Monday, May 30, 2011


Memorial Day - Cemetery Flags
Although no sculptured marble
should rise to their memory,
nor engraved stone
bear record of their deeds,
yet will their remembrance be
as lasting as the land they honored.
Daniel Webster

Friday, May 27, 2011


P5306000Over the past few days I have begun to keep a gratitude journal.  Shortly before my shoulder surgery I found the perfect journal book to keep my ‘gratitudes’ in.  I began to write before my surgery and have continued on since coming home from the hospital.  As I waited in the pre-surgery area on Monday morning I was aware of so many things for which I was grateful.  I could see God’s hand on every detail – the timing, the way medical things fell into place and the bits and pieces of pre-surgery care that are often difficult.

Before I begin to share some things I’ve written in my gratitude journal I want to say thank you to each of you who have prayed and emailed and commented and sent wishes for a speedy recovery.  Your words have meant far more than you know.  I have been filled with peace that goes far beyond understanding through the entire process and my early recovery days far exceed what I had anticipated.  I am moving slowly – but I am doing well.  The days of quiet rest are good for me in more ways than words can tell.  I am resting.  With a grateful heart.

For these things I am grateful:

- Friends who offered to help my dear, little mother with grocery shopping, errands and appointments while I recover from surgery.
- Strength and energy to accomplish a lot of things over the days before my surgery.
- Peace that couldn’t be explained as we drove to the hospital early on the day of surgery – no fear – no apprehension.  The nurses commented about how peaceful and relaxed I was.
- A nurse who understood my history and concerns about getting the IV in place without many tries and much pain.  She wrapped my hand in warm towels for a few minutes and then got the IV in on the first try!
- A wonderful medical and surgical team who were caring and who communicated every step of the way.
- Successful surgery and news that my rotator cuff was not affected at all and is in good condition!
- A good first few days home from surgery – much better than anticipated – with pain under control.
- My sweetheart’s tender care – watching over me with a gentle love – willing to do mundane tasks and go the extra mile.
- Hearing good news that our daughter-in-law does not have leukemia or lymphoma, as suspected, and that all is well with her.

‘I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for He has been good to me.’
Psalm 13:6

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

While She’s Sleeping

Shhhh. . .I have to be very quiet.  My mommy is sleeping and I have been sleeping a lot, too.  Everything is very different at our house now and my mommy isn’t busy anymore!  I don’t really understand it but I know something changed.  And even my daddy is at home.  That’s pretty special.  I love having both of them home at the same time and I love it when one of them sits down or lays on the sofa so I can snuggle next to them.  And sleep!

Two days ago my mommy told me she was going away for awhile yesterday and she would come home again before bedtime.  And, you know what?  She did!  I almost wagged my tail off when I saw her!  She told me things would be different for awhile.  I didn’t know what she meant but I listened very carefully – and I’m trying to be a very good boy so I don’t disturb her!  I’m not sure what’s wrong, but I know something isn’t normal.  When she came home late yesterday afternoon she had a funny thing on her left arm – I think she said it’s a sling.  Or something like that.  I was so happy to see her again.  I wanted her to pick me up and when she told me she couldn’t do that I knew she felt bad about it, too.  I like to sit near her and wait for her tell me to jump up on her chair or the sofa beside her.    I could hardly believe my ears when she asked me to write to you on her blog!  She knows I can handle it.

Late last night my daddy sat down at the computer and sent an email to a whole bunch of friends.  He told me I could copy it so you would know more about what happened to my mommy yesterday.  This is what he told our friends.
Just a note to update you on Adrienne’s shoulder surgery today.  But first, let me thank you for your prayers on her behalf.  The Lord’s presence was certainly with us today.
We arrived at Providence Milwaukie Hospital at 8 AM for pre op preparation.   At 10:15 she was wheeled into surgery.  One hour and five minutes later the Dr. came out to the waiting room to tell me that all went fine.  Two large bone spurs had been removed.  After a few hours of recuperation in the hospital, I brought her home where she is resting comfortably.  Her voice  is raspy from the breathing tubes, so she must limit her talking for the time being.  Her pain is controlled with the nerve blocking shot she received in the hospital.  She has started a regimen of pain meds as the shot will wear off by tomorrow.
Again, thanks for your prayers.
God is Good,
Mommy’s Sweetheart
(He didn’t sign it that way – I did because that's what my mommy calls him.)
Some things have changed since Daddy wrote that email.  I’ll try to tell you what I heard them say when they were talking this morning.  Mommy is resting comfortably.  She had trouble sleeping last night because she slept so much during the day.  I snuggled next to her for awhile but she kept moving around and getting up so I decided to move somewhere else where I could sleep without being disturbed.  Early this morning I found her sound asleep on the sofa in the living room and I woke her up.  My daddy said it was time for her to wake up and take a pain pill so I had to do it!  Even though I wanted to let her sleep.
The shot they gave to make her arm numb has worn off (I don’t understand that – I thought things that are worn are tattered and look old but she looks pretty good!)  She has been up walking around and doing a few things by herself.  My daddy fixed her a nice breakfast and she liked it a lot.  I heard her tell Daddy ‘thank you’ and she said it was very good. 
I’m so glad my mommy is home again.  She is resting and taking it easy.  She told me we will be able to do all kinds of things again.  I like that.  I love to do things with her.
I think I’d better go lie down – it’s time for me to rest!
P.S. - My mommy looks so pretty!  My daddy bought her some new tops that zip or snap up the front so she can get into them easier than some of her other clothes.  She has a new purple top on today.  It has a shiny butterfly near her heart.  I don't know what she means but she told me it adds just a bit of 'bling'!  Oh, I have so much to learn!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


For I am the Lord,
your God,
who takes hold
of your right hand
and says to you,
’Do not fear,
I will help you.’
Isaiah 41:13

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On Hold

Yellow Roses
Sometimes life has a way of slowing us down when we least expect it.  Mine is about to be put on hold.  Temporarily!  Over the past year I have had problems with my left shoulder.  My doctor and I have tried some things that haven’t made much difference.  Monday morning I will have surgery to correct the problems that have intensified over the last few weeks, leaving me with less and less use of my arm and more and more pain as the days have gone by.

A recent MRI showed that a large calcium deposit that has built up on the front of my shoulder area is compromising the tendon and a bone spur at the top of my shoulder is making a ‘dent’ in my rotator cuff.  It needs to be removed before the ‘dent’ becomes a tear.  When I saw the specialist this week I expected that surgery in would be the plan.  I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon.   Just before I arrived at the doctor's office a cancellation in the doctor’s surgery schedule for next Monday opened a spot right away.

Over the last few days I have been busy cancelling appointments and commitments and getting things ready for the time I will be ‘on hold’.  This is a day surgery so I will come home Monday afternoon or evening.  My sweetheart is taking time off work to be with me for a few days.  I’ve given him permission to work on his ‘honey-do’ list while I rest!  My arm will be in a sling for a week and I won’t be able to drive for at least a month.  I’m busy getting things ready so my only focus over the next weeks will be to rest and recover!  And, when the time comes, I will do some little projects.  I have several things ready – things that can be done pretty much with one hand.  I have a stack of books I never have time to read – I have a million photos on my computers that need to be edited.  I won’t run out of simple things to do.  When the time comes.   But first I plan to  And heal.

I’ve been asked what is happening with Daffodil.  Nothing at the moment.  The roof seams have been recaulked and one coat of roof seal has been applied.  The second coat and other exterior work that needs be done are at the mercy of the weather.  She must be watertight before the transformation on the inside can be done.  Time will come soon – we believe – that work will begin in earnest and progress will be made.  Then, one day she will be the beautiful, little trailer she was meant to be.   I’ll share photos and updates when that happens.  I’ll be able to be part of the project again.  One of these days.

Before then I will do what I need to do to recover from surgery.  And heal.  I’m keeping that goal in mind. I can’t wait for that day!  I have places to go.  And people to see.  And things to do.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sneak Peek

Do you have visions and dreams of things you hope to find someday?  Things you hope to find to make the room you 'see' in your mind?  I love the way those hopes and dreams can come together when you least expect it.  In the most unlikely place!

While browsing through a favorite vintage shop last week I found an office chair I knew would be just right for my office at home.  The shop had been rearranged and when I stepped into one of the rooms with a decor that isn't my favorite, I was certain there wouldn't be anything there for me.  I almost didn't go into the room!  But there sat THE chair!  It was love at first sight!  It felt good when I sat in it and in spite of a few squeaks and squawks and groans when I moved around in it, I knew my sweetheart had to check out.  He's the expert when it comes to greasing and oiling things and I knew he would know exactly what to do.  And it was important for him to feel comfortable in the chair, too.  He stopped by the shop later and checked it out and it wasn't long before he arrived home with my 'new' chair. I'm just giving you a sneak peek for now.
I haven't decided exactly how I'm going to fancy it up yet.  There will be a cushion, for sure, and maybe a coat or two of paint.  It's perfect with the desk in our office.  The desk was my father's desk in his church study through the years he served as pastor in several churches.  I have plans to repaint it and I think I will paint the chair to match.  I love the look of this Pottery Barn desk and chair. 
I have planned to paint my father's desk white for a long time.  I have collected several inspiration photos over the past few months. 

Now that I have the chair I think it's time to move this project closer to the top of my list.
And when I saw Stacey's desk and chair at Red Door Home there was no doubt in my mind that this was exactly what I need to do! If you've never visited her blog, you really must stop by and get acquainted.  You won't be sorry!
Don't you think my new chair is just the pièce de résistance?  I can't wait to start the renovation of my office room.  This chair may be just the motivation I need to move it forward soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


IMG_1897I want to know the mind of God.
The rest is all details.
Albert Einstein

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother’s Day Memories

Today I keep thinking about the wonderful Mother’s Day that we enjoyed at our home.  The day started out with breakfast prepared by my sweetheart.  Then we picked up my dear, little mother and travelled to a nearby community where we attended church with my cousin and her hubby, Mrs. C. and Mr. V.  After church we all came back to our home for dinner.  And, oh, what a dinner it was!  My sweetheart cooked a most delicious meal for the three of us girls.  We loved having a chance to sit in the living room and visit while the work was being done in the kitchen.  He set the table and when I peeked my head into the dining room I couldn’t keep from laughing.  I saw the craziest plastic 'glasses' at each of the girls' places at the table!
My sweetheart had planned it all – a beautiful table setting, complete with a bit of humor.  Ice water never tasted so good! It was served in these silly glasses that had crazy straws!  My dear, little mother had the one with peppermint stripes and a straw that wound around down inside and all around the outside of her glass.  It ended with a gentle curve toward her mouth.  Mrs. C. had the yellow glass with a straw that curled around to look like branches on a palm tree.  My glass was the tall one with wild turquoise and lime green stripes and a straw that had the funniest curls and bends and twists from the very bottom deep down inside all the way to the top.  When dinner was over my sweetheart told us that we could keep our glasses.  I’m not sure when my dear, little mother will drink from hers again but I sure had fun drinking juice from mine again today!

My sweetheart put the finishing touches on a colorful stir-fry dish. . .
MothersDay - DaveWhile Mr. V. sliced and plated the meat.
MothersDay - ValThe meal was absolutely over the top!  My sweetheart is a good cook and we knew he had something special planned.  We could smell it the moment we walked into the house after church.  We had slow-cooked London Broil, an assortment of stir-fried vegetables, make-your-own salads on a bed of mixed greens and hot rolls with butter.   Mr. V. provided the dessert.  He went way beyond the call of duty - his choice was a big hit!  Two family members can’t have sugar – he took that into account so he shopped at a sugar-free bakery near his home.  He brought the biggest cream puffs we had ever seen!  And they were sugar free!  He bought chocolate for the girls and peach for the guys.  We had a hard time deciding how to eat them.  Forks? Or, fingers?  When forks didn’t work, we decided the only way to eat them was with our fingers.  There was much laughter around the table, especially when we got a bit of the cream filling on our noses and chins.  You would have thought we were just kids again!
MothersDay - Cream Puffs
And would you believe – the best gift of all?  The men cleared the table and did the dishes!

Late that afternoon, as we hugged each other and said goodbye we all commented that it had been a good day.  We won’t forget this one.  Not ever.

My kids and grandkids weren’t able to be with us but I had sweet greetings from each of them.  My son came and took me to lunch on Friday and we spent some time together before he headed home.  I am blessed.  So blessed.  And one happy mother!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Mother

This Mother’s Day weekend I spoke at a Mother’s Day Brunch in a neighboring community.  My dear, little mother was able to go with me.  I introduced her and told the ladies in the audience that I wanted to tell them about my mother.  She didn’t know what I was going to say.  At first she wondered but once I started sharing the following words she was a proud mother, sitting straight and tall and smiling with pride.  Pride in me.  Pride in a job well done.  Here is what I shared.  The words are not mine alone – I adapted them from a reading I found some time ago.

I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also. I had to sit at a nicely set table with the rest of my family and practice good manners and participate in pleasant conversation around the table.

My mother insisted on knowing where I was at all times. You'd think I was on a chain gang. She had to know who my friends were and where we were going. She insisted if I said I’d be gone for an hour that I’d be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute.

The worst is yet to come. I had to be in bed at a certain hour each night and up early the next morning. I couldn't sleep till noon like some of my friends. While they slept, my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made me work. I had to clean my room, do dishes, make my bed, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I really think she laid awake at night trying to think up things just to make me miserable.

She always insisted that I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed me - and it nearly did.

By the time I was a teen-ager she was much wiser - and my life became even more unbearable. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there? I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is, if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while some kids were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old-fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 or 16. Fifteen, if I dated only with a group of friends from church and we went to a church youth group function.
My mother was a complete failure as a mother. I actually graduated from high school and attained some higher education. I never committed a crime or was arrested. And who do I have to blame for the terrible way I turned out? You're right, my mean mother. Look at the things I missed. I never got to march in a protest parade, take part in a riot and a million and one other things that other people did.

She made me grow up to become a God-fearing, educated, honest adult. With this background, I tried to raise my two children. So, I stand a little taller today and I am filled with pride when I say that my children used to call me mean, too. Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.

And that’s why I am who I am today.

Thanks, Mom – I love you!

adapted from Bobbie Pingaro (1967)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Light

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Psalm 119: 105