Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I had planned to drive to church today, as it is my day in the office, but Mother Nature had other plans. It has been snowing constantly - sometimes heavier and sometimes lighter - all day so far. Although I could have gotten to the church ok, I'm not sure I would have made it home. Making visits would've proved treacherous as well.
So, I'm having a work day at home. Writing my sermon and doing preparations for Epiphany Sunday - making star words and cutting out all the many stars. Star gifts for the folks at church. I had to take a break as my hand was getting sore after cutting out 12 pages of stars.
Christmas Eve was very good. The roads were a bit wet but not snowy. I had plenty time to prepare the bread and do some things. By 6 pm it was starting to snow and I went out and spread some salt around. I escorted a visitor up the lift to the sanctuary. Gave out Christmas activity sheets to the children as they entered.
The first service went fairly well. Just a couple of glitches - instead of the Glory to God, the song leader sang the refrain from Angels We Have Heard on High which was to come later in the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving. The hymns moved along without dragging. I gave the Sursum Corda before the invitation to communion. And the choir, those who showed up early, had a bit of trouble with their anthem before the candlelighting. But for the most part, the service was good.
Between services, the choir had rehearsal, and after some wine, cheese and crackers, and Christmas cookies, they sang considerably better at the late service!!!
We did it all correctly at the late service. Communion was meaningful with the bread wrapped in linen in the manger on the altar.
I gave away my gas money to a youth member who's dad is in the hospital with a fatal illness and who has hardly any money to buy meals and pay for lodging at the prominent hospital on the North Coast. So, I gave him my gas money to help buy his meals. I still had just enough to fill my tank.
I left the church, after locking up and turning off the lights, at 11:45 pm and headed home with the gifts of 2 $50.00 bills from parishioners, a gas card, 2 boxes of chocolate and a box of Christmas cookies.
The gift was, that as I gave what I had, I was given even more in return. The gift was, two good worship services - glitches aside. The gift was the celebrating the birth of our Savior and Lord and receiving the love, hope, peace, grace, and joy, that he came to bring. The gift was, it stopped snowing by 8 pm and warmed up some, so that when I left it was 42 degrees and the roads were merely wet and not icy. The gift was, that at that time of night traffic was light. The gift was, both LH and I, got home safely. I was blessed with gifts and riches on a night full of the Gift of God.
The wonder of Christmas never disappoints me and the miracle of that night so long ago, continues to be a miracle each and every year - no matter the hardships or grief or difficulties. Christmas comes each year with unexpected surprises and with a wonder so great, one can only be silent before it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Still dealing with the unsettling tragedy of Newtown and all the lives lost.
Prayers like incense arise to God on their behalf.
Heard several foolish comments from various people, no thanks to the media, who simply cannot take a break and say, "When we have more information, we will broadcast it to you." They conjecture and yak just to fill up the time and in the end, sometimes say some stupid things or they pressure onsite responders, eyewitnesses, etc. to share when they haven't had a chance to think about what they are going to say.
How about "They were taken too early from us." Yes, perhaps, they should have high schoolers or college-age - would that make it better because they were "taken later"?
Honestly. I can't even remember them all.
But my spirit aches and grieves for the beauty of these precious lives lost so senselessly and mt prayers enfold the families who are dealing with unspeakable grief.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent Busy
catching up on all there is to do. Christmas cards have been addressed, overseas and domestic. The overseas ones have their German or English letter, and I still have to put English letters in the domestic cards. And get stamps!
I still have gifts to wrap and package to get in the mail.
Christmas Eve worship service is still going around in my head.
I have to run off sheets of stars on bright yellow paper for Epiphany, so that I can write words on them, cut them all out and have these "star gifts" for the congregation
on Epiphany Sunday. It does take time to cut out a hundred stars.
I'm starting to feel the crunch and we didn't even put up a Christmas tree. I still have to put up the Nativity scene on our mantel and put the Christmas tablecloth on the dining room table. And perhaps, splurge on an evergreen swag to put on the kitchen table along with a couple of candles.
I'm behind. The luxury of the cruise has now made for a more hectic Advent.
I pray for enough time, even though I don't decorate as much or bake cookies or host holiday parties or are invited to any. It's just the few simple things that are even rushed this year.
I have begun to listen to my Christmas CD's in the van, and can savor them during my hour commute time each way. That is where I will find my breathing space this Advent. On the road, like Mary and Joseph, slowly making their way to Bethlehem. So, I am on the road and making my way to the manger and the very love, heart and grace of God born in the Christ child.
May God walk with us on our Advent roads that will once again lead us to a humble manger and the One who is the heartbeat of God and the Light of the World.

Monday, December 10, 2012

We have returned from a short cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary and played hooky for the second Sunday in Advent!!! Since this is when we married, this was the time for our trip to the Caribbean!
We sailed on an ocean liner - yes - it spent the summer in Europe and it was huge!
We were fortunate to have a stateroom with a private balcony and enjoyed every moment we were on it. Nice to be able to have some privacy and not have to be on deck with so many others. We savored fine wine with our mostly wonderful dinners. We had a night in Ft. Lauderdale and enjoyed some fine Irish fare. We had an actual beach day on the company's private island and I even took to the water - I couldn't help it as I'm drawn to water - and had a bit of a swim in the shallow waters that were crystal clear.
The only disappointment was the stop in Freeport when we were to stop in Nassau. More's the pity, we ended up with less port time in a place not as nice as Nassau. I think we should've gotten a bit of a refund.
But all in all, the time away, the warmth, the sunshine, the palm trees, the water, and not having to do anything - no cooking, no cleaning, no dishes, etc. was ever so lovely.
The stateroom was roomy with a couch and a large comfortable bed and that great balcony.
All in all, a short, but good time away even in the middle of Advent.
Now, it will back to flurry of the season and preparation for Christmas Eve. I already have the next 2 Advent Sundays in hand. So, my focus is on Christmas Eve and the Sunday after Christmas.
After running errands, doing laundry, it's nearly time to pick up the boys who spa-ed on the farm. It's been awfully and strangely quiet without them at home. The bonus was my being able to sleep in late today!
It's always good to be back home - although I could've been gone another day or two.
As it is, I'm thankful for the time away and apart and LH, as well.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Late yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call from a parishioner. He is a child of the 60's, in his 60's, had been a youth group leader for 20 years, has a developed faith, always asks interesting questions in Sunday school and is a communion assisting minister. Each time he assists, he kneels behind the altar when I serve him and it humbles me to no end. Perhaps, because with my knees I am no longer able to kneel except in my heart. Usually, the other assisting ministers just stand - which makes us more on equal footing, so to speak. But this one, this one kneels and I feel almost unworthy to serve him, but I do. I cannot help but to share the love, the grace, the mercy, the forgiveness, the hope, the peace, the union of our Lord and Savior with him, with all who come to the table.
He called to thank me. Totally unexpected and unanticipated. He thanked me for visiting the shut-ins and those in the nursing homes. He thanked me for the study of Revelation (Bruce Metzger;'s Breaking the Code) that I am leading and for the grace and hope I point out in God's Word even in the midst of some distressing and terrible things that are mentioned would take place. He thanked for taking on a confirmation class - two boys, one in 8th grade and one in 7th - even though it is only once a month and very laid back using Luther's Small Catechism. He thanked me for my preaching, for what I seem to bring to the Table and how he sees in my eyes something of holy grace in the sharing of communion.
I was totally floored and totally humbled. I've done so little here at only two days a week. I do what I can. I honor the tradition of this congregation and denomination - oh, I do throw in a few words to warm what I experience as some coldness in the liturgy. I say, "Beloved of God, lift up your hearts" in the communion liturgy. No one has complained and I like to remind the congregation that they are one of God's beloved. Who doesn't need to be reminded of that? Usually, I don't plan most of those extra words, they flow out of the sermon and scripture of the day.
He told me what a gift and grace I was and that any congregation would be so blessed to receive all that I have to give.
What does he see that I cannot? What does he see that interviewing committees don't see? ( I really don't interview well, but once past that, folks do respond well to me.)
I am just a simple servant of the Lord, flawed, faillable, and in need of grace every moment of the day. It was ever so humbling that he would take time to call, to express his thanks. There was no other motive. (he is married and is so good with his mother who he brings in her wheelchair to worship).
I wish others would see what apparently he sees. What I have forgotten, what I, in my lack of self-confidence, fail to see. Perhaps, then I can keep hope that eventually, when the time is right, another position will open up for me. Perhaps, he was a messenger of God, assuring me to keep faith, to keep hope that I am not a total failure in ministry. That some things do shine through me to others. I felt, coming from him, who gets it (faith), that God was showing himself to me, the Great Silence, speaking through one who so humbled me. The Great Silence suddenly, unexpectedly on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, speaking in volumes I was overwhelmed to hear and could scarce take in. The Great Silence making himself known to me all over again - after such a dark night, and parched desert. In this Advent, in this season of awaiting God's coming, God has come in the form of a faithful layperson and spoken words of hope, healing, promise, assurance and yes, love. All this time of waiting, of praying, pleading, beseeching, longing, yearning, discouragement, disappointment, and serving in the face of the Great Silence, only to receive words of grace that I was unworthy to receive. how truly and utterly humbling.
I thank my Lord. I thank my Lord, for this parishioner, for his kind, generous and gracious words. I thank my Lord, for making himself known to me again. I thank my Lord,
for answering my prayer, "Come, Lord Jesus."
And I smile at the joy and gift I plan to offer the congregation and to this parishioner this Christmas Eve. I will once again, wrap a loaf of bread in linen and lay it in a manger (made by a parishioner of another church I served as an interim) of straw. And with the extra words of invitation and prayer of thanksgiving will offer to them all the "Bread of Heaven given in love for you." And I know, this one will get it - the Living Bread, the gift of God's very love and grace in the body of Christ who has come to us on this Holy night and every time we break bread and share the cup. And in the holy hush of this Christmas Eve, He comes to us and breaks open our hearts to receive him and all he has come to give us. I am so looking forward to Christmas Eve and sharing this gift of love and grace, hope and peace and joy with all who are here.
In the meanwhile, I will treasure these things in my heart and ponder them some more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A wonderful thanksgiving feast was enjoyed by all - LH and I, my SILs, and, of course, the greys!!
The table was set simply with fall tablecloth, autumnal ombre candles that I forgot I had bought in South Africa and found in the china cabinet, china, crystal and silverware and naturally, bit turkey paper napkins. We took a turkey pool for when Turkey Tebow would be ready. My one SIL won!!! (The prize: a piece of Swiss Chocolate!!!)
My SILs had to leave by 6 pm for their long drive home at the other end of the state and I spent the evening decarassing the bird - making doggie bags and people bags. Then, it was onto the washing and drying the dishes - crystal, china, silverware, bowls, pots, etc. I took my time. I soaked the roaster overnight. And I left the dishes and silverware on the table to put away in the morning. I was just too tired out at 9:30 pm.
It had been one of the warmest Thanksgiving Days we've ever had - 61 degees, blue sky and sunshine. We could have almost sat outside!
We enjoyed the time together with family and the day.
I am behind on my knee exercises and will have to catch up this coming week!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

As if coming back to life wasn't gift enough, God provided another wonderful opportunity. Anne Lamott, the author, was in town (nearest bigger city) and the public library was hosting a free hear the author speak and book signing. Something I simply could not pass up.
Last Friday, I had scurried to B&N to get her latest book - Help, Thanks, Wow on prayer. LH had a gift card for two years and never used. So, when he gave it to me and I knew her book was available last Tuesday, I couldn't wait to make the trip to B&N to get the book.
It wasn't until Sunday as I read the paper that I saw the article about Anne Lamott coming to the library.
I brought it up to LH, since I didn't want to go alone. The timing wasn't too great since on Tues. I had my workout at the therapy place, a quick trip to the grocery store for produce for Thanksgiving and an afternoon of cooking stock (what a wonderful aroma filled the house), two kinds of rice, and sauteeing veges and Italian sausage for the stuffing. I also had to puree the stock after it was cooked, take the meat off the neck, chop the gizzards and heart for the Boys, and clean up the mess. I got everything done and after an early and quick dinner, LH and I left for the library.
The auditorium at the library was filled to overflowing and they had an overflow room with a simulcast. Thankfully, we arrived early enough to get seats in the auditorium.
What a delight to hear and see Anne Lamott, to hear her speak, read a bit from her book, share her wisdom, and answer questions. With humor, she engaged all of us and the hour and a half flew by. She was unabashedly firm with her faith. I even got my book signed without too long a wait. I thanked her for the gift and grace she is and her writing. Even LH enjoyed the evening, though he is not a big reader.
There were two other Lutheran pastors present, that LH and I knew. Since I don't know any Presbyterian clergy really in that Presbytery, I couldn't tell if there were any there.
If you ever get the chance to go hear and see Anne Lamott, go without any hesitation. You will not be disappointed. She is honest, real and down-to-earth and projects the very same. Truly human and without fuss, which is very much part of her appeal.
Just a great pre-thanksgiving treat to savor and enjoy. Thanks be to God, for Anne Lamott, her gift of writing, her sincere and genuine faith and ability to put it out there for all to be touched and to consider their own faith, and for such a fantastic opportunity to be inspired and encouraged.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

when he walked forth from the tomb, alive, after being dead and was unwrapped from his burial cloths. It happened last night.
For 15 years, I have collected jokes, Joyful Noiseletters, several sermons and a couple of joke books that I stored in a W-Mart plastic bag (double-bagged). For most of the last ten years I have celebrated Holy Humor Sunday the Sunday after Easter at most of the churches I served. I thought that at the last church-of-another-denomination I served, would truly benefit from celebrating Holy Humor or Bright Sunday earlier this year. However, they were too raw and fresh in the struggles they were having as well as being somewhat straight-laced formal Lutherans, and I after prayerful consideration deemed it unwise to introduce them to this. Although I know, in my heart and soul that they really needed to do engage in this. I remember going
out to make pastoral visits, running a wee bit late, and having my hands full and leaving the bag at the church. I also remember, the voice within saying I should make a second trip and put the bag in my van. I ignored the voice. (I should never ignore that voice - I know it is God's Spirit talking to me)
Things got busy and several weeks later, the bag was no longer in the office. I asked the custodian if he had inadvertantly placed it in the recycle dumpsters. No, he insisted, he hadn't seen the bags. Since the secretary also has access to the pastor's office, and she often did things without asking questions, although I had from the beginning of my time there and on several occasions, given her permission to ask questions if she was unsure of anything regarding the liturgy, etc. Sad, to say, she never did follow that advice and permission. I felt that she had seen the bag full of papers and put in the recycle bins.
I was heartbroken when LH asked about my file since the church he was serving at the time were going to celebrate a Holy Humor Sunday in the summer with a church picnic.
I did an archaeological dig through the basement, searching everywhere for that bag, I went through my study upstairs (which is filled with stacks of books and clothes that fit and no longer fit) and couldn't find it anywhere. I even searched in places I knew it couldn'te. All to no avail.
I was convinced that someone at the church had thrown it out and it was as though a part of me died. All those years of collecting tidbits, quotes, Reader's Digest pages of funnies, my sermons that didn't all make it to flashdrive, my bulletin covers and copies - all gone, forever destroyed. I was angry. I was bereft.
It grieved me so that whenever I thought about it, I was inconsoleable and my spirit hurt. Joy had left my very being. I was simply not the same any more.
With the knee surgery, healing and therapy, I was occupied elsewhere. But from
time to time, I remembered my loss and grieved the joy, the light that had left my life. I started a new file, but knew I'd never recapture all the funny stuff I had printed out from the internet. It would take years to make a new file. I could remember a few things but certainly not all from the services I had crafted.
With losing that Humor file, humor and joy had left me. Oh, I could still laugh at some funny things, but it was no longer the same - there was a unfilled void.
On my way to bed last night, I put my cardigan in my study, and wanted to find a pair of brown knit pants for Thanksgiving Day. I dug through a pile on a collapseable hamper - not there. I dig through two piles on the futuon and the cardboard box of
turtlenecks. I did find the brown pants buried under a pile between the hamper and the box of turtlenecks and I uncovered a plastic bag - and wondered, what was this plastic bag doing there tucked between the hamper and turtleneck box.
And glory be! It was none other than my humor file - all the jokes, funnies, sermons, bulletin covers and I hugged it to me. I was alive once more. My humor file was not lost or gone forever. I could die happy now.
Of course, when I told LH, he chided me for my mess! I took the bag with me to bed and marveled at all it contained as I looked through it and reacquainted myself with all its bits and pieces. I was ALIVE!!!! I who was dead, suddenly, unexpectedly, roared back to life. A Resurrection, of sorts. And I couldn't have been happier.
And it happened, just a day after I started a new bag - this time a green cloth grocery bag, with the latest Reader's Digest clippings (from the past 5 months) and a couple other funnies.
Just when you least expect it, when you aren't looking for it, when all hope has been exhausted, God steps in with one last laugh and surprise! "Here I am and I bring life - new, abundant, and eternal." "Come back to life, my child." "You died and now you are alive once more!" What a gift, what a grace, all I could say was, "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You." God has not forgotten me. God has come back into my soul like a Tsunami and overwhelmed me. How glorious to be swept into life!
I did pause to ask forgiveness for blaming the secretary and to ask God's blessing on her. I never did outright accuse her or confront about this.
I am alive this Thanksgiving. And when I die, I will die happy, for my joy has been recovered and lives within me once again. I know now how Lazarus felt.

Friday, November 16, 2012


So this Friday before Thanksgiving, think about Aunt Bert and how she'll celebrate Thanksgiving! And how about YOU?
1. What is your cure for the "mulleygrubs"?
Rubbing my greys! A spot of Swiss chocolate.

2. Where will you be for Thanksgiving?
Right here at home!! With a house filled with savory scent of a turkey roasting!

3. What foods will be served? Which are traditional for your family?
Obviously, a roasted turkey, stuffing with wild & white rice, bread, Sweet
Italian sausage, bacon, turkey stock, white wine, onion, garlic and herbs a
plenty from the garden, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole
compliments of my SIL's (thanks sisters!), turkey gravy and Pumpkin Mousse
Dessert. All served at a table set with real china, crystal and silverware.
A gurgling cod dispenses ice water, white wine in crystal glasses and a
Brown Swiss cow serves half and half for the coffee.

4. How do you feel about Thanksgiving as a holiday?
I enjoy having the family over, small though we are here, and all the great
smells emmanating from the kitchen, entailing two days of cooking, and a
lovely table using our wedding china and crystal and my silverware given to
me from babyhood through age 17 by my Grandma and Godmother. Through the years
I have carved out a routine that makes it all happen. It's the only the holiday
besides New Year that we can host. Christmas is not possible - too tired and
worn out and the same with Easter.

5. In this season of Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for?
LH, of course! My greys, my family and extended family, my friends, a home,
a van that runs, that my therapy is ended, that I have a place to serve part-
time though it is, smaller clothing size, and the best of all happened today!

I went to get my haircut (after refreshing its color last night) and wore my
nearly everyday sterling silver square hoop earrings. I took them off while
the stylist cut my hair and put them back in as I went to pay. Then it was
off to the local grocery store and the W-Mart for just a couple items. I got
home, fed the boys (greys) lunch, made my spinach salad. Then went upstairs
to shower to get all the little hairs off my back and out of my hair. When
I took my jewelry off, lo and behold, the left earring was missing. I was
heartbroke. I wear them everyday when I'm home and have done so for years.
They are my favorite go to pair. I showered furiously. Changed into my
therapy workout clothes to use the gym and left to retrace my steps with
just a wisp of hope that I might find the lost earring. I went to the Hair
Place looked around the parking spots and went inside, all the while looking
at the ground, nothing. I asked if anyone turned in the earring - nope.
I drove to the local grocery store. Looked around the parking spots where
I had parked earlier. Retraced my steps into the store, went to the bathroom
since I had used it and nothing to be seen. I walked through the gift, floral
area just like I had done earlier, but to no avail. Since I didn't have time to
totally walk the entire store (needing to get to my workout) I went up to the
customer service desk and said, "I know this is a long-shot, but did anyone
turn in a silver square hoop earring?" The woman behind the counter lifted
her hand and slid my earring across the counter. I couldn't even believe it.
I showed her my other earring so she knew it was mine.
I mentioned that there were still some honest people left and she said good
people shop there. I thanked her profusely and thanked God even more profusely
for what had been lost was now found and reunited with its sibling and more
profoundly, with me!!! My spirit lifted from the pit into the clouds and I
rejoiced, rejoiced, rejoiced with a heart overflowing with thanksgiving.
So, I am exceedingly thankful to have found my lost earring.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today was my last day of therapy, according to my insurance. In a way, I am glad not to have to endure any more bending of the knee. I bend at about 115 degrees. I can live with that. The fact remains that my quad muscle is still so very weak and I am not yet able to do stairs normally. So, I am able to pay a minimal amount for a month of wellness at the therapy place and use all their machinery. And I can use it as often as I want. I will be doing that at least for the next couple of months - going in twice a week to work on stengthening my quad.
I still wear the knee brace whenever I am outside the house - work, running errands, grocery shopping, etc. I look forward to the day when I can lose the brace. It looks like I will still need to wear it when we go on our anniversary cruise. I know the knee is not strong enough to walk through the airport concourse and all. I'm thinking I'll have to wear it on the outside of my pants, as dorky as that will look, so I don't have to take my pants off for security!!! I'd rather be safe than risk reinjurying my quad. Sigh. Three months of therapy and four months since surgery and I'm stil not back to normal. I will continue to work at it doing exercises at home and in the gym. Thanks to all the therapists who had to do what they did, even at great pain to me, in order to get me this far. I appreciate all they have done, knowing theirs is sometimes a very tough job inflicting pain on a person in order to heal them and break up all that scar tissue. For now, I must continue to be patient and determined as I do all I can to get to "normal".

Monday, November 12, 2012

to the article in the local newspaper business section regarding JCP and its sales being down -
as one who has recently visited JCP, it's not so much the new pricing, as it has to do with, at least in the women's dept:
~sleeveless and short sleeves tops in the winter in NE OH, it gets cold here - where are the sleeves?
~the too low cut tops, not all of us amply endowed professional working women want
to show off the girls or draw more attention to them. Leave that for the runway and
Hollywood crowd.
~basic cotton/spandex pants in normal colors. Hey, it's winter, we want something
other than polyester dress pants and knit pants
~ outrageous patterns and colors - what happened to some normal, classy patterns and
tops made out of something other than polyester? How about some basic cotton, cotton
blend layering pieces?
~what happened to St. John's Bay label? Liked the basic casual items.
~too much polyester for winter
~fine gauge cotton/arcylic sweaters in normal colors - black, off white, blue, pink,
tan, green (that isn't emerald city green in your face), etc.
~cotton blend blouses with some classy patterns - not early 70's psychodelic hard
on the eyes designs
and this can apply to Macy's as well.
How about cashmere blend sweaters for us larger women. Think we don't get cold and love the feel and warmth of cashmere? You're missing a market.
I have been shopping or should I say, tried. I wouldn't give a nickel for most of the items in your stores. Yes, follow trends, but be aware of keeping to some of the basics and this sleeveless, too low cut tops and sweaters are not in keeping with most of your normal, professional women, especially during a Great Recession from which we
are not likely to rise up any time soon.
So, there is your answer to why your sales are down. I will wait until more reasonable and basic items are available. In the meanwhile, there are some catalogs that have come in the mail and have some of those basic items for sale...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Election is Over-
I am glad that this election is over and all the political ads of the last year and a half - far too much time spent on campaigning, are finally done.
I continue to appalled at the money spent on campaigning that could have gone to pay off the deficit or fund programs that are being cut. What a waste of money, especially here in OH where advertising has been non-stop and our mailbox overflowing with
slick brochures that go right into the garbage.
In this economy, with the world hurting and victims of Sandy without power, food, water, shelter, it is obscene that millions upon millions are wastefully spent on
campaigning. Wasteful even to the eyes of the world of resources, time, people power and money that are simply thrown to the wind. As Americans, we could do so much more than flinging money around that could actually do some good for our nation for the world.
Each party ought seriously consider changing the way we elect candidates - time limit for campaigning and dollar limits for spending.
Where have all these resources gotten us - our economy is still in the dumps, people are without jobs or underemployed, the education system is in shambles, and Congress does little - except talk and reap their own benefits. If Obamacare is so good, then let our elected government leaders be part of the same system as the rest of us. Why should they be exempt? It's an outrage. They should be the very first ones signing up for the health care program/insurance. How does one lead, but by example and with integrity. We are creating a class system that bodes no good.
America, we can do so much better. I pray that we will for apparently we have lost sight of our founding principles and we are paying for service that is woefully lacking.
Why should my tax dollars supporting local schools go to lawyers to settle which school should be in the football playoffs or not? My money should be used for books,
equipment and good teachers. School is first and foremost about education and less about sports. How many administrators in the school system are truly needed at the expense of teachers in the class room?
Enough. I am just glad it's all over and now we have to live into the next 4 years
and pray that things will get better rather than worse no matter who is President.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A woman dropped off a few small items for the church's Trash & Treasure Sale this coming Saturday. She mentioned that when she went to play bingo, there was a nun sitting at the round table she usually sits. Her heart sank as she realized she would need to behave and watch what she said. As she went to sit down, the nun said, "Hi" and the woman realized it was one of the ladies who also sat at that table - but all dressed up for Halloween in a nun's habit!!!!
It will be a quiet Halloween here. Our town has postponed Trick or Treating
until Saturday, when the rain will have ended and temps a couple of degrees warmer.
They even cancelled school yesterday and actually, although it was somewhat windy at school time, it had abated from the gusts during the night. They really could have had school yesterday. They used up one of their precious snow days.
So the door bell won't be ringing and I won't be on the porch for two hours handing out candy and smiling at all the various and sometimes very creative costumes. A very quiet Halloween.
Tomorrow will be All Saints' Day with time to reflect on all the wonderful saints who have blessed my life in all the churches I've served, those in my family, former teachers, and those who have left their imprint on my life through their writings -
Joyce Rupp, Henri Nouwen, Frederick Buechner, Mary Oliver, Walter Wangerin, Jr., and a whole host of others. I would not be who I am without their being a part of my life and I would not have the wisdom I have gained without the sharing of themselves. I am finding that All Saint's Day is full - full of the cloud of witnesses that surround me. Full of encouragement, inspiration, love, grace, strength, hope and peace. I pray that I will not disappoint them by my one insignificant life. I pray that I might be faithful as they are faithful, to serve lovingly and joyfully, to be a grateful disciple.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wind and rain for the last 14 hours. Actually, rain since Sunday and dreary, dreary, dreary. Thankfully, we have not lost power but it is amazing - the far reaching effects of Frankenstorm Sandy. The ground is saturated but since we live higher up, our basement is dry. Certainly, prayers are with all the East Coasters who have
suffered so much more.
Rain is in the forecast through Thursday and hoping to see some sunlight on Friday.
All of the trees around our subdivision are young and seem to have survived, although most of their leaves have been stripped from the high winds.
I think I will look forward to the quiet once the winds abate.
God, hold in His tender care all affected by the storm.

Friday, October 26, 2012

As of this morning, my orthopaedic doctor has released me from his care! I still have about 3 more weeks of therapy, twice a week instead of three. Finally, progress!
I still can't do stairs normally, but have gotten stronger. It will come. The doctor reminded me that this injury takes 6-9 months to totally heal. I've got a few months more to go!!!! It will be a relief not to have to go to therapy every day I'm not working!!! Yipeee!!!! I was told I was an old veteran at PT!!!
Now, I'm focusing on Reformation Sunday and my portrayal of Ulrich Zwingli - another reformer. Since he was Luther's contemporary in Switzerland, he does talk quite abit about Luther. Hoping the Lutherans will appreciate it and laugh in all the
appropriate places. I would think no one would fall asleep during this lively sermon/monologue. I used to look more like Zwingli until I had to wear glasses to preach. No getting around that, unfortunately, unless I went to contacts which I won't ever want to mess with. I pray that these Lutherans have a sense of humor and expansive spirit to welcome this type of sermon and to learn about another church reformer. I just have to make sure I can lay hold of the hat I crafted years ago that looks like Zwingli's and Luther's.
If I was a tall, thin male, I could probably pull off Calvin, but my body type is more like Zwingli. Besides which, I grew up hearing his name, have visited his birth home, have a Zwingli Bible, and have touched and read a copy of his original Bible from centuries ago that is housed at his birth home. Because he brought about the reformation in Zurich and my family comes from 40 minutes outside Zurich, Zwingli was a more familiar name than Calvin who was way down in Geneva. Of course, growing up Presbyterian - I came to know Calvin as well.
May your Reformation Sunday be an inspiration to all you serve.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Finally, a new hard drive installed and back home. After reinstalling Office, it appeared on screen and was a most beautiful sight - to have Office in front of our eyes, just like before, ready to be used!!! I stroked the monitor. It was a blissful thing!!! Now LH and I can type our sermons and newsletter articles.
It truly is a beautiful thing!
At PT, I have had my knee bent to 116 degrees! Also a beautiful, if somewhat painful thing! The bicycle seat is set down to 2 from a high of 7. All signs of slow and gradual progress. Now I am working on strengthening the quad which is so terribly weak. I cannot stand and start squatting on the left leg without help from the right.
More work and exercises to be done, daily.
But how glorious it is to mark progress and to have Office back. Beautiful things.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gone. Our hard drive bit the dust after a mere 3 years. It's benn a long week without being on-line. Hopefully, LH will get the new hard drive that's been put into the computer hooked up this afternoon. A good rainy day project on a day off!!!
How exasperating this has been. What a lesson in wondering what we did before the
Will need to get the router put in as well by this weekend and maybe, we'll be back in business and enjoying the resurrection of our computer!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Don't know if it was LH or I who picked up a very nasty computer virus. So much for
paying for anti-virus protection!
So, the computer is getting cleaned and we are realizing how much time we spend on line,
looking up things, emailing, and playing a game or two. Perhaps, we're spending more
time on-line than we should.
Sad that we didn't get the new router hooked up so we could use my new laptop. But we put off for tomorrow what we should've done today and now we are off-line. It stinks.
Fortunately, I'm in the church office twice a week and can get on-line there.
I really hope we have our computer back by Friday.
For the time being, my dinosaur laptop is plugged in at home to at least type a sermon, save it to flash, print it out and play a game of solitaire or two. So, at least we can prepare for Sunday.
How simply aggravating and irritating it is to be off-line.
i did manage, however, to make some tarragon vinegar when I harvested the tarragon on Sunday afternoon before the frost last night. The dried basil has been jarred, while the oregano and more tarragon is drying. I covered my red pepper plant last night (with its one green pepper on it) and it survived as did the geraniums I covered.
I'm not quite ready for all this frost stuff.
If my presence and lack of Friday Five seem spotty and after the fact, it's cause the computer is getting fixed.
I wish we had a kid who was computer savvy. Sigh. But all our kids have paws!!!
No help there! Besides, a virus needs professional help. They called the FBI virus.
Nasty, nasty, nasty. Don't get it!!!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

As I say good-bye to September and welcome October, I am looking at another month of therapy. The Doc seemed pleased enough with my progress that doing a manipulation was not mentioned. (yipee!) But for some reason, it seems to me that 7 years ago, I was further along in the healing process than I am now. Me thinks there is still scar
tissue that needs to be boken through. I did get new pain medication and can ease off the high powered one, which also is progress.
I am again amazed at how each little accomplishment feels like a huge win!!! Whenever the seat gets adjusted on the leg press or more weight is added - wonderful.
Whenever the seat or springs are adjusted on the other machine - good! When the bike seat gets lowered a notch - hallelujah! Each another step further on the journey of healing.
I didn't get considered further for a different position closer to home. I have to let that go and the rejection as well. It is simply not the place God wants me to be for whatever unfathomable reason. I guess God wants me to be a different denomination for the time being.
after hearing a popular preacher/author/professor speak at our Presbytery meeting on Saturday, I feel bad worrying about health insurance come next June and the fact that I have earned no pension in the last year. These are the things of this world and yet, I would not be honest if I did not say that I am concerned and sometimes anxious
about these things. There has been much sacrifice in serving the church - most of which
has been ok or that I can accept. However, the health insurance and pension is what worries me most.
It is all well and good to serve part-time, to serve as an interim, but lacking pension and health insurance is just not adequate, nor just.
I don't believe that the speaker on Sat. loses a wink of sleep wondering about his health insurance or pension.
I am puttinng these things in God's hands, turning them over to God, for they are too big for me to deal with. Somehow, some way, I just have to trust God and stay as faithful as I can, one small step at a time.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's good to be back serving once again.
While studying the scriptures and focusing on Mark and saltiness,
I had the idea to give out little individual packets of salt.
So this afternoon, I drove down the street to The Girl-Named Hamburger place
and spoke with the manager. I mentioned I was serving as interim pastor at the church
just down the street and was looking to see if I could purchase 100 packets of salt.
He donated them to me and this Sunday, the parishioners here will be given a packet of
salt to remind them to be salty in all they do and wherever the day and week may take them
I toss this out to you in the event you may wish to do the same!!
It supports a local business that employs local folks even though
it is free advertisment for the fast food chain!
A neat free thing to do and a tangible reminder of the scripture.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I have begun a new position in a church of another denomination - two days a week and Sundays with two services. I survived the first Sunday intact although rather tired
and sore afterward which warranted a two hour nap in the afternoon.
It is a 70 minute commute one way. I don't know how this will go in the winter with snow or ice. We'll cross that bridge when it comes.
It is good to be serving again. I simply wish I wasn't as lame or the folks as anxious in this interim time that they drive away a council member who does so much and is wise and is working for the good of the church.
Yesterday was PT day. Again they brought me to tears and to the place where I have to yell - "no more", "I can't" and "enough". They always apologize and I always assure them that they are only doing what needs to be done. It is hard on us, both the PT and me. I don't know why it's taking longer this time. On the bike, after heat and bending, the pilates machine, the leg press and the leg curl machine and more bending and stretching of the muscle, they put me on the bike and were abe to set the seat at 6
instead of 7, or is it 5 instead of 6. Either way it's a notch lower.
I wish I was beyond the pain and could work on strengthening the muscle. I also get very sore in the back of thigh muscle up to the gluets and hip. Believe me, the commute reminds me of it. I am waking up every time I roll over or change position in bed. Our mattress is way too firm and hard for me any more. May have to ge a new mattress and see if it helps.
Also had to invest in a new laptop. My old one still runs on ME!!!! And it weighs a ton compared to this little Vaio ultrabook. I am newly beginning to learn and get used to a touchpad and laptop.
So in the midst of pain and torture and healing - newness is rising up in serving a new church, gaining laptop skills and putting lots and lots of miles on an old van.
I pray I can help this church weather this interim time, to lessen their anxiety,
to look to the future, to invite others to a bible study or other church event.
I desire newness in the degree of bending in my knee so that I can get on and be
"normal" once more and move like I used to. It all comes down to trust, for me and for the church. Trust in God for help, guidance, and simply God's presence and healing. And to keep looking for the newly begun springing up around us.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Hello dear Friday-fivers!
Without further ado, here is the Friday Five Random-Style meme for you on this September morning!

1. What is one of the best things that happened to you this week?
I made a full revolution on the bike today! Of course, the seat is set at 7 and I
just reach the pedals. I did have to lean to the right to make it backwards.
Forwards seemed to go almost better. Progress!

2. If you were in a Ms., Miss, Mr. (name your country) Pageant, what would your talent be?
A synchronized swimm program.

3. You were just given a YACHT!!! What would you name it, and why?
"Dances with Waves" - just because I like how boats do dance with the waves
and it sounds graceful.

4. If you were to perform in a circus, what would you do? (I can't remember if I asked this before...)
I'd be a clown, because I make a fool of myself generally anyway!!!!
No big stretch for me!

5. What do you have in your bag/wallet/backpack that best describes your personality?
My pen since I journal and have to write everything down to remember things.
Sadly, also a credit card to pay for the things I buy for others and myself.

Monday, September 10, 2012

WEEK 10 or 11 -
I have begun to lose count as the days and weeks go by. My days are filled with PT and exercising and progress seems so very slow. I have endured more pain in these weeks than I care to mention and enough to last a lifetime. And it is not yet over. PT is hard at work bending my knee, working on breaking up scar tissue, using heat and ice. I have yet to make a full revolution on the bike and the seat is at 6. I have to use a foot stool to climb aboard and just reach the pedals. Not making a full revolution pedalling backwards yet is a discouragement.
I have brought the leg press carriage down and they reset the seat so that I can't bring the carriage down again. Sigh. As soon as you accomplish something they make it harder again. It's the nature of the beast of PT.
I have also brought the carriage all the way on the pilates machine and that, too, they have reset.
I am beginning a new position (interim) this week on Wed. I pray I can endure the over hour drive and the grueling Sunday schedule of two services with Adult Sunday School inbetween. I will leave at 7:15 am and not get home til 2 pm or after. The drive itself proved agonizing for a good 20 minutes last week. The first 30 minutes went well, the next 20 were painful adjusting my knee as best I could, and then the last 20 were ok again. I had to repeat the process on the drive home. Those are the longest 20-30 minutes when the pain is so great.
As this is a church of another denomination, I again have to learn the liturgy and tab the altar book for the words for communion. I hope I don't get too lost and scew things up too royally on Sunday.
In the meanwhile, I have shortened three dresses, taken in a skirt at the waist, and shortened pairs of pants, and the sleeves of one shirt. All done in blocks of 30 minutes or so at a time, since sitting too long is uncomfortable. I have accomplished something.
I had hoped that by now I could sleep without a pain pill. I try every week but by 3 am I am in discomfort enough to distrupt my sleep. I am tired of the pain, the discomfort, and not being able to be my normal self and doing things without taking a half hour to do them. I am getting cranky and it seems that it's once again time for pain pill as the one from this morning is wearing off.
I am also out of sorts since learning that my cousin - a year older than myself - has just passed away in Switzerland due to some type of cancer. He is the first of my first cousins to pass away. I had hoped that we would see each other again sometime, but apparently not in this life on earth. I pray that he had God's peace not knowing how much of a faith life he had. It has been so unsettling and he so young yet. He and his wife had no children (like us). His mother, my aunt must be so grief stricken as well as his wife. My aunt has lost her husband and son, and her younger son suffered a traumatic head injury at 13 and has never been the same since - 36 years ago.
It is too bad we live so far apart, making it impossible to attend the services. I miss that and the gathering of family. My prayers and heart are with U's family and with all the family on my Dad's side. It's only us cousins left know. All the brothers and sisters are gone and spouses as well, except for two aunts by marriage.
So, it's been a week of pain, of change, and heartache. But through it all, God is there gently holding me up and giving me strength to endure, to keep trying and to keep working.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Yesterday and today we are receiving the renmants of Isaac. So far, between yesterday and last night, we got an inch and a quarter of much needed rain. The grass is getting greener and the garden seems much refreshed and happier.
It's amazing to think that the rain we are rejoicing in, wrecked such havoc in the Carribean and in New Orleans, but even more amazing that this rain had it's beginnings as a storm off the coast of Africa, travelling across the Atlantic, through the Carribean, across the Gulf of Mexico, and up from New Orleans all the way to NE Ohio.
What a journey this water has made! What grateful recepients here that we are. I doubt that most people give rain a second thought. Yes, some farmers are truly rejoicing and are thankful. But the majority merely complain about the dampening of their Labor Day weekend plans.
African rain in OH! How amazing is that? Or how water recycles itself the world over.
God has created an astounding universe and world in which we live, breathe and have our being. Do we even stop for a moment to consider that, give thanks, and savor the glory and wonder of it all? I will today. Hope that you will join in as well.

Friday, August 31, 2012

There is something sick and sadistic that I must inflict such torturous pain on myself in order to heal and get well. But here we are, every hour or two, I must engage in three different exercises to bend my knee. It is the last thing I want to do, but ever so necessary. It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about doing it, let alone when I engage in self-torture. As if the pain at physical therapy isn't enough, I get to do more of it at home to myself.
Every week, there is something new. I endured a new procedure with a metal tool rubbed on my thigh to break up scar tissue. Today, I got to try the step machine again and with slight help, brought the left step down. And with careful control of the right leg, brought the left leg up but not all the way, yet.
On Wednesday, I graduated to a neoprene knee brace with a hinge that wraps around the knee - above and below it. It weighs about 1/2 lb and is far more comfortable than the 3/4 leg brace that weighed 10 lbs. ( abit of exaggeration, I know, but that's what it felt like)
When I asked the Doc if I was where I should be, his answer was there was a fine line between bending and retearing. But, if by the end of Sept. I was not far along enough, I would be facing being put to sleep and having a manipulation - bending the knee all the way and every way to break through scar tissue. I don't want to go there.
So, PT has stepped up and here I am, facing a long weekend of extra painful exercises. What fun!!! Not.
But I will do what I have to do and pray that God will give me the strength and ability to endure.
I will be using a dog leash to do this painful exercise. The handle wraps around my left foot and while lying on my stomach, I pull the leash over my opposite shoulder bending the knee until it is stretched as far as I can and hold it for 30 seconds. I get to repeat it three times and ought to do it every two hours. Pure and utter agony!
Who knew that Jett's old leash would become my tool for torture. Perhaps, his spirit and presence will be with me, encouraging me as I use it. I pray that will be so.
One day at a time, one week at a time, one exercise at a time. And with God's help and grace and power, I will see this through and will have full use of my knee again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Seven Weeks And Counting-
Into my 7th week since surgery and with help, my knee is bending at near 90 degrees.
Progress, slow progress. I still cannot do a full revolution on the bike. On Monday, I had a long, hard workout. I was on the leg press for 5 minutes and had to stop 10 seconds shy of the full 5, because my leg had no more to give and I couldn't hardly keep it up on the metal board. I still have trouble with the little hurdles going right foot first and then bringing the left over them. Sigh. The best part of therapy is the massage to break up scar tissue and even the bending, though somewhat painful, is ok. They have given me electro-stimulation after a workout. That has been relaxing -after the more than ice cold electrodes are placed on either side of the knee. You can just lay there and the let the current flow to the knee. I used the time to rest in God's care and healing power. I felt so much better going home Friday after that. In fact, I even talked LH into taking me to a dept. store nearby. He helped me out of the car while parked in front of the entrance. I found 2 pairs of dress slacks that I sorely needed since losing weight. ( I also found a shirt and knit top). I can't believe how good it was to be somewhere besides the doctor's office and PT gym!!!
I was thoroughly worn out Friday evening and slept good that night.
I am trying to get some things accomplished - like shortening a dress. (actually I have three that need shortening) So far, I have marked the hem line and cut line on one. Today, I will tackle cutting and serging the hem. And if I am up to it, pinning it to the hem line. Since I can't sit all that long at a time, I have to do everything in measured doses, thus it takes me longer to do things. I also don't have the stamina and energy I had before surgery. This, of course, is frustrating, but part of the healing process. I have to remind myself that my body is still healing and knitting back together - tissues, muscle, nerve endings. And that on a cellular level my body is still very, very busy and that a nap a day is good and helpful to the healing process. It' just hard not to feel guilty about taking a nap or not getting as much in a day as I would like.
I have a possible interim position with a church in another denomintation. They have two services on Sunday and the drive is about an hour. I am contemplating how I will be able to handle that by mid-Sept. without falling asleep on the ride home - totally wrung out and exhausted, with a throbbing, aching, hurting knee. I can probably put the knee up for 20 minutes or so between services, even if it is unladylike.
That, too, will last a few months beyond the end of therapy. Putting the knee up for 20 minutes when it is tired and achy. I had kinda forgotten about that, but such memories are slowly returning.
Trying to stay motivated and not get too discouraged by the slow progess. I always do a couple more repitetions than required and even used 4 lbs on the one machine rather than 3 lbs which would've been easier. So, I am working it!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

First Therapy Session -
Let the training begin!!! I was pleased to discover that I was actually bending the knee at 48 degrees surpassing what my surgeon was asking for! The massage felt good for the most part. I still can't lift the leg though not for lack of trying. It will happen one of these days. I was doing about 90 knee slides a day and they increased it to 100. I am tired after 30. So now I am doing 3 sets of 35.
I can't believe they made me get up onto the leg press. The PT had to hold me left leg in place. My back was sore afterwards.
I get to do this all over again tomorrow. I was the only there wearing apparatus and look for the day when I can shed the leg brace which slips down throughout the day and has to be readjusted for exercises and just from gravity. I have learned that PTs are not great at putting on ace bandages and adjusting the leg brace. I do it better myself!
I was delighted to find out that I lost another 10 lbs since surgery. Yippee!!! The downside is that few of my clothes fit anymore. I will have to have more items taken in. I also have to replace dress pants and of course, regular twill pants. Sigh. And I am just not quite up to going to a store and trying on pants taking the leg brace on and off and walking through the store. One of these days, I will make the attempt.
In the meantime, I have discovered some old dresses that fit again. Like running into a long lost friend that you haven't seen in years and delighting in the reunion. It also is heartwrenching to not be able to wear some items (especially linen) that are now too big. Hopefully, those can be taken in. I fear for my fall/winter wardrobe and will have to retry some items in a couple of weeks. I'm thinking that with the therapy workouts three times a week, I will be shedding several more pounds. I have a couple of tribal print skirts for fall that I will have taken in and a floral one, since I wear them alot and love 'em.
Ordinarily, the thought of adding new pieces to my wardrobe does excite me, but I am less than thrilled with the patterns, polyester and short dresses and skirts that are being shown. I hope to find some decent items on sale - eventually. Too bad, I can't go with my sister who I won't be seeing this year. Our vacation to the Lake was postponed by the knee injury and I have a possible new position on the horizon. I will be lucky to get time off for our 25th anniversary cruise the beginning of December. I won't even have any clothes that fit for that either.
One day at a time, one week at time, and one accomplishment at a time. God will provide all that I need for God's grace is sufficient for each day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Happy 1st of August to all my Swiss family!!!
Well, to my surprise, I will be starting therapy - 3 times a week. Have to get it set up. This is sooner than 7 years ago, since it's only a month since my surgery. I have to work on lifting my leg. I tried a few times this morning and will keep trying until I can lift it off the bed if even a fraction of an inch!
It struck me again today when I went to the premier orthopaedic center in this region, that having a sloped entryway is just not helpful to people who can't walk well. The slight slope makes it hard to walk up into the doors and hard to walk down when leaving and getting to your car. I know that those in wheelchairs have the same problem along with those of us on canes, walkers, or foot/leg boots. Whatever were they thinking?
Did I mention that getting to the MRI involved a walk to an elevator, down one story, exit the elevator down a hallway, left turn and down another extremely long hallway and then a right into the MRI lobby. This is a premier orthopaedic center. Most of the patients aren't able to walk well - knee, leg, hip, spine, etc. problems and they have to go so far to get to the MRI. There isn't even an outside entrance - like drive up, enter the lobby and then into the MRI room.
One really has to wonder about the architects and engineers who obviously never had an orthopaedic injury to take into account. I am not a brilliant person, but I would have designed it much differently.
This injury and surgery gives me a greater appreciation for those who cannot easily get around and the obstacles they face daily. At least my immobility is temporary.
It just makes you wonder and ask where were the surgeons and doctors and did they not have any input or were they simply not thinking when the place was built?
So, my summer vacation - since I am between calls at the moment - will be the Olympic trials of therapy and rehab. I will be working out like an injured athlete. Oh joy!!! I could think of a thousand ways I'd rather be spending my summer vacation. But here we go and maybe by the end of August I will be able to actually sit normally!!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's been 6 weeks since my knee injury and just about 4 weeks since my surgery. Tomorrow, I have an early morning Doctor's appointment and I have a feeling he'll say,
"See you in two weeks" yet again, before I get the go ahead to start therapy.
Yesterday, LH and I boxed up my things at the church office and loaded up my van. I turned in my keys and am officially between positions once more. Only this time, I don't know when something new will come along.
I am grieving leaving this church - although it was a tough place to serve. They have no money in reserves and I was so part-time there was little I could do as an
interim to be really effective. Even so, I came to care deeply for the congregation and brought some stability and a non-anxious presence in the midst of their chaos and confusion. They will be moving forward into a transformational ministry process and I...well, I suppose my work, my ministry is one of self-healing so that I will be able bodied enough to serve in a new place.
Still, I try hard not to feel utterly useless, to do my exercises 3 times a day, and catch up on my reading. I want to serve and we need the income. This knee injury has been totally frustrating and aggravating, but I know I must surrender those feelings and let them go, so that I can heal well. I am feeling somewhat depressed by being side-lined but I will do something each day - laundry, ironing, cooking, reading, and weeding.
I have lost some weight and there has been some delight in fitting into a some things I haven't been able to wear in a couple of years. However, some of my great stuff has had to be taken in and I know that eventually, I will have to let them go. I have built up a decent wardrobe of some wonderful linen pieces that I will hate to part with. So much nicer than all the bohemian and weird patterned polyester dresses that are in the stores now. Some of my wardrobe may be a few years old, but they are fairly timeless. There are some dated pieces which I hung onto thinking that one day I would fit into them again. I think a couple of them are a bit too dated.
I will have to replace my dress pants for fall as all of them are too big. Hope that I have a position so that I can afford to replace them.
It's been six weeks since I have been to a store of any kind! I've only been to the
doctor's office, hospital and the church. Driving is still a challenge - getting my leg in and sitting for more than 20 minutes. Getting out of the van is much easier than getting in. I probably attempted driving a bit too soon, but I really wanted to serve my last two weekends. No one will ever know what a difficult, agonizingly painful sacrifice it was on my part. I just did what I knew I had to do and bore it. I
just about collapsed when I returned home Sat. evening and Sun. noon.
The days stretch so long before me and being in the house, even with the dogs, is growing old.
At least when I knew I had weekend worship services, I had sermons to work up and type. That helped to fill my week. Now, there is only the emptiness of time with
little to do. At least until I start therapy. Then I will be busy and tired and hurting!!!!
My laundry calls and I must tend to that and keep tending to myself, for now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LH seems to think that I am at about 30-35 degrees. Hope he's right!!! It just doesn't seem like it's that much, but perhaps, I am hoping for more and being prone makes it
harder to judge.
I have one more weekend of preaching in this current position. I am praying that the drive won't be as much of a torture as last weekend. On Monday, LH and I will book up and load up the van with my books, office items, manger and bale of straw and my robe and stoles.
It will be difficult to celebrate communion one last time with the good folks I have come to care about deeply and this community of faith that have struggled so hard to stabilize after some poor behavior from their last pastor. He did not help matters by running through their money, not wanting to look bad, and not being honest about their financial position - to the point of taking over the budget and the church's fault for not maintaining a working financial committee and letting the pastor get away with far too much. What pastor can max out the church credit card every month on Starbucks and dinners that were not always with the staff or people he claimed, or used his expenses for which he was reimbursed and claiming for taxes? It infuriates me. He also hid unpaid church bills in his desk which the church has just now discovered and it is several thousand dollars that they simply don't have.
Yes, my coming in as interim felt like walking into the lion's den this time. And although, it seemed that in the ensuing months the church was operating just barely in the black - the stash of unpaid bills was both a surprise and a major let-down.
Now they will have a retired pastor being supply pastor.
The church leadership has really stepped up and taken responsibility which they should have done a few years ago.
But now, I must let go and move on and they must continue to discern if they are able to go on or close their doors. I have done what I could in an extremely part-time
position. They will have a special place in my heart.
I pray that God will provide me another opportunity to serve that may be not as challenging as this one - where I felt that there was little I could offer or do. I know that at the moment, I am not mobile enough to serve, but we sure could use the income.
I will trust that God will provide in God's time when God knows I am well and able.
In the meanwhile, I keep exercising and doing what I can.
Yesterday, I picked three ripe tomatoes off the vine and even managed to pull a few weeds!!!
It is good to be able to do a few things. And I will be content with what I can do today that I could not do last week.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Working hard on my exercise and am perhaps at about 20 degrees after a few knee slides. Have a week and a half to be at 40 degrees.
Trying to make peace with my leg brace since it will be my uninvited companion for
the next several weeks. I have to keep adjusting it throughout the day as gravity
keeps pulling it down. It seems to weigh 10 pounds and makes for awkward movement.
However, it gives my knee and leg support which s good.
It has been so dry in these parts that our river clump birch has lost 1/3 of its leaves and our little gingko looks like a Charlie Brown gingko tree - small leaves, not much foliage. Last summer it was so very full which gorgeous fan-shaped leaves.
We did get an inch of rain yesterday and were supposed to get more rain today, but that has not yet happened. We are about 6 inches of rain behind where we should be.
At least the temps have cooled down into the 80's, which is always welcome.
Being home bound with a computer, TV and credit card can be dangerous thing. I ordered some workout clothes for therapy and a pair of slip-on Ryka canvas shoes for working out as well. The leather ones I have would be way too hot in the summer. My canvas Keds are so old and stained that I use them only for when I clean house. The sweater I ordered from JJill was on sale and I just couldn't resist. A gift to myself for all the pain I've endured. A treat to look forward to wearing when I am more mobile and the temps are cooler. Can't wait for all to come to my door in the mail.
I'm thinking I should hide my credit card!!!!
The progress is so abysmally slow. I have to fight discouragement and keep looking ahead to what I'll be able to do eventually. Hard to be patient with myself and the healking process. I know what it will take and how long it takes. But still, I want to be much further along than I am. One day, one week at a time. And I will keep
exercising even when it seems that I'm not making any headway.

The summer is whizzing by and soon it will be August! That means that there are five months left in this year 2012. What do you look forward to in the next five months; or what is scheduled? What is meaningful for you in each of these months? Or memories you have of these months? You decide what to write about for each month!

1. August
Starting physical therapy, three times a week, relearning to ride a bike, having
my knee bent - ouch, and working hard on getting the knee healed and moving.
2. September
This month will be more of the same. Hoping that I can actually sit at the
dinner table more comfortably by then and making good progress.
3. October
Hoping I will have finished my therapy and rehab. Praying I would have a new
position. Would be nice to travel to the Lake House and see my sister and BIL
this year.
4. November
Hosting Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner and having my SILs over for the day.
5. December
Going on a Carribean Cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. So
my knee has to be in good order by then!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The surgeon seemed pleased with the healing of the incision. I asked about removing staples and he used none. My knee has been superglued!!!
Today, I had my first shower in 11 days. Nothing compares to the deliciousness of that wonderfully warm shower. Finally, I feel cleaner than ever.
Have begun a new exercise - knee slides. I bend the knee and let gravity pull it back down. I'm supposed to be up to 40 degrees by August 1st. I think I'm at 10!! Nevertheless, I press on, everyday doing 3 to 5 sets of 15, as much as I can stand.
The knee is so tight when I bend it, it feels like it is bound. I have also been doing some slight tip toe to heel rocking while holding onto the porch railing, and pressing my knee down while lying down, doing about 20. I'm also to begin tightening the quad muscle, which I can do a little even as it quivers.
It's a gentle start to rehabing the muscle and knee.
Sitting is the most uncomfortable position of all. I can stand and lie down, but the sitting is the worst.
I did manage to dig out my garlic which was smaller this year and already ripe. I also pulled some weeds while I was at it. LH was with me the whole time in case the
uneven ground around the herb garden would be a problem. I was glad for his presence and help.
I am using the walker less and the cane more which makes getting around a bit easier.
Of course, I am hauling 10 pounds extra on my left leg. (The hinged brace is not 10 lbs, but it sure feels like it on your leg!)
So, I am slowly coming along. Slowly. I have to relearn slow and patient. I am much better now than I was last week. I have to look back a week to keep me from being discouraged at how long this will take and when I cannot yet master the exercises I've been given. Practice, practice, practice. Patience. Patience. Patience.
Aye, it's gonna be a long, long summer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's been a week since my most painful surgery. I am ashamed to admit that I was writhing and yelling in pain in the recovery room. Until they pumped me up with pain medication. It was agonizing. Once in the hospital room, it didn't help that the first three times they helped me out of bed to use the rest room, the nurses and aids took me out on the wrong side of the bed. More agony. The night nurses shifted things around and got me out on the proper side and that helped, alot. There were two of us in the room - an elderly woman who had hip replacement. She did not have near the pain I had. I felt bad that she had to listen me. The nursing staff was pretty responsive, caring and helpful. They kept up with my pain medication. Although, I must say, that sharing a room on the orthopaedic floor with wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and chairs for visitors made for very crowded conditions and not much room to move around and get
out of bed.
I am doing better, slowly. I am down to three pain pills a day. Learning how to position myself to sit and stand up, using a walker, and having the knee brace fall down to my ankle since the swelling has gone down. I make my breakfast, lunch and part of dinner, feed the dogs, but the water is too hard with the walker, and do the dishes.
Everything takes such effort and much longer to do. It is hard to adjust to this different pace and I have to allow time for a trip to the bathroom. I will be so happy to take a real shower. I am living on the pulled-out sleeper sofa, easier to get in and out of as I lift leg onto it and off of it. It is not uncomfortable. LH has to bring down fresh undies and clothes and items needed from upstairs. I hope that after my doctor's appt on Friday, I will get the go ahead to shower. Then I can start doing the stairs.
I haven't started reading my novel yet, although I've journaled and done word searches and read the newspaper.
I pray that I will be able to preach the last two Sundays in July and then I am back to searching for a new position and starting rehab.
I am thankful the surgery went well. The doc had to drill three holes in my kneecap and sew down the quad muscle. I pray that none of you will ever have to endure such an injury or surgery. The pain is unequaled to anything else.
LH has been a real help and comfort. Sometimes at the end of the day when I am so weary, he will lift my leg onto the bed, rather than my looping an old sheet around my foot and hoisting up myself. He's even rubbed some lotion on the sole of my foot to help the dry skin. What a dear. I would do the same for him.
So, I am coming along, trying not to get cabin fever and praying I will be able to drive a week from Sat. Each day gets a bit better, but it will take 3 months of healing and rehab, lots of work, sweat and yes, more pain. I have done this before. I will get through it again.
And, I will have full use of my knee again! Thanks be to God!

Monday, July 02, 2012

this may be my last post for awhile. My surgery is scheduled for late tomorrow
morning. Then my left leg will be encased in a "two ton" hinged but locked leg brace for the next 3 months. It will be like lifting the Titanic with every step and the first two weeks will be riddled with a pain none can imagine and the fog of pain medication.
I dread this. But I also want it to be over with. I have to relearn patience. Everything takes so much longer to do and I have to move slower and more carefully and deliberately. I will have to relearn how to ride a bike. But that will come much later.
So, while my voice may be quiet for a time (until I get totally bored and rejoin the land of the living), I will be thinking of all of you and the busy and meaningful work of you ministry.
I am feeling pretty useless at the moment, especially, since a parishioner lost her husband in a tragic auto accident and I was unable to go and be with her. We have spoken on the phone, prayed, and I know the church family will be doing all they can for her and to provide a pastor for the memorial service.
What humbled me most, was in the thick of her grief, she thanked me for coming to the church, for being their pastor in this time of transition, and for my calls and prayers. I continue to pray for her and feel so very bad that I can't be with her and the family. I am amazed that in the midst of the rawness of her grief and shock, she would even make a point of thanking me. It astounds me and brings me to my knees. (at least figuratively since I cannot kneel anymore physically, but certainly my spirit does.)
I pray that the surgery goes well, without complications or infection and I will be blogging again during my healing process.
Peace be with you all.

Friday, June 29, 2012


What are five things that you REALLY REALLY REALLY like about the current season where you live?

1. All the flowers that are blooming and the critters that come to them - hummingbirds,
finches, honeybees, bumblebees, all kinds of butterflies and hummingbird moths.

2. Fresh herbs and tomatoes growing in the garden.

3. Longer evenings to enjoy.

4. Walks with the greyhounds in the cool of the evening - although that won't
happen again for a very long time.

5. Usually getting away to the beach in WI - which also won't happen this summer.

and, for a bonus:

Something you are looking forward to about another season?

Having my knee function normally again - after this surgery and long, slow, painful process of healing and rehab. That would bring me to fall and cooler temps!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My suspicions were right all along. I have a quad tear on the left knee and will have to undergo surgery next Tues and three months of healing and gruelling rehab. My position will end the end of July and I am hoping to preach & lead worship the last two weeks of July with a heavy, hinged leg brace.
I am not looking forward to this at all. I've been through it 7 years ago on the right knee. I know what it all entails and the pain.
After the Wed. evening potluck with program and communion yesterday, I had to get my leg in the van and one parishioner watched. After I got in, not as smoothly as I had hoped and with some pain, I simply smiled and said, "I'm in. A piece of cake!" She laughed and away I went for a painful ride home. It has been sore ever since. I may have bent the quad more than I should have. Upon getting home, I promptly took a pain pill and feel asleep for an hour or so.
Alas, LH will have a vacation week and will spend it tending his wife, cleaning house, and watering the garden, rather than being at the Lake and enjoying a change of scenery. I feel ever so bad for him. I was ready to see my sister as well and delight in being by the Lake.
It's going to be a long, hot, painful, depressing summer. I can only pray that in this time of healing, God will provide a new opportunity for me to serve. We need some income.
After going through this 7 years ago, I wouldn't have wished this on my worst enemy, and here, I will go through it all again. But, I will do all I can, because I know, that this is a temporary affliction and all the hard work of rehab will bring my movement back and tone and strengthen all my muscles. So, I should be much more toner and buff by the end of the summer!!!! There are some benefits, meager though they are.
I will trust in the healing power of my Lord, who will raise me to new life through this.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My MRI is scheduled for Monday and I now have my knee imobilizer. I forgot what
a pain it is - always slipping down.
I'm really only using it to get my leg on the couch, to get into and out of the van so that I can preach this evening and tomorrow morning.
I meet with the Orthopaedic Doc on Wed morning. I already am anticipating the worst - surgery to repair the quad muscle tear. There are just too many similiarities to the right knee 7 years ago. Only this time, I am more aware of what's going on, how to do things that I'd forgotten, and relying on the walker. Makes me feel like a really elderly person!!! But I am thankful that we kept it. I also don't think the quad is torn completely off the knee like last time, but I have been very careful with it.
So, I guess I just have to wait til Wednesday to hear the bad news of what I already fear. Just have to take it a day at a time, do what I can, and go easy with that knee.
It is an awful surgery, so painful. The most painful surgery I've ever had. I just don't want to go through that again. I pray that God will give me the strength to face what I must and for patience with myself and LH with me.
I doubt that we will be able to take our week vacation to the Beach. Perhaps, later. I know that the whole process will take 3 months. So, that will put vacation to Oct.
Will just have to wait and see. Healing prayers are most welcome. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

As if battling with a part-time call is not enough, I am facing another knee injury.
It all started out innocent enough. A walk with the dogs after dinner (and the rainstorms that dumped an inch of rain) for my health and theirs. We made it around
the cul-de-sac and were just across the street from our house when Renoir decides he
wants to go home, whips around and starts to run toward the house, catching me off balance and down on my left knee and hip - thankfully in the grass. I could not get up but held fast with each hand on the leads.
A woman out walking with her son, came over and when I realized I couldn't just get up, volunteered to take the dogs home. She rang the bell and LH got the dogs inside.
Our next door neighbor is a physical therapist and came over to see if I could get up and had her burly husband and the neighbor one door down - who are expecting their second child in Aug. - help me up and walk me over. They were such tall fellows that
by the time we reached the driveway halfway, I had to take my arms off from around their necks because my arms were aching too much. LH went in the basement and dragged out the walker from 7 years ago. I could walk with the walker and made it into the house and onto the couch with my neighbor (God bless her soul) lifting my left leg onto the couch. Several icings later, the left knee was really swollen. After a fitful night on the couch, getting up at six, falling asleep sitting up for another hour or so, I made coffee and made a doctor's appointment.
If I hadn't pushed to be seen, I'd have had to wait another day. They got me in before lunch and it was an hour and a half later, after an x-ray, with Dr. orders for MRI and knee immobilizer that I left. LH was simply wonderful, lifting my leg gently,
keeping it straight to get in and out of the backseat of the car. He didn't make it into the office today. Tomorrow, he will get me outfitted for the immobilizer. The MRI won't be til Monday and then on to the Orthopaedic Dr. I thought I'd never see again.
I'm thinking there is some nasty negative energy being poured out in my direction.
I've already done this - 7 years ago, right knee. I don't want to have this type of surgery again. We can scarce afford it and how would it look to interview somewhere with a leg brace?
It is a struggle to stay positive, to remember that God loves me and cares for me. I did not need this. Not now. Not ever. So God and I will wrestle through this together again. And why such a crappy redux, as if once were not enough. I cannot jeopardize the part-time call I have. We need the income. Surgery, if needed, will through a huge monkey wrench into preaching and serving. NOt to mention the physical therapy afterwards. Another 3 months.
How does one keep hope, stay calm in the middle of the boat in the midst of a life-threatening storm? Only by keeping focus on the One who can calm the storm and who is there in the boat with me. To my Lord, I'll cling. Keep me in your healing prayers.

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's so dry...we're giving out rainchecks for baptisms!!!!!!!!! We're in an official drought here.
The lawns in the neighborhood look like the African veld, dry, brown, and yellow.
A local farmer just mowed the meadow which had grown quite high since March and was
beginning to look like tinder. There are at least 25 rolls of shredded wheat which as I write are being loaded onto flatbed trucks.
I've had to water the flower beds, day lilies which haven't bloomed yet, the herb
garden and my milkweed plants growing just over our fence in the meadow, as well as our poor little gingko tree which is just thirsting and has only small leaves on it. It's just too, too dry. Normally, this happens in July/Aug. and not already the whole month of June. All the storms dry up before they reach us. We haven't had a decent thunderstorm with an inch or two of rain all spring.
Feeling a wee parched as this interim continues. I did receive a call about an interim position, but too far away on the state line that I would have to rent a place and only get home - who knows, every other week or once a month. I just can't do that again. Spending all that money on extra rent and utilities and being far from home. It is too hard on my spirit.
I'm praying that another position will open up for me, with more hours, better compensation and pension and close to home. Do I hope for too much?
Although, I'e been encouraging the congregation about trusting God, God's plans for their future, I have been in need of that myself. I keep trusting the Great Silence and pray for God's mercy on us and for us.
I think I feel ready for some vacation. I'm only taking a week, since the church can't afford a supply. I have two weeks earned and another week tallying up. With the Wednesday evening potluck, program, and communion, I am putting in long hours on my day at the church. But it's working out ok.
It's also getting very hot in these here parts. So hot, that walking will not be option for most of the week. That puts a kink in getting my exercise and exercising the greys. I did walk through most of W-Mart this morning and that counts as some. I also did some wall push-ups this morning.
I'm thinking being middle-aged and sometimes forgetting something isn't all that bad. It just means an extra trip up and down the stairs for something I've forgotten and some extra exercise!!!! Who knew?!!?
Prayng that you are more quenched than we are and that God is showering your lives with abundant grace.

Saturday, June 02, 2012


Please tell us five things you are doing this Summer.

1. Driving to the Lake (Michigan, that is) via Chicago and Wisconsin to spend time
with my sister and BIL, enjoying the beach.

2. Weeding & watering - the garden and flower beds.

3. Walking the dogs in the cool of the evening.

4. Harvesting fresh herbs, garlic, tomatoes and maybe a red pepper or two.

5. Hosting July 4th with the SIL's.

Bonus? One thing you're not doing, but WANT to be doing

Seeing my niece and my nephew and his wife. Timing just isn't going to work out
to get together at the Lake house. A real shame.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Finally, when I had all but given up hope, the honey bees are back.
I wondered where they were and if they would be back as the pin cushions are in
full bloom with nary a honey bee in sight.
This afternoon they came by in force all over the teeny weeny inkberry flowers
and I am joyed to see them.
I am glad that my little beds of perenial flowers find favor with the honey bees;
that they find food for sustenance and to make honey and that they pollinate my
It's a small thing really. But I am truly grateful and joyed that they are back.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Very quickly; this week

1. What has encouraged you?
I almost hate to say it, but a church I once served that really crushed me
has let it's next pastor go. I just discovered that this week.
He lasted two years. I lasted five. Although, I feel for him and pray that
he finds a new position (as I pray for myself),
I am encouraged that what is happening at the church was not all my fault
or even lack of trying. That has encouraged me immensely and I feel rather

2. What has inspired you?
When I see folks wanting to move forward into their future, uncertain though
it may be, having the courage, desiring to do something, and being open to
what God longs to bring them and calls them to.

3. What has challenged you?
Perhaps, the above as well. Finding a position more than extremely part-
time and dealing with a health issue.

4. What has made you smile?
LH. He has a good sense of humor. When mentioning a rather good-looking
larger Amish buggy that drove past the church he serves, he said it was
like "pimp my buggy" compared to other buggys!!! (Take off of "pimp my
ride" and tweaked cars!!!) We were on the floor laughing!!

5. What has brought a lump to your throat or a tear to you eye in a good way?
When I look with love and gratitude on my life which which I have been
blessed. When I behold the beauty of God's creation. When I am safe in
bed with LH. When I hold my family in my heart, prayers and thoughts.
When I rub and hug my greys. When I ponder the awesome love of the mystery
of God, the grace of my Lord and Savior, and the wonderful power and
work of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Happy Friday to all of you. Today's Friday Five has no theme, other than randomness.
That's o.k., right?
So, just to get to know each other a little bit (even more) here is the meme:

1. What is the first thing that comes to your mind (right now) that you want to share about yourself.
I'll be out in the garden taking advantage of the beautiful day here. I think the dogs will
want a walk as well.

2. What is your favorite piece of jewelry or accessory? Why?
My Sheila Fleet sterling silver wave bracelet that LH got me for Christmas. I wear it. Alot.

3. If you could have a starring role in a T.V. show/movie/series, which one would it be, and what would your character be like?
I'm not really sure. I'm more of a behind-the-scenes person. But I could be an older eccentric neighbor on the Big Bang

4. What is one thing you will eat this weekend?
Spinach salad that will complement the grilled lamb chops this evening.

5. How do you waste time? (If you do, that is...)
Watching reruns of the Big Bang Theory and playing a version of Solitaire on the computer.

Monday, May 07, 2012

be working on a newsletter article, but I'm not ready to work on it.
be looking for a little graduation advice piece I once wrote and continue to give to graduates
be washing windows, but it's going to rain today
be weeding the herb garden, but it's going to rain today
be thinking about this week's sermon
but I am not there either.
So, instead, I'm contemplating the buds of the Siberian Iris that may bloom this week, the tight buds
of my huge poppy plant, and the begonia that over-wintered in my upside-down pot. That one amazes me.
I didn't even try to over-winter that begonia. My intention was that it would die and I would plant
an impatien in it instead. I went to the pot in the unheated garage this spring and lo and behold,
there was a white stalk with a leaf on it. I took the pot outside and the leaf has sprouted two
more leaves, the stalk is now reddish and looks to have grown a bit. All without even trying!!!
What a surprise.
I have the hope that other things would spring forward in my life, but I am still waiting
on the Great Silence.
Maybe today is just a day to sit with that and God. Perhaps, that is what I should be doing
and not all the other things on my list and radar. So, today, I will spend as a day of
contemplation and prayer and the oil change appointment this afternoon. I will get to the
other stuff, but for today, contemplation and prayer. And it is enough.

Friday, May 04, 2012


1) What is the first birthday you remember?
I remember my 7th Birthday as the year I had no birthday party, which in those early
years were a big deal. You invited friends over, played games, had prizes, received gifts,
and had a birthday cake. We moved to a new house on my 7th Birthday and so there was no
party and I don't remember if we even had cake. I was pretty upset about not having a
birthday party. However, in the new house, I had my own bedroom and that was pretty cool.

2) Do you recall a favorite gift?
Actually, not really. My folks were pragmatic so it was an outfit, a Dr. Suess book,
3) Has anyone ever tried to surprise you for your birthday? Did it work? Was it fun?
In HS we decorated our friends' lockers with streamers, balloons, cards, etc. on the
sly with someone getting the lock combo number. When they went to open their locker
on their birthday morning it was stuffed full of birthday greetings.
My sister surprised me on my 50th birthday with a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas with
my niece. Every week, my sister sent me an email with what to pack for a "Girls
Weekend". She made sure I asked for the weekend off in advance. Finally,she had
to email me my flight e-ticket to Miami and I had a hunch. We met at the airport
and my niece was there too. Extra surprise! We had a most wonderful time together!
The best birthday celebration I ever had!

4) Do you have a favorite birthday dessert?
Usually a piece of chocolate cake or chocolate cheesecake.

5) Describe what would be your 'perfect birthday'.
The day off. Being with my family - LH, my sister and BIL, my niece and my
nephew and his wife. But, I don't think that will happen as we all live in
different states. Maybe for a milestone birthday it might happen. Course a
birthday in the middle of winter is always dicey with travel plans.
In the meanwhile, I'm happy to have the day off to read, shop, spend time with
the greys and have a nice dinner out.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I don't know what's going on with bath and body manufacturers, but
I'm getting rather tired of not being able to find body wash and lotion
that doesn't smell like a fruit. Do I want to shower first thing in the morning
and walk around smelling like a pomegranate, a fig,a pear, a peach, a cucumber or a
melon? Not really. If I want to smell fruit, I'll go to the produce section
of the grocery store and sniff away.
Personally, I like clean, fresh scents like linen, fresh cotton, rain,
maybe a hint of lavendar, but not a rose bush.
They used to make such scents as serenity, energizing, calm, etc.
Most of the scents that are out there are really awful and turn me off.
So, I do use some basic, pedestrian products that at least don't make
me sick from the smell and leave me smelling clean and fresh.
I also stopped using a shampoo brand that I've used for years once
they stopped that variety and marketed a whole new one whose smell I
could not abide.
A note to you, manufacturers of shampoos, body washes and lotions,
make more pleasant scents that aren't over poweringly fruity and run
some marketing tests to see whether the smell of your product is not
a turn off rather than somehing pleasingly pleasant.
I's a small thing really but something I use daily and I want it to
be a pleasant and enjoyable experience and not something that starts
my day off on the wrong note.

Friday, April 20, 2012

RGBP'S FRIDAY FIVE - INTERNET CONNECTIONS Isn't it interesting that on this day, Blogger has gone to a new look and I've had navigate the new look and where to find everything and Friday Five is about internet?!!! 1. Do you use social connections, like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in or whatever else there is? Describe how you use it/these. I use Facebook for family and friends, to touch base. I don't use Twitter at all. 2. Do you text on your cell phone? Work, friends, family? I am on a basic plan with no texting or internet connection. I have a landline and a computer. Until they make a cell phone that you can use for overseas calls without charging an arm and a leg, I won't be using the cell for my actual phone. Even the calls to Canada are outrageous compared to our landline plan. I am looking to the day when American cell phones can work overseas so if you are travelling on business or pleasure you can use your phone. All this technology and they can't come up with a workable solution that isn't so expensive? 3. Do you play any games? Which ones? Nope. I play a version of Solitaire on the computer. 4. How do you predominantly use the various electronic devices you possess? The cell phone for calls when I'm out and about. When I lived away from home while serving a church my cell phone was my phone. Too bad it was an LG which never could hold a charge for very long. I was constantly recharging that one. My Samsung is much, much better. 5. How do you feel about blogging? Are you as involved in blogging as when you first started? What facilitates your blogging? I still like to keep up with it. Although, not as often as I used to. I usually write about my present experiences and how they tie in spiritually, but not always. Bonus: Anything you want to add. You might like to discuss what helps you most in your vocation with internet connections. I'm pretty much a cheap Luddite when it comes to technology. I believe cell phones could be cheaper to use. I am sure that one day, cell phones will replace most computers, it's just that they are harder to type on than an actual keyboard. I have trouble with getting my pictures onto the computer and so don't post any. Some day, when I have time, I'll have to try and figure it out. My challenge at the moment is getting familiar with the new blogger interface. Sigh. Always something new.