Monday, December 17, 2012

When I Get to Heaven

The story of Newtown, Connecticut is all over the news and our hearts are full of sorrow for the families that lost loved ones, the town that is having to deal with this horrid disaster, and the victims who's lives were cut short before their time. We know they are with Jesus and are not feeling any pain, totally opposite to what we are feeling.

I get a lot of Facebook posts for prayers and I have followed some stories of children that have been going through different illnesses, some from abuse, and how brave they are and I have been uplifted by the faith of the parents going through the anguish and cried with them. Last week one of these little children, a beautiful angel born with SMA, Briley Faith, gently left her mother and father's arms and moved to her new homes straight into the arms of Jesus. I was so sad that she wasn't healed on Earth, yet rejoiced that she was healed perfect in Heaven. In her short two months here she touched so many lives, including mine.

Four years ago another child, Peyton, crossed over on the same day I found out I had breast cancer. Somehow following Peyton's story helped me get through my struggle. She was so brave after discovering she at leukemia at only four years of age, how could I complain. Peyton's aunt said she was my angel to help me through it. I thought of Peyton often. I never met her, her aunt was on one of my Yahoo groups and had asked for prayer. We sent gifts to Peyton and her brother and followed her story while praying for her daily. Just one example of how the Internet has enriched our lives. Being blessed by some really great people and also, hopefully, having the honor of touching other's lives. 

When little Briley Faith (what a great name for such a beautiful little girl) crossed over, the beginning lines of a poem began swirling in my head. The words kept coming back to me over and over. And then the shooting happened. The same lines bore into my brain and I had  stop what I was doing, sit down, and finish this poem that God put on my heart to write. It was around 11 p.m. and I finished it at 2 in the morning. So this poem is dedicated to Briley Faith and the 20 children that crossed over last week. I have cried buckets of tears and I know tears have flowed through most of America and across the globe even. I've prayed many prayers for the health of our country, Briley's parents, and also for everyone involved in the tragedy and my prayer today is that this poem will somehow touch you and give you comfort. 

Please feel free to share this page with your friends. 

God's Playground

by Karen Arthur
written December 15th, 2012

When I get to Heaven I want first to see,
God’s beautiful playground where the children will be.
Some were abused, many ill, others shot
A few came together, in accidents, some not.
I want to hug all and give them a kiss.
I’ll let them know how on Earth they were missed.
I know that Jesus will be there as well
Holding the children with stories to tell.

I’ll take their hand as I sit on the ground
With all of the children gathered around.
We’ll take turns sharing about how they arrived,
I’ll tell them each one has changed many lives.
I’ll comfort them then and I’ll let them know
Their parents were sad when they had to go.
But they’ll be here someday and to not dismay,
I’ll be there for them until that great day.

Don’t be discouraged, each child’s life has a plan,
Let God’s love surround you while you hold their hand.
And if one is taken by sickness or hate,
They’ll be playing in Heaven right close to the gate.
Watching and waiting for us to appear,
And remember in Heaven there’s never a fear.
So I’ll head to the playground to meet them someday
Excited and happy, I’m coming to play. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank you Veterans, Veteran’s Day 2012

Yesterday our church dedicated three new flagpoles in front of our church to our veterans and active servicemen. It was a beautiful ceremony and honored our 84 year old member of Trinity Life Baptist Church and WWII veteran Carl Wood. He is a really sweet guy and funny. When he spoke he started at his birth and covered his 94 years but it wasn’t too long, he was great. He also worked at the Veteran’s Hospital for thirty years after he got out of the Army, the last three as the director (head honcho). I, for one, am very impressed. I’ve only known him as a sweet old retiree. He even worked at Sam’s Club thirteen years after he retired from the hospital opting not to sit home but staying busy. If he had not begun losing his eyesight he would probably still be working. We were even on Channel 4 news at 9 last night. Well, not me but Mike made it on there along with quite a few members and of course, Carl and his lovely daughter, Barbara Ripley (they kept calling her Riley so I wanted to set that record straight).


My husband was asked to speak during the first service. The Senior pastor who was not in the first service told me three people came up and told him how moving Mike’s speech was so he asked him to speak again at the second service. I’m so proud of my husband for so many reasons and one of them is his heart for God. He wore his uniform and looked so dashing. The picture above is just as he said amen in the dismissal prayer. So Pastor was not being disrepectful by not bowing his head. The other pic had him looking at his watch so I thought this one was better. Didn't want you to think Mike was a longwinded pray-er.  Then we moved outside for the dedication and he was asked to pray again. Guess Pastor Russell thought he need to get prayed up.

Here is his speech from the first service in case you missed it or just want to hear from a veteran in the Viet Nam era about his service experience. Believe me, it’s worth it.
Mike speaking

Background data, Mike and I knew each all our lives because our dad’s worked together. When he was stationed in Japan, he wrote a letter to my dad and mailed it to the house. He said if anyone in your family would like to write, I’d love to get letters from home. Mom swore he was aiming that at me which I knew she was crazy but I wrote to him anyway because I’ve always had a bit of a crush on him anyway. You know, the older man and all. So that’s how we ended up married. It was love at first letter.

We are from a family of servers. My dad was in the army and went to India, Mike’s dad was in the Army Air force and went to Italy, Mike's mom was in the Marines and went to Hawaii as a pastry chef, and my son went to Egypt and Iraq as a medic. And we have lots of friend that served as well. The picture below is from church yesterday. My husband is the one in uniform next to the lady in the red blouse (that’s me) and my friend, Val, is standing in front of me, her husband Joe was in the Air Force. The lady next to Val holding the baby is Jill. She has three boys and her husband Jonathan has been to Afghanistan so many times I’ve lost count but he is at this moment in the states on his way home for good. He has or is receiving a medal (or medals) for saving the lives of many people in a suicide attack on our service men not too long ago. He was injured as well but made it back to keep fighting. Praise God for his bravery and service.

veterans day tlc

So today, on this Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2012, I say thank you to all our veterans and active duty service members for serving our country. Thank you for the sacrifices you’ve had to make and thank you to the families for their sacrifice as well, and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice. Our country would not be free today were it not for our men and women who serve.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Good News is Meant to be Shared

If you don't believe in prayer, let me be a testimony to God's grace and answered prayer.

I was up until 1:00 a.m. looking for a very important paper. First, I looked in the last place I remembered keeping it (my sewing chair compartment under the cushion). Then the next place where I keep important documents, (the jar on my dresser) then the third (several different places I have files like actual drawers). No luck, so then I just tore up the house searching through drawers, closets, bins, book shelves, and more files while keeping my poor husband from having a good night's sleep. I looked in the living room bookcases, the craft room drawers, buckets of junk, any possible place I could have put this huge envelope with an important document. I wouldn't have put it just anywhere. . Would I?

Finally, sweating and exhausted I went to bed. I was praying the whole time. I tried to let my mind relax so God could send me a mental telegram, audio, visual, some sort of message of where to look. I had a fleeting moment of a placing it in a shallow type box and it was gone. Of course, I know I had it in the chair and it's a shallow type box. So much for that glimpse.

The next morning I checked a couple of places I thought of that I might have missed in my ravaging of our crowded, full of junk, space. Nothing. I called Autumn when I got to work after the girls had been delivered to school, and she began looking as well. The first place she checked while on the phone to me was the same spot I had already looked. Under the sewing chair cushion. Yes, not the best place for important papers but it was so important I knew it was safe there, no one ever looks in it. It doesn't have much in it and so not that hard to look inside. We both lifted the two round boards and shuffled the two doilies around. Nothing. Like it was going to materialize.

I talked to Mike on my way home for lunch and told him about how I need that document and I know God will take care of it so please pray that I find it. 

Just before I hung up, Mike said, "I'll say a prayer."

I said "Great."

So I hang up and stand in my sewing room scanning all the possible hiding places I could have stuck a large envelope that could be brown, white, or not even that large, it could be over sized letter envelope. I just knew it was in an envelope. I say to Autumn, the last place I kept it was in that chair. Mom and I took it out one day and looked at it so I thought I moved it to the bedroom to a drawer for safe keeping. Yet, I looked in the drawers and didn't find it.

After all my prayers for God to show me where to look, I just had to look one more time in the chair. I opened it and still, no envelope. Like I said, hardly nothing is in the chair anymore. I picked up the boards, nothing, moved the two doilies on a card. Nothing. I start to put the boards down when something white caught my eye. An envelope folded in two. Not small, just a large envelope folded over. I grabbed it, looked at Autumn with wonder in my eyes.

"Is that it?" She asked. I knew it was it the minute I saw the flash of white. She exclaimed, "I looked there! I even lifted the boards, too."

"I know," I said, "So did I." I thought I did anyway.

I am here to tell you, I serve an Awesome God. A Supernatural God. If that envelope was there, it was invisible to our human eyes but for whatever reason, it was there right before I dropped the cushion down. God answered our prayers. I immediately texted Mike. We had been off the phone for maybe 30 seconds. "I found it!"

"Great, that's wonderful." He texted back. I couldn't stand it, I had to call. Good news is meant to be shared. Not just texted!


Do not tell me God isn't real. He is my Savior, my Salvation, and my Mentor.

Without Him I could do nothing
Without Him I'd surely fail
Without Him I would be drifting
Like a ship without a sail.

Without Him I would be dying
Without Him I'd be enslaved
Without Him life would be worthless
But with Jesus thank God I'm saved.

Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
Do you know Him today
Please don't turn Him away
Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Without Him how lost I would be
Without Him how lost I would be.

A dear friend of Mom's passed away this week. I can just imagine the joy and excitement in Heaven when she appeared at the Pearly Gates. I know Mom was front and center and shouting, "Welcome Gladys!" louder than anybody. And Glady's precious husband Paul planting a big ol' kiss on her angelic lips.

Here's a little poem I just wrote. Hope you like it.

Time slowly passed,
On Earth, nothing lasts.
There's the inevitable signs of aging.
The wrinkles now show,
Aching muscles go slow,
And politics on the news is enraging.
Morals are slack,
The leaders laid back.
The State of the world is a horror.
If God hadn't promised
He surely would vomit
Destruction like on Sodom and Gomorrah.
But His promise He gave
And by dying He saved
All us sinners just for the asking,
For forgiveness of sin
It's the ticket to win
Life with Jesus Christ everlasting.

Like I said, Good news is meant to be shared.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Goodbye Mom, For Now

Mom crossed over into Glory Land early this morning. The phone rang and I missed the call by the time I pulled off the CPAP machine and found my phone. I rang it back as Mike's cell began to ring. On my phone the nurse at the hospital asked me to come to the hospital regarding my mother.

I asked if she had passed and she said, "I'm sorry, yes ma'am she did. Do you want to see her?"

I said, "Yeah, we'll be right there." Thinking this must be normal although nothing seemed normal right then. I didn't cry, I felt relief. She was on her deathbed and I didn't want her to suffer.

Mike's call was the hospice nurse Andrea. She gave me the details as they had been given to her and my head was kind of spinning while trying to get dressed and get on my way. Then the social worker called as we were leaving the house or as we got to the hospital. Not really sure now but I told her we knew and thanks for the call.

When we arrived, they ushered us into room 218 where Mom looked like she did when I left her, except her chest was no longer going up and down. I watched her breathing all week to make sure she was still with us. Occasionally she would moan, choke a little, but mostly just sleep. The pink had left her cheeks and her skin was getting cold but still touchable. I stroked her cheek and told her I loved her as tears rolled down mine.

It is a relief to know Mom is now praising Jesus in Heaven. I know she was met at the gate by my Granny and Grand-dad, Dad, Charlie, her best friend after Dad and Granny went to Heaven, and so many others too numerous to name.

No one wants to lose a loved one but no one wants to see that loved one suffer. It's is a hard thing to do, but it was good for me to spend the last few weeks spending extra time with Mom. She lived with us but we are always so busy with life that we don't often slow down and spend time just talking. I spent every lunch hour at the nursing home or hospital and every night someone went by to visit and keep her in the present and out of the scary other worlds her mind took her. She had some good days and some bad nights. Mom had always had a sharp mind. She was a crack crossword puzzle solver so it was hard for her to lose her memories. And she knew it was happening. She had moments of normal followed by fear and confusion then back to normal but she remembered much of the confusion as real. Then she'd realize she was losing it. She told me two weeks ago when she got her ability to talk back briefly, "I didn't want to go this way." Heartbreaking.

If I have one takeaway from this experience to share with others, it is this; spend time with your loved ones. Go visit your parents, visit with your children, call your friends, stop and smell the roses, then pick some and take them to someone who needs a little cheer in their life. Life is too short to be mad, sad, rushing, fearful or confused. Mom ended up very confused with dementia but you could see her personality even in her confusion. Be careful how you live because all of your traits, good or bad, are magnified when your mind starts to fade a little. I want to be happy, do good, make a difference, be at peace, so when someday should I get dementia, forgetfulness, or confusion, let my true self show through with beauty, grace, and no fear. I want my legacy to be, Karen gave of herself and her heart was full of love. I want to be a giver like my Mom. No one could go hungry around her, she'd give off her own plate. Literally, "Here, eat this. I won't eat it." Even if she just took her first bite.

I know Mom is at perfect peace now and full of joy. That is how I see her, with her beautiful smile, young and dancing with my dad. I told her when she gets to Heaven, Dad and Charlie will be fighting over her. She laughed at that. She was blessed to have found love twice and nursed them both in their sicknesses. Dad passed away at 52 with cancer and Charlie suffered from MS their whole courtship. Mom was a caregiver so it was hard for her to accept our care giving to her. Always stubborn and self sufficient, she hated being dependent on anyone. Unless, it suited her. I sometimes think she saw herself as queen and us her subjects. Ha! Yes, at times we butted heads but we loved her and she loved us with all her heart. She would do anything for her kids or grand kids if it was in her power and sometimes even if it wasn't.

Mom loved her Bingo. She had Bingo friends that she missed dearly since she hadn't been able to go in a year. She had church friends from forever that she still talked to often. I grew up sitting in the laps of her, dad, and all of their friends while they slammed dominoes on the table boasting their victories. Mom was a ferocious player. She liked to win and she was good. My brother and I grew up playing with Mom and Dad in every kind of game such as 42, pinnochle, hearts, spades, even double nines, tri-ominoes and anything else we could find to play. As Randy got older we had to hog tie him to play with us but Mike came along and we became partners with Mom and Dad in the weekly games. We were just like the old folks playing dominoes. As a kid we had fun vacations and always had our games with us to keep us busy in case of rain. Mike and I continued that tradition even to this day we take extra things to do or play. That may be why I love rain and don't mind rainy vacations.

Autumn just brought me a Grandmother's Memories book that we gave Mom and we didn't know she had filled it out. Oh my, now this brought tears to my eyes reading her memories. Pastor Russell asked me tonight if she had a favorite bible verse and I didn't remember one. Here it is in the book.

2 Timothy 1:12

King James Version (KJV)

12 b for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

I had some tears reading some of her answers.

I know there is a God because
     I feel His presence.
I believe when I go to Heaven
     I will meet my loved ones face to face.
An important lesson I hope all my children and grandchildren learn
    To always be honest, serve the Lord, and be kind to one another.
Someone who helps me be a better Christian today
    Your Grandmommy (me)
    PePaw Charlie (her companion for 25 years)
Something I have learned about getting along with others
     Do not criticize, be a good listener, which sometimes I'm not because I guess I want to talk.  
     (anyone who knows my Mom knows this is TRUE.)
My best friend now
     Actually I have always said your Grandmommy is not only my daughter, but also my 
     best friend, which I think she is.

Nuggets of silver and gold left behind for us to find.

Thank you Mom. I will always love and miss you.

So Goodbye.  For now. I'll meet you on the other side.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Waiting for God

What a difference a few days make. Mom seemed to be getting better but I think it was a nice gift. Mom was able to talk for a day and a little the next day. It was blessing and we were able to try to calm her fears. The dementia or brain damage is causing her body to fail.

The doctors advised against a feeding tube to prolong her life but really we didn't want to prolong her suffering. They assured us the dementia would prevent her from being hungry. She is in the hospital but they are discharging her Thursday and we are taking her home to her house and she will be under 24 hour hospice care. My brother will come into town tomorrow night and will stay with her until she crosses over into the Promised Land.

I had a meltdown at the hospital today and ended up not going back to work. They were simply ignoring her and she seemed to be choking so I went and asked if they ever checked on her. They simply didn't seem to care one way or the other. I asked the tech if he ever observed her to see if she was choking or her breathing and he said, "I don't have time." In a very how dare you expect me to waste my time taking care of a patient that is dying kind of voice. At least that's how I felt. I asked him if his intention was to just let her suffer and die? I know she's dying but this is supposed to be comfort care, not I get to be comfortable while you suffer care. I told them they may as well put a pillow over her face since they were just letting her choke. So ridiculous. Be very adamant with your loved ones. We have to be their advocates when they can't speak for themselves.

Needless to say, I went balistic, told him the get the respiratory therapist to suction her mouth and he came back and said she's coming but she doesn't think she can do anything since she's on hospice. So when she came, I went balistic on her and she said she can't do it if the doctor doesn't order it. I said, "So, you're telling me that if a patient in this hospital is choking to death, you're just going to let them die because the doctor didn't order it?" She didn't want to put a tube down her throat in case she started bleeding. I said just suction her mouth and get the gunk out of it so it doesn't roll down her throat and choke her to death. I used a choice word or two to get my point across. Not proud of it but she got the stuff and set it up. Don't mess with me when I'm taking care of my Mama or my kids and I'm sure if my hubby is in that position, I might stomp on someone's head. Just sayin'. I may go redneck on them.

I already had the hospice nurse on the phone and she was appalled at their behavior and came right out as she was about to come anyway and the social worker came out to tell me the hospital caled that they were going to discharge her today. By now, I'm about to lose it and already told Nurse Andrea that my brother was coming Thursday and we could take her home if necessary. She deemed her 24 hour care and they began calling the idiot lady who said they were kicking her out. My poor Mom had already been kicked out of the rehab (they wouldn't let us bring her back Sunday), kicked out of Baylor so to speak but that's whole other story, and now kicked out of Dallas Regional (I do NOT recommend this hospital after our treatment).  On the other hand, I should have stayed at Baylor since I had an option at the time but I let someone else push me to make a different decision that I now regret.

My pastors came out and I think they may have heard Pastor Russell ask if I had a good lawyer. They were very comforting and offered any help if I need it. Prayed for Mom before they left.

The nurse spoke to the tech who never apologized to me even though she said he felt bad about it but it was very hectic at that time. Funny, when I went and got him he was sitting down behind the desk. The doctor said she's had trouble with him before and wanted me to lodge a complaint but I think Nurse Andrea did it for me. I don't want to complain on someone that is taking care of my Mom. At least not until after we've left. He did make a 180 and was very much kinder after that.

So the doctor came in (our nursing home doctor is the hospital doctor) and said the hospital wanted to discharge her because there was some kind of inappropriate admission and she said we don't have to worry about it, we won't get a bill, the hospice people will have to take care of it. So Mom's staying until Thursday and then going home to her house. I really hope she makes it because all she really has ever wanted to do is to go home. And if she doesn't make it that long, then she will truly be going Home to her Heavenly Father. So it's all good.

Praying she makes it and we are all around her to say goodbye at that time when God takes her to her Forever Home.

Mama, I love you and I'm going to miss you like everything but you'll be so happy in Heaven with Dad and Charlie, Grannie and Grand-dad and everyone else that's waiting at the Pearly Gates right now because they know you're coming soon. <3

Friday, October 5, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I decided to move my FB updates on Mom to my blog since they are getting longer and longer.

Mom can now talk again. Not perfect but I can understand her most of the time. She's scared. She started crying and said, "I have cancer."

Autumn and I said, "No you don't"

She argued, "Yes, I do!! I am dying."

I told her we're all dying but I would tell her if she had cancer. We had to get the nurse in there and I think we may have her convinced for now. She was great and explained everything to her about why she is there and what they are treating her for and she seemed to understand. I may have to tell her again and again. Her biggest fear my whole life has been that she'll get cancer. It was kind of a joke. My dad said once, "Billie's always been afraid she'd get cancer and I'm the one that got it." He passed away at 52 and she is 83 and still afraid of cancer. I told her I had cancer and I'm still here, but you don't even have it so quit worrying about it. Everytime she has an issue, she says, I bet it's cancer. She actually did have skin cancer but not bad.

Still, she does have a clue about what is happening to her. She has always been sharp as a tack. Only a year ago she did every crossword puzzle she could find. She told me later, "I don't want to die." I told her it was up to her and God, I don't have anything to do with it but she has a lot of people waiting for her and it'll be a wonderful. happy place and she has no reason to be afraid because she accepted Jesus as her Savior. I alos told her that until then, we are doing everything we can to keep her comfortable and well.

Very hard to see your mother so frightened and not really in her right mind. At least she can verbalize now and we know what she's feeling and can talk to her about her fears.

Most of the time she's smiling and happy. Last night she was breathing pretty heavy but today seemed much better. They give her Dilauded for comfort to help with the breathing, I don't think she's in any pain. She has moments of different personalities, they're all hers, just sort of separated into different groups. The scared Billie, the almost childlike Billie, the tired Billie, and knocked out Billie.

I asked if she wanted me to read some more of the book I've been reading to her. She smiled big and said, "Yes." She's enjoying the book, Heaven is For Real. It's a really good book.

So I read a chapter and in the middle of the second one she started to say something. I said you want me to stop now. She said, "yes." I could tell she was tired. We left to go get something to eat and let her rest. We left our things behind so she'd know we'd be right back. Paige was with us (2 year old grand-daughter) and was very upset we left it. She is going to be very controlling someday. What am I saying, she already is.

We went to the gift shop and picked out a stuffed puppy for Mom. Well, Paige picked it out, a pink poodle with big eyes. She insisted on two. "One for Nanny and One for Me." Who could say no? Then she didn't want to leave Nanny's with her and pitched a fit when we left. Very strong willed and prissy at that. The lady in the cafe thought she was in pageants by the way she walked and put her hand on her hip. Nope, it's all natural.

When I got home, a different doctor than yesterday called and he was sooo nice. He's leaving information in the room for me about the artificial nourishment (feeding tube), etc. They think the dementia disease is so progressive that it would not be ethical to insert a feeding tube. Our concern is that she will starve to death and be hungry. They said her brain will not tell her she's hungry but we can just let her eat what she can for pleasure. I'm prone to agree. She had chocolate pudding today and had some trouble swallowing but she enjoyed it and smiled. She had a little ice cream too and swallowed. As long as she can have her sweets she'll be happy. She had already volunteerily quit eating and pretty much quit meat. Nothing was tasting good or she just didn't feel like eating.

I hope I am not bringing anyone down with my updates but this is just what is going on and if it is hard to read, I'm really sorry. I know her friends and family are so concerned and waiting on any word and the best way to let you all know is to post it publicly for all to see. Easier than calling one by one and phone chains can get information all mixed. I'm not even sure I remember everything the doctor tells me and miss important facts from person to person. I think my head starts spinning at "Hello, I'm Dr. so and so."

So this is my journal of how Mom is doing and her ups and downs. I'm sure later I'll read it and say, Wow, I totally forgot about that. I'll be glad I wrote it all down. I re-read my caringbridge one day and I found it very interesting and had totally forgot a few things. When you are battling cancer or any disease, you seem to make it through by the grace of God just when you need it. Of course, same goes when you're caring for a family member. I am amazingly calm but I do have some extra help with that besides my family, who have been great.

People say if there's anything I can do let me know. I hate to ask anyone for anything, always have which is why I get stressed out. I am hoping if I have a takaway from this I will be more aggressive and doing and not just offering since I know what it's like now more than before. One of the best ways to help is to sit with her. I need time away but I don't want her to be alone. I want to be there 24/7 but I can't. Yet, I now she's better when I'm there so I feel rather guilty when I'm not. I try to go everyday or night. I did it in the nursing home and now in the hospital but it's harder since Baylor is farther away and I still work 40 hours a week.

Mom needs to know people care about her. She has always needed that since I can remember. Her self esteem has never been too high and she needs constant reassurance that she is loved. I don't know why, maybe from something in her childhood but she loves visits even if she cries, which she has always been over emotional. She passed that on to us so it's a genetic thing.

Our house is torn apart with a plumbing leak and weird flies are everywhere. Mike is going to try to fix it himself and we have to repair the floor and move all the furniture. Our finances are pathetic. I know God will provide but with all that is going on, it is so stressful I haven't even had time to pay the regular bills. It's so depressing and I'm sure I'm racking up late charges.

I'm so tired I'm running on adrenaline. My blood sugar as been a little high this week, probably from not eating regular meals or just not being hungry when I do have food in front of me.

We have a  busy day tomorrow with Reace being head cheerleader, then taking Kaylyn to the zoo for her internship and leaving Autumn and the other girls while Mike and I attend a photography workshop, then back to the zoo and Harry Hines to a shop for the cheerleaders. It's sort of a happy day outing to put set aside some of the pain and just have some fun. I'm not sure we'll get to do it all but we'll see if the stars align and give us a much needed break. Then we'll head back to the hospital to see Mom.

If you are still reading after this ridiculously long post, I Love you All and Thanks for All the Prayers. My friends and family Rock.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Grandmommy's picture

While the boys were in town, my daughters tried to make me my very own
 GRANDMOMMY pic kind of like
Papaw's Father's day gift last year.
This is a little blurry, I pulled it off Facebook from a cell phone upload. But you get the idea.
I've been giving them fits to make me one.

Well . . . 
Nice try girls.
 Paige was not in a cooperative mood and if you look close, Lacey is hiding behind the tree holding up Elijah so her legs are hilariously behind Paige who is holding the DM that is supposed to be between the N and O. But you know what? I love it. It's real in typical kid's style.

Of course, I wouldn't mind having Photoshop if I knew how to use it.
Hopefully that will be someday soon.

After I pay off the insurance company for repairing my car from accidently backing into a truck last week. The truck survived, my lift gate did not. $249 deductible is about what I had planned to spend on Photoshop on sale. Oh well.
Life is a bowl of cherries, and you just have to spit out the pits so you can taste the sweetness. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Butterfly Magic

I couldn't resist sharing a picture of this beautiful butterfly
I encountered on our Kansas trip while visiting my daughter's family.
Trying to capture these fluttering creatures digitally is quite a trick.
They don't like to sit still for two seconds.

This was taken at the Salina, KS Wildlife Adventure. It is a small zoo but any bigger and I might not have made it all the way through. It was hot, I was tired, and the camera got heavy. I'm not a long distance walker due to osteoarthritis in my right knee but the new knee brace was a life saver. I'll add more pics of the trip soon. Lacey and her two boys came home with us so we are crazy busy.

I am blessed to have all three of my children and five grandchildren in one house for short time. It felt so good hearing all of their voices together today as they talked and laughed. Not that it's always fun and games. Three of the crew were under the weather today so looking forward to good health tomorrow and a family portrait before we have to take our three visitors back and lose them once again to the Kansas plains.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting Organized - A Tutorial - Ribbon Storage out of recycled Pringle cans

I am always looking for ways to be more organized. So here is something Autumn started doing while we were on vacation. Using the (cleaned out) Pringle can to store rolls of ribbon.
Then today she mentioned she thought of covering the cans with scrapbook paper and putting a scrap of ribbon on the outside so we'll know which ribbon is in which can. Of course, I jumped on it and covered a couple for her today.

First, eat all the Pringles (or put them in a baggie) and wipe out the can really good so the salt or grease from the chips doesn't get on the ribbon. Then cut the 12 X 12 scrapbook paper sheet down to size to fit the can.

I used double sided tape around the bottom, top and middle of the can to stick it down, then put a strip down the inside to hold it all down tight.

 I used another strip down the seam to put the scraps of ribbon.

Using the heat tool I cut a scrap off of each roll to add to the side of the can.

Put the scraps on the sticky tape and
and Voila, ribbon storage.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

More Pics of the Teacher's Gift Boxes

Here are pictures I promised you of the other boxes I made tonight. So cute.

 I added the teacher's names in precut letters to the spine.

 My favorite I think.

All finished.

 I put felt in the bottom of the box and added a bead for a handle.
Not that it needs a knob but it's cute.
And candy bars for a treat.
And my beautiful daughter Autumn put them in the plastic bags for the girl's teachers tomorrow.
Day one, done!
 This is my side of the craft room. I'll post pics of the room after I get one more side done.
I worked most of the day Saturday. It's looking pretty good.

I forgot to mention the beautiful blouse I'm wearing was a gift from my hubby yesterday.
He's so thoughtful. He went to Walmart yesterday and when he got home I asked, "What'd you buy me?" He said I did buy you something and handed me this colorful blouse that I must say, matches the box I made in the previous post. 

TEACHER'S GIFT - Repurpose A Cricut cartridge box

Next week in Teacher appreciation week in our little neck of the woods we call North Texas. My daughter and a friend call it their Super Bowl. They go all out planning and making wonderful, inexpensive gifts too wow the teachers. So much so, that the teacher's fight over who gets to teach my 2 school age grand-daughters and Kim's 4 kiddo's.

This is one I am making for my grand-girl's teachers out of recycled Cricut cartridge boxes. I bought a plastic electronic cartridge container and took all my Cricut cartridges out of the bulky boxes to made more room on my craft shelves. I love the boxes with the little magnet closures and couldn't bear to throw them out so I covered them with scrapbook paper and decorated the tops. You can choose your own flavor of embellishments. I've only made two so far but I am about to go back to the craft-room to make some more.

Here are the pictures of how I did it and the finished products. I'll add the others when I'm finished with my creations.

I used double sided tape to stick the scrapbook paper onto the box. Just put the strips at strategic locations. I suggest you put one on each side of the spine and down the middle of the spine. I didn't on the first one and paper didn't lay flat.

Measure the box and cut the paper accordingly. The Cricut boxes I did were 7 1/2" wide and I cut 11 to 11 1/2" long to wrap about the flap but don't over the magnets as they won't pull as strong through too much paper. If you cut too short (I did the first time) just cut another strip of coordination scrapbook paper and put a piece of ribbonor another strip of  coordination paper down the cut edge.

Now pull the top strip off the double sided tape and carefully stick the paper to the box.

Add embellishments. I put letters on the spine with the teacher's name.

Add a gift for the inside. Candy bars, cookies (put in baggie so it doesn't make grease spots on the box, a bracelet, pencils, etc. Whatever you want to add. You could also cover the inside with felt of velvet to make it a jewelry box. It could be a marker, scissor, pencil box.

Have fun!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What a day for skinny dip.

No, not swimming naked. More like my skin swimming in liquid Nitrogen.

This has definitely been a day. I went to the dermatologist and got some of the ugly keratosis frozen. The back ones I can't see, no problem. Well, except for the pain that is. The legs, not bad. The arm, the stomach, not even hurting now. That's all good. The neck, ew, kind of ugly but I can cover those up with a collar. But, the face. The face. I wanted them off, I hate having to see them in the mirror when I occasionally put on makeup so I wanted them gone and I know, in a couple of weeks, you won't even be able the see the scar. That's the beauty of eradicating them. But today, and for the next two weeks, sigh. I look like I've been in a boxing match and lost. Or a swarm of bees thought I was stealing their honey. Very puffy and swollen.

They removed over 30 keratosis, I had 100 on my back alone. They didn't take them all, I'd be in the hospital I think if he did. I'm embarrassed that I have so many and yet it's nothing I did, they just are. But I hate them. Yes, I said hate. They're ugly, they grow and I scrape them off but they come back. The only way to get rid of them is to freeze, burn, whatever they do. I've had them cut off, cut out, burned and frozen. This doctor is into liquid nitrogen so he freezes them and it burns. I got a little freaked when he was so close to my eyeball I could see the spray. Guess I should have kept my eyes closed more. I don't know what I was thinking. I thought I did but I just had a short term memory pop into my head. Funny how that happens. I think it's an old age thing.

He threw in a wart or two and some other name bumps I have no memory of what he called them. another old age thing. He won't remove the dreaded skin tags, says the insurance doesn't cover that so I should just clip them off. He told me that six months ago. They're still there. Clipping never works for me so why bother. They just come back. And it hurts.

I'm going to try to castor oil again. I've heard that helps get rid of them but it's so oily and yucky. By the way, you put it on the bump, not drink it. I definitely would not drink it.

So that's what I did at the end of my day.

Friday I get a new knee brace and pinning all my hopes on being able to walk without pain. Okay, without as much pain and not having those scary I almost fell moments. That can be embarrassing because it happens so fast and the sudden shooting pain makes me yelp. Loud. I'm sure people think I'm nuts.

I went in around the first of March to be fitted for a new kick butt knee brace and called when I got home from vacation to see if it was ready and apparently, the fax didn't go through to the manufacturer so I had to wait longer. Then it was held up in customs at the border of Mexico. Really? I called today and she said, oh yes, it's in and I have the authorization (I'm guessing from the insurance) and I was going to call you. For the record, she has not called me once, I have always had to call her and she's always about to call. We can see you next Tuesday. Are you kidding me? I've been waiting a month and a half and through no fault of my own, it's been delayed and now I have to wait another week???? Well, let me check, she says (now you're going to check?), I can fit you in Friday at 9 am if you can make it. Great, I'll be there. I know she probably recalled that I try to fit all my appts on my lunch hour or after work. We'll go with that. I'm feeling generous today.

So, now, maybe I'll go try to get my cell phone replaced. It fell in the toilet at church last Wednesday night. I forgot it was in my back pocket, nuff said, no mental pictures please. Now it's decided not to read the SD card which means no camera and I must have my camera. (We are spoiled these days, remember when a cell phone was just a phone. Or we didn't even know what a cell phone was? That's not that far back friends.) So it's either new phone or deciding between The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. Such decisions.

Hope you have a good day. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

How about a beaded doll tutorial?

A Bead Doll Tutorial

I made this little bead doll in 2008 while I was recuperating from my breast cancer/mastectomy. Don't look too close, I'm still in my Jammies. Of course, this was after I was able to get out of bed and move my arms again.

I remember the cute beaded doll necklaces that were the rage when I was a little girl in elementary school back in the 60's. I wish I still had mine. They sold at M.E.Moses for $1.00 to $2.00. I was going to try to make one like that but I found one similar to this in the gift shop at the hospital and bought it so I could try to make it. Mine isn't as perfect as theirs but it was fun making it and kept me busy since I was stuck in the house and not very mobile.

Tools you will need.
Needle nose pliers,
wire cutters,
flexible but stiff enough to hold it's shape wire,
various size beads,
Optional: bead stringer spinner. 

Cut 3 lengths of wire about 12" each depending on the size of doll
you want to make and depending on the beads.
With the needle nose pliers, wrap about 3 times around the tip
of one end. this will be the feet and hold the beads on the wire.

Choose the beads you want to use for the legs and feet.
A teardrop works well for the feet.
Long beads for the legs. Have fun with it.

Repeat for both legs. When at the right length,
Slide a larger bead onto both wires for the hips.
It will need to have a larger hole to fit both wires through.

Add another bead for the upper body.

Take a second wire, find the center and wrap around the body wire for the arms.

Thread beads on each for the hands and arms.


Another teardrop for the hands then pull back through all the arms beads back to the center.
Add a charm to one of the hands if you like.
Handbag, picture frame, heart, etc.

This is how it looks up to now.

The last bead on the arm only goes through the wire once to create an end.
Use small enough wire that flexible enough to pull back through.

Pull it tight against the body.
You will now have 4 wires at the top.

Choose a larger bead for the head and put all 4 wires through the hole.
On some I added another wire for 6 strands of hair.

String seed beads on each wire. 

Clip the ends to desired length.

 Wrap the ends around the needle nose pliers about 3 times.

Clip close to spiral.

You can also string the beads with a bead spinner.
Pour some seed beads into the bowl.

Place the end of the wire into the bowl and spin.

The beads will slide up the wire.

Finish off each end.

 Squeeze the circles together if needed.

You are now ready to curl the hair.

I used a thin metal rod to wrap the beaded wire around.

Spread out as desired.

 Glue a pin back on the doll. You can make a loop for a necklace.

Have fun with it. Be creative.


Lot's of design possibilities.

 Some others dolls I made.

Hope you enjoy making the bead dolls and have some fun designing.
I would love to see your creations.
Please leave a comment with a link to share your design.