Saturday Soliloquy: Surprise!

It’s August 27, last week of what is often the hottest month of the year.

As I glanced at my header, I had to smile. It says, “Hello August! Surprise me!”

Well, I got my surprise. Covid finally found me. It robbed me of about two weeks during the worst of it. It wasn’t as bad as it was for many people, but it was a little more than “just a cold.” Starting with unexplained fatigue before I even knew I was sick, I had every symptom on the list. My normal temperature is 97.5, so when it goes up to 101, I’m truly miserable. That lasted for only three days, and what a relief!

Over all, I’d say I got off lightly. Still feeling some fatigue, and some have told me to be careful not to push too hard because the fatigue can come sneaking back just when you think you’ve got it licked.

Yesterday I decided to do a little deep cleaning in my bedroom. Sometimes you just need to move the furniture and clean up the accumulated grick under and behind it. I got a good start, moving my bedside table, dusting, mopping, using the hand-vacuum. Felt really good to see it fresh and clean!

That’s when I looked at my dresser, a rather large piece of furniture, and knew I couldn’t finish. Terry happened to look in and see me sitting on the edge of my bed. He sized up the situation quickly, and offered to help. I truly couldn’t have finished the job without him.

Cleaning, for me, always includes doing some reorganizing. I have two small, flat containers filled with my essential oils. I keep them in alphabetical order, same as I do with my herbs and spices in the kitchen. Some certain family members think it’s silly, but I always find what I need quickly. It does require maintenance, though, like any filing system. Things don’t always get put back in the same order. I spent maybe half an hour on that task, which I could do sitting down. In the process, realized I had used up all my tea tree oil, and was also out of clove oil. So I ordered those things, put everything else back in place, and felt most virtuous at a job well done.

I’m easy to please 🙂

I’d started a pot of beans in the morning, using a soup bone and some smoked pork neck bones. Smelled SO good! I like to make cornbread with that meal. I’ve been looking for a recipe using creamed corn, finally found one online. It’s delicious, kind of a cakey texture, but I think it was just a tad underdone. I’ll try it again, using a little bigger pan. I remember my mom using a similar recipe, and her cornbread was never crumbly. I think I’m on the right track now, just need to tweak it a little bit.

Well, this has certainly been a home-style post! And it all started with my August surprise 🙂


Saturday Soliloquy: A Chair!

I have a new chair!

It’s a Pride VivaLift Recliner. It is sized to fit shorties like me all the way up to 6′-plus. It has infinite setting capability, using a control, so I can put the lumbar support exactly where I need it. It is equipped with a lift motor. I don’t expect to use that a lot right now, but the day is coming when I know I’m going to need it.

I can actually touch the floor with my feet from a fully-seated position! If you’re short like me, you know how exciting that is! Most recliners leave me with my feet dangling six inches or more above the floor, feeling like a little girl sitting in Daddy’s chair 🙂

I could go on and on about how comfortable I am in my new chair. Terry has spent hours online making sure he found exactly what I needed. He takes such good care of me! He and son Mike got it assembled in short order, and I’m absolutely loving the comfort and convenience. It can flatten out completely if I want to sleep in it, but I already have my adjustable mattress, so I’m not seeing using the chair as a bed just yet. I did take a short nap yesterday. The headrest adjusts, too, which is a real plus. Most recliners’ headrests tend to push my head forward. Not comfortable at all.

AND: It is considered a class II medical device, so our insurance will pay for the motor lift components.

As always, there’s a song in my head when I think about the comfort of this chair. Here it is:

First Snowfall

May be an image of snow

I took this picture from our back window–should have raised the slats. Oh well. I just thought it looked so pretty and peaceful. It won’t stay that way long. Right now there aren’t even any animal tracks. The squirrels must be huddled together keeping each other warm. If there are deer tracks, they’re way down at the bottom of our property. I suspect they also are staying together for warmth. It won’t be long before we see rabbit prints, bird tracks, and maybe even a fox. It’s surprising how much wildlife shows up in an older, settled neighborhood.

Terry’s going to go out in a little while to clear our driveway and the walk to the house. He puts a plow on our lawn tractor, and it doesn’t take him long to get the job done. It’s still snowing, but he’d rather do it now before the accumulation gets too heavy for our little tractor to manage. He’ll probably do it again once the snow stops. I’m sure the day is coming when we’ll have to pay someone to do it for us, but I’m also sure that Terry will do it himself as long as he’s able.

Terry loves the snow. I tease him that he grew up in a place where it snows every month of the year except July, and there’s no guarantee of that! He says the snow invigorates him. He’s welcome to it. I’m thinking about a cup of hot chocolate to invigorate me 🙂

It’s nearly the end of January. Here, our heaviest snow months can be February and March, but it’s really been a few years since we had a really major snow like my kids remember from when they were much younger. It was always a lot of fun for them to be out playing in it when it piled up above their heads.

I see the wind is picking up a little. I hope Terry won’t be facing into it. And I suspect he’ll be so invigorated that when he comes inside he’ll stretch out on the sofa and catch 40 winks.

Well, happy snow day to all my southeastern PA friends. If you love the snow, this is your day 🙂

Catching Up

I haven’t posted since Sunday, Aug. 1, so I thought I probably should stop in and let you all know that I WILL be posting again, maybe tomorrow or Saturday. I’ve had a rough week. Pain can kill one’s energy level!

I was able to see my pain doctor on Tuesday. It was God’s hand of intervention that I got in the same day I called! He changed up my pain meds, and it’s already having a good effect. I’m thankful for every step downward on that pain scale of 1-10 that you’re all familiar with if you have a chronic pain condition.

I’m also thankful for all the years and years of good health I enjoyed before my creaky old back started falling apart. Remember running, swimming, jumping, ball games–all in one day— and still being able to enjoy hide-and-go-seek after dark? Of course, back then I fell into bed and slept like a log all night long!

I wish I could tell healthy younger people to please enjoy every moment, and take care of yourselves! Of course, I would have thought, when I was younger, “But I’m fine!” And I was.

One of the things you learn with advancing years is that the word “fine” gains a new definition. I still respond positively when people ask, “How are you?” because no one wants an organ recital 🙂 They’re really not asking about your liver, lungs, and lumbar! They just want to know if things are better. Usually, once I’m out and about again, I can respond “I’m better, thanks!”

All right, that’s it for now. I miss doing the daily Bible study, and I should be back on track soon. I appreciate comments from readers who have wondered if I’m okay. Yes, just not up to par yet., and thank you so much!

slowing down cartoon

A Day Off

My Germany family left the house @ 5:30 this morning. We said our goodbyes last night, as I didn’t think I could handle being up that early after being up rather late. We had some friends here last night that Mike hadn’t seen in many years, and we had SUCH a good time!

So–I’m asking your indulgence today. I’m just purely worn out. I plan to do nothing whatsoever today. I may even go back to bed. I was vaguely aware of their leaving this morning, but forced myself to go back to sleep. It was not much of a struggle 🙂

I should be back on track tomorrow, and I am looking forward to the next passage in John 10. It’s beautiful. I’m going to enjoy digging into it.

See you then!

A Break

The house is quiet. South Dakota left for home around 9 a.m. Germany is on the way to visit friends and relatives for a week or so. The three of them will be back for an overnight or two on Friday, then they, too, will head for home.

I am worn out–not because I had to work too hard. Our adult children helped out with the cooking and grocery shopping. They all pitched in on the clean up. I think I’m tired mainly from just the hustle and bustle that goes with having 11 people in a small house. Also, staying up later than normal, laughing a lot, enjoying listening to the young adults when they adjourn to another room to play games, and keeping up with many conversations all at the same time.

Yesterday, I did my own grocery run. As I was leaving the parking lot to come home, a woman whose nose was glued to her cell phone turned left across my lane, swung wide, and was aimed directly at my driver-side door. I don’t think she had any idea I was there. Quick reaction on my part, and I ended up shredding the right front tire on a pointy curbing. The Cell Phone Queen blared her horn and gave me the one-finger salute as she went right on by. Unbelievable. Within just a few minutes, my dashboard signaled that I had a very low tire. No kidding. Shredded FLAT! Terry says the rim seems okay, but boy, did I hate having to make the call to him. He has enough projects without my adding to his list.

Should Cell Phone Makers Be Liable in Distracted Driving Cases ...
One of these days, you’re going to hurt someone because you just can’t put your phone down!

Here’s a website you should read if you think you’re bullet-proof:

As a result of that driver’s carelessness, we’ll be without our car for at least a week before Terry finds a wheel and mounts it. And SHE was mad at ME!

Okay, enough of that. It could have been a lot worse, and I’m thankful to not be in a hospital right now.

We’ve had a wonderful time. The cousins all enjoyed each other’s company. They don’t get together very often. The three boys who were here range from 17 to nearly 21, full of beans and lots of fun. Ivan’s girlfriend is a delightful young lady, and of course Alayna is a very grown-up 14.

I just went and put a load of laundry in the machine, and I think I’m going to go lie down on my wonderful adjustable bed and use the massage function.

'Push remote to return to flat position.'

All’s quiet on the eastern front 🙂


I thought it was time for me to pop in again for a short post. We have nine people in and out of the house, besides ourselves, so things are just a little hectic. It’s wonderful :). I’m enjoying three of my very tall grandsons, all close to the same age, who are having a great time getting reacquainted. One granddaughter is here, along with a girlfriend of her brother’s. The Germany contingent of three is staying with some extremely kind friends right now, while the South Dakota delegation occupies the basement. South Dakota will leave on Saturday, and Germany will return. However, Germany will be making day trips to visit friends and relatives, so our population will be quickly reduced!

Outstanding in the Field 2020 tour: Fat Rice, Parachute chefs involved -  Chicago Tribune
This is not us, although it COULD be 🙂

Yesterday, seven of them went to Six Flags in New Jersey, and also did a quick trip to the shore for the sake of the girlfriend of a grandson. She’d never seen an ocean, and was very excited to be close enough to dip her toes into the Atlantic 🙂

I remember feeling like that when I was ten, and we moved from Minnesota to Oregon. I was thrilled to pieces to see the Pacific. What surprised me was my classmates there who thought it was so awesome that I had actually seen the Mississippi River, which was like a fable to them.

Anyway, we’re having a wonderful visit. My two oldest sons and their families are keeping us laughing, and helping out with some chores here that Terry just can’t handle on his own any more.

Never take your family for granted. We’ve enjoyed every stage of our 51 years of marriage, but I think this may be my favorite time, apart from the physical debility that begins with aging. Our kids are all forty and above; our grands are growing into fine young adults. I hope we live long enough to enjoy the first one or two. . .or more. . . great-grands. Who knows?

Last night, Mike and Ken and Terry and I drove out to the OWOWCOW ice cream shop in Ottsville, and I enjoyed a dish of honey lavender ice cream. Absolutely delicious. Terry says my love of lavender has become an obsession.

Well, there are worse things with which to be obsessed 🙂

Catching Up

Hey, everyone! I haven’t posted since July 7 or 8. The first wave of family got in on the 7th; the rest will be coming tomorrow. We’ve spent hours just catching up and reminiscing, and we’ve laughed a lot. Eaten well. Rested. It’s great.

The next batch will be six people, so the first three family members are going to stay with friends for a week while the South Dakota crew stays with us for a week.

Free Visit Cliparts, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on Clipart  Library
There are no little ones these days, but this was very much the way it was just a few short years ago.

In the meantime, there just hasn’t been any uninterrupted time for me to do my normal daily Bible study post. It’s gratifying to me that even though I haven’t posted since Monday, my stats are holding up well. I have eight years’ worth of Bible study material on this blog, and apparently there’s enough there to keep people coming back. That’s very cool.

My Number One post, since I first wrote it several years ago, is still King David and Depression. It’s almost always at the top of the ten most-viewed posts. That tells me I could probably write a lot more on depression, and maybe I will. When I first started this blog, I created Friday Counseling Issues, in which I wrote about many of the things I learned about during my years as a therapist. You can find just about anything along those lines on the right side of the page, under Counseling Issues.

All right. I just had a few minutes of relative calm, and decided to use it this way. Wanted you to know I’m still alive and well, and will be back to my normal routine by the first of August.

I pray you are all having an enjoyable summer, in spite of THE VIRUS.

Don’t live in fear. Isaiah 41:10. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”