Mother’s Day me and the preacherman!


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Forever and a day


I have never bragged that I am a patient person, if anything I am bold to say I have NO PATIENCE AT ALL! This is not an exercise in self deprecation, just the cold hard facts …ma’am ……! Since I have never in my whole life (obviously) never…ever attempted to “diet”, this is turning out to be a tiresome exercise in patience.

I have been successful, still losing pounds and inches, but good grief it is a slow process. So, I am thankfull that now nearly two weeks away from ninety days on this journey, I haven’t thrown in the towel, even though I have had a few cheats! (darn you Peppermint Patties!) My dilemma is that I fear I don’t eat enough, as ridiculous as that sounds even to say…I read that your body will shut down and freeze up and not allow any more weight to be lost….wow, really! How do “they” know that? That would be my luck.

I reduce my intake to a ridiculous amount because take out all things white…bread and sugar, there goes all the fun stuff! and I don’t get hungry as much, but then I go without food then WHAM! I am starving all at once, but then I do eat the correct things, so then I am not really hungry for a while. I should be skinny as a rail by now but NOOOOO.not me, still waddling around. So goes my displeasure with the time it takes to move down the scale…FOREVER AND A DAY!…..and don’t even get me started on the fun facts about Menopause. Lord help me!! I am tired of being the chunky slow turtle…I wanna be the fast Jack rabbit!

When did all this happen? How can this be?…..why didn’t I listen to my elders..…they warned me, I ignored them as usual. Stinks to be me today. I know the truth….I am a pathetic whinner……yes I admit it. That’s the first step…but I admit it a lot so time to move on to the next step….I blame no one, I could blame my mamma, but I fear she would have a moment of clarity during her bout with Alzheimer’s and smack me upside my head, Marie would jerk a knot in me for sure! Well probably not, she never hit me once….which could be my problem…hey it may be her fault after all! Hee hee!

Someday I hope to not rant so much, who am I kidding…..I will always rant, it’s my shtick! So I will keep plugging away at this no/low carb way of eating….I need a big five pounds at one time drop in weight, so Lord if you could help a sista out it would be so cool….OR…… you could keep on saving souls, healing the world and all the important stuff. Just ignore the selfish ramblings of this old menopause laden, weight loss losing, trying to find myself again, tired of not sleeping at night, hot flashin’ (not in a good way) driving her husband crazy, wishing I could crawl in a hole and scream……..ooops.…..God praising, spirit led, Jesus loving…...bah humbug….mother of four, and one scruffy dawg, not wanting to clean the house……...oops.….faithful wife and servant of God….AND……apparently NOW BI-Polar (ugh, haha just kidding) whine, whine all the day long…WOMAN…..HEAR ME ROAR!

So goes my day…..good news/bad news is ……..I will survive, only to whine another day….forever and a day, yes! ME!

 

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AGING, Alzheimer’ s and Angels


There is a major truth about life and that is, we all die. That being said, the process can be a painful especially when faced with a debilitating disease. This process is a reality to many people and a real life come to Jesus for those of us who are the ones forgotten. Well maybe not forgotten just….not remembered.

Everyday begins a repetitive exercise in futility…..not for the precious soul we have lost but for the caregivers. The chronic disease of Alzheimer s is the dark curse of the aged. It is an overwhelmingly diligent disease that never ceases, but only gains strength as the days pass. Those left to cope are nearly as lost, not knowing how to deal with the new person in front of them.

Aging is a part of life. This is played out before us all in nature as an example. A tree starts out a small sapling and grows into a mighty Oak with high branches and long roots. Trees can survive the passing of time unless lightening strikes or a hurricane wind causes destruction. We marvel at the results from the spectacle of ….…“an act of God!” But what about a disease, there is nothing to marvel at there.

The cruelest of diseases is the slow moving root rot or disease that moves in, undetected for a while. Not until a hollow trunk reveals the bitter truth. All is lost, time to cut down. This is the story of Alzheimer s. It is a sly, sneaky bitter disease that is hard to realize at first, but comes on like gangbusters when it’s revealed. The hollow shell of a person is the real result of this dark curse. This “rabbit hole” is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Why does this happen…..how could it be prevented….what did we do wrong? No answer will suffice. There are no answers….only questions. It is like a  depletion of marrow from the bones and not only the precious soul who has the disease but also for the caregivers. It is one of the hardest days on earth to hug your Mother and her politely smile and say “Welcome!”…as if you are a stranger….because you are.

The hollow eyes of our elderly parent are a somber realization of the frailty of life. It is a first person, in your face ……{dramatic pause}…who’s next? When confronted with that question it becomes more real than any of us want to know. This person who birthed me, raised me, has fought the good fight only to be left clueless. Sometimes I think she is the lucky one, not knowing, selfishly knowing is unsettling…..but this is life and aging.

imageMy Mom was never a overly sweet person. She was kind and pleasant and with a big beautiful smile, very personable, but not sugary sweet. That was ok, she was tough, she had to be. Most people liked her, she worked in the public her whole life, she was beautiful and a force. Since her disease has changed her, she is precious, sweet and kind with a bigger personality than before, but she still has a wit, one-liners that always crack me up. As we have watched her downward spiral into this hollowness I see her more like a Angel. Her hair is a beautiful white now, her eyes are weak but seem to stare straight into my soul.

Not being a big fan of the big Angel pseudo worship world, not loving all the figurines and paraphernalia, I still can’t help but see her in this light, a childlike innocence that enjoys every visit, every hug, every holding of her hand. She wasn’t overtly affectionate either, but now she is. I hug her every chance I get….I hug her and breathe in…. her soul into mine.

I wish she knew me, I wish I could lay my head in her lap and feel comforted, but this AGING process is just that, a process. She has aged, she has Alzheimer’ s and she is a Angel to be with. This road has been long and painful, my prayers are for mercy for her and to be honest for us, her three girls, who look after her now, with the help of a great group of caregivers at a beautiful home, where we are comforted she is getting the best care possible. This is not done without help and no one has sacrificed more than my sister she had lived with for eleven years. We all would have done the same for her, but she will and has been blessed for the time spent caring for this woman who impacted us all so much.

Sweet Marie has three young girls(as she calls us now), and  just today she told me she misses and  loves “them”, then she said “I know they love me!” It was music to my ears and joy for my heart. It is sweet to hear her talk about us in such a way, keeping back the tears is the hard part. She had warm and fuzzy feelings for us back in the day, I know that now, a gift to me, a blessing for this youngest daughter. The answer to a question I have asked God many times, such a sweet gift for which I am thankful.cropped-408838_3013208655831_1430990521_33175807_236533728_n.jpg

Who will be next, will it be me? I don’t know and with my memory I seem to be a good bet, but if it is me, I pray my soft side…..(I really do have one y’all! ….Really!!!) shows up and allows me to age with the dignity of this strong southern woman.

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Finding Balance


As I sit here on the second day of January in contemplation of how to start….the year, month, day…morning! Already saying UGH! Which is not a good sign. The full one day of the new year has already been …UMMMM……needles to say gut wrenching and if this is any sign of the next three hundred and sixty four days…..hang on to your hat…Here we go!

 

I have only one plan in place and that is to count the days and in this counting of the days tally up the ups and downs…..take stock each day of the distance I travel in the right direction. There will be downs and I am prepared. These are roads I have traveled numerous times. My hope is there will be many more ups and to acknowledge them as fuel to move forward even faster.

 

Time is short, I am old…older…..and that ain’t gonna change, but I can get better…back to that HOPE thang again….ugh! This is my challenge and as best as I can I will day by day accomplish the task. It doesn’t really feel like a mountain but more like a level flat line with little tic lines as if like a very long ruler and each day is divided into segments.

 

I have a list of objectives…moderations…….checks and balances. I tend to be a beinge worker. I clean house on days that involve top to bottom tasks…I take side roads; one thing leads to another and I am overwhelmed by the chores so I dread them. I paint in big blocks of time…in the “zone” and hope to be left alone to get what’s in my head out and let what’s in my spirit flow.

 

I am a huge procrastinator which tends to cause me to sit and ponder all the great feats I can do ……if only I had the time! This need for alone time is a family trait…..I come from people who are very self sufficient and that enjoy the peace and quiet. In my brain it’s all or nothing, for some reason I think …”someday I will be done with all these people and have time to do what I want!” BOO HOO!

 

POOR OLD TIRED MOM!…. I am sure my family would like to tell me to zip it! They know it’s not them (always)..usually it is me. My overly dramatic woe is me attitude is what I allow to sneak in…..so putting each day in doable increments may just work. The financial guru, Dave Ramsey preaches that “every dollar has a name” and I believe it so in that vein the minutes of my day will too.

 

Dave Ramsey
Cover of Dave Ramsey

 

Time for this southern girl to get on with it….this year looks as if it will be a whopper and I am on the verge of greatness… I have art to create, books to read, people to meet and relationships to nurture. I am the one that can create change and with the Lord’s help stop settling for the sad and mundane. I was created for greatness and I will walk in it….

 

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a little better day


Okay…January 3rd and I am on a good path today….Besides the chicken enchiladas I made for supper last nite for which I only ate one-ish! and the leftover chicken I turned into chicken salad (i make the best!) and I ate one skinny sandwich for lunch today on dry toasted bread (white!..I know bad) and then the leftover chicken broth that was calling out to me to experiment with….I am attempting to master Chicken and dumplings, southern style! Why would a person who already has dumplings for hips do this? Tradition!! My granny is gone and my Momma is nearly gone…well her memory and ability to cook is and there are no more awesome dumplins’ in our world….I am or have not been able to do it yet.

Until NOW!!! My sister is trying also and she got pretty darn close on Christmas…she told me the secret is use the broth for the flour mixture…..hmmmm! good thinking I told her so here I go and I used Bisquick, advice I got from my BFF Cheryl…who knew the chick could make these auspicious delicacies? Silly me she is one of the best cooks ever!! So I did it and if I had any faith and really tried harder and made them less “fat” it would have worked perfectly….The ones that actually got cooked thru and thru were GREAT

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.
This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So besides all this carb attack food…in my defense I did only eat a few bites of dumplins’ I have done pretty good today. I had two scrambled eggs for breakfast then the skinny chicken salad sandwich and probably eight tortilla chips (ugh) and then at 3:30 I fixed raw radishes, celery and carrots on a platter all festive and ate a snack before supper while reading. Then we had early supper of 6-8oz steak and one small baked potato and a load of steamed broccoli. All day I have drank only water with lemons, no tea or anything else. I LOVE WATER WITH LEMONS and I have a reputation for it…restaurants far and wide are ganging up trying to charge me for the inordinate amount of lemons i always ask for. My friends ridicule me…doesn’t bother me any….I love it.

My reading today was exciting….Noah and the Ark…all those animals, geez that would be noisy and then silly Noah got a bit tipsy and naked…..sometimes ya wonder ya know….but he had good sons who helped him out…. nice example Noah, so glad he spared YOU! Then over to John the Baptist…don’t wanna mess with this guy….but I like him, he had humility and the good sense to use it…but only on Jesus, the rest of the guys who he called out deserved it…but even them, he would have helped and he wanted to, he showed them the way but as a stiff-neck will do…they ignored him.

My day has been good…eating a bit better…check; Bible reading…check; exercised….? Well, does walking around two grocery stores and not parking right at the door count….? Half a check for that one….Maybe I might drag the exercise bike down and pedal some…..I will ponder that one….drink my lemon water and ponder some more!

 

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Good Advice


Listen to Jesus and do what he says!

Probably the best plan I have ever heard…thanks preacherman!

(a pure minimalist point of view, of course!)…it works though!

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The lonesome year…….in Honor of my friend


In a few short days the one year anniversary of the death of one of my closest friends will be upon me. She was more than a friend, she was my preacher man husbands sister. From the first time I met her I made it my goal to win her over…..since I have two sisters of my own, I know girls and I knew pretty quick she was a contender.

She was a few years older than my preacher man which was fine until I realized she was my age. I am older also than him……which was not a problem…he was taller!(the logic I had back then!!) To him though, she was the dreaded big sister…and that was pretty much their relationship. This was going to be an uphill battle.

But, it turned out that it was pretty smooth. Me being a person who always wanted to be liked and her need to be the boss of him (not really, but she was already the enemy and I was soon becoming a traitor!)I think in his eyes at least I was on treacherous ground. It was understandable since in ALL families the kids are some days on the same side and on other days mortal enemies. Nothing so shocking about that. I am from a family of four kids…and we had four kids…….drama times four!

We did become fast friends and spent the next nearly thirty years, raising our kids, talking on the phone every day(thank you Lord for the invention of call waiting, that was about the death of me)since to get through the day we had long conversations about anything from baby rashes to the world news and everything in-between. Some days we would venture out of the house to tour the local Wal-Mart or fast food kid meals and playgrounds. Yep we had a big life….oh me!

Our families would hang out and we would cook great suppers and play cards and visit and compare our husbands. The rub was that mine was her baby brother….like I said treacherous grounds. But with many good and bad days…fights and fusses….prayers and intercession we were tight. Our lives were inter-twinned. She was my people….. my sister just as much as my two blood sisters and in the adult time of my life I was with her more.

So after one year with out her I can honestly say it has been hard. It wasn’t fair…we didn’t have enough time. There wasn’t enough time for her to spend with her grande babies. No one loved babies more than her. Where I liked only my kids…mostly, she loved to play with all babies(weird!) but sweet of her. Those grand babies were her heart after her two boys who were her pride and joy. She loved her boys and she was such a better sports mother than me….she was at every event, no matter the distance. In my defense…three kids on three different fields…..exhausting!

I could tell funny stories for days about our adventures, we were a cross between Lucy and Ethel and Laverne and Shirley; many stories are too unmentionable(funny as well as gross!) but most of them were silly, just like we were. We have shopped on the curbs of the finest homes(they leave their “junk” out there to be picked up)(we were recyclers before it was cool)and did every craft that was in style. She would call and say…”you up Ethel?…..lets go eat breakfast after the kids go to school” and we would go….pony tails and sweat pants, we didn’t care.

My loss is in no way anything like that of her husband and boys, but it is my pain. I had the best friend for a time…we were brutal on each other as well as full of love. This has been a lonesome year for me. I cherish my friends and I cherish the time I had with her. I am not sad for her, she is healed and beautiful and happy and where she lived her life to go, in heaven worshiping her Savior. I would not want her to come back to the pain she felt before she passed. I know I will see her again.

So in tribute to her, I post her picture as my header for my blog. This is the place I share my heart and I wanted to honor her in some small way, my way. Jesus knows my pain and he has carried me through. We all have lost people in our lives, I am nothing special but this is my friend…my sister….so this is my way to honor her. If she was writing this she would say…don’t weep for me, give your heart to the Lord, follow HIM, He is the Way, Truth and the Life, He brings peace and he loves YOU!

This is what I say also……Jesus is the only way.

John 3:16
John 3:16 (Photo credit: Martin LaBar)
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