Wednesday, May 27, 2009


"On the downhill side" is how my Mom described her condition today. Her doctor concurs. As I feared, she is not long for this world. The pain started last week. There will be another round of chemo this summer to help alleviate the symptoms and make her more comfortable, but it won't slow the growth of the cancer itself.

She may not even last through the chemo, actually. She is dying and we all know that. But she's ready. She's cheerful and peaceful; she knows where she will be going -- home to her Lord and Savior. It's me who's not ready.

But I am going to try very, very, very hard to be my mother's daughter now.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

So, today is a day I’ve looked forward to for the last month – the Annual Planting of the Annuals. We’ve finished the deck, but now we have about 125 geranium plants to be bedded out all along the front of the house and curb. We don’t have that large a yard, actually – just multiple flower beds. The geraniums are a cheerful sight all summer, so we do it up big.

The photograph below is my barrel planter with snapdragons.

The plants at the front door.

My newest planter (found it on sale at CAL Ranch today).

There are 5 of these flats left to plant!

Thunder is starting, so I guess I'd better get moving here!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Let's try for something positive

Okay, here are some positive things:

>> Apple Cider Vinegar. I started using it for my gall bladder problem and my stomach is definitely improved. Also, my hot flashes have decreased and the dermatitis on my hands is going away. ACV seems to be good for whatever ails you. Google it! I'm using 2-3 Tablespoons per day (in divided doses), sweetened with an equal amount of honey and diluted with plenty of water. I sip it throughout the day and find that it tastes like a tart apple cider. I'm guessing the effect of ACV has something to do with the ph of your body chemistry, but I'm no scientist. I can only say that I like it, and I like the results!

>> Haan Steam Mop. My Haan has changed the way I clean my house and it is nothing short of amazing. No more chemicals on my floors, which is good for our allergies and environment, and my wood floors haven't looked this good in years (no more dull finish). After I steam clean my kitchen floor, I can walk across it in white socks and not pick up any residual stickiness, dirt, or chemical. Nice. Before purchasing the steam mop, I checked the Internet for product reviews -- that's why I spent the money on the Haan. And I do not regret it.

>> Spring planting this weekend - I can't wait. I love our deck and I'm ready to liven it up with color for the summer!

>> Family history fun -- I've found a few VERY distant cousins through my genealogy work (you know, like fourth cousins, once removed). Interesting to see how families spread out over the generations. I have a copy of photographs of my great-great-aunt Lydia and her husband, Charles -- and I've just been informed that the original of those photos is hanging in the home of someone in Minnesota (who is descended through Charles, so not actually related to me). Interesting stuff.



When will it end?

I am struggling today with the hypocrisy exhibited by so many people in the Christian culture – where this is a particularly ugly sight, given that there is supposed to be love and mercy among Christians. (Matthew 5:7, Matthew 6:12). I wanted to blog on something positive, but I'm finding it hard to get past this issue today. Will keep working on it...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No particular focus -- just continuing to be random...

Springtime in the Rockies is a truly beautiful process. Everything is greening up nicely, and after the drab brown of the long winter, it is a glorious sight! I’m itching to plant flowers, but it’s too early; we could still have freezing temps at night, thus I am patiently waiting until Memorial Day weekend. And then…. we will have a planting marathon of 125+ geranium plants in the flower beds plus all the lovely things I’m going to put in my deck planters this year. Yay!

I took my friend’s advice and cut the remaining tulips after the Unintended Tulip Massacre last weekend. The blooms are nearly spent, but they still make a cheerful display in a vase on my deck.

This weekend Tim and I will be involved in the annual “Prison Invasion” with the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Upwards of 50 or so CMA’ers will visit the minimum security facility of the State Prison, where we will bring a whole lot of cool motorcycles, some Christian music, and the Gospel message. This will be the fourth year that Tim and I have been involved, and it is an amazing experience every time. I sing and play keyboard with the band, and Tim is the sound technician. There is always serious spiritual warfare going on around this ministry, given the venue -- so if you are a prayer warrior, please keep us in your prayers through Sunday. There are desperate souls inside who need to hear the message of God’s love and mercy, and Satan is equally desperate to make sure they don’t hear it.

Yesterday I got to have a mocha and a chat down at the local coffee shop with one of my daughters. Thoroughly enjoyed that time! Watching your adult children grow and move through their lives can be hair-raising in ways that I never imagined, but there are amazing compensations that God provides for us at the same time – like a mocha and a chat.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Some random stuff:

When you reach our age, you have to take assistance when it is offered. Darren offered to prune our trees today, and this is a job we can no longer do ourselves, so the pruning was done. Unfortunately, it was done at the cost of my beautiful tulips. If you look on my Facebook page, you can see cell phone photographs of the Unintended Tulip Massacre. Oh well – the trees are pruned and that’s what was needed. A friend suggested that I get out a vase and cut the remaining tulips. Good idea!

Cowhide leather ladies garden gloves are, without doubt, the best piece of gardening equipment I own. Amazing! Worth every penny I spent on them (not that much, really, but certainly more expensive than regular garden gloves). I did two days of major yard work with nary a callous, blister or splinter in sight.

My arms broke out in a rash because I wore short sleeves while clearing brush and clippings yesterday. What fun. Back to long sleeves when digging in the bushes and leaves.

Tim took me to lunch today, which was really fun. Our Ruby Tuesday had some definite start-up problems when they first opened last Fall – slow kitchen and hit-or-miss food – but the service has always been good and now the food is, too. Plus, there is not another salad bar in Pocatello that is as good as our Ruby Tuesday’s. And the staff person who monitors and replenishes that salad bar is a real treasure. He’s friendly without being over the top, and he clearly takes great pride in his work. The salad bar items are super fresh and the bar and dishes are beautifully maintained. What a pleasure! I hope they pay him VERY well. He’s worth it.

I’m thankful that my mother is still alive for this Mother’s Day. I don’t know what next year will bring, so I’m treasuring each day that she’s still in my life. Rather than send flowers, I sent her a present this year – a mystery book entitled “Maisie Dobbs” – which I think she’ll really enjoy.

My daughter sent me a beautiful arrangement of roses and daisies situated in a pink teacup. When the flowers are gone, I’ll still have this beautiful China teacup to remind me of my beautiful daughter. I like that.

And now, it’s evening and I’m done. Time to put my feet up and enjoy our serene and green yard.


Friday, May 1, 2009

The Bed in the Living Room

In my mother’s tiny house, the front room, a.k.a. the Sun Porch, is where she and my stepfather entertain friends, read, nap, or watch TV of an evening. The home's living room, on the other hand, is tucked away behind the kitchen and is mostly unused. It contains one small love seat, an antique rocking chair, my mother’s piano, the computer, and a filing cabinet.

I received an email today from my mother, telling me that her bed had been moved from the second story bedroom down to the living room so that it would be on the main floor. She doesn’t really need it to be there yet, but they are anticipating the inevitable day when she will no longer be strong enough to manage the stairs. And since my stepfather cannot move furniture on his own any longer, a friend offered to help them do the move today so that they wouldn’t have to scramble at the last minute when Mom’s strength finally gives way.

My mother, ever the trooper, told me that she is looking forward to being able to sleep in her own bed during the hot summer nights. You see, in their un-airconditioned house, it gets mighty hot in the summer. Mom often went downstairs to the main floor, sleeping on a sheet on the thickly padded rug of the living room. This summer she will have her own bed right where she wants it. And she’s happy about that.

And, still, I can hardly breathe when I think about what lies ahead of her.