Monday, April 27, 2015

Just Sharing This and That

We are nearing the end of April.  Can you believe it??  The temperatures certainly don't feel like we'll reach May during this week but it is beautiful nonetheless.  I think this may allow us to enjoy the flowering trees just a bit longer than usual.  Oh, they are so lovely!

We are continuing along.  The house is still a mess but I know that will begin to change over the next month or so.  There is just a lot of work to do downstairs before we can move back in.  We are determined to do things in an orderly way and not just throw it all back down there.  So, I'll keep my "blindfolds" on to deal with all of the extra "stuff" in my dining and living rooms.

A group of us from church went to see Chonda Pierce on Saturday evening.  She is a very special lady.  I hadn't seen her in person before and have to say that all of us walked away just wanting to be her friend.  She is so open and real.  Of course she is funny but she also ministered in a very real way as well.  We did feel sorry for the few men who brought their wives because it was so clearly material that women can enjoy and men...well, not as much.  ;-)

Last week I finally started a process that has needed to be done in my candle shop.  That of creating and listing Bridal favors.  I started with a small tin and will move on to jar candles soon.

Hoping these will catch on as successfully as the baby shower favors have.
I love making baby shower favors
 but am also excited about making a larger variety.
I'm easily bored.
Shame on me.

I'm also excited about some new fragrances.
Sweet Orange Chili Pepper
German Chocolate Cake
Pink Sugar Type
Fresh Cut Grass.

That's what I love about candle making.
There is always something!

Chelsea and I are going to spend most of this morning together.
We still like our mother/daughter time.
Hope that never ends even as she is growing up and has a life 
of her own.

Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Huge Sigh of Relief!

Today Warren, Georgia and I went to the Neurosurgeon to see what he thought about the Arachnoid Cysts on his brain.  It was presumed they were causing his symptoms of vertigo, eye changes and headaches.

The doctor is very sure that is not the case.  He is also convinced that the cysts have nothing to do with the tumor his father had.

We are so very thankful.  Having walked the long road with his father we know that God could just as well have allowed it to be a different outcome.  We also know that every day could be our last.  But in this case He offered us mercy.

Georgia did a happy dance in the waiting room, which was a beautiful sight to behold.  From the deep worries of what might have been to the release of all the stress.

Warren is being referred to another specialist.  One who will investigate the ongoing vertigo symptoms.  But for now that seems minor.

I just thought you might want to know.  :-)

Thank You, so much, for your concern and prayers for our family.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Prayer of a Child

Yesterday I was hawking my wares  selling candles at a women's conference,  At the next table was a man.  A man at a women's conference.  I'm guessing he felt right at home with candles on one side and jewelry on the other.  :-)  Anyway, he was representing a local ministry that after hearing about I was quite impressed with. It sounds like it works smart and efficiently.  It may even be something our church would be interested in getting involved with....but that is yet to be seen.

Anyway, about mid morning, an acquaintance came over and she was a volunteer for the conference. She mentioned what a waste it was to have chocolate covered pretzels weighing down balloons when we could be eating some.  I suggested that if my kids were there we might have the discussion about how many pretzels were actually needed in that bag to hold down the balloon.  Pretty soon the gentleman at the next table was opening that bag and all three of us took a pretzel.  We were amused.

Imagine my horror come early afternoon as another volunteer came over and discovered the bag was open and went to get help because those were doorprizes!!!  They taped it all back together and put it in a pretty bag.  I apologized profusely and was quite put in my place.  It is all so funny until the church ladies aren't happy.  lol

Well, this led to a mini friendship with the man at the next table.  I mean, partners in crime?  You gotta stick together.  And so we began chatting.  It turns out that part of their ministry involves helping families in Guatemala start small businesses to make some additional income.  Our Danish friend, Johnny, has a huge interest in doing this one day so I got some information for him.  Then we continued discussing other aspects of the Servant Ministry and I learned that they do home repair projects for local families in need.  Local churches are the workers for these projects and then if that family or elderly person does not have a church they are loved on and ministered to by a local church in hopes that they will become involved.

This led to a discussion of our church.  How small it is.  How busy our members are in serving their families, neighbors and each other.  But, perhaps one day this Summer there might be interest in a Father/Son day where they meet the needs of a local family that we have yet to meet.

In the process of our discussion I described our unique way of worship as a multi-generational church.  How we don't separate out for various classes or activities and there is no children's church.  I expressed my conviction that this is not "the only right way" to do church, however, it is what our families are comfortable with.  He rightly assumed that we are primarily made up of homeschooling families.  I admitted that we think "differently".  It was a good conversation.

Here is the part that prompted this post.  I told him about one young one, named Asher (4 or 5 years old) who last week prayed out loud in our corporate prayer time.  I say he prayed "out loud" but it was barely above a whisper.  Just enough that we could just make out his words as he prayed for a man in our church, who usually sits right in front of him, who was recovering from hip replacement surgery.
It was not a three word prayer.  His thoughts were well put together and he was so sincere.  I'll tell you what!  That blessed my heart so much!  To hear one of our youngest members caring so much for an adult in need.  He didn't seem to be fearful.  He just stated the need to His Heavenly Father.

 Lord, may we be just like Asher and show loving care and concern for those around us.  May we not fear man but cry out to You with all that is in us in confidence that You want to hear from us.    May we also have childlike faith.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Our New Normal

I thought I would try to put the swirling thoughts in my head into words somehow.  As you know, if you have been reading along, the year of 2015 got off to a rough start for our family.  We hoped that we were through the worst of it but it seems there are more faith building opportunities ahead for us.

Warren's MRI revealed two cysts on the base of his brain.  We will see a surgeon on Tuesday to discuss treatment and I'm also submitting his written MRI report to Johns Hopkins to see if they would see him for a second opinion.  Because they are causing symptoms it looks like we have brain surgery in our future.  You know how when something is simple the phrase is, "Well, its not brain surgery!"?  Well, that has a whole new meaning for us these days.

We would probably be more naive and less concerned about the whole thing if we had not walked the journey of brain surgery and ultimate passing of his father from something originating in the same area of his brain.  Because of that history we will be much more diligent and cautious in how we proceed to make sure we are comfortable with the treatment plan and doctor behind the scalpel.

Please keep us in your prayers....and even more so Georgia, Warren's Mom.  This is so very hard on her.  My heart breaks for the sinking feeling she must have and all the places that she is likely to go with us that have such horrible memories.  We walked that road together and I'm thankful to have her with us on this journey.  We are thankful that Warren's cysts were caught early and are praying that there are no surprises when they get in there.

As far as the basement flooding situation is concerned....we are seeing progress in the trench digging. Four strong young men come for a "few" hours each day and make a LOT of noise and exhaust as they cut the cement floor and jackhammer out the concrete.  We have had our doors and windows open the last two days.  Shiver!  Even so our carbon monoxide detector went off on our upper level.  I walked out the front door, saw movement in their truck and went down to find all four of them in there.  I mentioned the detector going off and they said, "We know.  That's why we are out here."  Um, what about us????  So now I know that they aren't going to warn us if we are about to die.  Every man, woman, cat and dog for themselves.  Good grief.  Yesterday after they left I went down to find a hose running onto the floor, reflooding the basement.  Can anyone say...."You're fired???".  Chelsea has been practicing.  :-)  But I guess we will let them complete their mission and just try to survive them.  For the most part I think the wet saw cutting is done and that seems to be where the carbon monoxide was coming from.  There is a lot of work yet to be done down there and if we survive these guys it should all be worth it.

Backtracking to Monday, we had a wonderful day at Longwood Gardens.  Chelsea, Chadd, Mom and I got away.  It was a very beautiful day!  Chelsea and Chadd have been dating for four months now and wanted some photos so I was invited to be the photographer.  We got a few nice ones.

I asked Chadd if he wanted to kiss her on the cheek for this one.
He looked quite unsure but agreed.
Afterward he said he wasn't sure if it was a trick question.
Not a trick question but it is an adorable photo, right?

You know me....
I had to take photos of the beautiful flowers as well.
Not a lot blooming outside yet but I found what there was to find.

It looks like the dogwood trees should be opening nicely in the next week or so.  But for now there is so much to see in the Conservatory.

Catching us by surprise was the scope of the construction site happening in front of the Conservatory as they work to update and restore the Italian Garden and Fountain Area.

I don't know if you can tell from these photos how huge this is....
but wow.  Since we are used to seeing a very different sight when we 
walk out those front doors this really plays with your brain.

Today I will set up a table of candles for a Women's Conference happening tomorrow.
I've been busy trying make enough inventory for it.
Hoping for a fun and profitable day.
Fun being more important at this point.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bring On April

Bring on sunshine.
Bring on leafy buds.
Bring on tulips and daffodils.
Bring on dry basements and houses put back in order.
Bring on the end of vertigo and the extinction of Anorexia flare ups.
Bring on the healing of abscesses and sore toes.
Bring on the added JOY of Easter!
Bring on a new workspace for me.

Welcome April.
We are so ready for you!!

Chelsea and I spent the morning together.
We enjoyed a new (to us) coffee shop
and then purchased some cement stain....for my new workspace
and some yellow paint for our upstairs bathroom.
I had procrastinated working on it because I hoped that
we would soon be able to just gut the thing and start over.
However, with the downstairs becoming a more urgent 
and expensive project I am going to just brighten it with 
paint, curtains and a soft throw rug and wait...again.
It isn't the end of the world and when the time is right
we shall get rid of the 70's touches.

We then went to Costco and ordered new tires for her car.
No doubt we should have done that before the long winter hit
but that made for a great reason for her to carpool
with her Grandma and Daddy
which eased my mind.
So...what can I say.

I love mornings spent with my girl.
She's pretty grown up now and it is much more like just 
being out with a very good friend.

We are not all healed up here yet.
 I continue to act as Warren's driver but this morning was his
best morning we are optimistic.
He had an MRI/MRA yesterday and we are awaiting those
results and praying for nothing to show up there.

We know prayers are going up
and are so very thankful.

Have a very blessed day.
I'm off to make quiche and candles.
Hopefully the two will not influence each other.
I don't think a quiche candle would be a top seller.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What a Week!

Feels like a theme.  Seriously.  But I told Warren that I think we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Maybe.  Hopefully.

One week ago today Warren's supervisor called me from work and told me that Warren was ill.
He was dizzy and vomiting.  Jim, a long time friend, sounded very serious and distressed.   I told him that I thought he should call 911 immediately.  He mentioned it to Warren who agreed.  And so I planned to meet them at the hospital.  However, since we had so recently had the stomach virus around here I thought perhaps the EMT's would get there and decide that he just needed to get home to bed and when I could hear them leaving our local ambulance base I knew it would be a while before they evaluated him and got him moved anyway so I headed to his work.

I arrived at Warren's office and when I saw him knew that he was very, very sick.  Mom had left her office and had gotten to Warren before I arrived.  I could see on her face that this was no stomach bug.  The First Responders worked with him.  They felt his heart looked good after checking it twice so the decision was made to just get him to the ER.

They packed him up and off we all went.  Poor Warren had sweated his shirt so bad that I could have wrung it out and so he wasn't wearing it as they went.  He told me later that he nearly froze in the ambulance.

Not having a siren or any way to clear traffic it took me a while to arrive at the hospital.  But after parking and hobbling in...yes, my foot is still a serious issue....I found that he had been given a room in the ER.  This is a big deal as there were many people in the hallways lying in beds.  Apparently this was a busy, busy day for them.  The doctor had already seen him and determined that his most likely diagnosis was vertigo.  Wow.  Not great but surely much better than the other options running through our heads.

The poor man was unable to do anything.  Opening his eyes made him ill.  Moving made him act on the illness.  They took him for a CT Scan.  Those results came back good.  Blood work was fine.  We were dealing with acute sudden onset Vertigo.

I've had vertigo.  Never like this.  Thankfully!  Wow.    My poor hubby and best friend.  This has been a very hard and long week.

He is slowly improving.  Even spending a few hours at work yesterday and today.  But I think it will be a while before he is back to normal.  Of course this troubles him with all of the work to be done downstairs...but that is probably what caused it in the first place.  He really pushed himself way beyond what was even possible.  I could see him wearing out and stressed.  Now he is forced to rest.

We hope to get some help here on Saturday to help move the basement contents to the garage so that the company that will come to put in a drain system in April will be able to work down there without ruining our things or banging into them as they dig and jackhammer the concrete all the way around the inside perimeter.

The rest of this week will be busy, busy with Change of Pace (me), running sound for a banquet (Warren), Home School Choir Rehearsals and Concert (me) and then the big move on Saturday.

There will be some hobbling and wobbling but we will get through it.  Believe me, we have been laughing so much around here.  I have teased the poor man mercilessly and he has ordered me to "stand down" when I get too concerned about him.  There is no one I would rather walk this road with.  He is amazing.

One of these days we will look back on March 2015 and see the Hand of God through every bit of it.

Blessings to you and yours.  Hoping you will remember these days for much more fun reasons.  But if you are also walking through hard times don't lose your sense of humor.  It is a life saver.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

And...There is More

Yesterday we woke up to the sadness that Jonathan 
has the same stomach bug that I just recuperated from.
My heart is so sad for him.
With his upcoming back surgery and the herniated disc involved there
I knew that this sickness would be so hard on him.
You can use your imagination as to why.

Due to my concerns for him and logistical issues
of getting my hair washed, dried and styled
I was late to Change of Pace.
It all worked out in the end but I missed singing with my peeps.
Probably for the best as I sat in the pew and cried through most of the 
music as it was.
Singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness" in the middle of a stormy time
of life has whole new, and very special meaning.

I came home to new inches of water in the basement.
This time from another source.
The back.
I went splashing through the waters looking for the pump we had 
purchased.  I became more frantic as I couldn't find it and got on the phone
with Warren to find out that since he had the entire thing dried out 
before leaving that morning it was all disassembled and not 
set up for what I needed at all.

My only option was to go open the toilet flange again and let 
all of that water run to the septic one more time.
I headed for the bathroom which has been under construction
for quite a while down there.
Still talking to him on the phone I took a step, 
then another, reached for the light switch just out of reach in front of me
when my foot went out from under me and slammed into the dresser holding 
a very heavy and large tv above the water.

The pain was muted by the numbing effect of the water but the blood began 
to flow right away.
I opened the "drain" and got upstairs to inspect the damage to my foot.

One of my middle toes showed a lot of damage.
Trauma to the nail bed, purple color popping up, 
immediate swelling and a funky bulge at the joint mid toe.

And so, here I sit.  
Unable to help with the water until this heals enough to not become infected
from flood water.

I do not understand why.
I wish it weren't like this.

But I still trust.
In His plan.
In His faithfulness.

The pain is under control in that toe even without 
pain meds this morning so I'm going to take some Tylenol
a bit later and figure out something to wear on that foot and 
go teach my choirs.  
Thankfully it is not my right foot so I'll be able to drive just fine.
We are nearing concert date and weren't able to 
have practice last week due to the snow....
which worked out because that was the day the flooding began.

Thank the Lord for music!
I'm looking forward to this piece of normal in a very, 
very long week.

Oh!  Yesterday was our 26th Anniversary.
I made a fantastic dinner for us which was so simple
and required little walking or standing.

Prosciutto wrapped chicken breasts
Creamed Green Beans
Sauteed Mushrooms

We looked at each other and just laughed as we ate in the 
living room with my foot propped up and throbbing.
But we were together and have always loved 
working on projects together.
Boy, do we have a big one ahead of us!!
I guess we'll just have to "suffer through".