Wednesday, March 31, 2010

With Pen And Ink

Pen and Ink

Well, maybe not pen and ink! With computer keyboard and my fingers I’ll share my heart with you and update you on some things in my life. Maybe I’ll ask a question or two – we’ll see – but I have some things I wanted to sit down and tell you.

First, an update on our daughter. I shared an update about her here and I haven’t said more since then. Some of you have been praying for her through the last months and we know that God has held her and her precious baby girl safe in His arms. Our granddaughter is due to arrive the first week of May but it seems she has been trying to arrive for the past couple of months. There have several trips to the hospital with overnight stays as the medical team administered care and medication to stop or control the contractions that were coming hard and fast. Our daughter was placed on total bed rest and that helped a bit but didn’t stop the process entirely. She recently developed gestational diabetes and has needed hospitalization to manage high blood sugars. As I write this she resting at home again but she is being watched for pre-eclampsia and toxemia. Our special baby girl is being monitored twice a week now to follow the development of her lungs and we are about a week away from the point that the medical team feels will be the ‘safe zone’ for her to arrive if she does come early. The doctor doesn’t plan for our daughter to go to her due date – plans are in place for a birth date about a week early if little Miss Hannah hasn’t shown up by that time. I’m sure you realize that we are all on pins and needles – on hold – until both our dear daughter and our precious baby girl are safe and sound. God is holding them close and we appreciate your love and prayers on their behalf. Don’t worry – I will keep you updated and informed and there’s no way you will be able to miss when we welcome Miss Hannah into our hearts and arms!

Over the past couple of months I have gone through what I call a ‘medical nightmare’. The clinic where I had gone for many years moved a ways farther away from my home and since my long-time, trusted doctor did not make the move to the new clinic location I chose to find a doctor much closer to my home. I was told that my former doctor had moved to a Portland hospital that is about thirty miles from my house. After quite a search process for a local doctor in my town I found a lady doctor who was very nice to work with. In November she told me she would be leaving the clinic at the end of the year to be married and move out of town. She assured me that a wonderful lady doctor had been hired to take her place and that she would give me good care. When I first met the new doctor I was impressed and liked the way she handled things. I felt I was in good hands! Soon I found that she was having me return every week or two to change some maintenance medication and through that process my poor body was trying hard to continually readjust to new medication and side effects. It wasn’t long before the first big red flag waved clearly in my mind. At one office visit we discussed possible future lab work she thought should be done – routine things – suddenly she ‘switched gears’ and began to give me information that didn’t make sense to me. She told me what she wanted me to do the following week and that I needed to return so she could educate me and treat me for a diagnosis I had NEVER had. She had not at that time done any lab work and even I knew something was wrong with what she was saying. When I questioned she told me she was sorry – she had confused me with the previous patient! OK, I was on guard but willing to give another chance. Two days later her nurse called to ask what pharmacy I would like to use for a prescription for a medical condition the doctor had suspected, tested me for and discussed the day before with me. Big red flags: I had not seen nor talked to her the day before, she had never done the kind of exam that would lead to the type of testing required and we had discussed nothing of the sort! I didn’t have any sign of the type of problems that this medication would treat. I told the nurse I was very upset and I told her to go back to the doctor and let her know that she had mistaken me for another patient – again! A few days later when I was in the office the doctor apologized by saying that she had been overworked because other doctors in the clinic were on vacation. No excuse in my book!!! Still I continued to give her a chance but I realized I didn’t trust her. My heart longed to find my former doctor and hear what she would say and do. The new doctor had changed all the meds my former doctor had long and successfully used to manage my needs. The last straw came when the new doctor overdosed me on a new medication. Her written and verbal instructions to me didn’t match what the pharmacist told me. I followed the written directions and within a day or two I knew I was in trouble. The frightening thing with this situation was that I knew mismanagement of this medication could damage my heart! Soon I was in the office – not in good shape I might add – and office and medical staff in the clinic were alarmed with my situation. When I saw the new doctor she ‘felt bad’ that she hadn’t explained the new medication well and she took the blame for the fact that I was seriously overdosed. I was having problems: my heart was racing and pounding harder than I ever dreamed it could, I was hot and flushed and felt like a spring inside had been wound tight and would send me into orbit at any moment! Within a few days most of the bad reactions had settled down but not to my satisfaction. I decided not to go back to the new doctor – she had been given more than one chance to prove herself and she had failed. Seriously failed! She had put my health and my life at risk. Late one night, in desperation, I ‘Googled’ my former doctor and when I found her, just five miles from my former clinic, the tears poured down my face. My thoughts were filled with peace and security and safety now that I had found her again. The next day I called her new clinic and made an appointment. When she walked into the exam room she was happy to see me – and I felt safe at last. Like I had come home! As she listened to my story she constantly shook her head and, at times, rolled her eyes. She slowly went through my detailed list of medications and numerous supplements I had been given. And she explained why she wouldn’t prescribe each one for me – either a reason not to use the medication at all or why the dosage was way too high and the side effects of those amounts potentially dangerous. By the time I left her office I had a much smaller list of medications to pick up at the pharmacy, all with lower doses. She said each of the supplements I was taking have merit but it was too much – overload. She expressed concern about how hard my heart was beating, even on the lower dosage of the mismanaged medication for blood pressure, but she assured me we would get this settled down. She was so comforting! Within days I began to notice a difference and I feel like myself again. My pharmacist has become a real friend. When I explained why the change in doctor and medications he told me he knows both doctors – he knows my former doctor who I went back to very well. He told me she is very good and trustworthy and I made the right decision. That was another confirmation to me - a medical person expressing the wisdom of my decision said a lot to me. Some have suggested that I need to report the doctor I left. I’m not sure what to do about it so I’m praying for wisdom.

And finally, a note about following your blogs. If you keep close track of how many blog followers you have you may notice that you have one less today. The ‘Followers’ mechanism has been messing up my blog reader for some reason. It has duplicated blogs to read and frustrated me no end. While you won’t see me listed in your Followers list I am still ‘following’ your blogs. I may be sneaking in and reading and leaving quietly at times but I’m there. Don’t worry – you didn’t offend or upset me. Until I know what to do to fix the blog reader problem I’ll keep stopping by to visit and to see what you have to share. Rest assured, I’m not going away – you’ve come to be treasured friends and I’ll stick with you. All the way!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

He Is Exalted

Palm Sunday

He is exalted
The King is exalted on High
I will praise Him
He is exalted
Forever exalted
And I will praise His name
He is the Lord
Forever His truth shall reign
Heaven and Earth
Rejoice in His holy name
He is exalted
The King is exalted on high
He is exalted
The King is exalted on high

Song: ‘He Is Exalted’
Words and music by Twila Paris

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

It’s a beautiful Spring day here in my part of Oregon and I was just fine working on some serious housework – until a few minutes ago when I decided to take a ‘breather’! I chose to sit down and catch up with a few blogs and everything was just fine until I read Cindy’s blog here. She shared a recent trip to the San Francisco Bay Area and suddenly I was ready to hop on the next plane out and head to my favorite City By The Bay again. Cindy met some girlfriends there and they had such fun together. As I looked at her photos and read her words I suddenly wanted to call my dear college friend, Mrs. B., and tell her to meet me there for a ‘re-do’ of our wonderful vacation together last summer in San Francisco.

Not long ago I shared here about my college reunion in San Francisco last August. The day after the reunion on our ‘old’ campus many of us who had gathered for the reunion when to the San Francisco Giants baseball game. Before game time we met in the parking lot where we had a great time over lunch – a tailgate party. It was such fun!


We had one last chance to visit with friends from our college days before we went to the ballgame. It was fun to have a bit of casual time to reconnect personally with several good friends from those days. And then it was time for the game.

Giants Game - ATT Park Sign

I thought I would feel sad watching the Giants play ball in their new park. When I was in college they played at Candlestick Park and that was such a ‘magical’ place in my memory. Through my years in college I had attended many afternoon games – when the Giants were playing at home, Wednesday afternoons were ‘Ladies’ Day’. Ladies could get into the game for one dollar per car! Since those were the days before seatbelts, we could really pack a lot of us college girls into a car and have a fantastic afternoon at the ballpark for just pennies each! And we did – believe me, we loved it! I learned a lot about baseball at Candlestick Park in those days so my heart longed to return there once again. I was afraid I would be disappointed with the new park but it didn’t take me one minute inside A T and T Park before the team spirit hit me full force. And when we found our seats and I sat down I could hardly believe my eyes. Not only did we have a good view of the field – we had an incredible view of San Francisco Bay, Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge on one side and Oakland on the other side!


The game began and it wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t at all disappointed to be here on a clear, sunny day at the ballpark.



The big scoreboard gave us the feeling that we were close to the action!


And at times there were special messages shared with the crowd! The Giants welcomed our group to the game and we loved it!


I was amazed by the number of boats that gathered on the Bay near the ballpark.

San Francisco - Boats

I enjoyed the ‘decor’ around the field. This bigger-than-life sculpture. . .


And the team flags around the top of the stadium. I found my Pacific Northwest team – the Seattle Mariners – right away. . .


And the flag for the home team.


It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time cheering for our team and enjoying the sights and sounds of the game.

Giants Game - Lets Go

This little boy and his monkey, both dressed in Giants uniforms, were quite the fans.

Giants Bear

It seemed that the game had hardly begun and then it was over. It didn’t take long before we were ready to leave the stadium.


I felt sad as we walked through the gates and headed back to the car. The end of the game marked the end of our long-awaited, much-anticipated college reunion. In just a few hours my sweetheart and I would say goodbye to my dear friend and her hubby and we would head north as they drove south - each of us heading home with hearts filled with new memories, mingled with memories from years long gone. We would treasure this time forever and, once again, I would leave my heart in San Francisco.

And so, my friends, this afternoon, my heart called me back again to the City By The Bay. Thank you, Cindy, for sharing a glimpse of the place I love - the place I called home for a few years when I was young. The place where my heart will always long to return.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ecstasy of Joy

O dear Lord
What ecstasy of joy
That you took the whole of me
And made me wholly Yours!

from ‘Lord, Could You Hurry a Little?’
by Ruth Harms Calkins

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St Pats Day - 10

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.
An Irish Prayer

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Unending Grace


The grace you had yesterday
will not be sufficient for today.
Grace is the overflowing favor of God,
and you can always count on it
being available to draw upon as needed.

Oswald Chambers

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dreams of Spring

‘No winter lasts forever;
no spring skips its turn.’

- Hal Borland -

Monday, March 8, 2010


Today is a day to celebrate at our house! Every year on March eighth we count some of our dearest blessings and stop to share our hearts and gratitude for two precious gifts from the Father above.

Thirty-six years ago today God sent one of those ‘good and perfect’ gifts from above. Our son was born and he has grown to be such a wonderful young man. He brings much joy to our hearts and we are so proud of him. He loves God dearly and serves Him with his whole heart. He and his sweet wife have given us three of the most loved grandsons any grandparents could have!


Twelve years ago today our first grandchild was born. When Miss A. arrived she filled our hearts with a love we never dreamed possible. She is quickly becoming a young lady - it seems it was just yesterday that we welcomed her into our arms and our hearts.


A quiet celebration is going on in our home this afternoon. It was a year ago today that Joey and I ‘met’. Somehow that seems strange – it was Miss A.’s birthday and I got a birthday gift! That was the day Miss A. and her family bought Joey for MY birthday, even though it was several months away. I have to admit that it was love at first sight for both Joey and I! He is celebrating today with a big rawhide chew.

Abigal and Joey - 3-8-09

As I have reflected back on the years past and the events I remember on this day each year I realize all over again how very much I have been blessed. The gift of a little dog from my daughter and her children to me. And two gifts from Heaven above - our son who brings much joy to my heart and a dear granddaughter whose love means more than words can say !

Sunday, March 7, 2010

You Never Let Go

Stormy Sea

Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear

And even when I'm caught
in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm
and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare

And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm
and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

Yes, I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm
and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

Song: ‘You Never Let Go’
Written and sung by Matt Redman
Photo: 'Lighthouse and Stormy Sea'

Photographer: Steve Bloom

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Day At The Spa

There is nothing quite like a day at the spa! You leave feeling as if everything is new – you feel good, you smell wonderful and you look great. And you may even be able to go home with a new outfit if you play your cards right! That’s what happened a few days ago when Mr. Joey spent time at the doggie spa – he came home thinking he was the Kill of the Hill. And he sported a new outfit!


As time passed, the new outfit moved and shifted a bit but Mr. Joey didn’t seem to mind. He went about his usual daily routine. . .looking out the window, staring sweetly at his ‘mama’, contemplating whatever dogs contemplate and ‘reading’ his mama’s book!

Joey - Collage

After a bit of time passed he seemed to get tired so he did what dogs do so well – he decided to lie down. . .


And take a nap. A l-o-n-g nap!