Thursday, December 24, 2020

And It's Christmas Eve

 Is it time for a catch-up? I haven't done a proper blog post in ages. Today is relaxing: the weather is balmy in that unusual Southern December way. The chickens will be happy about that!

Adam is in the kitchen, baking away. Christmas morning we will enjoy orange cinnamon rolls and coffee. Julia is working (coffee shop) this afternoon, but she's home tomorrow. It's utterly delightful to have her home! She's found a new-to-her vehicle, a job, and is hanging out (well-masked) with old friends.

Adam is feeling better at long last. He's aggressively tapering off prednisone after heavy doses for about 5 months. He needs a yearly infusion now to combat osteoporosis, a side-effect of prednisone. He remains on Cellcept, which turns off his immune system, but we cautiously hope that he may go into remission this spring, and be able to get off that too. He has sleep apnea also, and cataracts, and has gained a good bit of weight -- all results of this illness, Pemphigus Vulgaris.

I am enjoying Christmas! The tree is up and lit, which makes the house magical, especially late at night and in early morning. The Christmas village is settled on the dining room table this year. Its lights remain on 24 hours a day and make the house glow a little in the middle of the night. But the real joy is in having a child in the house, having Julia home. Without her, I think the holidays would feel rather gray.

We continue to have church services with a scattering of people and following all the guidelines against Covid. We had a small, lovely Lessons and Carols Service on Sunday night. Those small events -- carol singing, community events, buying a tree, a little shopping at stores -- they keep us all sane. It is difficult to balance mental health with physical health this year, but both are crucial. It takes ingenuity and self-denial to find a safe balance. 

We've watched A Child's Christmas in Wales and The Secret of Roan Inish, and a very old version of Miracle on 34th Street plus some other sappy Christmas movies. Yesterday Julia and I had a lovely few hours together painting! After Christmas we'll do a shopping day in town, grab a coffee, and eat lunch at the park overlooking the Neuse River.

And I am doing better. I cannot tell you how helpful (in a gradual and slowly relieving way) it was to find a good counselor/therapist this fall. She guided me in evaluating my anxiety sources, diagnosing depression, and finding creative ways to deal with both. I know now that the reason I stopped reading about a year ago ... was depression. Same with the inability to write. For that, I needed diagnosis, someone to tell me, "This is why you are no longer capable of doing so many things you used to love."

With anxiety, it was more about giving me control over all the various ones -- giving each one a name and a face, grabbing each one by the collar, and assigning it a place in the bubble around me as I walk through life. You don't get rid of things like that, I found. But you do decide how much control they exercise over your emotions. My anxieties were running amuck in my life and tying me up in ropes of panic.

This morning I opened a large historical novel by Elizabeth Goudge that I started sometime last year. I'd plowed through it until I simply couldn't anymore. I had no interest in that book, in any book. I started one after another. This morning I opened to page 416 and started again, and I'm loving it. Depression somehow robbed me of my ability to concentrate on a story, to put myself into it and love that place, those people. 

So ... if you struggle with either anxiety or depression (or both), please think about finding help. Don't be afraid to ask a friend for a recommendation. You may be surprised to find that many of your friends have needed that same help and found it.

And it's Christmas Eve! I am thankful, so thankful, for many answered prayers right now, in spite of the horrors of 2020 in our world. I grieve for the great sorrows out there, but I intend to light a bright candle of joy in my heart this Christmas and look to the Christ Child for my hope, now and for eternity.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2020

About Those Youtube Videos ...

I haven't shared my latest youtube videos with you lately -- just forgot. So I'll put a few of them here, in case anybody who reads here wants to go look. I like the latest one (Christmas cookies) because I like the MUSIC! heehee -- the music is most important.

Christmas Snowball Cookies and Candied Nuts:

Healing Herb Ointment Disaster!! Well, to be honest, I'd been dropping things for several days.
Adam and I took a trip to the Neuse and other adventures, including a felt craft project.
Baking pumpkin bread and spinning ...

Advent begins in our home:

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Fear Not!

 This final Sunday in Advent we light the Angels' candle.

The contrast of one small flickering wick against the glowing host of God's angelic army, is a shocking one. This is the candle of peace.

Why did the angels proclaim peace? Because previously they had come for war. They are the heavenly army, and God's Son is the captain of that host. He told Joshua so, when the Israelites  approached the Jordan River.

The heavenly army -- myriads, the Scripture says, which is pretty much an uncountable, limitless number in Greek -- had lost its captain. As the angel stands on the ground in front of the shepherds, telling them about the Christ lying in an animal trough, he might as well have said it this way, "We've lost our commander. He's now one of you. We've often been at war with humans, but now, because He's joined your side, we must be at peace."

We don't see God's army of angels too often in the Bible's account, before that night near Bethlehem. Jacob saw them going up and down a ladder -- going back and forth between heaven and earth as if they were out running errands. That must've been a shock! Do we think of angels back and forth, back and forth, around us every day? 

The prophet Elijah knew the angelic army was there in huge numbers, circling all the hills around the Syrian army. He asked God to show them to his servant. An army at the ready, able to obliterate God's enemies in a moment. One angel alone killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night. What could tens of thousands of them do? What kind of power is that?

"Fear not!" Certainly they must tell that to everyone they meet. They inspire fear. They're not floating ladies in sparkly tiaras, singing descants. They're soldiers. 

Since when does an army of unlimited number come down to the enemy camp and say, "Peace"? Peace to all men with whom God is pleased. Peace to you, shepherds. Peace to traveling strangers who seek God. Peace to all the people, they said. 

The peace proclaimed wasn't peace among humans, obviously. It is peace between God and humans, and His army will not be called out against them so long as its commander shares their DNA. His incarnation is our salvation. He is resurrected in heaven right now, in his physical body, so that all those fierce angels look at Him and remember: "We are at peace with them." Hallelujah.

"Are not all angels ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" Hebrews 1:14

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Pecan Snowball Cookies

I'm putting this recipe in a post so I can find it later and not spend a half hour hunting for it next Christmas! Like other recipes, it will be on the "Cooking" page (see above, on the top bar), with a link back to this post. Phew!

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted and finely chopped pecans
optional: red/green sprinkles

In mixer, beat butter 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of powdered sugar till smooth. Add vanilla. At low speed, add flour. Then on high speed beat in pecans.

Cover tightly and chill for 1 hour, hardening the butter. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Form into balls. Bake 15 minutes till lightly golden. These cookies do not brown much.
Cool for a minute and then roll in additional powdered sugar while still warm. Cool, and then roll again if you prefer.
After sending these cookies to my mother last Christmas, she told me she never wants ANYTHING else for Christmas. These cookies are her heart's desire :) 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Shepherds and Their Sheep

 The third week of Advent -- we light the Shepherds' Candle. During the fast that is Advent, this Sunday is a break, a reprieve, a day of joy. 

God the Father announced the birth of His Son with a stunning musical display in the sky! I wish I could have seen that concert. He also deliberately chose to show this 'concert par excellence' only to shepherds. This is rather like Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, and Brahms presenting a piano concert secretly in the middle of the night in rural Pennsylvania and inviting only homeless people.

A new Christmas carol is popular right now. Here are the lyrics:

"O come, all you unfaithful,
Come, weak and unstable,
Come, know you are not alone.
O come, barren and waiting ones,
Weary of praying, come
See what your God has done.
Christ is born, Christ is born,
Christ is born for you."

There are more lyrics, and they are worth reading. Much as I love the old carols and feel they are true, this is certainly the gospel: Baby Jesus came for the lowest of all. They were invited to His birth -- the shepherds, the foreigners, the travelers, the poor. 

That's why this is the candle of Joy. The most valuable gift in the universe is given to the most needy, yes? Much as it pains me to point it out, at the time He was born, Jesus was hidden from the high and powerful, the bold and confident. Do not look for Him in their ranks. When they are brought low with suffering and trial, then you will find Him among them.

What Joy, to find that God's best gift is for YOU, when you are at your lowest! The angels' song is for you, the miracle is for you, the hope is for you. Heaven is for you.

"Come to me,
all you who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of Me,
for I am gentle and humble of heart,
and you will find rest for your souls;
for My yoke is easy
and my burden is light."
~ Jesus

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Little Bethlehem

 This second week of Advent we light the Bethlehem candle. Although we've romanticized it in nativity story, Bethlehem was a troubled city, a city of death and birth. 

Bethlehem's first significant event was the death of Rachel, Jacob's beloved wife, as she gave birth to Benjamin in a difficult labor. As she was dying, and he was being born, she gave him his name: "son of my sorrow."

At the end of the Judges a horrifying story is told. A woman from Bethlehem, the wife of a priest, has left him and gone home to her daddy. The priest retrieves her, fails to protect her during their journey away from Bethlehem, and she is attacked, raped, and murdered. Which townsmen raped and murdered her? The men of Jerusalem -- men of Benjamin. How did the priest express his anger and offense at her death? He cut her into 12 pieces and sent her body parts to the heads of the 12 tribes. The nation was shocked and angry. Civil War ensued. The men of Benjamin were nearly wiped out -- all because a woman left her home in Bethlehem and died a brutal death in Jerusalem.

The very next Scripture is the book of Ruth, which also takes place in Bethlehem. Ruth is David's great grandmother. She's a stranger from Moab, but the rest of the family is from Bethlehem. Ruth has been barren until she comes to Bethlehem where she finds a husband and bears a son. And David's line continues all the way down to Joseph, who takes pregnant Mary there because the census requires that they be counted in their home town. So she goes to have her baby boy there, in Bethlehem.

So many babies!

After they escape Bethlehem by night, the baby boys of Bethlehem are all slaughtered in one night by soldiers sent from Herod, a king terrified of a new baby king. 

These thoughts rumble around in my head and I try to make sense of them. So many babies. So much violence. So much promise, but so much loss. Doesn't it sound like our lives? So much hope; so much loss. Babies fill us with hope, new little humans with years of potential in them! But the story of Bethlehem is a cautionary tale in the midst of that hope. For Mary, Jesus was also the "son of my sorrow," a baby boy destined for brutal death. 

These are uncomfortable thoughts at Christmas, but Advent is supposed to be a time of uncomfortable reflection, of somber preparation, much like Lent. Why isn't it a time of raucous, jubilant celebration because the Savior of the world is coming? Why do we grieve in Advent? Because he comes to die. The prophets foretold that as well. 

Thanks for bearing with me as I ruminate on this new understanding of little Bethlehem. God gives us eternal hope, unyielding hope, but the road to Bethlehem -- and away from it -- is hard.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

One Candle

 A dim light

A faint hope

Come. Oh, come, Emmanuel.

Break forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light!

"There shall a star come out of Jacob
and a scepter shall rise out of Israel,
with might destroying princes and cities.
How bright the star of morning gleams,
so Jesus sheddeth glorious beams
of light and consolation.
Thy word, O Lord,
radiance darting, truth imparting,
gives salvation;
Thine be praise
and adoration!"

    ~ Felix Mendelssohn

"You who are enthroned upon the cherubim,

Shine forth 

before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!

Stir up your might, and come to save us!"

Psalm 80:1

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.

In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples -- of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious."        ~ Isaiah 11 

One candle is so little light, but enough light for hope. We are never entirely in darkness. Each week of Advent, as we light the candles, the light grows stronger and the Christ Child comes nearer.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Advent: Simple and Small

 Thanksgiving was simple and small this year. We love our huge Thanksgiving feast at church with dozens of guests ... but. But it was so nice to have a little break from that, at home. Just us. Simple and small.

Tolkien said, "It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." 

A friend on facebook wrote recently, "There really does seem to be a push to always do more."

The pandemic has done many horrible things, but it's also pushed some of us toward simplicity against our will. Pushed us home, pushed us to family, pushed us to spend less and do less, pushed us outdoors.

Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation. Can it also be a time of rest and peace? For Mary, it should've been both -- anticipation and resting -- but it wasn't. I doubt if she had much peace or rest, leaving Nazareth on foot, walking the 90+ miles. Why didn't she stay home in Nazareth with her mother, to have the baby? Why did she have to go with Joseph? What a terrible time to travel!

I long for a peaceful, quiet, waiting Advent this year, of all years. Simple and small. A year when I at last put away the bad habit of "pushing myself to always do more." Over-doing is a bad habit, and it helps no one.

Exodus 16: 17,18 says that when manna first fell from heaven for the Israelites, "some gathered much and some gathered little." Like humans today, some were over-achievers, and some were rather lazy. They'd been told to gather just enough: a daily portion for each person.

But when their portions were weighed, neither their over-achieving nor their laziness mattered; "every man gathered as much as he should eat." God arranged it so that each person had just enough.

I've been pondering that all week since Adam's sermon on Sunday. Are we killing ourselves with over-work, to no benefit? Spinning our wheels and calling ourselves productive? There's such pressure to produce and perform! 

I'll end with some photos and then a link to my youtube channel, in case some of you want to check out the latest. I hope you can taken a moment to rest and reflect on the peace of Advent.

Thanksgiving dinner
Pumpkin pie

Our sanctuary, prepared for Advent:

And a couple of youtube videos~

I go on two adventures near my home:

I travel further afield to the mountains, and make chai:

Blessings and peace to all you, dear friends!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

It's a Long State

 North Carolina is 503 miles long, according to Google. I wonder if that includes the farthest tip of the Outer Banks? I felt like I drove it all yesterday, from home all the way to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (along wiggly mountain roads, beside tumbling rocky streams, and through slanted winter sunlight), and back to Swannanoa for the night.

If I'd come last week, I'd have seen the the brilliant turning leaves. But I like the gray steely trees too.

College daughter was ready to come home, so I dashed over to get her. Adam was busy with much medical stuff. I cannot express how difficult and stressful (i.e., traumatizing) the past two semesters have been for our college kids. SO hard. She needs some TLC.

I posted on Facebook that I was making this trip and didn't really have an overnight plan any better than sleeping in the car. Covid makes it difficult to consider sleeping in a college dorm; I thought about checking with the local KOA for a cabin. But then an old college friend who has an Air B&B offered for us to stay here. Amazing!! If you're ever in the Asheville, NC area, look up Bramble Cottage. What a restful, beautiful little spot with all the amenities -- just lovely! That muffin and coffee up there were quite welcome this morning.

We'll visit with my friend this morning a bit and then hit the road for home. I have a busy week ahead! Orders for cards are coming in and I must paint. I must weave a scarf too, that's been ordered. Bee Balm to make. Soap batch too. Goodness! 'Tis the time of year. 

Adam continues the hard work of tapering off his prednisone. He also had an at-home sleep study done. He's slowly mending. 

Love to all!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Hi, Y'all!

 Yes, I'm still here! Sorry to be absent so long. Our daughter and grandson were here for two glorious, fun weeks, and I put off quite a few things without a pang.😀 As usual, I'll share some photos and a few comments, and end with some videos of late.

To begin, it's ALL about Isaac!

He is such a doll! 
And he's a very content, playful child.

Just this past week, yet another fabulous event occurred! Our second grandson John was born! Philip and Kara are his loving parents. More photos of him soon -- these early ones are "hospital" ones.

He looks quite serious and wise in this photo, and so very handsome! They are all doing fine, and we hope to drive to meet him soon -- the pandemic, however, makes all things more difficult than usual.

I've been making lot of lotions and soaps and bars, and painting a bit, and spinning again too. This is the busy time of year for such things, along with so many exciting joys happening in our family. I'm loving the coolish weather too, and am at last "into" my moderate exercise routine of walking 30 minutes about 5 times each week. My doctor will approve. I'm ticking off all those medical check-ups that we're supposed to do regularly, so I'm feeling downright healthy these days.

God bless you all during these trying days and give you peace of soul. I remind myself that I'm a daughter of the King of all kings, and that my home is being prepared for me in his kingdom. All things on this planet, important as they are, are temporal and fleeting. I'm careful what I give my heart to.

Videos of late!
We walk through the utterly neglect garden:

I show you how to make my concoction known as Healing Herb Ointment:
Care for watercolor painting? Join me:
Pizza on the grill, plus crocheting a delightful child's purse that changes into a tiny bassinet:
If you're wondering how to Subscribe to my channel (and thus help my status with Youtube tremendously!!), just look for the big red "Subscribe" button below any of those videos. Click on it. It will not give you any trouble on Youtube, but it will help me .😁  Thank you, dear friends!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Nourishing the Mind

 As we all live through a pandemic, it seems that mental self-care becomes more important. We discover that our daily habits and interactions, now lost to us, did more good for our mental health than we realized. When your mind and heart are damaged by worry and a bit starved, how do you nourish yourself? 

I think you nourish your mind with beauty. That's why God gave us beauty -- to nourish our hearts and minds, to soothe them. Beauty is a balm. In that vein, here are a few Youtube opportunities for you to do that!

Exploring the Cotswolds -- I just discovered this channel and look forward to touring one of England's most beautiful places, discovering how much of its old beauty is still there after hundreds of years.

William Morris wallpaper, "Trellis"

William Morris: Useful Beauty in the Home -- This short video is a delight! I had no idea about Morris's team, and their philosophy of usefulness in hand-crafted items. I believe that too. I enjoy feeling I'm part of a long tradition of hand-crafters.

Standen Farmhouse, East Grinstead, UK

The Repair Shop -- Following that idea, this delightful show (my all-time favorite lately) of English repair people, lovingly restoring their neighbors' family treasures, is comforting and reassures me about the goodness of human nature.

Gardeners Cottage Blakeney -- Do you find beauty in gardens? This Youtube channel from Norfolk, England, is enchanting.

The Cottage Fairy -- I just found this beautiful, peaceful channel of a young girl in northern Washington state, U.S.  So many people are crafting Youtube channels for beauty's sake, sharing both their desire for peace and love for hand-crafted things, with their viewers. In 6 minutes, I can tell this girl's channel is one I will enjoy. We share some common loves.

The Elliot Homestead -- I'd forgotten about this fun channel full of beautiful video. This sweet farm family live and work in Washington state too, and how she has the time to make such beautiful videos, I don't know!

Ambient music from The Chronicles of Narnia -- I need auditory beauty too, since I'm a music person. This is what I listen to while I'm painting. There are many ambient music videos on Youtube!

Normally, we all don't have time to watch so much Youtube, or if we do, we feel guilty about it, as if we're wasting time. But this winter, as the pandemic rages through the population again, we'll find ourselves at home. It is not wasting time to watch beauty, especially to watch others create beauty. A video itself can be quite beautifully crafted! Make yourself a cup-of-something, sit back in your comfy chair, and enjoy your fellow humans as they create. It nourishes the heart.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

In for the Long Haul

 I read Elaine's post today ("Retired Knitter") about how she's felt during the pandemic. What a kindred mind! She says she feels she's "slipping." I'd say I'm putting things off, putting off laundry, and especially house cleaning. How long can one put off dusting and vacuuming when one never has any company in the house at all for eight months? It's too too easy to become a sluggard. As Elaine says, the world won't stop turning (ha! the world will neither know nor care!) if I don't vacuum today. It makes one ask, "How much do I really care about all this fiddly stuff I do every day?" One of the first things that left my brain was writing, which was sad -- a little bit of anxiety makes creative stories vacate my brain.

Daughter Anna and grandbaby Isaac are here for a visit! I snapped this photo in WalMart. Why have I not taken more photos? I must correct that. He's a delight and so fun. Anna is getting some good naps, and I'm inwardly bubbling with delight that my little home gets to be a "granny house" for a while, Nana's house. Sigh. How wonderful to have them here! We went for a long walk on the property looking for plantain, and strolled out to the garden. He loves being outside.

Adam may or may not travel this winter during the pandemic; his health is pretty delicate. So Anna felt strongly that she needed to come see us while she could still fit behind the steering wheel. (She's pregnant now too.) Plans are not so much called off, as uncertain. Will we travel? When? How? For how long? It's hard to know.

I'm thankful I had my back surgery before the surge in Covid-19 cases began. I'm recovering well. I had a large lipoma removed and am sporting a 3" scar. That lipoma must've been putting pressure on other things, because so much of my general back and torso discomfort is gone, and I haven't had acid reflux since the surgery. What a relief to have that thing removed!

Adam made some yummy pizza tonight. He can't eat cured meats now, so my pizza toppings were pineapple, sauteed onions, and smoked pork.

I met the sweetest dog on Saturday, named Frankie. He's a Bernedoodle.

I made cookies for Anna and Isaac, 
and now they are all gone.

A little chicken painting:

This last is a scarf I finished this past week. It's time for these at the farmer's market. But painting and yarn work are put away while Isaac is here, of course! Nana priorities are in full swing! The house is strewn with toys, and all my vacuum attachments are scattered around. It's his favorite toy. It's a good thing somebody around here is willing to vacuum!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How I Feel About My Suffering

(This is a religious post, just so you know ~)

Some of you are suffering, I know. I am too. My heart aches for friends who are in such distress right now: loved ones very ill, job loss, crises with kids, marriages unraveling. My present suffering is anxiety, which (according to my therapist) is defined as: 1) uncertainty, and 2) self-doubt. That's a helpful definition.

A verse from Scripture that has puzzled me for years is this one: "But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing." (I Peter 4:13) I've pondered long over what exactly it means to "share the sufferings of Christ." Recently I decided to make a list of some possible ways our sufferings could be a sharing with Jesus's sufferings -- how are our sufferings like His?

1. Does your suffering bring glory to God?

2. Does your suffering stem from any self-sacrifice of yourself for others?

3. Does your suffering come because you are in any way obeying God's call in your life?

4. Does your suffering come to you because of your love for, or commitment to, someone else?

5. Is your suffering ever done in quiet surrender?

6. Does your suffering ever require you to bear someone else's grief or carry their sorrows?

7. Does your suffering seem insanely unfair to you, like you are being sacrificed?

8. Does your suffering seem to diminish you, humble you, or curtail your potential?

These are descriptors, I think, of Jesus's suffering, and sometimes of ours too. You may not think you ever share in Jesus's sufferings, but probably you do. His suffering came from love, self-sacrifice, humility, patience, and obedience. 

It has helped me to have definitions, to put a finger on the problem and look it in its face. I look at my anxiety and I say to it, "I know you. You are my self-doubt. I'm working on that." Or, "I know you, you are uncertainty in my future. I'm working on that too." My uncertainty and my self-doubt have come about, at times, because of my sacrifices for others, and I bet your sufferings have come for that reason too. 

Be comforted, friend. Peter finishes with, "Let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right." God doesn't want me to be anxious, but He has given me the situations that have produced that self-doubt and uncertainty, and He wants me to trust myself to Him, in the middle of those feelings. Trust that He knows what He's doing. Trust that with help I can manage it. Trust His promises to be with me as I walk this road.

As you wake up today and deal with your suffering, remember that Jesus suffers with you and won't leave you. There's a purpose. If nothing else, suffering like He did will make us like Him, won't it?

Sunday, October 11, 2020

October, Wait!

 Is October flying by? I used to slowly savor every moment of perfection - the dry and crumbling leaves underfoot, the blue skies laced with crying geese, the little caresses of cool breeze. This year, I've had to work hard to remember this is the beloved month. As I age, I find myself saying to myself, "I'll do better next year. Next year I will taste each moment of autumn in my mouth, making the days pass slow. This year ... it's too hard."

Gotta change that!

I'm deep into yarn work now, weaving and spinning. The farmer's market has been going well, and I must must do more painting of cards! They sell very well. I want woven scarves to sell soon as the weather cools, but they are so time-consuming to make.

Last night our church family enjoyed an outdoor party of sorts -- a chili cook-out. Large pots of chili, pans of warm cornbread, desserts, and s'mores over a fire pit. It was very fun, and wonderfully safe to see each other's smiling faces outside in a light breeze off the creek. We all needed it so much.

There were even dogs.😁
I'll give you a little update on Adam too. He's been taking Cellcept and prednisone, which have kept his symptoms under control. The goal, however, is for the Cellcept to take over the job, and for him to be able to reduce and gradually quit taking the prednisone. (Steroids are so bad for you, esp. at 40 mg/day.) Well, the Cellcept is not doing its job. Next week he'll try one last time to reduce his prednisone, but if it doesn't work he will transfer to a new medicine. It's a bit discouraging because he's spent 3 months taking this drug, but it can't be helped. I'll be honest -- it's a struggle for him many days, dealing with all the side-effects of those 2 medications. 

I continue with doctoring. This week I'll have a large lipoma (benign, harmless, uncomfortable) removed from my back -- outpatient surgery. It will be sore. I have to quarantine all week for it. And apparently I also have something called esophageal spasms. They only happen about (I think) twice a year, rather random, and are quite painful in the entire torso area. I didn't know what in the world they were, but now I do. I take a couple of tylenol and lie down, and after a while the pain goes away. 

I've been buying up all the lovely hardly-used baby clothes at our nearby thrift store (such a nice one) for the new grandbabies coming! The baby boy is coming next month, and the baby girl is coming in February. What exciting times! I think I may be out of town a lot, Covid or no Covid! I am ready to hold some grandbabies.

Lastly, I'll post here a couple of the Youtube videos I've done recently. This first one is about a repair/sewing project I did for a dear friend, bringing her childhood Christmas tree angel back to life:

And this second one is a "hodge-podge" of various things -- chickens, more about those baby clothes, etc. 

If you go over to my channel (click here), there's also a longer video showing all about warping and weaving on my loom, if you want to watch that. If you haven't done so yet, click the "thumb's up" button 👍 and click on the big red "Subscribe" box. It sure helps Youtube to put my videos out there for other people to find. Thank you, friends!