Monday, May 18, 2015

Back to Normal?

Well, we are quite far from normal as far as the house is concerned.  But the schedule is coming back to a more normal pace which will be helpful in getting things back on track in here.  It is crazy how life can just consume and overwhelm and there is not a blessed thing you can do about it.

Warren is at about 80 percent of his old self where it relates to his health.  He tires very easily and still has visual disturbances then.  We'll see if he just keeps getting better or if he has to have testing that is scheduled for June.  Bless his heart he has been trying to keep up with the house stuff and our aging cars that are breaking faster than he can fix them.  It is a blessing to have a husband who is handy like that....seriously.

Our mothers are on a large ship out there somewhere.  They went through the Panama Canal on Saturday.  Can't wait to hear all about their adventures.  They scare me.....something about four wheeling and other such craziness.  But you know what?  Those ladies are up to these challenges and it is amazing to see them embrace life like they do.

I'm having fun designing new baby shower favor candles.  Since my normal jars are out of stock I've been playing with small tins.  There is always something good that comes from a frustration such as having those jars stuck in a shipping container in LA after the strike out there.  Aren't these precious?

I put them in my Etsy shop.  Now to get them listed on my web site.  So much updating to do.  But I really love it.

We had a very nice day at church yesterday.  I got to spend the afternoon chatting with two ladies that I never get to spend enough time with.  Some of that is my fault because I could make time during the week to get together with friends but you know how that goes.  We all have plenty to do with our families and it just doesn't seem to happen.  I'm glad we tend to spend our Sundays together so that these friendships can blossom and grow.  We ladies really need friends.  Sharing of ideas and encouragement is definitely important to us.

Since it was a week that I wasn't playing the piano or singing I decided to go a bit more involved with what I brought for lunch.  So I did chicken and waffles.  This seemed like a good idea and actually worked out pretty well until the entire waffle maker fell apart mid waffle.  lol  Thankfully it had made it through one double batch of waffles and I was just making a third batch so I think that anyone who really wanted them got them.  Warren isn't sure if we will be able to save the waffle maker or not but in any case it was kind of fun.  Probably won't do it again any time soon since it requires so much time and stuff being hauled with us.  Normal Sundays don't allow that kind of added work.

I think I continue to write here this morning to avoid getting started with my day.....and so I should probably get moving.  Chelsea and I have a few errands to run this morning and then I have some fundraiser and Etsy orders to make up this afternoon.  We are looking forward to a visit from Warren's cousin this week and so I should go rearrange the stuff in our dining room and living room to clean under it.  :-)  I'll at least feel as if I tried.

Have a very blessed day!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bits and Pieces From the Weekend

 Found this sweetie in our yard on Saturday.
Wished I could keep her but we found out where she belonged.
Such an itty bitty thing....and so sweet too.

 I took my annual dogwood tree pictures.
Just because.....

Randomly received these Mother's Day 
flowers from a mystery sender.
LOVE them!

Enjoyed two delicious desserts made by Chelsea.
We are dreaming of the day strawberries are ready to 
pick nearby.

This also had a layer of strawberries. 

 After Georgia made a scrumptious lunch for everyone at her house
we girls headed out to Groff's Nursery to gather some
flowers to spruce up the empty spaces on the deck and 
in hanging baskets in our yards.
This is the second year we've done this on Mother's Day.
Could be a tradition as long as Chelsea lives in the area.
She loves tradition.

The kids hosted a picnic on our deck for us.
It was delicious.
Mikey and Emily brought a beautiful hanging basket.
It is so full of blooms.
Here's hoping I don't kill it with my 
brown thumb.
I'll really try because I truly do love and appreciate it!!

Candid shots of two of the most important women in our lives.
We are so thankful that they are friends 
and for all the ways they pour into 
our lives.

My Mom (Ruth) has the dog.
Warren's Mom (Georgia) is in yellow.

I know that many of you had amazing weekends with your families...
I saw some had sick kiddos...
while others were missing those that they love because of distance
and other reasons.
Whatever your situation I pray that God blessed you
with His love and peace.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Good News From Johns Hopkins

We left our home at 6 am this morning.  
Warren, Georgia, Chelsea, Chadd and I.
Our mission was two fold...
with the second being a bit iffy.

We saw the sun rise in all of its beautiful 
pink glory.
It was hard not to stare.

Flowering trees and other Spring decor made us sigh
with contentment all the way to I-95.
The back roads of Pennsylvania and Maryland are
simply at their finest right now.

The one thing we knew we were going to do was 
find our way back to the Neurology Outpatient Department.
It had been eight years since we had been there with Warren's father.
Those visits had been rough!
So, there was definitely some tension in all of us as we
approached the hospital area.
Both Warren and I were going in with expectations that 
this doctor would likely agree that the cysts on his brain
were not worthy of further treatment, 
which is good and bad. 

Good....because no one should have brain surgery 
if they don't have to.
Bad...because we don't have a sure answer for what is
causing his symptoms.
However, with him feeling better most of the time
we were surely hoping for a recommendation of 
watchful waiting.
That was exactly what we got.
Our doctor was soft spoken and very kind.
He carefully reviewed the MRI we brought with us
and put our minds at ease.
To further be sure that what they are seeing are truly 
just small cysts they will do follow up MRI's 
over the next year or two.
If there are no changes we will just be free on that count.

The second part of our agenda depended on this good report.
That was going over to the Inner Harbor.
That was the reason Chels and Chadd came along 
so I really hoped that it was going to happen.

We got done at the doctor's appointment just after 9 am
which made for an easy decision to go across town
to the waterfront.

We've discovered that we like to park in the Hyatt parking garage
and walk across the third story bridge over the highway.
It is nice to not feel in danger of getting hit
 just getting to the 
other side.

Our first stop was Barnes and Noble for a quick snack.
Breakfast was long gone by that point
and so we rode the escalator to the second level 
in this fabulous restored building and 
enjoyed some bites while on the balcony looking over 
the water.

Here's a bird's eye view of what we saw.

The others wandered off and Warren and I stayed here a while 
to enjoy the feathered critters and decompress from the appointment.
We just enjoy spending time together....
even after all of these years.

Then we met up with Georgia for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.
Several times we have attempted to go there for dinner when we
have visited only to find a wait of more than an hour.
We've always passed.
This time we were there when they opened the doors
 and got a prime table 
on the deck.
Oh yeah!

Chelsea and Chadd found a Chick-fil-a for lunch on their own.
Those silly kids. 

We finished off our lunch with a shared piece
 of their 30th Anniversary Cheesecake.
By now Chelsea and Chadd had joined us again and we coaxed
Chadd into helping us eat it.

Yes, it was as good as it looked!!

Finally it was time to head out.
I remembered just in time to get a photo, or four, of the 
cute couple....

Here's one.

It was a very good day.
Topped off by a nap upon our return and dinner made for us 
by Chelsea.

And now I must prepare for a craft show tomorrow
to raise money to help families in Guatemala 
learn to start small businesses
of their own and become 
financially independent.

I love my "job"!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quick Trip

 This is all you really need to know about the mountains....
as far as I am concerned.

 The sound of the stream as it goes on its way.
Way better than the sound of the ocean.
It is almost lyrical.

 Normally we go to this beauty in the early Autumn.
There are leaves on the trees.
Visiting here in the Spring brought the stream much more into focus.
The perfectly smoothed rocks are so pretty just under the water.

 This is the type of water I grew up with
when we lived a short walk away from Penn's Creek
in Central PA.
Many, many Summer days were spent splashing and playing 
with friends in the "swimming hole".

 Bandit loved this trip.
She even made the drive on my lap both ways
with no throwing up!
This is probably a first.
I'm so pleased....of course!

 Can you imagine putting together a jigsaw puzzle from this?
The reflections and stones would make you batty.

 The noise maker.
Just a bunch of rocks.!

 This was Chadd's first visit to the mountains.
Somehow he didn't mind supervising dish washing
and even dried some.

We missed all of the people who are normally with us up here
but since we didn't get up there in the Fall
this trip just needed to happen when it could
with those who could make it.

The drive is the biggest deterrent for me.
It takes a very long time to get from one end of Pennsylvania to the other.
We broke it up with a delightful stop at Fisherman's Paradise
to meet up with Allan and Bev.
It was so good to see them and to visit a place where Allan and I 
spent hours and hours when we were younger.
He with his fly rod and me with a book.

 We started out in the reverse of how we came home.
Chelsea and Chadd were well rested and excited about the journey ahead.
Jonathan hadn't slept for 24 hours because we left immediately 
following his night shift.
Silly me thought he would just fall asleep as soon as we pulled
out of the driveway.
But....nope!  He stayed awake for most of that entire day.
Jonathan had the best time up there and relaxed so much.
He was jubilant on the way home.

However,  Chadd experienced car sickness on the curvy 
mountain roads and so his chipper expression dimmed a bit.
Poor guy.
He survived, though, and was a trooper!!

We are home and life is all real again.
Tomorrow we will go to Johns Hopkins to see what they think about
Warren's visual disturbances and brain cysts.

As our funny Otolaryngologist (ENT) said..
Our timing for a trip to Baltimore is just perfect. 
Well, at least the rioting seems
 to have calmed down
for now.
Hoping to not make the news.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A New and Quite Happy Discovery

For more than a year I have noted that a friend and her family go to a Chiropractic office right beside my dentist.  Happy reports on Facebook and glowing recommendations in person came back to me as Warren continued to be sick, sick, sick.  I felt that he simply must go to this Chiropractor to see if she could help him be less dizzy.

So, off he went.  He came home very positive.  He liked the office and the Doctor.  Pains disappeared very quickly.  Of course there is some discomfort with getting vertebrae and muscles to learn new things but he had really suffered with nerve pain in his arm and leg and it is gone!  The treatments have had no effect on his dizziness, sadly.  But because of his results I decided to stand up to my fear of Chiropractic and sign up as a patient.  It is incredible.

My neck has been a problem for me for years.  Pouring candles clearly agitates it.  Dr. Tai showed me why and is now in the process of opening up the compressed vertebrae.  A burning sensation in my left leg is nearly gone.  I had been terrified that I was going to be like my dad and have continuous neuropathy in my legs and feet.

But here's the big one.  Since I was 19 and had my wisdom teeth out I have had a jaw that cracks ridiculously when I open and close it.  It never occurred to me to mention it to Dr. Tai.  Yesterday she was in the middle of my adjustment.  She was at my feet, which seems to be how she determines what needs to be done.  All of a sudden she said, "Hmm, that's strange".  Then she came up and used her "clicker" on my jaw....once!  Immediately the pain that had been there all afternoon disappeared.
Remember....I never told her about the TMJ.  Later, while sitting in the waiting room waiting for Jonathan to finish up I opened my mouth.  No click.  Seriously?????   28 years of clicking solved in one second?  I sat there looking like a fish as I opened and closed over and over again.  Warren laughed and suggested I be careful....lest I click mid open and find my jaw stuck.  Haha.  The click is back this morning but I have hope that this is something that I can get permanent relief from.

Weird things happen, though.  Like Jonathan?  This was his first visit.   He has a herniated disc in his lower back and was supposed to have surgery when all the craziness broke out with the flooding, sickness, etc.  That forced it to be postponed.  Well, after just one adjustment he had NO pain in his leg last night....which used to be constant and severe.  BUT his pinky on one hand throbbed all night.  I think there is another adjustment to be made.  Haha.  We will have to continue to walk this new journey to get our bodies back on track to healing.  How cool would it be if he doesn't have to have surgery?????  I'm kind of hopeful.

The truth is that there are no quick fixes.  There is discomfort with this and it is often two steps forward and one step back.  Our bodies like to be aligned as they have been for years....but when you can see what is possible when things are where they are supposed to be it gives the hope and determination to continue.

I'm sure I am late to the party of chiropractic but at least I've arrived.  This is yet another positive thing to come from the Healthy Lifestyles class I took at our Ladies Bible Study.  We saw a chart there that showed how very important it is to have free passage for the nerves to every part of our body.  That stuck in my memory and helped me to get over my fear and into relief.

Don't you love how God weaves friends, teachers, influences into our lives to bring us to things that help us?  I can look back and see the various things that brought us here....when we needed it most.

Update on Warren:  He continues to have headaches and visual disturbances.  Seeing the ENT yesterday brought more questions than answers.  The doctor is concerned.  And so more tests are ordered and we will go forward with a consultation at Johns Hopkins next week.  Feel free to continue praying and we will keep you informed.  Warren can function like this but we can't imagine life where this is normal.

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.