to bed after that and I slept like a baby until 2:00 am when we both got up and visited for an hour. Then went back to bed to sleep until 6:00AM. I felt fine then. This morning we went all around the west and half the north part of the island and took a lot of photos. I will post some of them when I get home. I haven't figured out how to get them from e-mail on Scott's laptop to the blog. If I figure it out, I will do that.

This evening we will have Thanksgiving dinner at Hale Koa Restaurant It's a huge government hotel/recreation center. We will have to be there at 4:00. It's 1:20 Honolulu time now. So we have awhile.

Koni Ola Lookout

Me at Koni Ola Lookout

Again me at Koni Ola Lookout. Look at the scenery behind me! Wonderful!

My son Scott

More of my son, Scott

Another of Scott

More later on in the week.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Packing Day

I have done my laundry again and got my hair done now I will just need to finish packing after I make up my face in the morning. I have nearly everything packed now except my make up kit and underwear. I will finish that in the morning. There has been a lot of really bad weather around us to the south. That has caused a lot of plane delays. I don't know whether it will affect my trip to Hawaii for Thanksgiving and our birthdays or not but only time will tell. I will need to get up at 4:00am in the morning to get to Tulsa by 6:00am. Leslie will pick me up at 5:00am. I have warned Scott about possible delays.

Bob took me to lunch today. He did not want me to have to cook this last day. That was good of him.

This afternoon the police in the area are looking for a fugitive who killed his entire family 40 miles away and was seen 15 miles away from here. That was his wife and three children. The police and sheriff's department and every law enforcement person within 50 miles are over at Independence where he was last seen trying to capture him. So far, I have had no more news on him. I get alerts on nixle from law enforcement. I will keep my door locked until I hear they have captured him.

I will watch TV tonight but go to bed fairly early. I hope I will be able to sleep. I usually don't sleep very well anyhow anymore. My arms hurt after half the night on them.

More later...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday's Sermon

God’s Chosen One

November 24, 2013

Scripture: Luke 23:33 – 43

And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood, seeing.

But the rulers were deriding, saying, "He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen." And the soldiers also mocked him, coming (and) offering to him common wine, and saying, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself." There was also an inscription over him, "This one (is) the king of the Jews." And one of the hanging criminals was reviling him: "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."

But the other answered, rebuking him, saying, "Do you not fear God that you are in the same condemnation, and we indeed justly, for what we receive (is) appropriate to what we did, but this one has done nothing out of place." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."

Thinking it through:

So, it is appropriate for us at the end of the Christian year to ponder and remember. If this scripture seems to be an unusual choice for a gospel reading on this particular Sunday, then think about the irony: Jesus is declared “king” by a criminal, Roman soldiers, and a cynical governor. Three times Jesus is mocked: “Save yourself,” they said. The soldiers and others (maybe even us) assume that if one has God’s favor, a proof of it would be to use that favor to end suffering and avoid death.

Sadly, many of us still think, act, and pray this way, expecting God to help us avoid painful and unpleasant occurrences in life. We desperately want the path of discipleship to be smooth and without risk. It is especially tempting in the upcoming Advent and Christmas seasons to forget the difficulty of the journey. Perhaps that is why we are talking about Luke 23 today—as a reminder not to settle for a candied or watered-down version of the story.

The deeper understanding of the scripture is that even under those terrible circumstances, Jesus could not avoid death. Nigel Spivey, in his book, Enduring Creation: Art, Pain, and Fortitude notes that the idea of a crucified messiah was such a shattering notion that the early church avoided it in art and theology from the time the Gospels were written; clear through to the tenth century. And even then, the depictions were carefully tamed.

On this last Sunday before Advent, this scripture is reminding us that to avoid the difficult parts of Jesus’ story is not acceptable. We must recognize the cost—for Jesus, for us and for God’s kingdom. And we must constantly remind ourselves that each of us is also “chosen”.

Authors Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker in their book, “Saving Paradise” were surprised when they visited the Mediterranean world where early Christianity began to find that the very earliest Christian art did not depict the crucified Jesus. They began their journey in Rome in the catacombs where underground tunnels and tombs are carved into soft tufa rock. The earliest surviving Christian art is painted onto the plaster walls of tombs or carved onto marble sarcophagi as memorials to the interred. There were crosses everywhere in the artwork, but on none of these very early pieces was Jesus depicted as crucified. He was usually sitting on the ground under the cross. They found it took a thousand years for Jesus to die in this artwork. Images of his corpse did not appear in churches until the tenth century.

And why is this important? It’s because we have to realize that the common people did not read or write. They learned their stories about Jesus through artwork depiction in icons and stained glass windows.

According to the writings of Paul, the early gentile church could not tolerate a dead messiah whose mission would be seen as a failure.

We have learned in church and some even in graduate schools that Christians believed the crucifixion of Jesus saved the world and that this idea was the core of the Christian faith. Today that idea is challenged by many because it is seen as contributing to the sanctioning of violence and war and it does not originate from the message of Jesus. It absolves perpetrators of violence of their responsibility for their unethical behavior. The focus of the earliest Christians was instead to create a paradise on earth. To them, even heaven was considered a dimension of this life.

In fact, the "Father, forgive them" passage of this scripture is not present in the earliest documents, It is included because it fits so well with one of Luke's over-all themes, that is “forgiveness”, and that is why it was left in later scripture.

So what have we learned from this story of Jesus’ crucifixion?

In this upcoming Christmas season, it is important to be honest about the real cost of discipleship. Since we too are chosen, it is time to move into the Advent season, affirming our discipleship and being realistic about what following the chosen one really means in our lives.

Being disciples of God’s chosen one comes at a cost. Even though many of us are not comfortable taking risks, we sometimes have to go outside our own comfort zones and step over the boundaries we have constructed to actually be a disciple. And that may not always be comfortable. Many of us prefer to be pew sitters. Yet, Jesus charged his disciples to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit those in prison. Yet today even our politicians seem to resent doing just that.

Mockery and derision is a frequent tactic of the powerful to besmirch someone's character. The irritant is brought down through derision and character assassination. As Mahatma Gandhi put it, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you,…… then you win."

The apparent vulnerability of Jesus on the cross calls into question how this one who felt sent by God can possibly save the people. It seemed to disciples of that day that the powers of the world had overtaken the powers of God. And yet, this episode offers hope. In it, left there for us, Jesus asks for forgiveness for those who have crucified him and shows that he still has power in the last, painful moments of his earthly life by offering the promise of a paradise to the evildoer.

Jesus did not lose hope but trusted in God even when it appeared that he was in a hopeless situation. All hearers, therefore, should not lose hope but trust in God. Jesus made good on his promises, brought good news to the poor and offered healing to those who were in need. He also offered forgiveness to those whom his society deemed evil. In the moment of his greatest vulnerability, when those with earthly power showed that they had the power to condemn Jesus to death, he managed to heal one on the cross beside him and promised the other suffering one a paradise.

Instead of dying an anonymous death, Jesus’ words and mission live on…inspiring millions to have a part in building God’s kingdom here on earth.

. So what are we willing to suffer for the sake of the kingdom?

Not much is asked of us. We are challenged to do what we can in feeding the poor and offering healing friendship to those who are in distress. We should feel called to visit those in prison and in hospital and nursing homes. We should be available to help anyone who needs our help..regardless of the inconvenience it may seem to us. Because of our conscious, each of us is aware of what we can do. Sometimes we do move out and other times we defer to help… out of selfish reasons known only to ourselves. But we are chosen because we are able.

In this holiday season, we are aware of much need in our communities. As a congregation, we will soon be asking for assistance in providing gifts and food for the children of needy families. Let us respond as we are able. Jesus spent his short life helping all those to whom he came in contact, even in his last moments. As disciples, we can do no less because we too are able and are some of God’s chosen ones.

Monday and Sleet

I stepped outside a while ago to sweep the leaves up in the carport and discovered it is sleeting. Great! That's just what we need. We will be getting out to go to exercise class in a little while. I hope it has stopped by then.

I slept pretty well. It was cozy in the bed and especially with a warm cat on my feet. Missy sleeps on the foot of my bed on the afghans I cover over the coverlet.

I will be packing for my trip tomorrow. I need to get a few things from Wal Mart first. I get my hair done in the morning in Independence and I will go to their Wal Mart there.

I think I will make either a chicken pot pie or a chicken noodle casserole for lunch/dinner today. I will need some chicken broth for the pot pie but I can get that at Country Mart. I think I have the rest of the ingredients. That kind of casserole has most of the ingredients for a balanced dinner. I will make some pudding and we will have cookies with it for dessert. I am out of milk so I will need to stop at Brahms too. Those two stores are only a block or two away not six miles east of town like Wal Mart. I seldom go there.

More later...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Very Cold Sunday

It's even colder here today. I think it said 19 degrees. I preach at church today so I am up and at it this morning.

My newspaper is late. I called about it and there is a substitute running the route and they evidently missed me. They are supposed to bring one out to me but I haven't seen it yet. If it isn't here when I finish writing on this blog, I will go buy one. That is very aggravating.

I need to study my notes for this morning anyway but I am used to reading my paper while I eat my biscuit. This morning I will have some special bread with my coffee. Bob baked yesterday afternoon and brought me a small loaf of it.

More later....

We ate at Pizza Hut after church. The sermon went well. After dinner I came home and did my letters. I will be gone next Sunday afternoon so there will not be any letters to send out. Bob came over and we watched TV together. He went home about 8:30.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cold Saturday

Brrr, it's cold this morning. We were supposed to have had freezing rain yesterday but luckily that didn't happen. I made potato soup last night and that's what we will have for lunch with cheese and crackers. That's a ways off though because we both had a big breakfast at Eggberts this morning.

I did not sleep well last night. I awoke at 1:10 and finally at 4:20 I got up and took a Benidril. That put me to sleep until 5:30. Then at 6:45 Bob and I went to breakfast. After breakfast I bought a paper and came home to read it and do the crossword puzzle. Then I took it over to Bob to read.

I fear winter is not far off though. It has become really cold. Texas and southern Oklahoma are suppose to get an icy mix today. It's supposed to be 21 degrees today.

I think I will read today. My house is clean and I have a list of stuff I will take on my trip. I have my suitcases down from the top of the closet. I will pack on Tuesday because I will leave very early Wednesday morning for Tulsa and the airport. Bob will come over and feed and water Missy Kitty and clean out her litter box.

More later....

We had our potato soup today. It was good. Then I read all afternoon. I also took a nap. Then I caught the end of an interesting movie called "The Lake House". I may have to borrow it from V & S or buy it at Amazon and catch the rest of it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Hair Appointment

Bob came over this morning to take me to Independence for my hair appointment. It was supposed to have iced over but the ice did not arrive. He took me anyhow. I got up later then usual. I awoke at 3:30 and almost never got back to sleep. When I finally did, I awoke again at 5:30 so I got up and immediately dressed and made up my face. I warmed up a biscuit and made some fresh coffee for my breakfast.

We got up to Independence without incident. This is the time of year when there are lots of deer out and we watched carefully for them.

In about 45 minutes we will leave for our exercise class.

Today I will fix chicken tenders for lunch. We will have them and mashed potatoes and gravy, salad and veggies. Then we will have pudding and cookies for dessert. That should hold us. I will send the leftovers home with Bob. He will eat them at supper time.

I had a really good visit with Gay yesterday. She had a coupon so she bought lunch. We had pizza at Pizza Hut. We visited from 11:45 until 3:10....a long visit. We had a lot to catch up on.

Nancy wrote to me yesterday. She wanted to have lunch sometime. We used to be good friends when we lived in Caney. She lost her husband right after I lost Bob. He had a successful surgery but then got a staph infection in the hospital and died of that. That was a tragedy. He was a very good husband to Nancy.

Anyhow, when I get back from Hawaii, she wants to meet for lunch. I will give her a call then. I called her last night and updated her on my move, etc.

Today I was thinking about what I was doing when Kennedy was killed 50 years ago. Scott was almost three years old and Leslie was in first grade at six and Keith was eight. I had gone to visit a friend, Paula, and was going to go home so I would be there when the two oldest kids came home from school. On the way home, I turned on the radio and heard about the president getting shot. I picked up the kids (school was let out early) and went back to Paula's and said, "Quick, turn on the TV." She did and we watched the newscasts all afternoon. Then I went home to fix dinner for Bob. We were all in shock.

I suppose everyone would know where they were when he was shot. A couple of years ago, Paula was crossing the road at her home to get the mail from her mailbox and was hit and killed by a car. Everything changes. Life is unpredictable.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday and Lunch With Gay

Yesterday was huge! The bus trip to Kansas City was not too bad. The play and lunch were both good but on the way back, exit 69 was closed so we took Metcalf Road south out of Overland Park. That turned out to be highway 69 to Pittsburg. It continually turned toward the east which was out of our way. Coffeyville is 60 miles west of Pittsburg. So the driver took highway 54 west to get back on the right highway number 169. Unfortunately, it went north west so we lost at least ten miles and had to backtrack back south when we reach highway 169. We finally got back home three hours later. It was a long, long trip. I was exhausted when I got home. I stayed up until 9:00 but could stay up no longer and went on to bed. I slept until 3:00, slept fitfully until 4:30 and finally just got up. Wild Wednesday.

This morning I made fresh biscuits and drank my leftover cup of coffee. Now I can take my blood pressure medicine. I will bag up the remaining biscuits and warm them up and brown them one by one in the days to come in the skillet.

I will meet Gay for lunch at Pizza Hut in Cherryvale at 11:30. Bob is on his own for lunch. Tony is not coming either. Gay and I get a better visit by ourselves.

We are forecast rain today and ice tomorrow. We are forecast snow on Saturday or Sunday. I hope it is gone by Wednesday when I make my trip to Tulsa to catch my plane.

I need to go to the market this morning. I need a few things including cleaner for my contacts. After this morning I am completely out. I also want to get a Coffeyville Journal at the market.

More later...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Cake Day

We will be leaving shortly for Independence. I have my trunk full of cakes for the First Christian Church in Independence. Then I will get my hair colored and cut and while my color is developing, Bob will get his haircut. Then we will eat lunch at Big Cheese today.

I did not sleep well last night. My arms ached all night after 1:00. Finally at 2:30 I got up and took a Benedril. Those do tend to help me sleep.

Tomorrow we leave by bus at 7:30 from the parking lot behind Sirloin Stockade. We will ride to Kansas City to watch a dinner theater. That's something different to do. Thursday I will have lunch with Gay. It's been awhile since I've seen her.

Bob came over last evening for awhile and we watched TV together and had a glass of wine until there was absolutely nothing worthwhile left on to watch. After he left I took my bath and later found Big Bang Theory on channel 29. I watched that until 9:30 and then went to bed.

I have a couple of things I need to do today. First, while we're in Independence I need to go out to John and Leslie's and pick up some more meat. I am nearly out. Then when I get back, I need to pick up the prescription for my blood pressure medicine. I called it in yesterday and then forgot to pick it up. More later....

Monday, November 18, 2013

Exercise Monday

I guess I'll go on to exercise class this morning. Both my arms hurt some last night but whether I exercise or not doesn't seem to matter. I took an Aleve but it didn't seem to have an effect of the arms hurting. Getting old is not for sissies.

I will fix swiss steak this noon for lunch and we will have some frozen fruit for dessert. I will fix some more potatoes and veggies and Bob will bring a salad. Tomorrow we go to Independence to get our hair cut and will eat at Big Cheese.

Wednesday we will go to Kansas City for a dinner theater bus trip. I am looking forward to that.

I'll worry about Thursday and Friday's lunch later in the week. It will probably be a casserole.

I have been pretty apprehensive about my flight to Hawaii next week. There is so much brouhaha anymore with searches, x-rays and plastic bags for cosmetics and meds. Then there's also the $35.00 charge to check baggage. That means I am going to have to take some spending money. I don't know exactly how much I'll need. It seems I am going through my savings awfully fast what with the new car payment, Christmas and etc. I hope I don't outlive it.

Once , the last time I flew, when I got to Dallas, I disembarked at the far south gate and had to be at the far north gate in fifteen minutes. If you've ever been in the Dallas airport, you know what a problem that can be. I paid a tram guy to take me there fast but we got there just in time to see my plane take off. I was a couple of hours late getting into Tulsa and my brother-in-law , who was to pick me up didn't exactly know what to do. Luckily, he stuck around and found me. They would not tell him anything about what alternate flight I was on.

Then one time I was flying to Houston and they put us on a small commuter prop plane. They could not get the motor started so they switched us to another one. That one would not stay running so they switched us to a third. That one wouldn't start either so they gave us a ticket on Continental Airlines flight and I was over an hour late getting picked up at the airport in Houston. All this was before cell phones. I had to call my cousin on a pay phone at the airport. They had given up on me. So I am not looking forward to the long flight. It's twelve hours long and coming back it will even be nighttime.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rainy Windy Sunday

It started raining yesterday afternoon and the wind came up too. I have sneezed and blown for several days. I have allergies that are aggravated by the wind. I just stayed home yesterday afternoon and stayed in except for one brief visit to the local Wal Mart store. I found my flat wreath there and bought stamps. Today we will go to church, as usual, eat out with a group, and I will do my letters this afternoon now that I have stamps.

This evening I will watch 60 Minutes and whatever else I can find. Tomorrow we will eat swiss steak, potatoes and veggies and Bob will bring a salad. I will have frozen fruit (thawed) for dessert. I may get around to making some more cookies this afternoon.

We tried to watch TV last night but about 6:00 the picture began tearing again and until 8:30 we dealt with that. Finally Cox got it fixed at 8:30 and I watch the Big Bang Theory reruns until 9:30, when I went to bed.

I slept fairly well.

Perhaps more later...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Warm Saturday

It's warm today..like 59 degrees. I'm having warmed up coffee this morning because Bob and I will go to our usual Saturday morning breakfast. I drink two cups of coffee there.

We ended up yesterday going to the Dearing Cafe and having cornbread and beans so I didn't cook. I will probably cook today instead.

I looked all over town for a Christmas wreath. There simply isn't any shopping here in Coffeyville. I did find some garland which I will hang across the top of my three piece wall unit. I also bought a small nativity set. I haven't made up my mind yet where I will use it...probably on my server in the dining room.

I also found a used Scrabble set and bought it for $3.00. Maybe I can teach Bob to play Scrabble. It is a good mind twister. That's good for us old people.

Tuesday when we go to Independence for our haircut appointments, we will look in their gift shops for wreaths for our doors. We need a relatively flat one..not one of those full ones. It will have to fit between the storm door and the door. We both bought a wreath holder for them.

I have decided not to buy a small Christmas tree. I have the ceramic one Phyllis made for me and I will put it on the console in the living room. Then I will decorate in other ways. ...with the garland and candle rings. I won't decorate until after I return from Hawaii though. When I do it, I will post some photos here.