"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, September 27, 2007

This Week In Pictures

This week in pictures finds my daughter and her family entering their new home for the first time since purchasing it three weeks ago. Uncle and nephew posing pretty.
Old blue eyes showing his toothless grin. And tonight's moon rise as viewed from my rocking chair on my front porch.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Essence of Letters

Treasures From The Past: Like fine wine or aged cheese, time has a way of making letters of the past turn into something of value. The written word from a penned hand on a simple piece of paper can transport you back to bygone days. I have numerous jewels in the forms of such letters. Some simple notes from my grandparents upon my marriage or the birth of my children. One from my loving husband written while he was serving our country. This one in particular was written before he even knew me and speaks of his future wife and the life he'd like to pursue with her. There is talk of the China dishes he purchased while stationed off the coast of Okinawa. Dishes he would one day present to his beloved. Dishes that still occupy my kitchen cabinet some 30+ years later. A letter full of promise and about the unknown future. I cry each time I open this letter. To think he could write such loving thoughts about his unknown bride.

To see the handwriting on a letter written from my long deceased grandparents stirs warm and happy memories. I can visualize the pen in hand as the words were written. Well loved hands that cradled and cared for life. Notes from my children written in crayon proclaiming that "You're the best mommy in the whole world", and "Thank you for taking such good care of me."

The essence of letters. How are you preserving a rich heritage for your children and grandchildren. Do you hand write letters anymore? With the advent of email, the handwritten word seems to be going by the wayside. Take a moment today and write a letter. Your children and grandchildren will one day treasure re-reading it.

This is perhaps one of my favorite love letters. It was written by Sullivan Ballou while fighting during the Civil War. Enjoy.

July the 14th, 1861

Washington DC

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine 0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows - when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children - is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death -- and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Politicians From The Looney Bin

It amazes me how people get elected to public office. Take for example the following news stories about two politicians way, way, way left of center.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bavaria's most glamorous politician -- a flame-haired motorcyclist who helped bring down state premier Edmund Stoiber -- has shocked the Catholic state in Germany by suggesting marriage should last just 7 years.

And then there's the nutty senator from Nebraska that wants to sue God. I wonder if he was mildly surprised when a written response from "God" appeared on the court house counter.

LINCOLN, Neb. - A legislator who filed a lawsuit against God has gotten something he might not have expected: a response. One of two court filings from "God" came Wednesday under otherworldly circumstances, according to John Friend, clerk of the Douglas County District Court in Omaha.

I hope these people get booted out of office for such nonsense.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm Going Clothes Shopping ... Be Back Tomorrow

Well, after examining the rags hanging in my closet, I must head out to the store today and scout for some cool weather clothing. Most of my clothes are well worn after just one season ... so this might cost dh a pretty penny ;) I leave you with a few blogs to check out. First is my dear mom's site called: Life With Tiffy (don't ask), and my brother's new site full of gorgeous pictures: A Day In The Life. They are both new to the world of blogging so be nice and pay them a visit. And lastly, I was going to excite/bore you with the minutia of my yearly physical exam yesterday with a post titled "Pony Up To The Stirrups", but instead I will direct you to Katrina over at Notes On A Napkin; she's written a brilliant piece about such an exam, enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

From House to Home

Seldom do I get attached to earthly possessions. However, there are a few items I have hauled around with each move. Items that hold a certain connectivity to my loved ones that are deceased, and memories of young married life. Some are nothing more than stories told over and over that I keep tucked away in my heart. But others are tangible objects that my family once used and now I use. I have painstakingly boxed up my grandparent's dining room lamp numerous times; placing each of a hundred or so prisms in bubble wrap ensuring safe travel. My new dining room was inspired by this one simple item. The wall color and window coverings echo the lamp's style and color. And the dining table and antique English sideboard were figured into the room's proportions when plans were made. The lamp reminds me of my grandparents and the dinners served underneath it. The table and sideboard were purchased when dh and I first were married. Each of our children learned their table manners while sitting in the chairs, and the old wood carries on a rich history in the very scratch and dent marks given to it through the years. The newness of my house is tempered with the old and now it is called home.

" When a man takes a new wife, he is not to go out with the army or be given any business or work duties. He gets one year off simply to be at home making his wife happy."

Deuteronomy 24:5
The Message Bible

Monday, September 17, 2007

A 'Senior' Moment

All is a buzz in our home with our new senior. Yes, she has her moments, but most have been good. For some reason the whole adult life scene has finally clicked with her and she is now taking steps to buckle down in her studies and prepare for her real life. Not that we haven't tried to get her to do so earlier on in her school career ... but some times young adults have to figure things out in their own time ... and no amount of harassing and threatening to lock them in their rooms or take away car keys can compare to them figuring it out in their own minds. A light switch somehow gets switched to the on position and the 'dance' of life, career path choices, college plans, and decision after decision are the responsibilities of young life. A fork in the road so to speak. If a parent has nurtured and admonished and surrounded their offspring with Godly foundations, there comes a time that feathers must be ruffled and baby-bird leaves the warm comfy nest and has to fly or hit the ground. Either way, mommy and daddy bird have faith that their diligence and earlier commitment will have shaped the very soul of their wee one.

"Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds."
Psalm 71:17

Photo: Ann, age 17

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Eyes" OK

With back to school having started nearly two weeks ago, We've had our share of ups and downs with all things Nathan related. Being the possessor of an extra chromosome has its advantages and disadvantages. A few of the downers are health, physical and cognitive challenges. For example, each year his doctor checks for certain changes in his blood chemistry, particularly thyroid and blood count problems. Last year his thyroid test came back screwy ... but the second test came back normal. This year his white blood count was a little low ... not dangerously low ... but low all the same. At the end of September we will have this test redone and hope/pray that it's better. Just days before his blood was drawn, he was bitten by what I presumed was a snake while playing in our forested back acreage. Needless to say, it wasn't from a poisonous snake ... and it could have even been from some huge insect that left two distinct puncture marks that got inflamed and presented faint streaks. Worry wart that I am ... as soon as the doctor informed me that the blood count was low ... and asked, "has he been sick or had an infection lately" ... I began worrying about the worst of the worst fears that I can't even bring myself to repeat. You can imagine how difficult it is to even get him to visit the doctor what with having 13 or more surgeries in his young life. I usually save the details of our 'errand' until we pull up at the doctor's office and then he always asks if a shot is involved. This past week presented even another problem. He escaped the school grounds and was making his way to McDonald's for French fries. Now I have another meeting to attend at school regarding safety issues. He has to be watched like a hawk and has a lack of safety awareness. On Wednesday he had an appointment with an opthalmologist which went something like this: Assistant persuaded Nathan to sit in the big up and down exam chair. "Please read the top line in the mirror." She had little insight that he has unintelligible speech ... but soon switched from letters to numbers. After I informed her that she might try shapes, she dug out a slide with stencil looking animals, a car, house, etc. This proved pointless and she gave up. All the while he's trying to ask her if she plans on giving him a shot. Next, in comes the doctor. He plans on putting eye drops in Nathan's eyes ... but first is asked something about a shot. "No, we don't give shots here." In go the drops and after a few minutes, the 'dance' of unintelligible communication proceeds between the doctor, Nathan, and myself. I was the interpreter, and calming force. Somehow, the doctor, with the help of his hand held lenses, was able to deduct that my child is farsighted and has an astigmatism ... but does not need glasses.

Lost In Translation:

Here is a sample of Nathan's vocabulary:

ice (said while pointing to his eyes) = he's thirsty and wants some ice water. Since ice and
eyes sound alike ... he points to his EYES.

mirror = "come here"

boom = the name he calls his 'security blanket' which just
happens to be a little plastic yellow garden spade
Ma = all things related to Mom (me)

KeeKee = (older sister)

Wowa = (older sister)

baby = nephew Jacob

Ha-nee = Holly, his dog's name

voom-voom = said while each hand's index and middle fingers
touch. Used to be said when wanting a ride in our
65 GTO muscle car. Now he says this to ride in our
76 Jeep CJ7

eee-eee = said while signing to eat

no = no (the same in every language) his favorite word

Words he uses sign language for:

French fries, cookie, please, sorry, help, water, sleep, potty, eat, chips,
baseball, basketball, soccer, book, cat, ready, play, friend, Jesus, fruit

edit: the sign for 'vagina' was used incorrectly (much to my horror) as his sign for his Playstation Game. Two acquaintances asked if I knew what he was signing ... well, we now have an appropriate sign for the word game being used. :)

As you can imagine, one has to be well trained to be his mother ;)

Did I mention he's the joy of my life???

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy
and be glad all our days."
Psalm 90:14

Photo: Nathan, age 11

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Meeting New Neighbors

enjoy my solitude, being a homebody, and not having my agenda filled to the brim each and every day. But isolation is tolerable to me for only so long ... then all work around the house must fall by the wayside and visiting with family, friends, and acquaintances takes priority. We have built our home in a "Goldilocks" neighborhood. The neighbors seem nice and willing to let me in their circle without being too nosy-esque (hard), or too uncaring (soft), but rather al dente (just right). The ones I've met have taken an interest in my special needs son (Nathan) and have given me their names and phone numbers should I ever find him "gone missing" ... escape artist that he is. My immediate neighbors have helped shut off a leaky sprinkler valve, provided dinner from their garden surplus, and have two of the nicest children that seem to enjoy playing sports with Nathan.
"Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house—
too much of you, and he will hate you."
Proverbs 25:17

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Were You Doing?

When time stood still six years ago today?

Remembering those that have fallen ... on one of our nation's darkest days.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Just Loving The End of Summer

With weather in the 70's and 80's ... lows in the 40's ... there's a new step in my walk ;) A few mornings I've even turned on the free standing heater stove. Clean air, blue skies, white clouds, just a hint of color in the trees .. must be time to dig out some cooler weather recipes to start adding to the menu. My blog has been neglected as of late ... the whole summer was such a whirlwind of time that even updating it once or twice a week was a chore usually put on the back burner. This is not to say that I've had nothing to do ... hardly. Plenty of work is yet to be done in the yard ... and I do watch our grandbaby four partial days each week. But I have come to appreciate calling it quits around 4 PM each day for all outside activity ... including errands. By this time of day, it's nice to come inside and start fixing dinner, watching the evening news for a while, or just sipping tea on the front porch or back patio. Routine is a driving force, and when it's tossed by the wayside, I tend to over pack each day with way too much stuff.

I cannot sit and chat with you,

the way I'd like to do.

So brew yourself a cup of tea,

I'll think of you, you think of me.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday's Agenda

  1. pay bills
  2. balance checkbook
  3. weed-n-feed lawn
  4. watch baby Jacob
  5. make a batch of scones
  6. change linens
  7. wash front windows
  8. relax
  9. relax
  10. relax
  11. watch an old b&w movie

It's now 12:30 PM and all but 7-11 are finished. You can find me on the couch.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A House Blessing

This week I've been looking at houses for sale with my oldest daughter and son-in-law. They have been living in an apartment that is sandwiched between two floors of noise and smokers, leaving them without the use of their patio, and second hand smoke coming inside. Not long ago a 'herd of elephants' lived above them that enjoyed playing basketball inside ... they even had an overflowing toilet drain into their bedroom closet. Apartment living under these circumstances will drive anyone into high gear to get a home of their own. After much prayer, going over their finances, and getting approved for a loan, they went shopping. This is a roller coaster of a ride emotionally. Nail biting and losing sleep type of ride. But, alas, the Lord has blessed them with a new home. It's a little further along than shown in the photo with grass and a few homes nearby.
May the Lord bless you as you establish your home
May you bless the Lord as you trust in Him
May laughter fill its walls
And may God comfort you in times of tears
Bless all who enter

Monday, September 03, 2007

"For crying out loud ... just get a grip Mrs. Mac. " That's my new mantra repeated under my breath about a dozen or so times a day. This perimenopausal stage of life is the pits. It's comparable to PMS x's ten. My top three complaints are:
  1. hot flashes
  2. being grumpy
  3. fatigue until 2 PM
Just when I start feeling energized for the day, it's time to start winding down for the evening routines. Someone take pity on my husband and send him a sympathy card .. OK! If you'd care to share your best remedies, just leave a comment.