Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tears at the Citadel

The main purpose of our trip was to attend the convocation of the North American Lutheran Church. Mike and our friend, Nicole, were the official representatives for our congregation. Nicole's husband, Chad came along as a visitor, as did I.

Yes, the meeting was held at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. I was really excited. We'd never been to South Carolina before and I love seeing new places!

I thought the Citadel was strictly a military school. I was wrong. Did you know that they also serve as a civilian college?  If you want to read more about the history of the Citadel, please go to this site.  I will tell you a few things, though.

The original site of the Citadel was actually downtown, closer to the harbor. We did see that site from the outside several times before we learned what it really had been. The original site looks quite a bit like the current one. I really hope you will click to see what it has become. It is a little bit sad but at least it is somewhat preserved. Nope, I'm not going to tell you. You have to click here.

So, most of our time those first 2 days was spent at Summerall Chapel at the Citadel. What a beautiful building!  It belongs to no denomination and is there simply as a place of worship.

Take a look at the inside. The building is shaped like a cross and this view is from the bottom of that cross shape so I didn't really get the entire interior. There were probably 1,000 people there. Listening to them all sing, especially with so many male voices, was enough to bring tears to my eyes....and down my cheeks. Actually, I was kind of embarrassed that I had to keep wiping my face dry but I learned later that I was not the only one. Music is so powerful!

 There were flags for all the states. I took a photo of the Wyoming flag especially for my friend, Nicole.

This is Chad during one of our breaks. He was sitting by a water purification station. It was a display for Water Missions International, a group who helps those in need of clean water. They do this globally. It is a project our local congregation helps support. Their headquarters happen to be in Charleston so Chad and Nicole actually took a tour of it.

 Nicole took this photo for me. Mike had been called up to be honored with others for their work for the church. Mike, of course, was being honored for his 25 years as a pastor. Another tear-filled moment came for me when these people received a standing ovation.

One of the coolest places on campus was the clock tower. I actually decided to see if I could go in it and found that it was unlocked. You might be surprised at what I discovered inside. I'll get those photos ready for tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Castle

We just returned this afternoon from a trip; we've been gone about 1 week. We were in South Carolina and it was quite an adventure! I've not had time to sort through all my photos yet,  but I wanted to post one for a starter. Do you know where this is? Doesn't it look like a castle or a fortress? I will be telling you more about this place when I get caught up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cemetery Walk

I have to admit, I kind of like walking through cemeteries. In 6th grade, when my family moved to a rural church parsonage in Minnesota, I began a lifelong fascination with them. That parsonage we lived in was right beside the little church where my Dad was a pastor. The beautiful setting was completed with a small cemetery. Click here to read about that place and to see photos taken when Mom and I last visited there.

There is a cemetery just a block from where I work now. It is a cemetery where I've gone for several years now, using it as my place of peace or thinking or whatever I need at the time. I started going there when my friend/patient, Sara, died. I treasured her and miss her easy laugh. She was also a nurse and we enjoyed a precious bond. You can read again about Sara here.

Later, when other dear patients died, I didn't usually know where they were buried. Sara's grave became a place where I could mourn all of the patients I've known and cared for. Is that too weird? Over the years the spaces around Sara's grave have been filled. Just standing at the foot of her grave I can read the names of at least 7 or 8 other patients I knew. It is a strange feeling. It kind of reminds me, though, that we are all in this place for just a short time, really.

Anyway, like I said, this cemetery is by my workplace. I decided it would be a nice place for a lunchtime walk recently. As it turned out, I wasn't really alone there. I just thought you'd like to see the photos I took with my cell phone when I took that walk.

I don't think you are supposed to eat those!

So, tell me the truth.
Am I weird or do any of you enjoy a walk through a cemetery?

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm In a Tattoo!

OK, here's the thing, I'm not much of a tattoo kind of gal. I've certainly seen some pretty ones but it's like art to me. I like to rearrange my art, put some away for awhile and bring out others. I also like to rearrange furniture. It's the permanency of a tattoo that stops me from considering one.

When I got our new washing machine our son, Ben, made a comment that I should have purchased a front loader. You are probably thinking I lost my train of thought here, but a washing machine DOES have something to do with my thoughts on tattoos. Let me explain.

Ben's reason for wanting me to have a front loader was because it would be more gentle on my clothes and they would last longer. That seems smart.


I like to change out my clothes as well. I don't want my clothes to last too long because my tastes change and sometimes I just want to update to different styles. So. Do my thoughts make sense now? Like I said, it is the permanency of a tattoo that bothers me.

Our daughter, Maria, IS a tattoo kind of gal. She got a couple tattoos quite a few years ago.  In fact, she had them two years before we knew about them. As it turns out, a girl CAN hide her upper arm from her parents for two years without them noticing. Enough about that.

Well, recently Maria decided to change the artwork on her arm.  Hmmm.... I guess it doesn't have to be permanent in the same way I'd thought. One day she called up and asked me which flower was my favorite. I messed around with my answer for a bit because I love, love, love the smell of carnations, daisies are so happy-looking, and I've always enjoyed morning glories. When she told me it was to represent me on her new tattoo and that she was going to use wheat for Mike, I KNEW that it needed to be a morning glory. Read here to remember why Mike worries about morning glories and how I show little respect for his least about morning glories.

Maria called on her talented husband, Eric, for the designing of her tattoo. I'd suggested that my morning glory be wrapped up tight around Mike's wheat. That was kind of a mean idea, I suppose, but it entertained me. I guess I really don't want to be represented as choking the life out of Mike.

The final design was beautiful and probably less worrisome to Mike. Anyway, her new tattoo has elements to represent herself, her family and her parents. Isn't that sweet? I like that the morning glory is close to the inner aspect of her arm, close to her heart. And I can truthfully say, "I'm in a tattoo!"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Andy Mason - How to Make a Burrito

Andy Mason is a talented international singer/songwriter who spends most of his time entertaining children. Do you know how hard it is to find great musical entertainment for children?

Andy is a friend to our daughter and her husband, Eric and Maria. In fact, he sang at their wedding reception. I was just thinking about his music and thought maybe you should see this video. Not only does it feature Andy's fun songwriting skills and voice, the video itself was done by Maria and Eric. It features Cordelia as a baby and I think those are our son, Sam's, hands making the burrito.

Do you have any children in your life? Perhaps you sometimes have a hard time finding gifts for them that are fun and different. Consider one of Andy's DVD's or CD's. Visit his website here.  In case you are wondering, NO, this is not a paid commercial. Andy doesn't know I am posting about him today. I just felt like it because I like my readers and I thought you could use some fun.

Here's another sampling.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Make Exercise Fun

Sometimes, oK, often, I post about random thoughts that cross my mind. This is one of those times.

(all images from Google Images except the one of our beautiful granddaughters)

How Adults Get Exercise

This is a good one.

This sums up how it feels, at least to me.

Kids have a better way.

Maybe we adults can find ways to make it more fun.

Have a fun day!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

So Sad

This is Cordelia's face when she had to leave Grandma. Doesn't that just break your heart?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pop or Soda?

Have you noticed my little try at having a poll?  Look in the column to the right. Here's what I want to know...

Do you call this pop or soda?

(photo from via google images)

When I was a girl, I read a lot. Sometimes I read in books about people having a soda. I thought it was something I'd never experienced before. I drank pop on occasion and rather enjoyed it. However, I always wanted to know what soda would taste like. It sounded soooooo refreshing.

When I found out that soda was just pop, I was kind of disappointed. Really? Was it pop trying to be uppity or what? 

Our son-in-law calls it soda. I love him anyway. He was born in New York State so he has a right to Eastern ways I guess. OK, almost everyone now does call it soda but there was a time when NO ONE out West called it that, no one that I knew anyway. 

What do you all think about all of this? 

I know what you are thinking! You are wondering why in the world you wasted so much time reading this dumb post, aren't you? 

I really wanted to try the poll thingy. That's all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Our baby is 21 today!  It is hard to believe, except when you look at him. At 6'4" or more, it is hard to convince anyone that he's still our little guy.

Sam was a joy to raise and is a joy to know as a man. He may be a blue-eyed redhead but he is one of the most mellow personalities I've ever met. He is also witty and smart. He's got a soft heart and he loves his people. We love him, too!

Notice that Sam is still wearing a D.A.R.E. t-shirt. Didn't he take that course in about 5th or 6th grade? Cute, huh?

Cordelia and Elise enjoyed delivering his presents to him 
but the wrappings were still more interesting to them. 
Elise got excited over the brown paper!

 Both girls enjoyed the box.
Isn't that typical?

And now, as an extra present for Sam, I just want to sign 
off with some more photos from last month.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Block Party

I admit, that is a dumb title for this post. It isn't about a party at all. Sometimes it is just tough to come up with titles!

Recently a friend of mine asked me to crochet an afghan that she wanted to give to her daughter-in-law. She wanted it 6 feet X 4 feet. Doesn't that sound daunting? As it turned out, she chose a bulky yarn and a loose stitch that worked up very quickly. In fact, I think I only worked on it about three days.

One thing I tend to slack on is blocking. Do you crocheters out there always block your projects? Because this blanket was so big and stretchy, I felt it had kind of stretched out of shape as I worked on it. It is very heavy!   really needed to block it.

It was so big, I wasn't sure where to do this blocking business. I hand washed it  in the bathtub and then set up a folding table on our deck. It was exactly 6 feet long but only 2 1/2 feet wide. If I let any part of the wet blanket hang off the edge, it just kept stretching!

Guess what! I was able to moosh and squoosh until it accordianed in to that size.

I left it in the sun, weighted down because Wyoming is somewhat of a wind tunnel.

After sitting out in the sun on a hot day, for about 8 hours, it was STILL wet! I tossed it in the drier for about 15 minutes and it was STILL a bit damp!  I told you it was heavy!

I was hanging with my Mom, by her hospital bed, as I crocheted this project. She kept talking about how soft the yarn was and how much she liked it so I decided to start another, identical to it. It is soft, fuzzy yarn and has rather a comforting feel to it.

I'm happy to get to make one for Mom as well. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Three Hour Cruise

Yesterday Mike & I took a 3 hour cruise...a 3 hour cruise... OK, maybe you are too young to have the them song from Gilligan's Island humming through your head right now.

Mike and I were cruising down the river on our little river raft. We did pass a few islands but even if we'd been stranded on them, I'm pretty sure we would have been rescued quickly.

While we were floating, I made a comment about all the life that was going on right around us. We saw a flock of pelicans, a hawk, a wild turkey, bunny, fish, many red-winged black birds and lots of other feathered friends. Then I thought about all the bugs and microbes living around us. All that living goes on every day, whether or not I am thinking about it.

Our natural world is really pretty amazing, don't you think?

John 7:38 ESV 

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sweet Evening

Last night I ran over to go for a walk with Maria and the newly potty-trained Miss Elise. It was so nice to just relax for a bit with these two ladies. Eric and Cordelia were out at a ballgame so it gave me a rare chance to shower lots of attention on Elise. She talked and talked and talked the whole walk. It was wonderful.

Afterward, Maria treated us to popsicles out in their backyard. I took some "selfies". I wanted to remember that sweet evening with such a tender little girl.

You know what? Being a grandmother is every bit as wonderful as I always thought it would be... and more!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Get Well Card

As long as I showed you the birthday card I gave my Mom yesterday, I may as well show you the sweet sentimental card I brought to her when she was lying in her hospital bed.

I hope I didn't offend anyone.
It was funny, don't you think?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!

As you know, my Mom has been through some trials lately. She has had a few difficulties.

As you also know, I love my Mom dearly. And guess what?! Today is her birthday!

Given all she has been through and the courage she has shown, as well as how much
I  love her,
I wanted to get her a card that tells what she means to all of us.

She deserves a card that expresses how much we value her, how we know she has always been the stabilizer in our family. She has been our rock. She is inspiring in her steadfast love toward us all.


Maybe next year I will get her a card that says all that mushy stuff.

Posted via Blogaway

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Spirit of Power

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Heading Back

I took this photo right over the top of my Mom because, well, it would be mean to take her photo while she is recovering from surgery. She still looks beautiful but you'll have to take my word for it.

The last few days I've sat around a lot and done a whole lot of nothing. It's exhausting, really! Why is that?

Anyway, Mom has once again shown that she comes from strong stock. I can tell you for certain that she in most definitely not a whiner. She is not demanding. She can find humor in trying circumstances and she can give words of kindness in situations when most people would only be thinking of themselves. It has been my honor to be here with her.

I think it is time to take her home now, time to let her rest in her own bed.

Wyoming, here we come!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Casting Off Anxiety

I am writing this while sitting by my Mom's hospital bed. We did so enjoy our slumber party last night at a nice hotel! It was such fun, we are going to have another tonight at a surgical center! OK, neither of us were really that much fun last night. We were both exhausted and went to bed early, getting a solid night's sleep. That doesn't usually happen at a slumber party I guess.

Mom told me before her surgery that she'd given some of her friends (hi to the NutraSystem ladies!) the link to my blog so they could learn how she's doing. 

She's doing GREAT!

Her surgery took about 4 hours and if it were not for the wonderful pain meds I expect she'd be quite miserable right now. However, she is not miserable and she is reporting that she has almost no pain. Her nurses and her doctor have been wonderful! They have made comments both about how tough she is and what an easy patient she is for them. 

We don't know all the biopsy results and such, but we still have hope that she has been cured of this cancer with just the surgery.  She has prepared herself if the biopsy results do not show this to be true, though, and she seems to have a sense of peace and calm. I do also. 

I know that Mom really appreciated knowing she had so many friends and family supporting her through this. I just want to say thank-you to all of you for that. I'm sure she will soon be back to posting on Facebook and she can tell you all about this. For now, I just wanted you to know she is doing very, very well. 

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

file photo

Happy Birthday, Elise!

Elise is two years old today! 
And oh, how we love that little girl!

Elise at two is an interesting little person for sure! 
She is smart and funny. 
She is loving and polite. 
She has strong opinions and she knows how to express them! 
She snuggles with her whole self.

She loves pink.
Spiderman makes her smile.
Grandpa makes her smile.

Happy birthday, little sweet girl.
We love you so much!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Slumber Party With Mom

Tonight I get to have a slumber party with my Mom! I am going to drive a couple hours to her town and pick her up. We will then drive a couple more hours to a city where we will likely have a nice dinner. I've made a reservation at a lovely hotel. I think she will like it!

It will be nice to spend time with her.  I really love my Mom!

We probably won't be too terribly relaxed, though. You see, this isn't a leisure trip. Mom has surgery tomorrow morning. I wish she didn't have to but I'm also grateful this day has finally arrived.  It took a long time for her to receive her diagnosis and more time yet to get to this day so she could take action on her own behalf.

I feel honored that I get to have this small role in helping my Mom as she deals with all this. My brother and my sister have been available to her as well. My sister will be keeping Mom's church family informed and praying. My brother will be easing Mom's worries over her pets. We will all be seeking opportunities to do things for her but we wish we could do more. We wish we could take some of this load from her. What we can do is keep her aware that she isn't doing this alone!

I am feeling grateful, also, for all the strangers who are helping her. Today I am very grateful that there are people willing to learn to be surgeons. I'm grateful for all the hours and practice that has brought my Mom's surgeon to this day where she feels confident that she can help my Mom.

I am grateful for all those who have studied cancer, promoted research and donated time and money to the effort of saving lives.

Tomorrow we will meet nurses and other caretakers who will be helping my Mom. They will be assisting her on this mission to getting her back to good health. For this, I am grateful as well. They will be rewarded by getting to meet this classy, courageous woman.

It feels weird to me to be on the other side of all this. It won't be me starting this patient's IV. I won't be taking her vital signs or giving her medication. It won't be me explaining to her what she will be experiencing tomorrow. But, it will be me waiting during the surgery. It will be me calling family afterward to assure them she is doing will. I will post to Facebook for relatives and my Mom's friends. It will be me making sure she asks for pain meds, a drink or whatever she needs. It will be me representing her family and all the love they are sending her way.

As family, I find myself already wishing those who take care of her knew her better. It seems they should be told of all her kindnesses, of her strength, of her artistic talent, how she makes the best stuffing, how she makes her yard and home look like something out of a magazine, how she gave up so much of herself for those she loved. I suppose it is not necessary that they know all that. Why do I want them to know these things?

I'm kind of rambling now, aren't I?

Iff you are the praying type, maybe say a prayer for my Mom tomorrow. Her name is Grace.

Monday, July 07, 2014


Running in the sprinkler
Splashing in the puddles
Hot summer sun 

Featured Post

My Life as a Travel Agent

On a recent morning I was at work and as one of my patients was waiting for his death, I thought again about an idea that keeps popping int...