Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Things to not do when you are feeling blue

I'm in a funk right now. I'm angry about...everything. I'm jealous of another person's good fortune, disappointed in a letter I received, angry at insensitivity. That's life, right? You can't always get what you want.

Things to not do when you're feeling blue:
Don't weigh yourself.
Don't watch Old Yeller.
Don't go near a chocolate shop.
Don't open a credit card bill.
Don't go shopping for a new bathing suit.

He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly.
B. C. Forbes

Monday, February 25, 2013

Not my battle

That I don't know everything is okay. Guess what Denice...this battle is not yours. It was never your battle as much as you wanted it sometimes to be. The story has been written, the end is known. Maybe I just need to remember the end of the whole story...we win.

For right now this minute, I am enjoying life. Steve feels good and I'm thankful. He seems happy doing different projects. We have Missouri brother Bob and Tena coming for a few days. I'm hoping to see Grandson Parker who is now 15 months.

Steven and his brother Mike are planning a Brother's Day get-together for Easter weekend. They said if there is a Mother's Day and Father's Day, surely they can have Brother's Day. I'm pretty sure I'm included in this.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The day Grandma changed

It all started at the craft show on Avenue of the Cities. It was called 23rd Avenue back then. That was the day Grandma started talking funny. Maybe we had had little signs before, but not enough to worry about. But that day, walking among the booths, she told me about the spies the government had at her house. She wasn't sure why they needed to spy on her, but they were. I immediately began looking for more of my family to witness this change in Grandma. Several of us were there helping Dad with his wood work booth.

Within a short amount of time I had taken a leave from my job, left Steve home with the boys and moved to Gram's house. The dementia escalated quickly. My dad needed to get power of attorney and get grandma somewhere safe. We needed a diagnosis. I needed her to show that side of herself when we went to her physician.

It all took time. Steve would come and visit when he could, but the days spent there was heart wrenching. This was Gram. She was our eldest and kind of ruled over everyone. She was strong willed, and committing her was not going to be easy.

Have you ever had to have something worse happen to make something bad stop? The ambulance came, bringing two men. Gram was so confused. She wouldn't cooperate. We knew she wouldn't. But they strapped her down on the gurney and took her out. She never came back to her house again.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cable box possession

Our cable boxes are possessed. The TV turns off and on, things that are suppose to tape on the DVR, tape 46 times at one minute each, the remote quits working. So back on the phone to call tech support, where I first tell everything about my account using the automated part, then get a real person who asks me everything all over again. She had a wonderful accent that at any other time would have been enjoyable but when instructing me thru 62 steps it was not appreciated.

So the nice Mediacom lady who swapped my old box for a new one, told me to hide the DVR box because the remote does not have to 'see' it to work. So when something goes wrong and they want the serial number off the back, I get to stand on my head with Steve is using his phone as a light. I felt like we were playing Twister. They also use a font that has to be in the negative.

I guess if that was our excitement for the day then that's not bad considering our circumstance.

Friday, February 22, 2013


I don't know why snow storms get me so excited. Or why ice, thunder or tornado sirens make me ecstatic. I'm sure it's the anticipation of nature. The idea that there is nothing we can do to change or delay what it brings. Steven said all I would have to do is experience one catastrophe and that would all change.

Normally, I would not be able to show my elation because Steven would have to plow the lot at the shop. It would take hours. But the plow truck sits silent and brooding in our driveway, it's hydraulic scoop in an nonfunctional state. The shop lot is being cleared by someone else.

To have the day off of the snow storm is really fun too. I can watch the beauty from my recliner and not worry about driving. It's okay that I wake up and see we didn't get all the snow the experts thought we would. It's all in the anticipation.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lessons from Steve 101

I'm trying to do things myself. Spoken like a true 5 year old! So when my car was not starting, it was decided I'd do the battery purchasing. We went to Farm and Fleet and listened to the options of new batteries and then chose a mid range. We came home and with guidance I attempted to put it in. I learned what a ratchet is and did okay, until I almost touched something metal once the new battery was in, and then I was fired. That was okay because my hands were very black. If this were my car (oh, wait it is) I'd have that engine a lot cleaner! So we are done with the battery and then Steve doesn't like the way the hood shut, so he is messing with the mechanism and asking me to flip the lever on the inside. My key was in the ignition and I wanted to make sure it was off. I turn the key, but the wrong way and the car started to turn over. Nothing happened but it scared both of us. Actually, it scared me a lot, but I was so busy apologizing I hid it.

Then we went to Mediacom to swap cable boxes. I went in and listened to all the instructions on how to hook up the new box and DVR. I felt good on the recall until I got to the car and he asked me to repeat it. I think he makes me nervous. Anyway, I remembered the first of 6 steps. So I had to call tech support when I got home.

Lastly, I was instructed on how to make the family favorite, 'Steve's BBQ Back Ribs'. I love that he said I couldn't ruin the bone side on the grill and I managed to burn them. It happened so quickly, but all the black scraped right off and they were really very good!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Breakfast tray details

It's funny what you can get used to doing, with time. I started taking Steven some breakfast and it has became so detailed I'd like to drop the tray in his lap. Just in case something should happen to me, I'll note what he wants.

One tray with cereal, Rice Krispies on the bottom and Honey Bunches of Oats on the top of that. Large milk on the side, 1 piece of toast buttered (butter must evenly coat toast and not pool in any one area). 1/2 an apple in thin slices, 1/2 an orange. The fruit should be on a small plate in the upper right corner of the tray,(I'm not joking about this) and the toast in the upper left with the cereal in the middle. Large spoon (I'm making no comment about this) and napkin. Small container of sugar next to cereal.

This does not include the first tray I took in when I got up which includes his meds, nicotine patch, large orange juice, cold water, and coffee.

This is all before 8:00 a.m. I will give more details about lunch in a later email. Good thing I have a sense of humor.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Just as we can establish our mood by attitude now, we can do the same thinking with our past. We probably all have things about our childhood we'd like to forget happened. Some of us more than others. I told my boys, you can dwell on the bad and make it bad or you can dwell on the good and make it good.

So I think of Christmas's and going to Grandma's, and Dad grilling outside. I think of vacations, swimming lessons and planting marigolds in front of the house. There were dinners around a kitchen table and a family dog for when you wanted to sneak part of that dinner off the table.

So maybe it wasn't always like Father Knows Best. But who I am, was formed from every challenge that crossed my path. You can't go back and make it different, so make it count. I'm me and that's not so bad.

I think, the more contented we are, the easier we are to be around. And the better we deal with the past, the easier the present is.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My prayer

Steve's string of good days with no headache or stomach problems has helped us get our grove back. Steve is out of bed more than in it. He managed to run some errands with his dad and came home tired, but so do I and I'm pretty healthy. I've come to the conclusion that when he is sick, he is crabby, and the sicker, the crabbier.

These 4 days off have been a delight. I've done some cleaning, but very little. I've had some quality 'God' time. I started a new sewing project. I'm so encouraged and want his 'good string' to continue. That is my prayer.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What is miraculous?

That I have any peace at all is a gift from God. That I can smile and go to work and let my mind go from here to there, is nothing short of a miracle. That I can be happy about small coincidental happenings, like a short waiting line or a green light, is humorous. That I can pray and know my Lord and Savior has a plan, is true faith. That I can be thankful for this day is tremendous. That I can close my eyes and sleep hours at night, is a blessing.

My peace transcends all understanding. It is a sense of wholeness, knowing everything is coming together and I have displaced worry with Christ. Nothing is guaranteed except our Sovereign Lord. I am standing on His promises for I cannot face this without Him.

I can count on the Creator of the universe. I can count on the God of all comfort. I can count on the Prince of Peace. And that is pretty miraculous to me.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Another good day

Another almost good day. Some Advil for a headache and a nap for Steven, but still we are happy.

I've been thinking about why our marriage works. The odds were against us since this was a second marriage and then with children, even more odds. I think besides my being utterly and totally in love with Steven, was that we learned from the first marriage. We didn't so much dwell on what our ex did as what we ourselves brought to the crashing table. And then said, "Well, I'm not gonna do that again!" Of course we found new things to do, but none damaging enough to tilt the table of life.

My beloved is mine and I am his...Song of Songs 2:16

Friday, February 15, 2013

What are the chances?

What are the chances that Steven would wake up feeling good and I would be off work? Thank you, thank you Jesus! It happened earlier in the week too, where he was jabbering away as though he had been storing up words for days. But after getting his breakfast it was time to leave for work. All day I thought of how I wanted to see that smile and listen to him but couldn't. It makes me wonder how many married people wish their spouse would hurry up and get thru their darn story so they can get back to whatever.

So whether we nap or read or watch TV, I'm going to love this day.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My funny Valentine

One year for Valentine's Day I took the liberty of buying a box of cards like the kids pass out at school to their classmates. They were your typical cartoon character like SpongeBob or someone on them. I signed each one different and then placed them everywhere he'd be that day. It started with his coffee cup in the morning and ended 23 cards later with the tread mill he ran on after work, and finally on his pillow.

They drove him crazy. Not that that was my main objective but it added to the joy. He'd put on his coat and there would be another one, got in the car and one was in the rear window. I thought he was going to blow a fuse. He did say at one point that if he found one more he was going to...not for blog content. It was a great day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Having a moment

Once when I was at my sisters, her 5 year old son was crying quite loudly. His older brother looked at me and said, "Matthew is having a moment." No eye roll, no other explanation, none was needed, because that said it all.

Tonight, I was having a moment in the card isle. I was looking at Valentine's Day cards and just started weeping. None of the cards could say what I want to say. Maybe I could make my own, something like this:

My knight in shining armor,
I know you have to go.
I ask again this sweethearts day,
Just say you love me so.

My forever soul mate,
If there is such a thing,
Will you still know me when you're there,
That place where all will sing?

My husband and my lover,
Whisper in my ear,
The reasons that you love me,
So I can hold them dear.

My sweet and handsome Valentine,
Our lives forever twined,
I have assurance in my heart,
You'll be forever mine.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Strength enough

Taken from Isaiah 30:20-21
I have been given adversity for food and suffering for drink, but He is still with me to teach me. I will see Him with my own eyes and my own ears will hear Him. Right behind me a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or the left.

How good it is to wake up in the morning and plant my feet on the solidness of God's promises. There is a storm all around me, but His voice will always be louder as He calls my name and blesses me. My faith will never waiver, for He will give me strength enough for both of us.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Slow dancing

I went to a wedding and reception yesterday. It was beautiful. I'd been looking forward to it for months. My excitement was not so much to be with family, or that I love weddings but to have the opportunity to dance with Steven.

I love dancing with him. I'm sure all women like the feel of closing their eyes as they move around the dance floor in the arms of the man they love. The feel of his cheek next to mine, the music, the low lights all add to the romance.

But Steven wasn't able to go with me yesterday. He was in bed most of the time. At one point, he thought he'd get ready and make it to the reception, but by the time he was through the shower his body told him to lay back down.

I waited, knowing he would surprise me, but when all the events leading up to the dancing were done, I knew it was better to leave then to watch everyone else do what I couldn't. I would have wanted to go up to the dancing couples and interrupt long enough to ask, "Do you know what you have here? Are you treasuring this person? Have you touched their face and told them what they mean to you?"

When I came home I barely had my coat off and he had pulled me in his arms to slow dance to whatever song was in our heads. He asked me how long we should do this and I said, "Forever...or until one of us wants a beer." I'm very proud of myself for not crying until I went to bed.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thursday night visit

Tonight was great. The kids came over for to visit and we were all catching up since we missed last Thursday. Parker, our 15 month old grandson was the entertainment as usual. He is learning to use utensils to eat with and it's so fun to watch him figure it all out. He actually stabbed an item with his fork and we are all like, wow, and then he used his fingers to take the food off and puts it in his mouth.

He doesn't want picked up. He will straighten his body to slide out of your arms. It's all about exploring. He knows there is a little incline here in the doorway, this room echoes his voice and there are remote controls in this room. I love his venturing. We are going to be buddies I can tell. He turned around and backed up to me while I was sitting on the floor and sat in my lap. I'm sure it means I'm his favorite person in the whole world.

Steven was very talkative. The steroids do that. He explained right off the bat that he was shaky and a little hyper. He then went around the table and took everyone's blood pressure. He said tonight was a celebration of his last day of radiation. After everyone left he brought out the dreaded mask he had to wear for each treatment. I'm so proud of him for making it thru this. He could have called it quits at any point but didn't.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Frazzitated - cross between frazzled and irritated

Steve has mostly recovered from his flu last week. He lost 10 pounds which he could not afford to lose. The steroid for the brain swelling still has him all shook up and irritable. The littlest thing has him totally flustered. He will be done with the radiation today, but I'm not sure how much longer he will have to take steroids. He averages 3 hours sleep a night. Gosh, that alone would be enough to do me in.

Maybe spring will come early this year and he can get back to fishing. I don't want spring to come too early though because he's been cleaning. When Steve cleans, or does anything, it becomes an obsessive project. When I asked him to paint the bedroom he had to smooth out the textured walls and redo the hardwood floors. Instead of being a two day affair it was 2 months. Steve doesn't Windex the shower stall doors, he takes them out to the deck and uses a buffer to polish them.

I recovered from the flu much quicker. It was mostly a low grade temp and horrible headache.

I've made a decision to check into counseling. It can't hurt, right? And who better to confide in than someone who has no previous knowledge of either of us? And I like to talk almost as much as I like to write.  
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hi God, it's me again, seeking peace

Hi God, it's me again. You know how sometimes I'm a bit overwhelmed with all this? Well, I want to make sure I don't lose sight of You. I hate the defeated feeling I get when I can't conquer this battle with a total victory. But victory to me and victory to You may look totally different.

I read to be joyful in all circumstances, but our circumstances suck right now. Yet to spend too much time in negativity denies me precious moments. I'm going to hate looking back on this season and seeing clearly that a different attitude could have resulted in different memories. So I rejoice in what I have, and I do have so much. In thankfulness, our dilemma seems to lose its power to drag me down.

God, I treasure the time I spend with You each morning preparing myself mentally and spiritually for the day. In that quietness I hear You more clearly. You know exactly what the day will bring and have arranged the events for me. All I have to do is relax and let your presence bring peace to me.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Steve loves me more than anyone

Steven loves me more than anyone else. More than the boys, or my mom or my closest friends. He has seen me at my worst, and held me through some very hard times. We lost a baby, watched two teens try to throw their life away and relocated a business. This last doesn't sound like a big deal but Steve worked 14 hours days and about did himself in preparing the new building.

One night after my father died, Steve was holding me as I cried. Not knowing what to say, he said, "My heart is saying what your heart needs to hear." He knew I hadn't had the closest relationship with my dad and repeatedly reassured me I was a good person, worthy of loving.

How do I put my toe over the line of reality and think of life without Steve, much less my whole foot crossing? To envision that nightmare denies a faith in God and His ability to heal. Yet to only think he won't die from an incurable cancer because God will heal, is setting myself up for a possible disappointment.

How will I answer the unbeliever's question of why God didn't answer when I had faith? Maybe this is what it means to not put all your eggs in one basket, even though it would seem easier to carry them that way.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Boys will be boys

When my sons and I moved to Steve's, the neighbors really enjoyed seeing Steve's perfect house and yard get used by two rambunctious boys. They also admired the way we put them to work in the yard.

Our neighbor, Jim Foster, who used to live next door, told of a time he rounded the bend in our road and could see right in our bay window. He said it was so funny he had to stop the car and watch. He saw that the boys were pole vaulting over the couch. My guess is they got going as fast as they could around the interior circle of the house then jump on the couch and over the back into the dining room.

Another neighbor across the street came to tell me 'what good boys you have'. I should have known right then he was paving the way. He continued with, "I'm sure you don't want them on the roof though". It's one of those moments you can't wait to conclude the conversation so you can go kill two kids. When the boys were too old for a sitter and still young enough to...(They may still be at this point), we told them they were not allowed to close the drapes in the picture window because Mr. Fritz who lived across the street was keeping an eye on them AND could see what was on TV.

Friday, February 1, 2013

How to shave a man's head

First, listen to him swear as he tries himself. Wait for the repair mess of the Wahl Clipper shaver, new battery and household oil search, none of which work. More expletives. Take over at this point but with hesitation as he is still cursing. Complaints consist of, not going the right direction, not using enough pressure, not rinsing after 2 swipes and taking too long. Finally agrees to let you use scissors reserved for fabric only, a show of true love and devotion on my part, to cut hair prior to shaving which takes less time but he would never admit it.

Lastly, tell him he looks even better than before and call a plumber for the bathroom sink.