The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Tommy said the one with the wrap around window is called a five window.  I think it's a lot cuter.  He suggests, "Later model frame with better suspension, power steering - smoother ride and easier to buy parts for  ... small box, 350 chevy engine should do it." I actually prefer a standard transmission, but an automatic is fine if that works better.  Tonight on that truck guy show someone auctioned one off for 23K ... drivable but nothing else to recommend it.
I know I want air-conditioning and a decent stereo ... something fun to drive.  We have already started scouting around for one.  It's been fun to talk about it ... been kicking the idea around for several years now.  Something to shoot for ... .
also today - I had forgotten how much I like listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan - wow

Had a visit from a couple of new friends from Hospice today - Momma declined help with basically everything they can do to help - she just doesn't want the help.  It makes it more difficult for me -  I feel sad about that because it'll make things harder for her for sure.  She could have a hospice visitor almost every day of the week, and I'm pretty sure she would enjoy that, would definitely benefit.  It's pretty frustrating.  I want to feel peaceful within myself about doing the best I can for her.  There is a point where I have to accept that honoring her wishes is the best I can do.  The dementia makes that feel precarious.  Mom has always been so very unpredictable, why should these last days be any different?  Yesterday she playfully poked my tummy and laughed for no reason ... I think that is the nicest moment I have ever shared with my mom ... Tommy and I were both like what?!?!?!  He said he would not have believed it had he not seen it with his own eyes.  It just came out of the blue.
 I feel like I've done everything I can for now.  I need to go home for a week or two.

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood (Long version!)

Sunday, March 23, 2014



it's that feeling of sitting in the back seat
you check your seat belt because it's the only thing you have any say about
you're sitting behind the driver
you close your eyes and feel the the truck - heavy powerful quiet - quietly it moves along

later Lorde is singing Buzzcut Season on the stereo
and I feel my heart breaking
and I know hearts do break

last week my brother said,
"yeah, he breaks hearts for a living and it must be pretty rough even if it is lucrative"

(he was talking about the guy who had just told us that
my brother
has stage four cancer
my brother
has two months if he opts not for treatment
or
there's a plan a
and a plan b
and plan a comes with a two month trial ...
plan a seems like the place to start)

you sit in the back
and you close your eyes
and you think of the strangest things
and you reach for the best thoughts

Or ... And ... this
I knew my brother was sick and we had a pretty good idea that it was gonna be bad even before we finally got the full report, even before it was bad (I haven't read the pathology report yet and maybe I never will) ... I'm thinking about the stuff I've been trying to lean in to
the parts where God knows where each little one of us is at
the parts where God knows
and since He knows - it is as it should be even -
even if I can't stand high enough on my tippy toes to see it

you know ... it's just a lot
I'm really glad that I'm starting to hear the story that God longs for us to hear


we really are all in     the back seat
maybe we think we are driving
but
we're really in the back seat
it feels okay when you trust the driver

it hurts and it's a little bit scary but ... it feels safe




things I saw on my walk ... water logued




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

106/1000


 I'm pretty sure that picture doesn't look like much to most people ... but I loved seeing it today.  Today I went on a little ride around with my brother.  His truck ... rocks.  I drove it day before yesterday and it has an authoritative engine ... he said go ahead and punch it (he knows me well enough to know I was itching to) ... didn't take another word, just a quick click around for traffic (particularly the type trimmed in flashing lights), gas pedal full forward, body slicing through soft leather as smoothly as a hot knife glides through butter.  That truck is a rocket. Today he drove.  Yesterday we found out that he has stage four stomach cancer ... but today wasn't yesterday.  Thankful 106 ... we never have to do yesterday again.  Yesterday is in the rearview mirror.  I am so very grateful that there are options ... grateful that there is a view ahead ... and that he feels well enough to get out under the Texas sky and fly that truck down the road ... lol ... and this; Creedence Clearwater Revival, sound track du jour.
And this ... Today ... the day the Lord has made ... it is my privilege to rejoice and be glad in it.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Run Through The Jungle

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day




May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far.


May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health,
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth.
May the dreams you hold dearest,
Be those which come true,
The kindness you spread,
Keep returning to you.


* Time is a great story teller.
* A friend's eye is a good mirror.

Had previously collected the "notes" for this SPD post ... something nice happened on a SPD several years ago and I like to think/thank the Irish for providing the bookmark in the story which time tells for that tiny bit of serendipity (which became a big thing bc it was a conduit for healing) ... the clovers remind me of God's love, they are like little green (for life) hearts (love or loveliness).  St. Patrick's Day seems to me a reminder of God's coolness as He works in unexpected ways.
early 60's

later 60's
I remember that top -
it had an appliqué of a red dog which stretched around from front to back,
and red piping at the neck and sleeves.
Probably the beginning of my inclination towards black and white clothes.
My brother's shirt was his favorite at that time
 - yellow with an embroidered horse with rider.

College - early 80's
taken and developed by a friend
my hair used to be light like that, but it was aided by
almost constant exposure to the Texas sun
I rode my bike everywhere
and swam as often as possible.
Momma gave me these old pictures the other day.

I'm here (Texas - where I grew up) looking after things for my Mom and helping with stuff for my brother (the younger one, those pics were with my older brother and I don't really have many pictures of my younger brother, but as handsome as everyone seems to think he is, I don't think I'll post pics of him ... he is a private sort of guy where this internet stuff is concerned).

Let's catch up on Momma ...

Last Tues. I took her to a primary care appt. knowing that we needed a referral for a dermatologist to tend to a couple of spots on her wrists (basal cell carcinoma ... previously diagnosed, but she was unwilling to have it looked at, insisting that it was nothing that a tube of Neosporan couldn't take care of), a pain in her side which may or may not be recurring and seems to travel from maybe under her ribs to maybe where her appendix is.  Momma has been very private about her medical experiences and we are piecing her medical history together as best we can with the help of her sister and hopefully medical records which I'm on the trail of.  She is 80 and hasn't seen the doctors very often - she thinks drinking distilled water and a clean diet should carry her along splendidly.  She likes very much to tell people that, also that she is not on any meds at all!
We have discovered that she had "a tiny spot" of colon cancer removed and that there was no follow up to that, also that her gall bladder was removed or maybe it was a stone the size of her gall bladder, and maybe she has had kidney stones also removed.  Her sweet sister has been "helping" get her in to the doctor some ... now we are looking after her.
Her memory is practically non existent ... what she does "remember" is largely constructed from flights of fancy.  I'm setting here trying to think of something she does actually remember accurately and all that comes to mind is the fact of the distilled water and no meds.  She does remember that my brother relieved her of her driving privileges and that she can talk to her sister on Saturdays for "free".  She doesn't remember whether or not she had breakfast today.  This is funny ... she doesn't remember the President's name but she is absolutely incredulous that he has been elected twice.
Anyway ... while at the doctor's appointment Momma had a heart attack.  She never lost consciousness and remained able to "supervise" the EMTs as they prepared her for transport to the ER.  She was admitted to the hospital and stayed there 'til an evening release on Friday.
While there it was discovered that other then heart concerns she has lesions on her liver which are malignant.  We were released with referrals to an Oncologist and a Cardiologist.  The PCP is required to actually provide those referrals to meet insurance guidelines ... later today I have scheduled an appt. with the primary care physician.  I've been offered guidance to request that the PCP also make a Hospice referral.  And, I have a feeling that there will be a visit to a Memory Care provider too ... I'll request that if we need it.  Well, I know she has huge memory problems, I just think it may not be the largest flame right now ... seems like plenty of fires need attention.
I know I'm not supposed to do this, get on the internet and read up on cancer, but ... I need information faster then appointments can be set up and I'm trying to fill in basic understanding.
The case worker at the hospital provided a bit of info to get me started on finding proper care for Momma.  At first it seemed like our only option would be a nursing care facility, now it seems like with help from hospice we will be able to let Momma stay at home where she is less confused and therefore more at peace.  On the other hand ... When I am not here she may be entirely on her own which leans me towards the full time care option.
Her appointments on Thursday will fill in some of the pieces so that we might make the best choices.

So ... a lot of really great people have sorta appeared to help us sort through this.  One lady suggested that we pray that people with knowledge and wisdom be where we are headed next to help us along this journey's path.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

surprises



My brother is sick.
We're filling in the info on how sick and how to proceed.

Around Mother's Day last year we moved my Mom to a senior situation so that she could be near him as she aged and became less independent.  She and I do not have the sort of relationship that either of us would hope for and ... I guess I have found closure with that.
Momma has been complaining about a little pain in her side ... it's under her ribs on the right side, or ... maybe it doesn't hurt at all.  She suffers from early onset dementia ... or maybe it's advanced, I have heard it called either way this week.
I think I can't tell this as a story.  I think I must just tap out the facts as they have unfolded these past several days.  I just want to say too that ... her dementia has allowed her to smile at me and it seems almost bizarre.  She is calmer when I am "there" and the nurses report that she is "aggressive" otherwise ... I note that because in a way that I haven't sorted through yet, it is somewhat comforting to have someone else note that quality, and deal with it, rather then it being "my role" in her life.  It's so much easier to get to be one of the good guys.  That probably doesn't make much sense.  I'm saying Momma is easier to be around even if I am still leery ... mindful of her mercurial nature.
Before we got here I had set up an appointment and gotten her insurance in order.  She was ready to see a doctor to "get a couple of spots on her wrist" looked at.  "I want these OFF of me" she says, having determined that Neosporin isn't going to do the trick.  So ... head off to the doctor at noon this past Tuesday to see to the spots, and the maybe pain in the side ... and in my mind to establish primary care in the area and pleasepleaseplease a referral to a memory care expert.
She had a heart attack (yeah, for us it was right out of the blue) while we were there actually in the exam room getting acquainted with the brand new doctor, Dr. D, she offered because her last name is so impossible to pronounce.  It was ... hello, call me Dr. D then ... blood pressure cuff back on, get me four aspirin and some oxygen and call 911 ... and, your Mother has to go to the hospital right now.
She was at the hospital this week.  The shorter story is ... that pain in her side is liver cancer.  We left with script for her heart and a referral to the oncologist ... and sometime early this morning, my phone will ring and I will set up an interview with a home health care nurse.  We, my brother and I, will help set up help for Momma and I'm just hoping that she can cooperate, that she is able to cooperate.  If she can, she will stay in her home for a last few weeks before she has to go for Hospice care.

She wouldn't have allowed us to take her to the doctor except that those spots were bothering her.  And we wouldn't have known she had a heart condition ... or liver cancer ... without the heart attack at the right time. ( Her blood pressure wasn't elevated ... her pulse was 180 and she was "clammy" ... she stayed as coherent as she usually is through out the event, basically critiquing the medical folks and chiding me for tricking her in to this.)

If you pray ... please pray for Momma, and for my brother.
I feel ... as though things are falling apart and falling together at the same time. I'm tired and sometimes a bit overwhelmed, but I can do this.  My husband will travel home this weekend ... and I'm pretty sure the coming week will be difficult.  I hope to get the things I can do "squared away" this week and then I'll go home for a while too.

and ... I wanted to save this: Pi in the Sky (over Austin).  It's an art installation to "inspire spontaneous awe".  It made me smile.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Texas

It is just great to be home for a few days.

We spent the day in Ft.Worth ... the first place I chose (as home) for myself.  I still feel at home there, and when asked where I'm from, that seems like the correct answer. The TCU area has grown up ... fairly significant changes.  Lunch at the Swiss Pastry Shop ... perfection.  As soon as I get home I am going to work on developing a version of their (flour-less) Black Forest Cake ... very seductive ... basically,  a meringue with crushed almonds, layered with frozen whipped cream, and shaved chocolate ... my favorite dessert ever.

Now we are in Waco ... tomorrow Austin.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Port A ... 10/4



Comfy Chair





yesterday ... and this morning, finished one of the Comfy chairs

two big fluffy loose pillows for the backs

really was happy to
find" the dotted fabric
it works well at making all the others relate

other side of same pillow
at monogram shop
for a single simple font letter
8", turquoise like the piping
the conservative side

ended up hand sticking the four final closure seams
I secretly like that tedious small work
(right side front)

stapling on the skirt this morning
polka dot fabric doesn't show
(but helps define the chairs personality I think : )

here it is finished
waiting on the back pillow
I sure was hoping to get the job bucket and the air compressor out of the room while I'm away ... hoping to wrap up both chairs but running a bit short of time today.

here is the "before"
it had good potential
Probably have 3 hours worth of work to complete the companion chair ... then next project (makes me smile).

p.s. here is the stack of pillows already in the room + enough left over yardage and the perfect trim to make one more with the new fabric ... bonus round!  And that makes my living room "refresh" complete!

Monday, March 3, 2014

little big things

Daffodils

I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: -
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

 ~ Wordsworth


Friday morning found me carpooling with a friend to a memorial service ... her yard was aflutter with dancing daffodils and she mentioned that they where the prodigy of one very small florist pot, given to brighten her room during a hospital stay long past.  Wow.
Sunday's sermon was on The Sower (remember - Parables ... and without much on the sermon specifics, a main point for me was that the Parable focused on the Sower (who is Christ) rather then the various types of soil (which would be us and I smiled to remember we are but dust ... ). 

Behold the Sower ...

Then he spake many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow.
And as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.
And some fell upon stony ground, where they had not much earth, and anon they sprung up, because they had no depth of earth.
And when the sun was up, they were parched, and for lack of rooting withered away.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.
And some again fell in good ground, and brought forth fruit, one corn an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and another thirtyfold.
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
(Matthew 13)

 And the Pastor concluded with the idea that is expressed in v.8 and I thought of all those daffodils.  A tiny container of something intended for good ... just a little social gesture really ... and it has become a gift to everyone who passes by (and she offered to share a "start" with me). Spiritual things may be like that.


Here's the idea ... Someone did a nice thing.  What is cool about it now, several generations past the actual act, is what became of/from/because of it.  What became ... the good which was created is the source of joy.  
I think when someone does something that is especially meaningful it's good to be thankful for "the joy" and to recognize with your heart that some gifts (of joy) pass from God's invisible hand through the hands of a person towards another (and the actual token may be entirely incidental to the larger "good gift"). Thank the person of course, but don't get hung up on / wrapped around the axle of the deliverer of a gift (and badger them to death for even more cool stuff  ...).  Be careful to worship the Deliverer of every good thing not the deliverer of the good thing ... when the gift becomes "more" it's probably a bigger deal then a nice little intention tossed towards something.


James 1:17

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
17 Every good giving and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the [a]Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither[b]shadow of turning.

Footnotes:

  1. James 1:17 From him who is the fountain and author of all goodness.
  2. James 1:17 He goeth on in the metaphor: for the sun by his manifold and sundry kinds of turning, maketh hours, days, months, years, light and darkness.