Monday, December 10, 2018

Update on Recent Prayer Request - Thank you!

A little while ago, I asked for prayers for a dear friend's husband whose body had swollen to a frightening degree. Today, she wrote that they were finally taking him home from the hospital - her words:

"We are just on our way home from the hospital. he was so swollen from the waist down that he couldn't even walk. They gave him enough lasiks to bring it down. He had liquid around the heart. Thank God and your prayers. He is doing much better now."

Thank you, dear prayer angels, for your help. For now, he is doing well.

Sweet Lord Jesus, thank you for this healing for now. We are all very grateful. And please bless those who said heartfelt prayers for someone they didn't even know - bless them abundantly. We trust in you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Faith vs. Human Fears

Well, I expect I won't sleep too deeply tonight. It's raining, even though it's not coming down hard. I had that leak in the pantry last Thursday but haven't had a chance to get it checked and hopefully fixed.

Meanwhile, they didn't predict rain until tomorrow, so I plopped a crockpot of soup on around 6 or 7 p.m. expecting it to run overnight. Problem is that the crockpot is on a counter in that pantry. With old homes which settle, it can dribble down a beam and even exit at a different spot than the last time. Part of me thinks I should turn everything off in that room even the outside light on the other side of the wall. I normally leave that pantry light on all night - it's central in a way and we've done that for 18 years in here.

Yes, I have faith. Yes, I have prayed. And I am still praying.

But often faith is not quite strong enough in we humans to totally quell the fears. I don't want to turn everything off in there, plus have a just-begun soup sitting on a counter, cooling until I can find a spot somehow to shove it in the fridge until the weather clears and the risk is past.

I know some folks wouldn't understand my concerns. But a few years ago, I had a major leak in one spot that came down over the TV in the living room. I do not like water near wiring.

Anyhow, I guess I just need to keep praying. That still won't mean that I will sleep well.

I was really looking forward to a good sleep tonight. Every morning recently, I had to get up and leave the house for something or other. Friday it was the charity crafters, Saturday and Sunday it was to deliver newsletters, Monday to the gastroenterologist, Tuesday to my primary care doctor, and this morning to the podiatrist. I really looked forward to rest tonight and an easy morning tomorrow. Ah well - it is what it is.

Sweet Lord Jesus, you, too, faced fears of sorts yourself, in the garden. You wept. My fears are nowhere near the level of yours but I dare to ask for your help. Please help me to have faith and to do what the Father wishes of me. If I'm to have faith (the rain is not heavy this time) and to try to sleep while this nourishing soup cooks overnight, then I will relax in that. If I'm to do something else, I pray for the wisdom to understand and to do so. The Father led us to this home; I believe he will continue to protect us and it. Meanwhile, I trust in you.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Leaky Roof But Minimal, I Hope

So many times, our Father has alerted me to problems that can be fixed minimally rather than catastrophically. Today was another example. The rains came. Sometime between 3 and 4 p.m., I noticed the wetness and suspected a roof leak in the pantry. I had a bag at the edge of the dryer, ready to take out in the morning - it had over 200 issues of our newsletter, ready for my one team member to distribute for delivery. I had to remove 16 of them and let them dry; meanwhile I replaced the worst of them. But I was worried.

Back in Oct. of 2015, I had my whole 24x52 double wide roof patched and coated. It was costly. A very dear friend floated a loan and it took quite a while to pay that back - several years. The job cost so much because it was long overdue when that major leak happened. We hadn't coated that roof in over 10 years and the coating before that was a cheap job. The contractors had to brush/scrape, then they were on their hands and knees with paintbrushes patching every hole up there and they finished with the coating. But, extensive as it was, it was just that - a very good, very comprehensive patch job.

When this happened today, I flashed back. Being human, I momentarily froze and tried to pretend I was not afraid of another costly job. First, though, I had to be sure it was a leak and not just rain that had blown in the door - I had been in and out several times during the hard rains.

I called my go-to guy in the park; he came by this evening and climbed the ladder (one thing I no longer do) and felt the ceiling by that back door. Yep. Wet, damp. But the dripping had been minimal. He will come by Sunday - and he will be reasonable.

Thankfully, I had recently helped a good friend with some dog feeding days. Talk about great timing! I would not have the cash to have this done while it is still a relatively small job. Oh, I know folks who would be saying, "gee, I just got that cash and now look - it's going to be gone." That's not the way I stay sane - without that on hand, I would have to wait and perhaps allow that leak to get worse!

Father in heaven, thank you once again for cluing me into something that needs attention before it gets too big to handle easily. Thank you yet again for the way to cover the cost. You are always there for me. I will continue to try to be worthy of your help and love.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Answered Prayer - My Recent Biopsy - Results

Well, technically I shouldn't know this until I see the gastroenterologist on the 3rd, but the lab emailed me to check the results online, which, of course, I did. No cancer! However, because this was the first time we found polyps in the past 18 or more years, I feel certain he will insist on continuing these colonoscopies every few years. We've been on a 3-year schedule - not sure if that will change.

Frankly, I would rather know, early, of any bad news rather than later, so I'll deal with continuing the tests if need be.

Sweet Lord Jesus, I am happy with that sneak peek at the test results. Please continue to keep me in your heart for the future in this matter. And bless those who held me in prayer! I trust in you!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

One Prayer Update and One Prayer Request

Update - thank you, so many of you, who have prayed for my brother who expected to undergo surgery this past week for the kidney cancer. He got to the facility and they prepped him in several ways, did labs, did an EKG and an X-ray - and then they sent him home. He's not sure whether that's a relief or an annoyance. His surgeon had a family emergency, they said, and they will re-schedule within 30 days. That is mental torment, in a way, even though it can't be helped. But I do feel badly for him... still, it is what it is. So, we are in a holding pattern at the moment, on this.

Request - thank you, so many of you, who prayed a while back while my friend's husband had parts of his foot shaved off due to infection and his diabetic condition. At the moment, they are very fearful of something else - his body has swollen and they have no idea what is causing it. Major bloating all over is frightening, especially when there doesn't even seem to be an obvious cause to start with for a diagnosis.

Sweet Lord Jesus, the healer, we come to you yet again for healing for loved ones. Please hear our prayers and guide the timing itself in the one case and the hands and minds of those in charge in the other case. We trust in you!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts and Thanks

Lots of us give thanks this time of year. There are so many, many reasons for me to do so - some are serious, some are lighthearted.

Faith - I am very grateful for faith; without it, I would have surely crumbled long ago.

Silkie - I am so grateful for my current kitty - she might be overweight; she is still timid; but we have our routines and our own kind of affection; she is what I needed and still do.

Home - I am so grateful for this home. Even though it is old, and has faced some issues, it is basically very sound and it is paid for and for now, I can manage its upkeep.

Friends - My gratitude for friends is widespread and overwhelming; so many of them, so many who have helped in so many ways - there is no way to express that gratitude fully.

Finances - Tricky as these have been, cutting back on a lot of things, a LOT, helped me stay afloat. No contract TV; pre-paid flip phone for roadside emergencies only; DSL in lieu of higher speed internet and no wi-fi; food pantries and lots of food prep; takeout a rarity; and more...

Health - Much gratitude here and lots of it to do with my food choices and lifestyle changes, for early detection of early cancers, and more...

Transportation - A car that is better than the one that had me in a vicious circle of short term loan companies but with higher insurance; still, a real blessing.

Little Things - ...and lots of gratitude for so many little things - most especially, gratitude for my desire to "give back" in little ways - our park newsletter (my volunteer services), charity crafting efforts, and more...

Above all, I am grateful for the ability, when I draw on it, to say "No" to things which drain me of energy, which drain me of time, and for which there are other solutions in those cases.
Rolling along...

Thanking Him For What My Family Taught Me

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much my family taught me. Oh, it wasn't a perfect family. In fact, I often think that ALL families are "dysfunctional" in one way or another. That family is the first place a baby, a child, learns to get along with others. That family is where we all learn our personal sense of ethics and values.

It would have been very easy for me to look at the negative and use it to my advantage, or to escape responsibility. I had a drunken daddy, and yes, we three kids were teased a lot about that in school. I was a sickly child and I could have allowed myself to feel sorry for myself. We were poor and even though our clothes were clean and pressed, often they were patched, but neatly so - and, yes, we were teased about that, too. Then, at age 11, I developed severe acne which lasted until I was 40 - 40! There was one incident where 2 fellows passing me said something to the effect that I shouldn't go out of the house without a bag over my face.

Still, I was taught from little up that words were something to be shrugged off as quickly as possible. I was taught to do right, no matter what the others around me were doing.

And I was taught a very strong work ethic. In Philly, we got working papers in our early teens. Almost every kid I knew had a part time job by the time they were 15 or 16.

I was also taught that I owed my boss a proper day's work for my pay. If I didn't like my arrangements, I should find something else. And even though the first few decades on jobs, I worked at jobs I truly hated, I had my dreams. And I worked at them, evenings and weekends, to hone my skills. But I always had my bread-and-butter jobs.

Without that background, without that sense of responsibility, I probably wouldn't have my little old mobile home today. And I wouldn't have spent my final decades in work I loved. I worked hard all my life. Nobody supported me - ever. And, yes, I am proud of that.

So, Sweet Lord Jesus, tonight I thank you, the Father, the Holy Spirit, for the family you sent me to, for their work ethic. I will always be grateful to them, always, for that... and more. And, thank you, Mom and Dad, and I wish I had told you all this when you were still alive!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

VHS, Food, Projects...

Managed to get a few things done today.

I finished off 4 scarves I had worked on during my procedure prep day and the day of the event. And I began a baby blanket for a new arrival in a friend's family. That was all fun.

I did also make coffee ahead for 3 days. I should take out some chicken tomorrow and make a chicken soup the next night or so. Time to re-stock my prepared-ahead meals.

I skipped the really big monthly food pantry - it did not seem very wise to push for this time. Standing in the cold for an hour until they began, walking the pickup line, loading all the bags into the car - seemed unwise considering I just went through 2 days of pretty much no solid food. I have enough in my home for my needs for now.

VHS tapes - I've been slowly getting rid of these. The past 3 weekends, I've played them on Saturdays and Sundays when the TV seems to repeat itself... that has been a fun distraction.

Oh, and I want to try to set up the digital TV a friend gave me - must disconnect one of the indoor antennas and connect it to this and figure it out... hoping to do that Monday! Can't wait...

Rolling along...

What Yesterday's Frustration Taught Me

Yesterday's post (here...) might have made it sound as though I was feeling down all day. That's not accurate. Like all humans, when something unpleasant comes our way, we have a knee jerk reaction - fast and furious. Thankfully, over the many years I've been on this earth, I've learned to ditch negative feelings as quickly as possible - sometimes more quickly than others.

Anyhow, by the time I climbed into bed, I had already rehashed the day and was very grateful for several things.

My I-V - normally, because my veins were blown with all the chemo I had in '99, they have an awful time inserting an IV. For my lumpectomy last winter, 3 different nurses tried until one of them was successful. Friday, the nurse I was blessed with got it in one quick almost-painless try! How wonderful is that?

Results - although I'm not thrilled with the thought of another one of these in 3 years, I'd rather something be discovered early and be easier to treat. That is a real blessing.

My Post - By posting my initial frustration, I learned of two dear friends who suffer similar repetitive tests because of their own various conditions. I now have them on my prayer list for those special needs. And it gave others a chance to voice their ideas and concerns. Also, several folks posted tips that will help me swallow that potion the next time around, if I need another one.

My Healthy Efforts - although eating healthy and trying to lead a healthy life these days did not keep this from happening, I honestly believe it would have been far worse if I were not watching myself in these ways.

Sweet Lord Jesus, thank you so much for always being there for me, for us. Please watch over those two friends with all their future tests. And thank you for filling my heart and mind with the blessings hidden in the brief clouds. We trust in you.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Why bother?

About my colonoscopy today - I'm a little ticked off with life which is unusual for me. I went 18 years of these, every 3 years, without any polyps showing after my cancer. TODAY, they found 2 and sent them for biopsy (I see my other doc for results on the 3rd).

I am eating healthier and healthier by the minute yet this happens... 

I don't see why they found breast cancer and basal cancer last year and polyps this year when I am taking better and better care of myself - why bother????

Of course, by taking care of myself, I am only on ONE pill a day, just ONE - no supplements, no vitamins, just ONE pill - so I guess on one hand I am doing right - still, on the other hand, makes me wonder why I bother (sigh)... 

I'll be okay - just annoyed for a while today 
I fully realize the value of finding these early and having them removed.
I fully realize that for most folks this doesn't become a worry.

But, see, I've BEEN doing these tests, EVERY THREE YEARS, for 18/19 years straight. 
I am so very very tired of it and I had such high hopes that this was the last. I'll be 80, for Pete's sake, next year. 

Now that they've actually found some, that means I'll probably have to do it again in another 3 years (sigh)... but, it is what it is...

Sweet Lord Jesus, you are our healer, our savior. Please forgive me for grumbling just a bit. I am okay with this, really. It was just a momentary glitch. Thank you for always hearing my prayers. Thank you that they found these and will test them. Thank you, that if it is trouble, it was found early. And, and, IF it means I must do it yet again in another three years, so be it. I trust in you!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Life is Not Static; Life is Constantly Changing Around Us

Life has been moving along but, happily, not in a bad way. I've been busy for a little over a week, morning and evening, with feeding a friend's pups.

In between, I've worked on projects for the local homeless. I've prepped food in batches so that I've had meals that were quick and easy to re-heat. I love when I've done that for myself, I really, really do!

This Friday, I have perhaps my final colonoscopy. Prep begins Thursday. I've been doing this every 3 years, for 20 years, because of my Stage 3 colon cancer in '99. I would be so happy if he bids me a smile and a farewell!

I've become very happy and excited about just plain living and enjoying my home. I realized recently that I've been here since '01 and have always been running, running... first it was the job I was in when I got here; then it was caregiving for 3 years for a family friend, then another few years with my "nephew." When he passed on, I was busy just surviving! Even until the end of last year, I was mostly just surviving.

So, now, honestly, I really want to enjoy this home for a few years before I leave this earth. Looking at 80 next year makes me realize yet again that priorities must often be adjusted. Life is not static - life changes around us. I want to stop running; I want to enjoy. For me, enjoyment is peace and quiet in my own home, something I have not fully had until now.

I still have my charity crafting and my volunteer work on our park newsletter, and so long as I enjoy them and feel I am productive with those, I'll continue.
Rolling along...

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Update on Brother's Kidney Cancer

I can't believe it's been about 2 weeks since I've last posted but tonight I must ask for some prayers to continue. My brother finally got a surgery date for his kidney cancer. It is risky. The surgeon will attempt to remove the small but aggressive tumor. Once he gets inside, a nick one way could damage one organ and vice versa. Rather than risk that damage, he would just close. I think my brother said it is scheduled for a week from Wednesday which would be the 21st. Any prayer, any size, will be much appreciated, my friends.

Sweet Lord Jesus, you who cured from just the touch of your garment hem or a thought or a glance, please glance my brother's way and guide the hands of the surgeon. We trust in you!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Homeless Projects Picked up and Delivered!

Crocheting and/or knitting projects for the local homeless is only one small, delightful step in a process. We've been in it now since April, 2009. We've learned a lot. We've learned to make it delightful and to keep it stress-free.

There are 3 steps in this process.

Step one is getting the yarn. Once you begin this, it is addictive. We started out using up our own scraps. We graduated to thrift shops, Craigslist and other sources and finally began getting wonderful yarn donations.

Step two is making the items. Some of our gals work with us on Friday mornings, others work from their homes and drop the things off. We insist that each team member makes it fun along the way - nobody makes anything out of their skill or happiness-range. We work patterns we know and love and everything must be washable and durable and warm.

Step three is often the most difficult - distribution. We have gone through many many ways of distributing our items. Once we had to stop one drop because we found our "things" on sale at a local thrift shop. Our sole purpose is to have our things end up directly on a homeless person's bod to keep them warm. These days, we are delighted to have a connection that distributes to two area priests, each one distributing directly to those in need.

Step three also involved stashing all the items until they can be dropped to our connection. This morning, we began that last process once again.

The photo shows 13 bags (13-gallon size) which I brought out of my house, down the steps and to the front of the driveway. From there, the team member who's been with me since we began, and her hubby, drove over and stuffed them all into their SUV. You can see him happily grabbing that last bag! From there, they drove to the next stop, the gal who will break them up according to each priest's need and get them to each priest.

Each person along the way contributes in their own unique and comfy way. We make two drops a year, usually.

Our count for this drop
Scarves - 116
Ear warmers - 63
Hats - 272
Gloves - 54

Thank you, Father, for each of these people and for their love and compassion!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Little by Little

After I posted on Tuesday (see post here), I did manage to do just about everything I mentioned. I still have not done those pears, though, and I did not get to sorting that yarn on that day. MUST do the pears this weekend! My toner and rubber bands were delivered; just 2 other deliveries to go. Not bad for that day.

Yesterday, I spent 2 hours printing the newsletter. I did not do a whole lot of anything else, though, except for routine things: feed and care for the cat, feed and care for myself (made coffee for 3 more days), took trash bins to the curb, that sort of thing.

Today wasn't a whole lot better, productivity-wise. I spent 2 hours stapling the newsletter. And, of course, the routine things like taking care of the cat and myself, bringing the trash bins back in, etc. Oh, I did finally sort 2 of those huge bags of yarn today and packed 3 big brown Trader Joe bags for our one crafter. The other 2 bags are all white. Will need to work it into things and use it up. We only use white for an accent or between other colors when we do things for the homeless. Oh, and I had a whole bunch of little yogurts, about 6, from a food pantry, and their dates were getting close so I tossed them all into the blender with a can of beets and made a healthier batch to sip for a few days.

Tomorrow morning is for the charity crafting. Afterwards, I do hope to change the litter and I must roll 120 newsletters so I can deliver them Saturday and Sunday morning.
Rolling along...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Today: Newsletter, Deliveries, Yarn, and Food, Oh My...

Lots of fun odds and ends to tackle today.

Newsletter - Must do the "event calendar" for the back page of the newsletter. When that's done, I'm ready to print early tomorrow morning. It's easy, though.

Yarn - Our charity crafting group received 4 sacks of donated yarn Friday. I must sort that, today, hopefully. I'll pack at least 2 bags for our one crafter who works from her home, and sort the rest for our other needs. I took the bags to the big bedroom early this morning from the pantry. They've been sitting on the dryer since Friday (sigh). It's easier for me to sort if I spread it out on the bed. Happily, Silkie is not a cat who leaps into the middle of yarn, the only one I've ever had without a yarn-fetish.

Food - I stabbed the 2 spaghetti squashes that a friend brought me last week, nuked them to soften them, cut them short-wise, after they cooled, and seeded them. Needed to nuke just a tad longer for the innards. Scraped out the strands afterwards and topped with sauce from a jar in the fridge, and tucked into the freezer for down the line single servings.

I should also rinse the sack of pears from the one food pantry today. I'll let them dry overnight in the one colander. Then tomorrow, or Thursday latest, I'll dice and pack and freeze them before they spoil.

Crochet - In between things, I work on some scarves. I love to watch Millionaire on TV at 11 am, so that's a good time.

Deliveries - this week, I should get 4 deliveries. One came today, the toner for the printer for the newsletter. I should also get, along the way, rubber bands for our newsletter deliverers, an order of OTC (over the counter) supplies that our insurance gives us free, quarterly. I get things like generic Halls, generic Band-Aids, denture cleaner tablets, other stuff. And something else is coming that isn't coming to mind - I just remember that I couldn't find it locally and had to order online.

Rolling along...