Monday, December 31, 2007

End of the Year Celebration of Sound and Silence

It was a very unusual festive season.
Each child is in its own nest.
Each child is on its own adventure.
It was a very good feeling as a parent to see your children soar, especially at the time of celebrating the Birth of Jesus. It was a special heart gift given unawares and unasked for, which are always the best gifts!

This year, when the song started, “Silent Night, Holy Night” I did not cry, I did not sigh, I sang right along with the words and kept all the blessings right there in front of me and celebrated each one with a silent blessing on that holy night. That was a most unusual event for me because I have not been able to sing that song in years without crying – so I had my own little celebration right there and right then too. Peace and silence were the gifts given and received.

This Christmas was full. Cookies to bake, cleaning to do, birds to feed, ideas to blossom and lots and lots of laughter, love and hugs, hikes and walks to take, shopping to do, sights to see, sisters to visit with and nieces too, cousins visiting, new traditions to replace the old! It was very full of fun and lots of healthy noise.

As the holiday dwindled so did the noise. The silence was welcomed and very productive in its own way. You can sort things out in silence. You can look at things, count things, and measure them in accuracy. All while knitting, reading, or sitting in a hot tub. Silence after the noise is very good indeed. This was different from a retreat silence or a Sabbath silence – this was a cleansing silence. The season of mourning is at end – life and tradition can now move forward anew.

Here are some pictures of cookies, socks and laughter…

Please note that the socks have about 36 inches of yarn left over. I did not believe the clerk at the LYS that 2 socks could be made from one skein - and so there is another skein coming in the post soon!
Yes, the Pizelles were nummy - both batches! And yes that is a very full couch of life, love and laughter
Happy New Year. Happy 2008 to all.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

We had company today!

Not just any company - family.
Do you know how good that sounds in my head and heart?
Do you know how happy it makes me to have a sister visit?

I have spent a lifetime not having family visit us because we did not live in the Hometown.

So now to have a sister, neice, brother in law come for a visit - I was thrilled and enjoyed every crazy minute.

My children were here too - but they are part of the sight sound and taste of home - but my sister came to visit - - it was the best day of the year!

Thanks, sister.

Hope the Mister feels better tomorrow - seems he is getting what the Son in law had on Christmas day - so much sharing going around here - - so now the house is quiet and everyone is home in their nest...

Off to bed for me - tomorrow the only chore is to finish socks... and post the picture here...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

what a day

OK so here is the story

DD#3 is on her way to Guatemala for a vacation to visit a friend who is doing missionary work there. Her flying interim was spent visiting with me - we chat and we text - I will miss those convos over the next two weeks...

I started my Christmas shopping today.... still not quite in the spirit but I will get there... My sisster is visiting between the holidays and I am happy about that!

I had my annual migraine first day of vacation event! How typical is that!

The dog got stuck so far under the deck that the mister had to do the low crawl under the deck to get him. Jackson is getting lattice for Christmas! We are getting a new front door and a new deck door - Santa is very good to us!

So what have I been doing with the needles...
in this book is a pair of socks called Columbine which is a favorite spring flower of mine... I have been knitting them for DD#1. I have the first sock finished and was almost to the heel of sock two when House came on the TV.
Well I should have put he sock in the bag! I tried to knit while watching but that did not work. I ended up ripping out all but two inches of the sock! I am ready to watch boring TV and finish this sock... not while watching House which comes on at 11 pm! I love that show because he is a brilliant smart ass and he gets away with it... if life were more like this I would have a fine time!
OK Tomorrow is alraedy here...
I am ready for some sleep and I love the feeling of vacation now that the necessary miagraine headache has passed... bring on the fun!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Flannel sheets and Flannel Pajamas is like sleeping in velcro.
Brings back memories of felt boards.
Just a memory and thought for today when the winds are blowing and the snow is scattered.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Anatomy of a tear

Tears form a thin layer that covers the cornea and conjunctival epithelium (skin). The functions of this ultrathin layer are:
1. To wet and protect the delicate surface of the epithelium.
2. To inhibit infection by mechanical flushing with each blink and the action of chemical components within the tear film.
3. To provide the cornea with necessary nutrients.
4. To make the cornea a smooth surface for light to pass undistorted into the eye.

The tear film is composed of three layers.
a. A superficial oily layer derived from the Meibomian glands situated along the eyelid margins.
b. The middle aqueous (water) layer supplied by the main lacrimal gland and minor lacrimal glands (Krause and Wolfring located in the conjunctiva superiorly).
c. A deep mucous layer derived from Goblet cells scattered throughout the conjunctiva.
The oily layer helps prevent rapid evaporation of the tears, and the mucous layer helps the tear film to adhere to the surface of the eye.
Changes to the tear film components, and or the surface of the eye cause instability resulting in what is called dry eye syndrome.


OK so there you have the real explanation - let me tell you the reality: My eyes were rivers falling off my face so much that I had chapped cheeks!

I saw an eye specialist that ordered a medicine that cost $100 and burned like crazy then made my eyes itch like crazy - that went out the door. Then they wanted me to take a medicine that causes glaucoma when I already have narrow angle glaucoma and have been told to never take any medication that has that counterindication!

I saw my family physican who told me I did not have strep and that I should see an eye doctor.

I called my eye doctor that told me to see another eye doctor because he was out for two days.

The final doctor listened to about 4-6 weeks of history and asked about 50 questions. It was a very good exchange of information. Turns out that I produce too many cleansing tears and not enough of the waxy goopy tears. So I need tear duct plugs that have a very fancy name. I currently have temporary plugs in my eyes and they are a GOD SEND. Final installation is December 26 - GOD IS GOOD


So whenever you hear the Bible verse about being Carefully and Wonderfully made - you can believe it - God made tears in three layers - who would have thought - God does make us so very wonderful and all the balance in our bodies is a miracle indeed.

Knitting a sock with a fun lace pattern - getting ready for Christmas - going to do a different form of Christmas as we are all pretty much done with stuff but sure have fun hanging out - so we are planning some hanging out events...

Read the Bible story - see how God made us so very wonderful indeed! Psalm 139 around verse 13 I think...

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10 - what a great day!

There have been birthdays that I have dreaded - let us say 29 was not my favorite bday but 30 was fine.

For some reason I was mistaken in thinking I was 57 all year long when I was only 56. Today I am 57. And I am standing when I say that!

I had a great day - lots of phone wishes that make me feel good that others know my number! Lots of smiles all day and that was a great gift. I had time alone which I relish and time together.

In the gratitude column I have many too many things to list - the Dear Husband is number one. He is too sweet to me and always gets such thought filled gifts - replacement items that the dog chewed from VS. Candle sconces because I broke one yesterday with a candle lighter and a WREATH. Plus dinner at a favorite restuarant where they serve poached salmon - it don;t get no better than that!!

All our married years we have had wreaths - most were hand made by me in the fall for the Christmas season - but since we have been here life has been so devastatingly changing - that if fell off the horizon line - so - now - - - I will start collecting for a hand made one in the spring...

I also drank a cup of chamomile tea that I grew in the garden this summer with Stevia leaves and some lemon balm - OH dear that was good... nothing like a little garden planning in December....

OK sleep beckons - tomorrow I will start the day with joy and exercise - then the rest of the day will be as good as it can be - RESOLVE for the 3rd anniversary of my 19th birthday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Now a thought about peace from a favorite author

The best snowman ever!
By Bob Perks
All stories copyright 2007

It just came up in a casual conversation. It was one of those times whena young child asks a simple question expecting a very complex answer, but then, much to the delight of the child, hears a simple one.

It didn't carry the weight of "Where do babies come from?"

It didn't require a dissertation on religion in the 21st century.

It did however need to satisfy this child's curiosity.

It was late on a snowy Saturday afternoon. The young boy and his fatherwere cleaning up the remaining leaves and branches that fell during the windy approach of the snow storm. They stopped for a moment and sat quietly watching the snow fall.

Both were bundled up from head to toe. Mom insisted, "Im the one who will have to take care of you if you catch a cold."

So they complied adding a scarf and hat as they walked out the door.

"Dad, my friend told me that every snowflake is different," the child said.

"I believe that is true," dad replied.

There was silence.

"How do we know that?" the child asked.

Dad, now smiling, turned toward his son and said, "We just do."

Not a good answer at all. It falls into that category of "Because I said so."

"But they look all the same to me," the child added.

Now dad feels obligated to come up with a more satisfying answer.
One so profound that his son will remember this moment for years to come.

"Son, snow flakes are like people. God makes everyone of us different. We are each unique in a very special way. How do we know that? We just do," he said.

Oh, what a let down. He was doing so well. Any time you can bring God into the answer, you're heading in the right direction. I mean, when
you say "God did this" or "God wanted it this way," then you're covering
all the bases. But he went back to the original answer and blew it all...
"We just do."

The child stood up, put out his hand and watched as the snow landed
on his glove.

"They are different," the boy said. "Like people."

It worked. I was wrong the boy was satisfied with Dad's answer.

Then came the big question.

"When they are all together they are so beautiful," he said.

Then sitting down next to his dad, he looked up and asked, "Then
why don't they get along?"

"The snow flakes?" dad asked.

"No, people, dad. Why don't people get along? If people are like
snow flakes and each one is unique and special like you said,
why don't they get along?"

Wow, that's a good question. One deserving a good answer.

"I mean, when you look at these snow flakes on my glove they are all different.
When you look at the snow in the yard, all together, they look the
same. Together they are even more beautiful."

What a moment. One I believe that will hold a special place in
dad's heart forever.

But how do you answer that?

Dad sat there for a moment thinking.

"Choice," he said.

"Choice?" the child asked.

"One of the greatest gifts that God has given us is the gift of choice. As different as we all are, we have one thing in common. We can
choose what we do, how we dress, where we live, and how we
treat each other. "

"So choice is a bad thing?" the boy asked.

"Only when we choose the wrong things. Only when we make choices that go against God's plan for us."

"How do we know what's right and what's wrong?" the child asked.

Dad looked around now struggling to build upon this moment. Yes, it would have been easy to fall back on "We just do." But he was in
special place right now. He was given the chance to build upon
the very foundation of his son's faith.

Dad nervously shuffled his foot in the snow as he searched his
heart for just the right answer.

"Let's say all of this snow was all the people of the world . You are
right, together they are beautiful. They are now given the gift of choice. They realize how well they work together so they begin to build."

Dad reaches down and divides the snow into two sides.

"Both sides acknowledge their differences. One says, "Let's get
together and build upon those differences. Let's do things that will
help the world. The other side says the same thing, but can't come
to an agreement on how to do it, so they each break off into
separate piles."

Dad stops for a moment and looks at his son.

"Do you understand so far?"

"Yes, I think so," the boy replied.

Then, without saying another word, dad continued to work with the snow.

On the first side he builds three large snow balls. On the other he
builds several smaller ones.

"Which side did the right thing?" he asked the boy.

The child looked at both sides and couldn't come up with an answer.

"Dad, I don't know."

Then dad stands up and places the three larger snow balls on top
of each other.

"It's a snow man!" the boy shouts.

"Now who did the right thing?"

"The snow man!" he replies with enthusiasm.

"Yes, all these people came together and recognizing how special each of them were, they joined in an effort to build up mankind,"
dad said.

The child then stood up and gathered an arm full of the smaller snow balls. Then, one by one he began to throw them at the other small piles of snow.

"What are you doing?" dad asked.

"This is what happens when people can't work together. They call it war,"
he said.

Dad was stunned. He stood up, lifted the boy and held him tightly.

Whispering in his ear he said, "I pray to God that your world will learn to
work and live together."

The boy leaned back in the comfort and protection of his father's arms, looked at him and said, "I will make the right choice.
I will learn to build the best snowman ever."

"I believe in you!" Bob Perks

I encourage you to share my stories but I do ask that you keep my name and contact information with my work.
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Saturday, December 1, 2007

and today the loft bed is finished

While Mr Jackson was eating a pillow from the bed that had fallen on the floor

We assembled the loft bed

(that should have been our first clue - how many children have we raised - to know that a quiet kid can be getting in BIG trouble)

Without further ado here is Loft Bed #2

Tomorrow the delivery to Troy and Em should be in heaven!

I hear that there is snow and rain and ice in Chicago

DD#2 is ready - has blankets and extra candles and plans to sleep right through the whole thing

I hope the people from the 200 or so flights that were cancelled are as equally as prepared to camp out and wait out the weather...

Next week new adventures in Advent!

That Dog Jackson

He is an angel but he is all dog.

He loves to torment the cats by sniffing the tail end!

He loves shoes and slippers and socks.

And as you disrobe for the shower he loves to capture the tightie whitie du jour.

So add one complete female ensemble to his list of chewed items. I would not be as frustrated but he sniffles through your disrobement and finds your unmentionables and spreads them about after dining on the parts he likes the best.

OK done with the rant. Back to your regularly scheduled programming!