Catching Up

I missed doing a post yesterday, and this one won’t be long. I’ll be back on track tomorrow with my Sunday Morning Coffee post.

I’ve been fighting something–a cold, laryngitis, cough. No fever, but it’s wearing me out. It has slowed me down, and I doing everything I can think of to get rid of it–except going to the doctor. Since there’s no fever, I’m pretty sure I’ll be told it’s just a virus and to do what I’m already doing, which is all the old-fashioned home remedies your mom used on you, including a mixture of honey and lemon that my husband just brought me 🙂 This seems to be an annual event for me, one I would be very happy NOT to indulge in again!

I hope, if you’re a steady reader, that you are enjoying this final trip through the book of Isaiah as much as I am. It is easy to become discouraged, isn’t it? There’s not much right going on politically, although there has been a resurgence in our economy and progress in some other areas. But it isn’t over until God says it’s over, and I’ve read the back of the book–and we win 🙂

Another Injection

It didn’t hurt to get out of bed this morning.  It didn’t hurt when I sat down for my coffee and breakfast. The only little twitch I’m still feeling is just above my right hip, but the doctor said it could be two  weeks before the medicine  takes full effect.

The thing that bothers me is that it was two weeks after my first injection that I started to feel the ominous pinching and aching.  It’s been only six weeks since that first injection. I could hardly walk upright when I got to the  doc’s office yesterday.

Image result for cartoon doctor with a huge hypodermic needle

Well, much better today, and praying the improvement continues.  I can have only one more injection between now and Oct. 2019; you can have three in a calendar year.  Limited because it’s a very heavy-duty steroid.  Too much isn’t good for you.

The bottom line, for me, is to be thankful that this treatment exists; that it does give me relief from the pain, if only for a few months at a time. There is no cure for what’s happening in my back. Pain treatment has improved a great deal since I remember my mom going through what I’m experiencing now. Both my sister and I inherited her crumbling back; neither of us remembers her getting these injections.  She died at 87, about 6 1/2 years ago, and before they put her on morphine, she would often flinch, close her eyes, and say something about the pain shooting across her lower back. well, Mom, I truly understand now.

Anyway.  Today I’m off to teach my homeschool class on The Constitution and current events.  Fun, interesting, good bunch of kids.  And I can teach sitting down 🙂

July 4 Birthdays

I was curious, because today is my 71st birthday, about who else may have been born on this day. To my surprise, there were a few that I knew about.  Most, however, are popular movie, TV, music people that apparently are a big deal today but that I’d never heard of.  I guess that officially makes me old.

Some names I do recognize:  Pauline Phillips, aka Dear Abby, who wrote advice columns for many, many years.

Queen Sonja of Norway.  The infamous Tokyo Rose.  Actresses Gina Lollobrigida and Eva Marie Saint (yes, they’re old. That’s why I remember them.) Cartoonist Rube Goldberg and playwright Neil Simon. Stephen Foster, lyricist and songwriter who died so young, only 37.  The great writer Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Finally, President Calvin Coolidge.  There are more, but that’s enough.

Here’s what I read about those of us born on the Fourth:

The individuals born on the 4th of July are very caring and loving individuals who are extremely fond of their loved ones. They thrive when there is harmony in their surroundings, but are quite sensitive to discord. They  can be strong-willed and determined to follow through a task to the very end. But, a defining trait of these individuals is their fairness and willingness to apologize whenever they commit a mistake.

I don’t know who writes this stuff, or how they think they can lump everyone born on this day into one personality, but there it is.

Two famous people  who died on this day:  Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, American historic figures, both Presidents, both instrumental in the founding of our nation.

It’s a wonderful day to have a birthday.  Picnics, parties, parades and pyrotechnics 🙂  Fried chicken, potato salad, friends and family.  I’ve always felt very privileged to share this day with the official presentation of the Declaration of Independence, which my mom always told me was appropriate for me!

I am thankful to have grown up in American, both in big cities and small towns (I prefer the small towns). I’m glad I grew up when I did, and not in this tumultuous and confusing era that kids are dealing with today.  Father Knows Best was an iconic TV program of my childhood.  It would be laughed off the air today, when everyone BUT father knows best. In fact, the youngest kids in TV families are the ones who know best, even though they’ve had no life experience and can’t get a job yet.

I’m also glad I grew up in an era in which it wasn’t dangerous to be a patriotic, flag-waving American.  We could have worn MAGA hats back then without fear of having them ripped off our heads, because we had just come through WWII on the winning side, and we KNEW America was the greatest place in the world. God and country were important because we knew that without God, this country would not have come to the greatness it has reached.

Back then, patriotism didn’t have to mean that no other country was worthwhile.  It just meant that we were proud to be Americans.

I still am, and I’m not afraid to say so.

Family Time

My family from Germany is here.  Mike has been working for the American military there for about 20 years. They get  home leave every other year.  The main attraction this summer is that Janan’s parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary in July.

Right now, Janan and Victoria are busy preparing what looks like a feast–a full German breakfast.  I suspect lunch won’t be much of an issue today 🙂  It’s a treat to have them taking over in my kitchen, and they’re enjoying all the renovations that have been made since they were here last.

Connell injured his big toe a couple of weeks ago, a pretty severe cut, but he seems to be doing well.  He went with his grandfather yesterday to mow a friend’s yard.

It’s great to have them, and we’re having a great time catching up.  I’m going to try to maintain my normal blogging schedule, but I’m making no promises.  If I do drop out of sight for a day or two, don’t worry.  I’ll be back 🙂

Mind Clutter

Saturday morning.  Yesterday I spent most of my day cleaning out, sorting, boxing up the overflow in my closet.  Now I have a much more accessible wardrobe, arranged by type and color.  No, I’m not OCD  🙂 I just like not having to sort through things I don’t want to find things I do want.  Before, it looked something like this:

Image result for crowded clothes closet

It feels really good, a project I should have done long ago but kept putting off.  Some of the stuff will go to donations.  Some will stay in storage in case I ever, ever get back down to the sizes I boxed up. I know, wishful thinking. I did get rid of things that are so dated that I wouldn’t want to wear them anyway.   Now, it looks more like this:

Image result for organized clothes closet

Doing that long-avoided chore has motivated me to do the same thing in my dresser drawers. That’s today’s project. Shouldn’t take as long, and I suppose I’ll find things I’d forgotten I had.

While I worked, I thought about how necessary it is to do an “organize-sort out-throw away” spiritually, too. I’m not as busy as I was during the years when my kids were all home, growing up, getting into high school with all the activities that included. Life has settled down a good bit. It’s not my hours that are crowded these days so much as my inventory of books I want to read, paperwork to catch up on, the blogging I do, the book I’m working on. Sometimes I need to just BE with the Lord, without all the busy-ness that can crowd Him into a corner of my heart and mind.

Taking inventory spiritually isn’t hard, really.  It’s just a matter of recognizing what gets in the way of having the kind of walk with God that I need and want. So what needs to go? Well, less time on Facebook would be one improvement. If I took the time to read every single thing that shows up on my newsfeed, I’d never get anything else done all day.  I’m not on any other social media, just that one.  It’s enough.

I don’t watch TV during the daytime, usually.  That’s not a trap I’ve fallen into. But books?  Yes, I still love to read.  Books are like chocolate. You can never have too many.  My collection needs a good sorting out/throwing out. Wait–throwing out BOOKS?  Isn’t that illegal or something?  No, but it’s very hard for me to do, even when I’m pretty sure I won’t ever read a particular book again. Most often, I give it to someone else.  There’s also a bookstore downtown that takes donations.  I could always check out whether or not the Good Will or Salvation Army stores accept used books, too. Or the library.

What it boils down to, more than physical objects or activities, is spending more time in the Word; more time in prayer; more time with uplifting Christian music and listening to some of my favorite preachers.

More time memorizing God’s Word. There’s a huge key to keeping that spiritual inventory under control.  Hiding God’s Word in my heart, that I might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). Keeping my mind centered on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy–these are the things to think about (Phil. 4:8).  That means I don’t spend any more time than necessary thinking about the wretched  political state of my country.  I keep up, I know what’s going on, but if that’s what I fill my mind with all day every day I’m going to need to see a counselor 🙂

Cleaning out closets and drawers is good.  Cleaning out mind clutter is even better.

One More

One more post about our travels.  Next week we’ll get back into Isaiah.

My bag was delivered around 11:45 last night.  My computer was there, thank God, including the cord. Also my Kindle cord.  No phone charger, though.  I was sure I had put it in the same pocket as the rest, but it just isn’t there.

There was a note that my bag had been randomly selected for opening and searching.  Maybe my phone cord disappeared at that point.  I’ll contact Ken and Sheila today to see if I left it with them. I have to say, the searchers did a good job of keeping my suitcase packed exactly as I had left it. At least they didn’t find THIS in my bag:


Image result for suitcase opened and searched at airport security

Back to work this morning, for the only day this week.  Six clients to see, and I’m sure I’m going to be ready to relax at the end of my day. It’s going to be a busy month, and I need to start getting my house in order.

Today is our 49th anniversary!  Good grief, how did all that time pass so fast!

Praying you all have a blessed day 🙂

Home Again!

We had a wonderful visit with our South Dakota family.  It was amazing to see our second high school graduate among the nine of our grandchildren.  And it was, of course, very hard to say goodbye.

We left Sioux Falls right on time, arriving in Dallas/Fort Worth right on time. We had less than an hour to make our next connection, so we took the Sky Link.  Would have been fine if the second one that should have been running hadn’t broken down.  It got pretty funky in there with all that restless, sweating humanity packed in like sardines.

We got to our gate with about 25 minutes to spare, and I expected that they would have already begun boarding. Not so. I’m not sure what the delay was, but I have never seen or heard such a mess.  Not the airline’s fault.  The woman behind the desk was doing her level best to tell waiting boarders to PLEASE keep the lanes clear for the off-boarding passengers.

What is it about human nature that simply ignores a request like that, with dozens of people milling around where off-loading passengers are trying to get through?  The poor woman finally called for airport security to come, and that did have a rather dampening effect on the herd.  They reluctantly moved back out of the way, but they weren’t happy about it.

Then people started trying to board with luggage that was way bigger than their carry-on was supposed to be.  Lots of disgusted people ended up having to pay extra, having to go to a different line to be processed. There was no excuse for their anger.  The woman at the desk had been repeating over and over again what the requirements were as people began to board.  Besides which, when you make your reservation you are told clearly what that airline requires.  I had no sympathy for any of them.  There will always be people who think they can slip past the rules, or that it just doesn’t apply to them, or something.  And then they get all twisted up when they get sent to the back of the line.

Image result for Dallas Fort Worth airport crowded departure gate

All this was going on as more groups were being called to board the plane.  Then the ominous announcement came:  “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a completely full flight.  There is no more luggage space available, either in cargo or in the passenger area.  Please make sure your carry-on is small enough to fit under the seat. . . . .”

And my heart dipped.  Somehow, I just knew.

Once we boarded, I found that the wife in a little old couple from somewhere in Asia was occupying my seat.  I tried to explain the dilemma, but I don’t think they spoke much English, and they were obviously terrified of being separated. The flight attendant came to help, and I said, “Look, can I just swap my seat with hers?  Then they can stay together.”  So we did that, and I ended up in row 5 right behind first class instead of in row 18.  Waved goodbye to Terry in row 21, and enjoyed the extra leg room.  I also enjoyed the woman on my left who was flying to Philly and then to Germany to visit family there. At age 79, she was a peppy little woman who was fun to chat with

We departed from Dallas more than a half-hour late.  This would have been around 10 p.m.  EDT.  We were scheduled to land in Philly @ 12:30 a.m., but we didn’t land until 1:30 a.m.  Then the long hike to baggage claims, looking for bathrooms on the way.  We didn’t find one that was open until we got all the way down to baggage. They were all being cleaned.

I mean, I’m glad they were being cleaned, right?

When we finally got to the right carousel, it was still going around.  Empty, but moving.  Empty.  My bag was nowhere in sight. A pleasant young woman came out of the baggage claims office and waited with me for another complete revolution, and then invited me into her office.  In less than a minute she had contacted Dallas and was told my bag was being sent on a different flight.  Supposedly, it arrived around 10 this morning in Philly, and they’re going to bring it up here.  So far, I haven’t heard a thing.

I may have to do a little shopping today.  The thing that really upsets me is that my laptop is in my suitcase.  Usually, I have it in my carry-on, but for some reason I decided to put it in my suitcase this time.  Less weight to carry, I guess.  So my phone charger, my Kindle charger, and my laptop are all —–somewhere out there.  I don’t like not having my clothes, either. So we wait, and pray the suitcase will arrive intact someday soon.

We finally made it home around 4 a.m.  And of course, once I crawled into bed I couldn’t fall asleep.  Finally turned off my light around 5 a.m. slept soundly until around 8:30.   Dozed some more,  but finally rolled out around 11.  And now here I am, with no laptop, no cell phone (needs charging) no makeup, no decent hairbrush, and waiting for some clothes that are among my favorites.

Other than that, we had a great trip.  And I guess, if this is the worst thing that could happen, then we’re really in pretty good shape, right?  This too shall pass 🙂

It was worth it.