Wednesday, December 30, 2015

20th Wedding Anniversary

December 31st (tomorrow) will mark our 20th Wedding Anniversary! Wow! Where has the time gone?

I'm thankful:

1. Even after all these years John can still make me laugh! :-)--to love and cherish!

2. For all I've learned about God's love for me as I have experienced John's love even during the hard times. Even when I've been too sick to function--In sickness and in health.

3. For God's faithfulness to provide for all of our financial needs. Sometimes just in the nick of time. --For richer or poorer.

4. For John's rock solid faithfulness to our marriage commitment. His wisdom and acceptance of me and the sometimes difficult circumstances that have been part of our lives have been a stabilizing force in my life! --For better or for worse.

5. For the love that we share and keep sharing--To have and to hold! ;-)

I just found this quote I inserted into one of my photo albums. It's from Amy Carmichael's devotional book, "Whispers of His Power" page 228, " 'Then beware lest thou forget the Lord (Deut. 6:12). ' He brought us forth out of the Land of darkness and the shadow of death, the house of bondage indeed. Let us not forget Him who gave us all that we have, home, [husband :-)], flowers, birds, gardens, food, clothes, books, pictures, care when we are ill, joys of all sorts, work to do and strength to do it. A remembering heart is a grateful heart. 'Beware lest thou forget.' "

I want to always remember the very great blessing God has given me in giving me my husband, John, all these years! And pray there will be many more! But whether there are many or few I know that God is good!

One box down

I'm thankful:

John got this box of old tax documents dealt with! This was part of my Christmas present. Half he disposed of/shredded and the other half he scanned and will eventually dispose of (if he hasn't already.)

Here is a photo of our new duplex scanner he used. It's a Brother ADS-1500W Image Center.

He wants to teach me how to use it soon. But he did such a good job on that box maybe I should delay that a while longer. After all we have several more boxes that need scanning. I'm thinking I'll request he deal with another box for Valentines Day. Then my birthday in April could knock out another one. At that rate in a couple of years he'd be done with them.

I'm thankful:

1. I found a great website of old hymns. I was looking up "Alleluia Sing to Jesus," by W. Chatterton Dix, as part of my devotional reading. I'm using a devotional book called "Healing Devotions" by Anne S. White. I just started a section that refers to and incorporates a hymn into each day's reading. Today was, "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name" which I already knew and have music for. So I played it on my flute and sang it too (not simultaneously!). Tomorrow's hymn is "Alleluia Sing to Jesus". I'm not familiar with it. So I looked it up. The website is called It has the lyrics, the name of the tune, and the musical score.  It also tells the history of the song and lots of other details. Since I did not know the tune I looked it up on YouTube to hear it. It is the same tune as "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" which I already knew. The tune, "Hyfrydol," was composed by Rowland Prichard and is used for a number of Christian hymns.  Here are the lyrics--(It's in the public domain)

1. Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!
His the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! His the triumph,
his the victory alone.
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion
thunder like a mighty flood.
Jesus, out of every nation,
has redeemed us by his blood.

2. Alleluia! Not as orphans
are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us;
faith believes nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received him
when the forty days were o'er,
shall our hearts forget his promise,
"I am with you evermore"?

3. Alleluia! Heavenly High Priest,
here on earth our help, our stay;
Alleluia! Hear the sinful
cry to you from day to day.
Intercessor, friend of sinners,
earth's Redeemer, hear our plea,
where the songs of all the sinless
sweep across the crystal sea.

4. Alleluia! King eternal,
you the Lord of lords we own:
Alleluia! born of Mary,
earth your footstool, heaven your throne:
you within the veil, have entered,
robed in flesh, our great High Priest:
by your Spirit, left us heavenward,
in the Eucharistic feast!

Monday, December 28, 2015

She does like it!

I'm thankful:

1. That we were not hit by the tornado that came through the Dallas area Saturday night. But my heart and prayers go out to the people who were!

2. Mommie does like the digital picture frame! In fact she was so focused on looking at it Sunday when we visited it kind of dominated the conversation--sort of like a tv playing would. I'm glad she likes it but hope it won't always dominate like that when we visit. It did give us things to talk about anyway! That's something to be thankful for.

Christmas Day photo: Brother, Husband, me and Mom in front.

3. And the caregivers were delighted with the photo frame for Mommie and happy to turn it on for her.

4. S (caregiver) really liked the Massage Envy gift card we gave her for Christmas!

5. That I made a pot of turkey and veg soup for lunch today, which we also ate for dinner tonight. Easy dinner and fewer dishes to wash!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day after Christmas

I'm thankful:

1. I think Mommie likes the digital picture frame we gave her. It's a little hard to tell sometimes if she likes something. In this case she is worried because she doesn't want to bother the caregivers to turn it off at night and on again in the morning, or that they might bump it when they are dusting. She also said she hopes they won't look at the pictures or ask any questions about them. She said that after she saw the picture of her at the piano that I included. She is afraid they will want her to play their piano. (I, on the other hand, was hoping they will see and ask about pictures as a way to help them get better acquainted with Mommie! :-]) But she did thank us several times "for everything you gave me," and she seemed to really mean it. And she didn't tell us she didn't want it and to give it to someone else like she told BW about one of the gifts she gave Mommie! So maybe all her negative sounding comments about the dig. frame are just worries because she does like it and hopes nothing bad will happen to it.

2. The cherry pie tasted good despite my adding too much liquid and the corn starch being wildly beyond its "best by" date and having a stale smell.

3. Mommie didn't seem to notice or be upset that P brought wine or even that John and I tasted a little! Thank you God!

4.  It did not rain last night so John is able to "rake" the leaves. He is at it now. Only he isn't "raking" them--he's using his new leaf blower. So what's the term for that? He's out blowing the leaves doesn't have the same ring to it somehow. It certainly has a loud whine though! Ah the sounds of nature! Does anyone use rakes anymore?

5. for good earplugs that I can wear while John blows the leaves!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Silent Night

I'm thankful:

1. tonight we watched a beautiful and uplifting documentary dvd about the history of the song "Silent Night." It's called, "The First Silent Night--The Christmas Carol that United the World." I found it at our local library. But you can buy it from Amazon for $2.99 ( To read a translation of the entire song (six verses) from the original German into English go to this page: It's a little different from the version we know as that one was a less literal translation to make it fit the melody. I was hoping to copy it here, but am not sure if the website we found it on is copyrighted or not.

2. got a good report from Dr. Dean today when I went for my implant postop followup!

3. still no trouble from the antibiotic!!

4. I'm also enjoying a book I found at the library by Sheila Roberts called, "On Strike for Christmas." It's an often hilarious novel about a group of women who decide that this year it's time for their husbands to do all the work to make Christmas cheer for their families. They hope it will teach the men to appreciate them more and be more helpful in the future. Some of the men make touching efforts to do everything their wives do for Christmas--with predictably hilarious results (hilarious to women anyway!) Some of the men turn the tables and try to teach the women a thing or two. John wondered if the book is an attempt to make women look brilliant and the men out to be clueless dopes. But it's clear the author thinks both the husbands and wives need to learn a few things.

Reading it has been a fun escape, but also, as one who has occasionally in years past threatened my own Christmas strike, a good pre-Christmas Day attitude adjustment. (warning: the book has occasional "language.") (i just discovered on-line that it has been made into a movie. I have no idea what the movie is like. Watch it at your own risk :-).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Even for the little things!

I'm thankful:

1. My Mom's main caregiver liked the Christmas gifts we gave her--a gift card for Massage Envy and a box of chocolates. (we gave the same to her other 2 caregivers but they haven't opened them yet.)

2. On my third load of laundry tonight. It's nice to be catching up with things since implant surgery.

3. Even washed my hair this afternoon! Yay! --Being thankful for little stuff is important too! In fact I think if we can't be thankful for the little things, we probably won't be thankful for the big ones either.

4. For the duplex scanner that John got me for Christmas (my request!). Since it arrived, when he isn't scanning and editing photos for my Mom's digital photo frame, he has been busily sorting through, scanning and shredding a big box of old tax documents that I asked him to go through. The documents were all so old they were past the time both the Australian and US governments said we needed to keep them. I wanted to just dispose of or shred them all, but he wanted to keep some. So I asked him to do the honors as part of my Christmas present. So he is! Wow!

5. For my loving husband who is grocery shopping as I type this! I am so blessed!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas is coming

I'm thankful:

1. Recovering well from implant surgery and still no trouble with antibiotic!

2. That I actually like semi-solid and liquid foods :-)

3. That we are almost done with prepping the digital photo frame we got for my Mom for Christmas --a big job!

4. That John has been willing to do so much work to help with it!

5. That Mom's siblings and best friend sent the current photos of themselves I asked for.

Here is a little video of our tree and train.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Where did the squirrels go?

I'm thankful,

1. Dental Implant surgery yesterday "went well"--as these things go! I survived and it wasn't too traumatic!

2. So far coping with the antibiotic--Cephlex!! This is huge as I usually react badly to antibiotics. I have a long list of them that I can't take.

3. I seem to have discovered the right amount of magnesium that works for me. And it doesn't cause diarrhea! What a relief. This could be life changing--my body is much more relaxed than usual.
(In fact I wonder if the magnesium is why I'm coping better with the antibiotic.) It is supposed to help with anxiety and a whole host of other problems, including autoimmune conditions and migraines. I found an interesting  article a few days ago all about the benefits of magnesium and which supplements are most absorb-able. Here's a link if you're interested:

4. That John found dairy free protein drinks for me yesterday. The dentist recommended protein drinks to aid in the recovery from the implant surgery. I wasn't sure we would find any I could drink--being lactose & casein intolerant limits choices for protein drinks. So I was really pleased he found these.

5. That the squirrels have stopped invading our vent pipes. At least I ought to be thankful! Actually am slightly bummed--what did i do wrong? ;-)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cute Mom photos

I'm thankful,

1. for the elderly man that played Christmas carols on his harmonica at Walgreens today. It was so beautiful I almost cried.

2. that i made another batch of soup for dinner tonight (zucchini). This is also in prep for recovery from tomorrow's tooth implant procedure.

3. that I also made some smoothies today also for implant recovery. Made enough to have some of it for lunch and froze the rest.

4. that i got most of my Christmas shopping done today.

5. that Mommie was willing to reminisce a little today when I went to visit.
      John and I are sorting and scanning old photos.(We got her a digital picture frame for Christmas--she doesn't know about it yet.) Several photos of her as a child did not have the year on them. I asked her about them --particularly when she lived at Dryden's poultry farm and what grade she was when she started school. She often gets distressed and annoyed when I ask about dates and details of her life. It upsets her when she can't remember stuff that she thinks she should. But this time she was willing to at least give her best guess.

Here are a few of my favorites: Above right Mom with three of her sibs and kittens. Mom is the little one in front with the very patient kitten.

Here she is with her best friend, Alice, when she lived on Dryden's Poultry Farm where her Father worked. They look like twins! I think she is the one on the right. Not sure what year--around 1940. 

First day of school. She started school in 1940 and was in the first grade. Kindergarten wasn't mandatory then. I don't know if this was her first school year or later. She was six in 1940 when she started first grade. She looks older here than the above picture. So this may have been later than first grade. Or the prev. picture is before 1940. Or she grew up a lot from one to the next.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thankfulness all the time!

Being thankful all the time is different than keeping a thankfulness journal! And much harder-- especially when I have a tooth ache!

I'm currently reading Richard Foster's book, "Celebration of Discipline." Yesterday in the midst of the pain, I came to the chapter on Submission. In it he says, "The obsession to demand that things go the way we want them to go is one of the greatest bondages in human society today."

So in the midst of the tooth pain I tried practicing submission to God. It was hit or miss. I had to keep reminding myself. I wasn't very happy about it. But I thought, "why not, I've tried everything else! And throwing mental tantrums doesn't seem to be helping." The difference was subtle, but I felt my jaw relax a little each time I made myself say "Yes" to God and released my demand to be done with these seemingly endless tooth problems and my fears that they will never end.

Last night at bedtime I took some magnesium and Tylenol. Today the pain is significantly less. I wish I could say it's all gone! But I'll choose to trust and just be thankful for the progress!

I'm thankful!
1. that the tooth pain and sensitivity is less!

2. that we had a fun time at John's work Christmas party today.

3. That the gluten free dairy free pecan pie I made for it turned out well. This time I put it in the fridge in time so no danger of food poisoning! The pecans did not float to the top as much as last year's attempt. But it didn't seem to hurt it much in the eating.

The crust rolled out better than the last couple I've made. It looks rather pretty. Grandma would be proud!

4. There were several other gluten free dairy free deserts so I was able to indulge in a few other yummy deserts! GFDF deserts are not common at pot lucks.

5. People really liked the homemade "white elephant" gifts we brought. When I first learned that this year the gifts were supposed to be homemade I wasn't too thrilled. John's new boss wanted to see how creative everyone could be. John certainly excelled in creativity with his. I got "lucky" and was able to make mine at a garden club event.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Excellent Movie "Woman in Gold"

I'm thankful,

1. We had a nice time yesterday at the all church "family meal." RR sat with us and we had a fun time catching up and discussing everything from the "soup" of world events to the "nuts" of the presidential campaign.

2. RR also came with us to visit my Mom between church and the dinner. Mommie was thrilled to see her!

3. J and I watched "Woman in Gold" last night. RR recommended it yesterday. I was deeply moved. It tells the true story of Maria Altmann, a quiet elderly Jewish lady living in Los Angeles, who enlists the help of a young attorney to help her recover a painting that was stolen from her family by the Nazis just before the beginning of WWII. But it's not just any painting. In the sixty years since it was taken it has become a national treasure--some even considered it "the Mona Lisa of Austria." The Austrians won't let it go without a fight. The movie is based on the documentary "Stealing Klimt."

4. Saturday night movie night was fun at RC's. It was good to also see M and H. The movie we watched was about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We had a good discussion about it afterward.

5. I finally got the video and photos from "The Pity Party" (the T-giving drama I was in at church) put on facebook. Given our upload speed it was not a quick easy process!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

TJ 5

I'm thankful,

1. Uncle J sent a photo for Mom's digital picture frame as i requested.

2. R is making a gluten free dairy free desert just for my benefit when we come over for dinner and a movie tonight.

3. John didn't mind when I joined him at 6:30 this morning when I couldn't sleep ;-)

4. we did not sign up to be in the Christmas drama this time. Too much other stuff to do, especially with my dental problems. Now that the dental implant is scheduled for Friday it is even better. I don't look forward to that, of course, but it will be good to get it done. Then we can be more sure I'll be healed enough for the crown to be put on before furlough.

5. i took a shower this morning. (i know it's a lame thing to be thankful for, but i am anyway!)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas fun - Gingertown and Trains

I'm thankful,

1. for the nice honest neighbor who brought over our package yesterday that the mailman delivered to them by mistake! That is the second neighbor that has been honest and brought over misdirected packages lately!

2. John took some vacation time yesterday so we were able to fit in some fun after my dentist appointment up in Addison. We went to Dallas Northpark Center and saw Gingertown and the "Trains at Northpark." The theme for Gingertown this year is "on the Boardwalk". This little surfing Santa was one of my favorites. This was our second year to see Gingertown. It's really delightful. I especially loved the seaside theme this year.

The trains get better each year. Here's a brief clip below. It really doesn't do it justice. If you're in the area it will be there until Jan 3rd. It's worth going and it benefits the Ronald McDonald House.:

3. We had a good run to the implant specialist in Plano this morning. No bad traffic and got there sooner than the GPS estimated. (Of course we left at 7:30 for a 9 a.m. appt but still it was a remarkably stress free trip.)

4.  The implant specialist i saw today thinks he can make my new implant so that food doesn't get caught under it like it does under the one on the other side.

5. we got the digital photo frame ordered for Mommie's Christmas gift. It should arrive Monday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


I'm thankful
1. i finally washed throw rugs from bathrooms and entry ways! I hate to think how long it's been since the last time! But now today is the last time. So i can think about how recent it's been!

2. John is willing to take me to the dentist tomorrow and the implant specialist Friday. I have such a nice husband. Thank you God!

3. And he has a nice boss to let him take off so much time. (health problems make driving that far difficult)

4. I finally managed to change my water kefir today. The last time was Dec 1st! That's definitely longer than usual. (The recommended time is every two days, or at most three. I usually go three days as I don't drink it very quickly.) I guess with the colder temps we're having now it ferments much more slowly. The finished water kefir smells fine and the grains are firm so i guess it survived. The real test will be how the next batch turns out.

5. i've actually managed to write in this new blog thankfulness journal three days in a row!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thankfulness Journal 2

I'm thankful:
1.  I managed to finally figure out the unbelievably confusing interlibrary loan website just now and requested "Dear Cora." (it only took about 5 attempts to complete the process--it helped when I went back and read the directions! Hopefully they don't send me 5 copies and charge me for each one.) I did not swear (not 'real' swear words anyway); or make my sore throat worse by screaming at the computer. I must be improving!

2. I managed to make turkey salad and prep veggies for Garden Club this morning. The veggies were not a hit but most of the turkey salad went. Yay, saved money by not buying something at TT and used up some of T-giving leftovers! And I have some left-overs to eat for dinner.

3. the meeting with M went well and she was understanding about my hesitations re: the letter. She made some helpful suggestions.

4. John suggested having afternoon tea after the meeting. It seems like I'm usually the one who suggests that. It was nice that he took the initiative this time. He really does want to spend time with me! At least he wanted a goodie. :-)

5. Today was a good-hair-day. It's nice when a good-hair-day coincides with a special activity when I particularly want to look nice. That hasn't happened much lately. Maybe I will keep my long hair a bit longer. I would post a selfie here but my 'ancient' flip phone doesn't do those! Or is posting selfies hopelessly narcissistic and immature? If I did i would probably wind up worrying what everyone thought of it. So it's probably better not to. Then again I doubt if anyone will ever read this. So I guess that's sort of a comfort. I should be thankful.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Thankfulness Journal

I'm thankful:
1. that i finally got up the gumption to get back onto my blog and write - i was shocked to see it has been 2 months since the last time!
2. Decided maybe J was right (imagine that, my husband is right about something!) and I should use my blog to record my thankfulness journal entries. Not that that will make them 'deathless prose' but it may get me on my duff writing something more consistently...which could help me practice my writing. And hopefully some of it might be at least occasionally semi worth reading.
3. that my headache of the last several days is mostly gone
4. and nose less stuffy/runny than it was this weekend
5. it will soon be five years since I started keeping a thankfulness journal! I don't do it everyday like I did the first year, but I am still fairly consistent with it. I am sure it is what kept me more or less sane through those four insane years of caring for my Mother in my home. And the nearly two years since when she moved into the residential care home.

I can hardly believe it! Two years since I was faced with the wrenching decision of where and when to move her. My health was suffering from the stress of care-giving so much that my doctor told us we needed to find another option for my Mother's care. Through a few amazing 'coincidences' (more like God-incidences because I don't really believe in coincidence) things worked out for us to move her into a good place. But I still hesitated. I wanted to pick just the right time to tell her. Then the decision was taken out of my hands when she took a sudden downturn and could no longer walk. We had to move her. She has improved some since then and several months ago she was able to start walking a little again. But she is still mostly bed & wheelchair bound.