24 June 2011

The Scope of Things or Heavens to Murgatroid!

Had a splendid day yesterday. Today? Not so much. I will be really glad to have the tests on the 30th and find out what is making me so dad-blasted miserable. EGD or esophagogastroduodenoscopy. (Thank you, Lord, for Dr. Google.) That's what I will be doing on the 30th. They are going to knock me out, put a tube down my throat and into my the first part of my GI tract. W00t! Don't be jealous now, it's a sin! Wait! So is sarcasm. Dang. Anyway, this will give the doctor a way to to see what is going on and hopefully diagnose me and give me the tools to manage the problem.

Meanwhile I am learning some great lessons. I am learning to be patient. I am learning that I have limitations and am, after all, merely mortal. Each day I am grateful for the smallest of things. I can't control the seasons or change the number of days allotted to me by worrying. May sound like trivial stuff, but it's the glue of life well lived; gratitude and knowing your limitations. How do folks survive without resting their hopes in a Sovereign God? I used to believe that I was in control. I used to think a lot of silly things.

Years past I was the woman you wanted to know if you had a mountain you needed moving in an hour. Determined, strong and willing to defy the odds. Age and decrepitude have given me a different set of skills. Adapting to the truth of how things are without giving up hope of what they can become. It's a dance best done with flat shoes and the flexibility to let God hold you fast and dip as He sees fit. It also requires solid foundations.

Speaking of foundations.... ladies, are you old enough to remember when under garments were called "foundations" and you went in to be fitted by an expert? I do. It was traumatizing. All those measurements had to be done without benefit of clothes. Now days you can watch television and see more of a woman's body than any corsetiere needed to see. I remind myself of my grandmother, waxing nostalgic for even the traumas of my younger years. It's unavoidable. You end up being the person you laughed at the most when you were a kid. For me that's my grandma. My grandmother would call us by starting with the name of the grandchild that came just after you were born. "Marie! er Linda! Peggy! Laurie........ uh...you get in here!" Sometimes she even mixed up the sexes. "Steven? Really Grandma? I look like Steve? It's Rosemarie!" Her response was always, "You know what I meant." I was especially fond of "Go in the uhh uhh.. um... and the uh uhh... whatchamacallit for me."

Living with my grandmother was fun. Grandma had narcolepsy. Sometimes as she cycled through the names of the grandchildren wanting to call me in to do a chore, her head would slowly get lower and lower until her chins rested on her chest and she began to snore. As a youngster I was compliant and would sit dutifully waiting until her head would come back up and she would finish her sentence. As I got older I would see her nap attacks as my "get out of chores" free card. I know, it's terrible to take advantage of someone who is ill. Grandpa liked it too. Grandma wanted to watch Mitch Miller each night and Grandpa wanted to watch cartoons. Actually, he pretended he wanted to let his grand kids happy by letting us watch cartoons, but he watched them when we weren't around. Grandma would fuss about watching Mitch and we all know that life can be unbearable when the matriarch of the family doesn't get her way. We would gather around and wait for the big event. After a few minutes of singing stupid songs, we would watch Grandma instead of the bouncing ball. Quietly we would wait for it.... wait for it... and then soft as a snow flake settling on the ground her chins would be tucked soundly on her collarbone. We would stifle a giggle and wait for Grandpa to catch on. When he thought the coast was clear Grandpa would change the channel. With any kind of luck we'd be watching "Quick Draw McGraw" and his little side kick, "Baba Louie" getting into misadventures. Or my favorite, Snagglepuss. "Exit stage left!"

Is it the 30th yet?

1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

18 June 2011

Pearls of Wisdom from the OFH

Today we are having a lovely garden variety thunder storm. No warnings for impending danger, just the occasional flash of light and grumble that follows. Grumbles that are audible but not deafening, as if the light is hurting the cosmos or keeping it from sleeping. It's lovely. I like the way it feels and smells. Outside my office from hell, (know from this point on as OFH) there are an array of oriental lilies blooming. The gray clouds and the glistening raindrops make them look fake. Sort of like wannabe bawdy hookers. You know, like Dolly Parton. Not quite respectable but not quite plastic. Their fragrance is lovely though and once the rain has passed I think they will look like proper ladies again.

In other news, I plan to do some more work in the OFH. I am happy to report that 6 of eight of the packages I sent the other day have been accounted for and the two outstanding ones are set to be delivered on Monday. The two that were most important to me are accounted for and that makes me happy. I am happier still to report that my oldest girl has contacted her sister. It's the first proof of life I have had in a month. To my understanding she is living in Mexico and working in the US. She hasn't talked to me in a long time. She's 30 and has her own life and doesn't need me to be a part of it and I can cope with that, I just can't cope with not knowing if she is alive or dead. A dear friend of mine prayed that I would hear from or about her and the next day I was told she contacted her sister.

God's timing is perfect and He seems to answer David's prayers. I have asked him to pray that I will win the lottery and if I win big I promise to pay my mortgage and his. His response? Didn't I just win big when I heard my oldest kidlet was heard from? Yeah, David is one of those clear thinking, solid believers. What was I thinking when I adopted him? Oh yeah, that I needed someone to take care of me when I am older and crazier. Apparently I made an excellent choice, except that he wont leave his family and fly from CA to KY to paint my house for me, he's nearly perfect. Well, as perfect as a Canadian who grew up in the jungles of Ecuador and loathes painting can be.

So that's it for today. I am actually feeling a bit more human. I have succumbed to taking some antibiotics, something I hate to do because they wreck my intestinal balance of flora, which with whatever I have going on in my body starts a chain reaction of unpleasant events. It seems along the way I was having a bout of diverticulitis and Cipro is the best friend of folks with diverticular disease. Now I wish I had given up and taken the drugs earlier. It's nice to have that bit of discomfort gone. It seems with me it is always something. I guess that's true for everyone.

My pearl of wisdom for folks today: You can eat a high fiber diet; get plenty of sleep; use the correct SPF sunscreen and you'll still have to worry about the disposition of your immortal soul. Get the last one right and the rest will work itself out.

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom

17 June 2011

One Million Kisses

Part of my problem with going through some paperwork in my office from hell is that my office has been the holding ground for boxes of pictures and papers that I acquired after my father's death. The sentimental torture is bad enough but my parents were both smokers, though my father quit in his later years. My aunt/step-mom was a bit agoraphobic and anxious. She was a heavy smoker all her life and did the majority of her smoking in a small, closed home. The boxes, photos and paperwork reek of stale cigarette smoke. It's particularly disgusting when you are a reformed smoker. The two forms of proof I have that I was once young and stupid are the years I spent smoking and the tattoos I sport. But enough about my foibles and follies, let's get to the business of this post.

I found a card that was sent to my aunt/step-mother in 1959. It was not sent to her by my father. It is a sweet Christmas card that says on the front "for you, Honey at Christmas." I opened it and inside was a check made out to my auntie for sum of One Million Kisses. The card is signed "I love you" and with the gentleman's name. I have been wondering about this man ever since. Who was he and how is it that they did not end up married and living happily ever after? Why after marrying my father did she keep the cards from this other man? Was he the love of her life? Auntie had a scrapbook full of pictures of fine young men in uniform who made declarations of love to her. Had the author of the check been one of them? Had he gone off to serve in the Korean war and not returned? Did Auntie keep these bits of paper to remind herself that she was once loved by someone who was warm and affectionate? Something my father was not?

I don't have the answers to any of the questions. I have made up several different scenarios that would work. I could probably become wealthy if I took up writing romance novels and used a couple of them as a story line. I have a relative whose name was Ransom Clark. Now if that isn't the perfect name for a man in a Harlequin Romance, I don't know what would be. I wish I could have a conversation with her. I wish we had the type of relationship in my adulthood that she felt safe to tell me stories about her life. I know about the time she and Auntie Diana wanted to play darts but the dart board wasn't mounted on a wall, so they had the brilliant idea that one of them would hold it while the other through the darts. Those are fun stories but they don't begin to show you the cracks and crags that make up a person's character. So I am left to wonder about a man who loved someone I loved, enough to call her "Mrs" on a Christmas card. Did he propose? Did she say yes? I will never know.

Meanwhile I have unceremoniously placed my old love letters and cards from past relationships in the garbage. I hope I will leave those who clean up after me wondering why I had so little left over for a life so full of adventure.

16 June 2011

Somebody Squeezed My Sponge...

....and dirty water came out.

I was pretty heavily medicated yesterday and that made it more difficult for me to practice self-control. I have difficulty doing that on a good day, but with inhibitions removed I have found my calling; I am mean. One of my professors once said, "When you squeeze a sponge and dirty water comes out, it's not the pressure that made the water dirty, the dirt was there to begin with." It's really true. It isn't the (prescribed) controlled substances that make me cranky. I am pretty much cranky to begin with.

As I sit here today I think I am experiencing a prescription drug hang-over. It's hard to tell, my brain is so fuzzy these days no matter what I am taking. I wish you could see my office. It truly looks like a madman decorated it using a fragmentation grenade and a dust buffalo scatter gun. I believe I took my life in my hands trying to get to the desk. Ever seen "Hoarders?" Consider my office looking like something you would see on "Hoarders in Training." I need to find the "umph" and the "want to" to put it into some semblance of order. There is a double pedestal roll top desk, an old one that will not accommodate a computer, literally sitting in the middle of the room. Junk is piled high on all sides. Things are in such a state of disarray I can't know where to begin to make things right.

What I want to do is read a book. This is a perfect day for sitting on the front porch, letting the dogs wander about the yard, while I lounge in the 'zero-gravity' chaise lounge. I have an ever growing list of things I want to do and unfortunately it is being encumbered by the list of things I should do. Stupid guilt glands! Unfortunately the list of things I should be doing mirrors the list of things the doctors have told me not to do. Nice predicament, ain't it?

So, I am going to do something today, even if it's wrong. Maybe I will put the disc of Romans from my Bible on audio on and listen to it, over and over again. Romans is a great tool for getting the dirt out of your sponge.

1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] 2For the law of(A) the Spirit of life(B) has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3For(C) God has done what the law,(D) weakened by the flesh,(E) could not do.(F) By sending his own Son(G) in the likeness of sinful flesh and(H) for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that(I) the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us,(J) who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For(K) those who live according to the flesh set their minds on(L) the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on(M) the things of the Spirit. 6For to set(N) the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is(O) hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law;(P) indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

08 June 2011

Pssst! Delta, What Were You Thinking?

So it's been all over the news today. Delta Airlines charged some US soldiers $2800.00 in fees for their baggage. Google it. The news services and blogs are ablaze. According to Good Morning America, Delta Airlines issued a statement saying they were sorry about any miscommunication. I don't recall hearing that they were going to refund the soldiers their money, though. Don't worry, Delta, the tax payers don't mind paying to get our soldiers and their equipment home, at least this citizen doesn't. What I do mind is rewarding companies doing business like this by giving them my money. Pssst, Delta..... Southwest Airlines flies where I want to go. In fact, the last Southwest Airline flight I took the passengers waited to let the soldiers riding with us deplane first... and the captain of the flight shook their hands instead of shaking them down at the ticket counter.

I do believe in capitalism. I also believe that greed is inevitable in any economic modality. What I have a hard time believing is that in this day of cell phones with video recorders and YouTube, your policy to charge $2800.00 to returning soldiers for bringing their equipment home with them isn't a public relations nightmare for you, one well worth avoiding by allowing the soldiers to check the bags. Did you think the government wouldn't make it? It's not like we pay our soldiers enough money that they have an extra $2800.oo in their pockets. You couldn't have sent a bill to Uncle Sam?

02 June 2011

Instrucciones Importantes en Seguridad!!

Peligro! Instrucciones importantes en seguridad!! I don't speak Spanish fluently. I know enough to get by. Today I opened a package that had directions on how to assemble a product. They were in Spanish. Peligro! Instrucciones importantes en seguridad!! I know that means Danger! Instructions important for safety! It's good to be able to recognize "danger" as one of the words in the instructions. It would, of course, be even more beneficial to understand what the danger is and how to avoid it. But nooooooooo~ I only speak enough Spanish to know that there is something potentially hazardous to me in the assembly of the product I purchased. What do you do at that point? Afraid to continue for fear of injury, too proud to concede I sat staring at the instrucciones as if the gift of tongues would suddenly descend upon me and yea, verily, the pamphlet I was holding would suddenly make sense to me. When knowledge came upon me I would dutifully arise and shout; "Glory to God!" and "Hallelujah!" Surely that would be enough for God to gift me with fluent Spanish for just a moment or two, right?

I could feel frustration rising. What good is it to be smart enough to know that I am reading Spanish and not smart enough to admit that although I could make out a few of the words, I am not fluent and had no earthly idea what I was in danger of doing if I continued to assemble without understanding. Just as I was ready to kick the box, toss the parts over my head and rue the day I had purchased something from a company too stupid to know that I didn't speak Spanish, I saw the English instructions on the box. The pamphlet was there to accommodate their Spanish speaking customers. It was an "and also" and not the sole set of instructions. I admit I felt a little sheepish for thinking the unkind stuff I was thinking. "What good is it to be smart enough to open the box and not smart enough to see the directions on the box as you open it!"

Every day brings forth new challenges. Every day there is sufficient new grace to meet those challenges. He exchanges grace for grace. It's really a packaged deal. Why is it I only seem to target the challenges and not the grace that comes with it? I probably have thousands of unopened packages of grace. The older I get the more they seem to pile up. I get frustrated, I get to feeling down, I get to feeling overwhelmed and I forget to reach for the grace that is mine.
Lamentations 3 is a good place to read when I get like this, especially verses 16-24.

16(W) He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and(X) made me cower in ashes;
17my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness[a] is;
18(Y) so I say, "My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the LORD."

19(Z) Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
(AA) the wormwood and(AB) the gall!
20My soul continually remembers it
(AC) and is bowed down within me.
21But this I call to mind,
and(AD) therefore I have hope:

22(AE) The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;[b]
his mercies never come to an end;
23they are new(AF) every morning;
(AG) great is your faithfulness.
24(AH) "The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
(AI) "therefore I will hope in him."