Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Spinning, Weaving, Knitting...

Oh my goodness, I did not realize how long it's been since I've been online! My mother went through some health issues and I spent August through the beginning of November helping her out. She is doing great, by the way...

And now CHRISTmas is almost here! What a blessed time this is for our family!

So, I GOT MY LOOM and Wow is it wonderful!!! I have woven several projects... rugs, dresser cloths and dish cloths. It is SO COOL!!!!! Alas, I am running low on fiber to weave, so I have directed my attention to knitting, with fits of spinning thrown in here and there.

We have no money to buy presents for CHRISTmas, which is hardly anything new. This year I actually got started making presents early. Wahooo! I need to take photos and post here... I will soon!

I have knit some ponchos, hats, scarves and SWEATERS! I actually made myself a sweater from a Family Circle book I found at the library. I also knit my daughter a lovely sweater that she will get for CHRISTmas. She knows about it, though, because I asked her to pick out the yarn. :) I have two more hats to make before Christmas... I hope I can do it!

I got some lovely fiber several months ago from FrogEye Emporium in Winchester. It's a moreno blend, dyed in rustic blues and tans. g*o*r*g*e*o*u*s. I can't wait to make something with it after I am done spinning it! (My spinning is still limited to using a drop spindle until I can save up $$$ to buy a wheel, so it takes a while.) I have actually been working on plying, and so far so good! I got a sample of alpaca fiber from a fellow down the street. It was not carded well at all, so it was pretty hard to work with, but once I got it done, it was beautiful plied! I love alpaca...

Family wise - everyone is doing well. I miss my daughter in Cincinnati so very, very much, but I don't forsee getting to go out there to see her for a while yet. I want to very much. I will definitely go for her birthday... I would like to go before then, though.

Off to have a rather late lunch. Kids are restless... time for a writing assignment!!! Blessings... May the joy of Jesus flood your soul this Christmas season!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dream Weaving

I am so excited!!! I just got word that my friend is giving me her loom -- an honest-to-God floor loom!!! I can barely contain my excitement! She said it makes cloth up to 40" wide. She is bringing me a video and book on Sunday and the loom will arrive next week. It takes up alot of space, and I think she wants her livingroom back, but I will be thrilled to make room for it!

Other news on the textile front: my neighbor who owns alpacas is having an open house next month, and I fully intend to participate however I may. I am hoping he will let me set up a little area with some drop spindles and some "spare" fleece in order to introduce folks to spinning. Alpaca is harder to spin than some of the sheep's wool I've done, but it sure feels lovely when it's done! I am hoping my friend will bring her spinning wheel (I haven't really talked to her about it yet) and set it up. We've been looking for any excuse we can find to sit and spin together. I haven't done a whole lot of spinning, though, since I hurt my hands... I haven't done a whole lot of anything, really.

On the hurt hands front: I have FINALLY gotten in to see an orthopedist (that only took 4 months and lots of rescheduled appointments since our area is really short on orthopedists.) She immediately sent me to a hand specialist. He told me what he thinks is wrong, and there were many things he mentioned, and he asked me to be patient with him so he can get it all figured out and fixed. I go to a neurologist on the 4th for some testing, and I'd appreciate prayers. I seriously NEED to be able to create and have really been struggling the absence of creativity in my life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August First

Wow, it's the first of August! Part of the Wow Factor is because the summer is really flying by, but the main part of the Wow is because of the importance of this date as a birthday for so many of my relatives and friends.

My grandmother, Helen, (we always called her Gram Pat) was born on August 1, 1910 in Jackson Springs, NC. She was a wonderful, strong woman, one of 14 kids. She was the last of her siblings when she passed. Oh I love her so much... I know she prayed for me every single day. Whether I blessed her or worried her, she prayed! My mother has very different memories of her, since she had to work nights when my mom was little, and I just can't imagine it. My father left us when I was 2, and Gram moved in to help take care of me and my little brother. She left her house, her belongings, everything. In fact, because she was staying with us and not using her house in DC, the pipes burst there and she ended up moving in with us for good. She was strict and loving. I am so blessed to have had her in my life! I still can hear her telling ghost stories over a little tea party in my bedroom... "Who's got my golden arm.... Whoooooooo's got my gooooolden arm... YOU DO!"

Gram's second son, Jon, was born on August 1. He was my "Uncle Sooey." He was one of my favorite people on the planet. He would come by for a visit on his Honda motorcycle (which I loved!) and as he left, he would always say, "Bye, Sweetie!" I tried and tried to say "sweetie," but the best I could come up with was "Sooey," so it stuck! Poor man was labeled Uncle Sooey for the rest of his life. Good thing he didn't mind - that is, as long as it was ME calling him that! Sooey died of lung cancer almost two years ago. There is definitely a hole in my heart that only his memory fills...

Sooey's second son, Chuck, was also born on August 1! How cool is that! (Happy Birthday, Chuckie!)

My father-in-law, Howard, was born August 1, 1923. Have you ever seen Everybody Loves Raymond? If so, Howard was Frank. Born in Queens, he had the same accent and mannerisms, attitudes and much of the same history (except he fought in WWII, not Korea.) He was a tough man to deal with sometimes, but in the end I was so glad to have gotten to know him. We got to spend lots of time together during his last couple of years on earth, and I am grateful for the experience.

Oh yeah, my Gram's best friend, Mrs. Blackmon, was also born August 1. I think she was one year older than Gram, and she was a neat lady who taught me to love to work with yarn. She always had something going on!

There are many more, but these are the folks in my family that I either wish a very happy birthday to, or am honoring their memory on this, their birthday.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

All's Well

I was thinking about different things about each of my kids that makes me happy and thought I'd write some of them down. I *finally* have a notebook by my bed (out in the open!) so that I can record moments as they happen.

I love how Becki writes songs, everything about it. Beautiful instrumentation, beautiful words, beautiful voice, excellent message. I am amazed by the obvious supernatural favor bestowed on that kid! And when she dances before the Lord, I literally stand there with my jaw dropped watching her. I've never seen anything like it.

Rae's photography is amazing. She has quite the gift. It's breathtaking watching her at work, so full of confidence, so inspired in her sets, and it is amazing to me how well she deals with her clients. She looks very professional (she didn't get that from me!) yet when she is on a roll, you can see the little girl in her coming out to enjoy the fun of it. That's how I want to be when I grow up!

Josh is adorable. That young man is silly and sweet, and stronger than he thinks he is. He has an amazing heart. He actually brings me breakfast in bed on occasion! (He works nights.) There are so many precious things about him; today I am inspired by his way with animals. I have not seen an animal that has not just gone straight over to him and sat at his feet. It's like they KNOW he's safe and loving.

I am seeing new sides to Zack lately. He is really starting to take the "older brother" role a little more seriously, and is trying to prevent or quickly resolve arguments between siblings rather than causing them. He is blossoming, and is finally starting to relax and enjoy more of life. I love to hear him laugh!

Danny = fireball. He is a bundle of energy and strength. He runs around all day like the Tasmanian Devil, then all of a sudden comes over to cuddle time. Then he runs again. I love the spontaneous hugs! He is creative and is now keeping a sketch book. It's wonderful to see his mind at work in drawings.

Speed Racer, I mean, Stephen loves riding his bike and tending to his garden. He's alot more willing to try vegetables that HE actually grew! (Read: picky eater.) He is very strong on his bicycle, which I still consider miraculous. Now if I could just get him to be more faithful to wear his helmet. While I love seeing that bright blonde hair zooming around the yard, I'd rather see the blue helmet. (Yes, I do make him stop and put it on.) Ahhhh... boys.

One thing that has caught my attention lately about Lydia is that she sings alot. I haven't seen that in my kids for a while and I love it. She really blasts it in the shower (you GO, girl!) and makes up alot of the stuff she sings. She dances and spins and it makes me want to be 4 again. What a sweetie!

To sum up:
Becki worships
Rae shines
Joshua comforts
Zack laughs
Danny hugs
Stephen rides
Lydia sings

Life is Good.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

We have been busy little beavers in this house. The bathroom is finished, praise God! Homeschool is almost done, although we will actually continue schooling through the summer. We've had lots of little events, some miracles, and lots of blessings going on.

I guess the event I should cover first occurred on May 20th. I had my booth set up at our town's festival and all was going well. I had my son, Danny, with me, and he was having a blast playing with another child. I heard a loud sound and lots of screaming all at once, and when I got up, I saw Danny in the middle of the road, lying in the fetal position. I got to him first and checked him out... he was unconscious, totally unresponsive. It was horrible, absolutely horrible. He had taken the brunt of the collision on his face, and his legs had been run over. Those were the facts, but I've been learning that Truth trumps facts. The Bible proclaims that his healing was already paid for, and that God desires that we walk in health! After I did the quick head to toe check and swept broken tooth particles out of his mouth, I laid hands on him and prayed. I prayed in the Spirit first, then I prayed out loud, proclaiming health and wholeness over this child who Loves his Jesus... I knew that I knew at that time that he would be completely fine! Within a minute he started to regain consciousness (unconscious for about 2-3 minutes total.) In the ambulance, facts said that he couldn't move his eyes to the right, but Truth said that he was healed and whole. During the ride, he called out to me and asked me to pray with him. I took a knee by his side and asked if he wanted to pray or he wanted me to, and he said he wanted me to. so I did - I proclaimed the Word of God over my son, and thanked Him for healing him. We prayed for peace and for comfort over everyone involved, and for joy to shine through. When we got to the ER, they moved him straight into the resuscitation room (trauma room.) He had xrays of his head, neck and chest (for some reason they did not feel it necessary to xray his legs.) They also did a CAT (or was it CT?) scan on his head. The miracle is this: No broken bones, other than a broken tooth, no internal bleeding, no intracranial bleeding. He stayed in the hospital overnight and the next day to get him through the effects of the concussion.

End of the story: Danny is doing great. He has to go back to the dentist in a few weeks to have his tooth fixed, but most of the scabs have already come off of his face and legs. I have a few pictures of him in the ER that I was thinking about posting, but I think that's just too much to have to see unless you're absolutely ready for it We have our own personal issues about how the town police handled the accident, but like I said, they are our own issues and I don't need to vent them here. We think often about the woman who hit him and pray that she is doing well. We know that she probably could not have avoided hitting him, because he didn't see her coming. I thank God that it was a festival setting and she couldn't drive very fast through the crowd! I can't imagine what higher speed would have done. We pray for peace and blessing over her and her whole family, with all of our hearts!

There were alot of awesome people at the festival who, once they found out it was Danny who had been hit, sent presents to him. For example, one of the vendors was selling these puppet dragons. Danny mastered the working of them, and went over there OFTEN (bless their hearts for humoring him!) to play with the demo puppet. It was great - he wanted one so badly... Anyway, when they found out it was him that had been hit, they sent one of the large dragon puppets to him. He had it in the hospital and it really encouraged him whenever he was awake. Another vendor had jars with sand art in them, and Danny had planned to go get one of those as well. They sent him a beautiful sand art jar which Danny now has in the china closet to keep it safe from littler hands. The mom of the little boy he had been playing with came to the ER and brought him a bag of gifts and a card. The vendors in the booth next to mine, GREAT PEOPLE, took over my booth and ran it until my husband and son got there to break it down. I will find their website URL and post it, because they really had some beautiful pottery. She also offers classes for children!

Our other time-consuming event, rather, ongoing project, is the garden. This year we planted a garden out back! We are using the square foot gardening approach, except that I didn't really measure. Next year I will... Each of the kids has a 4'x4' garden plot in which they have planted whatever veggies their little hearts desired. Lydia also has zinnias in hers :) we have 18 of those plots altogether, plus a row of zinnias and a row of sunflowers (paired with pole beans) at the north end. It is such a joy to watch things grow, pull obvious weeds, wait for seedlings to appear, etc. The kids are taking it seriously (but not obsessing) and are totally enjoying this project! Personally, I can't wait for the fresh veggies that I won't have to pay an arm and a leg for!!!

I have been working on jewelry, and selling it :) I have been in one festival so far this year, and look forward to doing more. I have not been able to get any more work done on the website, and as it is I need to swap out photographs of pieces, since so many have sold. That is a project for this week! I am hoping to get a lightbox so I can take better photographs of each item, and I want to get more of the non-jewelry handcrafts represented on the site. Lots of work to do... I'm breaking into a sweat thinking about it! Too funny!

There has been much more, but this is obviously longer than any blog post has a right to be. I will try not to stay away so long... Until next time, blessings to YOU!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Under Construction

I have been MIA for a very good reason - several, actually. For one, I have been quite busy building myself a bathroom. There is only one bathroom in this house, and it has been a bathroom in name only. The toilet has never worked properly since we've owned this place - you had to pour a bucket of water into it in order to flush its contents. The bathtub has had holes in it, and the faucet and drain leaked terribly. The sink was falling apart, and it also leaked. The floor was rotten - quite literally. Several years ago I bought tiles, a new toilet, cabinetry, paint, and everything else I would need to remodel it, with the exception of a new bathtub and sink. (I did have them picked out, though!) The real holdup has been getting my husband to do the plumbing. I don't know why the project has frightened him so, but he has resisted me the whole way. I finally couldn't take it anymore, and when my daughter came out to visit, we decided that enough was enough. My other daughter's husband agreed to help me with anything I couldn't do, and he loaned me the money I needed to get the greenboard, bathtub, sink and backerboard. For kicks and grins, we also bought new lights and a new exhaust fan! By God, we were going to have a REAL BATHROOM in this house!

Becki and Patrick set about ripping out the old bathroom. My husband set up a temporary toilet downstairs... it is not very private, but it works pretty well. We have been bathing the kids in the kitchen sink for the past few weeks while the work has been going on. They LOVE it! Back to the remodeling: The kids ripped out the old bathroom, all the way down to the studs and subflooring. Becki had to return home that day, but it was cool that she got to help get it rolling. We ended up replacing some of the subflooring. The previous owner had allowed a leaky toilet to go untended for apparently a very long time and the subfloor was damaged severely. Jon taught patrick how to weld/solder/braize, so Patrick fixed some seriously flawed water pipes. They redesigned the drainage pipes, adding in a more appropriate vent access, and installed the new center valve for the tub.

Then I got to do my thing. I put in new walls and a new floor. I now have ceramic tiles on the floor and greenboard walls and ceiling. Pat put in the new exhaust fan and lights after I painted the walls, and a new WORKING toilet and sink after I tiled the floor. It is so nice to have a toilet that actually flushes! I have cement backerboard installed around the bathtub waiting for a tile surround, but I have injured my hand pretty severely doing some catering, so Patrick is going to finish the tile work for me. I am SO excited!!! Within the next few days the work will be complete! All I have to do after the tile is put up baseboards, towel bars and a new door. The door may actually be a little while, but I'll set up a curtain until we can buy one.

During this time I have also been involved in two weddings. One was for a friend of my daughter's, and for that one I just made wedding cakes. The other was for one of my dearest girlfriends, and I had the joy of catering that one, in addition to making the wedding cake and jewelry for the bridal party. That was fun! I overdid it a little, though, between the weddings and the constructions, and have apparently blown out a tendon in my hand. So I'm not doing anything for a little while, so I can give it time to heal.

I guess it's obvious that I took pain meds tonight. I'm rambling like crazy. I don't think anyone even reads this blog, and that's okay, but I really wanted to make sure I got on here and documented why I've been MIA for the past several weeks. I am hoping to be able to get online everyday again... I missed this creative outlet and look forward to start journalling again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And the doctor says...

The news wasn't all that bad! Thyroid, kidney, liver functions all great. Blood sugar great. Potassium, calcium, chloride, and the other one were great. Blood pressure was the best it's been for a while!

As far as the cholesterol numbers go, they need help but overall weren't too bad. My mother's total cholesterol was over 300 for a good while and she has been taking meds for years. The numbers I got back today were:

triglycerides: 127 (should be 0-149)
HDL: 45 (should be in the 50's to 60's)
VLDL: 25 (should be 5-40)
LDL: 127 (standard is 0-99, but with high blood pressure and meds, aim for 70's to 80's)
Total Cholesterol: 197 (should be 100-199)

The HDL is the 'good' cholesterol, and it is rather low; the LDL is the 'bad' cholesterol, and it is high (not soaring, but still of concern). We're pretty certain that the cause is genetics, since I have been focusing on my eating and exercise for many months and am already doing the things that are suggested as the first steps in lowering cholesterol. We discussed the possibilities of medications and vitamins and fish oils... Since I have been through so much in the past few years (hysterectomy, severe allergic reactions, hernia repair surgery, more anaphylaxis to name but a few...) we agreed that we will not be passive, but will work to get it under control NOW. I expressed my concerns with the statins (and lack of education regarding them), and figure that is probably how we will end up going. We're going to add more fish oils into the diet, and make sure I'm getting my B vitamins. It is a hard decision, but I feel I have to give serious thought to the lipitor or zocor (since there is a generic available and our insurance is SO lame in what they will cover if it isn't generic) In any case, we are monitoring this closely now, as well as the metabolic panel, and I am bound and determined to get healthy!

blah blah blah... enough of the medical stuff. This afternoon I intend to make lunch, clean up and do some crafting. I will also do some more descriptions for the website, but I want to have something created today. That always inspires me to keep on going!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Silver Lining

I am so excited! Today I torch-fired my first PMC (silver clay) piece. This clay is wonderful: it is tiny, as in microscopic, pieces of silver in an organic clay. When you fire it, the clay burns off, leaving fine silver. This piece is a pendant with a cross cut out of it and a notched frame, so to speak. Since it is my first piece, I figured I'd ruin it with the torch, so I didn't do my best work in shaping it, but it still turned out beautifully! *Doin the happy dance!* Oh, the possibilities this brings to mind!

I have been working on my website. I uploaded photographs of many of the pieces of jewelry that I currently have in stock; now I am working on writing up all of the descriptions and prices. I really do wish I had access to storefront software, but this will do for now!

I heard back from my doctor today. I had blood tests done last week, checking cholesterol etc. since I'm on blood pressure meds. They called to say that I needed to come in tomorrow morning to discuss the results with her. She had warned me in advance that if the results were unfavorable, she would call me in to discuss options. So, I have an appointment for 9AM. I have been on Weight Watchers for 5 months now and am eating properly. This makes me think that dietary control is not going to be an option. I am praying for wisdom, and, of course, for full manifestation of the health Jesus purchased for me at Calvary!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Weighing In

This past month has been awful as far as weight-loss goes. Obviously, I gained. Lots of reasons/excuses, like the prednisone I had to take for so long, and the trip to Ohio, and dealing with the bladder/kidney infection. Truth is, ups and downs to happen. The question is, how am I going to react when the scales read heavier?

In times past, the numbers on the scale would have been devastating. I would have reacted by - can you guess it? - running to the fridge for some "comfort food." That is the wrong reaction if I want to get back on a losing trend! Old habits die hard, but they CAN die. The right response is to settle down after the initial freakout and continue to eat correctly. If I have fallen off the wagon, then I must stand up, dust off, and jump back on.

I gained 8 lbs over the course of the past month, most of that from the prednisone, but some of it from not eating properly on my trip. At this point I am down 5 of those pounds and looking forward to getting the rest back off! I CAN get below 170, and I fully intend to!

This experience has reminded me of how so many people react to mistakes we might make in other areas of our lives, especially in our relationsips with God. If (when) we do make a mistake, are we going to try to hide from Him, claiming that He couldn't possibly want us around anymore? Are we going to run? Are we going to become belligerant? Do we just give up and sink lower because we don't want to have to start all over in our walks with Him? Or do we go to Him, confess our mistakes, purpose to turn from the mistakes and pick up where we left off?

So many people don't know it's an option. I John 1:9 says that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Jesus' sacrifice was once, and for all. You can't take that away! We are restored to right standing with God - righteousness! - and are able at that point to start growing in Him again.

So whether it is spiritual or physical, I purpose not to run to the fridge for comfort, but rather run into the open arms of my Loving Father. Here I come...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What a month!

It has been some kind of month. I had been missing my daughter so much, so I took her younger siblings on a road trip to go see her. (This was at her request, too, so it's not like we imposed or anything!) Don't you know, the day I was supposed to leave, I woke up to over a foot of snow on the ground! I was so bummed, I stayed in bed most of the day. Making a long and depressing story short, I decided to leave that night and drive all the way through til sunrise. Most of the time that would have been foolish for me to attempt, but it worked out beautifully since I had moped for so much of the day, and expended very little energy doing so! I was fully awake for the whole night.

Honestly, the visit didn't go that well. I loved seeing my daughter and enjoyed my time with her, but the little ones were awful for pretty much most of the time. My daughter also had to be on the phone or the computer with work-related issues much of the time, too, and I think I only saw her husband for about 1-5 minutes each day. That was a shame all around.

Even the most pitiful travel still must have some sunshine somewhere along the way... besides seeing it in my beautiful girl's smile, I saw it in a quick visit across the state line to visit a friend. We had actually never met before, other than through a cancer-related internet discussion board and many emails. She is a Christian who is battling the same kind of tumor my little Stephen had. We have been emailing for a couple of years, and I finally got to meet her! She is precious. She also introduced me to a woman who heads up a foundation which raises money for research on spinal cord tumors, and that was a fantastic meeting, divinely orchestrated. I am looking forward very much to working with Malia's Cord Foundation. Check them out at

I am really glad I got to go out and see Becki, Carol and Cara. Three very precious women who definitely brighten up my life! Please keep Carol in your prayers, as she started a new chemo recently and should be having another MRI anytime now to assess the effectiveness of it. I trust God completely for her healing and pray that she sees evidence of it on this next scan!!! Pray for Becki as she is at a crossroads with her business and definitely wants to do as God wants her to do. And pray for Cara and Malia's Cord Foundation, that their efforts will ultimately greatly contribute to finding a cure for spinal cord tumors.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Busy Day Today

I'm downstairs in my special place trying to sort out how this day should run. I know a few facts, like the allergy appointment at 11 and the kids BookIt lunch shortly afterward. I know I need to go get some PJ's for Zack, and some groceries and batteries and pay some bills and sort out the medical bills better so we can attack them better when the tax refund comes... But what I really want to do is stay down here in this little room, my craft room, and play.

The first craft show I intend to work this year is in May. I have some jewelry ready, but I need to do alot more. I have not mastered time management yet (praying for wisdom and understanding, though, so I WILL get it!) I haven't figured out how to school the children and keep the house really clean. Anything beyond those two has eluded me completely.

I want a solid quiet time with God every day. I NEED it.
I want some craft/business time several times a week.
I want to have a spotless house, but I have been ever so willing to sacrifice the spotless part for the sake of the kids' schooling. It needs to be cleaner, though...
I want time to play music every day.
I want to finish my basement so I have a nice, consistent classroom and access to the craftroom, and so my husband can have a space of his own to sprawl over without taking up my craftroom!

These are strong desires and needs. I will find a way to have better quiet times with the Lord, that is a must, but the rest are desires that I will just have to figure out and not obsess over. My first priority is my First Love, Jesus Christ, followed closely by my second, my husband. After that, it's the kids, training them, growing them, encouraging and allowing them to blossom. The rest may come - I hope and pray that it does come soon, of course - but it pales in comparison. I do know, though, that I am beloved, bought and paid-for, and that my desires matter to my Father in heaven. That gives me hope!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Rough Weekend, to be Sure

This was a rough weekend indeed. I had another anaphylactic reaction, but this time I was home alone with the kids. I had shown my sons Joshua and Zechariah where I keep my epipens and how to do it, in case of emergency where I am not able to do it myself, just a few days ago. Then on Saturday, it started up. Most likely this reaction happened because of two reasons: first, the blasted doctor in the ER last week did not give me credit for knowing my own body and medical history. I told him that before, when I had the reaction to the crab and shrimp, that I had been put on prednisone 60mg for 4 days, and when it was stopped suddenly I had another anaphylactic reaction, and my doctor had suggested that it was probably a rebound reaction. He insisted that it was very rare and would not happen again. Guess what... The second reason this reaction probably happened was because when the prednisone was stopped from a high dose suddenly, a small allergen became a big one for the moment. I had brushed my sheltie, Charlie, about twenty minutes before my breathing became compromised. My hands had been itching, and I had not heard back from my regular doctor about whether I should risk taking benadryl or not.

When the itching started in my mouth and throat, and the tightening sensation started around my chest and neck, I called my dr on his private number (bless his precious heart for answering) to ask if I could take benadryl. He heard my breathing go from bad to worse and advised me to use my epipen and call for an ambulance. He said to tell the ER doctor to fax him a copy of the report and to please write the prednisone prescription as a 12 to 16-day step down. The ER doctor said NO. Fortunately, my husband called our dr back and he called the pharmacy directly with the step-down prescription.

Why do ER doctors so often refuse to HEAR what their patients present them? For example: Last week when I had the reaction, my heart started beating in a bigemini pattern (a PVC every other heartbeat) as the benadryl was being administered. I had not used my epipen before hitting the ER because we were close by (and BOY did I get read the riot act for that one!) so they gave me epinepherine when I got there, along with some strong steroids and benadryl. As the benadryl was being administered, I suddenly could taste it, then the sensation traveled to my heart and it started skipping beats. It might have been the epinepherine, as it does affect the heart, but given the physical trail that it took, it was most likely the benadryl. Perhaps it was administered faster than I can handle it. So when I got to the ER this time, I made sure to let them know about that reaction and the doctor told me that it was not the benadryl, but rather the epinepherine that caused it. He didn't say 'not likely,' but 'not.' He then proceeded to tell me that I should not use the epipen so quickly. Hmmmm... My throat was closing and I was having a harder and harder time breathing... when should I have used it? After I passed out??? (This is not even considering the fact that my own doctor told me to go use it, and I live at least twenty minutes from the hospital...) He said that I was not even wheezing when I got there. Let's see... The epi started wearing off in the ambulance, enough that the techs got REALLY nervous and wanted to administer a second epi. They called the dr in the ER and he advised them to administer an albuterol neb treatment instead, which did the trick for a while. Hence, no wheezing... Anyway, I asked the doctor, "Okay, then. Would you please advise me as to when I SHOULD use the epipen?" He said, "No." I reminded him that my throat was closing and I was having a hard time breathing with 4 small children in the house, and he would only say "It's different for each person."

Even though he doesn't believe the benadryl was the cause of the bigemini, he did order a slightly different antihistimine, and a lower dose of it, and it was administered by IV over a ten-minute period. I was not watching the nurse, but I could tell every single time she pushed some in. I could taste it, then I felt like I was going to vomit. It got to where I had to close my eyes, because looking around made me feel like I was going to faint. After about 10 more minutes, those sensations lessened to a tolerable level, and I thank God that my heart only skipped a beat here and there rather than going into that awful rhythm!

I did my very best the whole time I was there to be calm. I used relaxation techniques to try to get past the freaky stuff. I tried to breathe slowly and evenly. I spoke kindly with the doctor and nurses (those nurses were wonderful.) But now I am honestly perturbed by the whole thing. Is it the ER doctor's version of pride or arrogance? I mean, this guy is supposed to be great. I had a similar situation in a different ER, more than once, during Stephen's treatments and on my own visits. It's like they don't give me credit for having a brain, or for knowing what I am talking about.

Hello, I've been here before! Hear me, Okay???

Friday, February 2, 2007

Date Night

This afternoon I was downstairs working our our taxes. Stephen came into the room and said, "Mom, I love you! Can we have a date night tonight?"

I love date night with my boys! It is generally an excuse to treat one of them really nice, and allow them to treat me nicely, too. They get to practice their manners and etiquette, and we get to eat really good food. Among seven children, individual time is at a premium! This is the way we've been able to make it happen over the past few years. It is not a frequent experience, but always a pleasant one.

Tonight, though, we honestly don't have the money for a date night. Still, I couldn't turn him down. I mean, I treasure every single time one of my children wants to spend time with ME! So I asked if we could have a date watching a movie together and enjoying some snacks. He was thrilled with that idea, so we are going to go watch RV (again) and enjoy some fruit and cheese and crackers. This is going to be wonderful!!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Major Victory! Redux

Hmmmmm... Somehow my entry posted twice. What's up with that? LOL...

My husband and kids have been fantastic to me, allowing me to rest up after this weekend's episode. I'm still sore and tired, my chest is somewhat uncomfortable, and unfortunately I threw my back out today (UGH) loading the washing machine. The nurse at my doctor's office told me I couldn't take anything for it because I am on prednisone for the anaphylaxis. She also advised me not to take benadryl for the hives since I had that bigemini episode in the ER... She was supposed to consult the doctor and called me back, but alas, no call. So I am taking it easy, watching movies, trying not to be grumpy. Trying REALLY HARD. Doing okay at it, too. I am so glad that we have been told in the Bible that we have the ability and directive to take every thought captive! Thank God! That means that not only is it desirable, it is totally possible. I have the ability to measure every thought against the Word and Will of God and see whether it is worth pursuit. If not, pitch it! I pray for the wisdom to do this on a regular basis...

Something I am really working on/dealing with: I KNOW that I have authority over my body, thanks to the blood and suffering of my precious Jesus. At times I remember this and take authority over the symptoms or pain, and they go away. At other times I fail to even consider the precious price paid for my healing, and I suffer. WHY????

Major Victory!

Several years ago, my children managed to destroy my viola, one that I've had since my twins were young and learning to play. At least I thought it was destroyed. The bridge was not only broken, but gone; strings were busted and I thought the tailpiece was broken. The finish was damaged, and on and on... so I had, with many tears, packed it up in its case and buried it in the basement, thinking I would face it sometime when it stopped hurting my feelings so badly.

I guess that time came, because I was at a music store and found a bridge for it. It's not exactly the right size, but really close. I figured it would not hurt anything to try it. I got the bridge and a new set of strings and today I fixed my viola! It sounds so good! I don't necessarily sound so good, but after a few days I will again. I'd love to be able to add it as a highlight in our worship, both at home and at church.

One day I will get a really nice bow.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Oh, What a Night...

I ended up in the ER last night. Apparently I had an anaphylactic reaction to some nuts I was eating...

It was a wonderful day yesterday. My friend is getting married in April and we were looking for bridal party dresses. We had a fantastic time together - us, her two daughters, and another precious friend from church. On the way home, the other lady and I were talking about healing, and how God heals us in different ways. Sometimes He tells us something He wants us to do in order to facilitate the healing, as when Naman was told to dip in the river, and she feels strongly that God has told her that laughter will bring her healing. Now, I'm not talking about cultish, frantic laughing that I've heard about, but laughter, as in "a merry heart works like medicine to the bones." She has a hard time alowing herself to laugh even when the whole crowd is enjoying something funny, because it has caused fits of coughing, and it frightens her.

While we were discussing the issue, I was snacking on a nut mix. Don't you know, I started to feel my chest and throat starting to react as we were talking. It was just like when I had the reaction to the crab legs in June. I had very strong pressure around my chest and up my neck/throat and face and around my head, and I was starting to tingle severely, as though I had hyperventillated (but it was obvious that I had not.) I made myself stay calm and kept driving for as long as I could. I rebuked it outright, and even had my dear sisters lay hands on me and pray. It was not letting up, though, so we ended up stopping at the emergency room. I was so miserable, but I had no doubt that I was going to be okay.

The nurse got an IV started right off, and the doctor had him administer benadryl, epinepherine, solu-medrol. As he was administering the benadryl, I suddenly could taste it (YUCK). I mentioned it, and he said no one had complained to him about that before. Then an awful sensation went down my neck, and when it hit my chest, my heart began to beat improperly. Truth: I was frightened. It felt like my heart was trying to jump out of my chest. The doctor later told me that this pattern of arrhythmia was called "bi-Gemini" (may not be spelled correctly.) Basically, I was throwing a PVC every other heartbeat. It lasted almost two minutes - a very LONG two minutes - and subsided. The very best part, though. My mom had come to the ER to sit with me. When she saw me going into crisis, she grabbed my hand and prayed for healing over me.

I have never heard my mom pray before. I LOVED IT. I will never forget it. Ever.

Over the next two hours I got much better. I had a ton of epinepherine and steroids in me. The nurse came in and told me that he went back to the books and double-checked the administration recommendations for benadryl by IV. He had delivered it as they recommended, probably on the one-minute side of the one-to-two minutes recommended. He said that he asked around, and one other nurse said she had seen it happen like that one other time and has since changed her delivery method so that it is administered over five minutes. He said he would do the same, and he recommended that if I ever have to have it done that way again, to be sure and let them know about this episode. He gave me a printout of my monitor strip to give to my doctor so that he is aware as well.

I am fine today. Rather sore in my chest and neck, and really tired, but I am fine.

Church was wonderful this morning. I took my guitar and have begun playing and singing with the praise team again. I NEED to be there... God gave a hard-of-hearing child the gift of music and she needs to use it!!! I also made a sign for the pastor out of oak, and I got to give it to him. They polyurethane was still slightly tacky, and still STUNK to high heaven, but my heart was in it.

I am blessed!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I went to Weight Watchers meeting tonight and was very happy to see that I lost 3.2 pounds this week. WooHooooo! Last week I had my follow-up with my surgeon and he released me to start exercising again, and I think that has made the difference. I had been sitting at a plateau for weeks on end. Thank God I've broken through! WooHooo, again!

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Feast Fit for a King

I have been working on making a plaque for our church, so tonight my husband offered to make dinner and let me keep working. The kids decided to set up a "cafe" in the livingroom and let dad and Zack be the kitchen help. Danny and Stephen decided to go all out - they even made menus!

Danny: Dad, what's on the menu for tonight?
Dad: Spaghetti.
Danny: That's not enough, what else are we offering?
Dad: Well, I'm not sure.
Danny: Mommy said there's french fries in the freezer.
Dad: Okay. Spaghetti a la carte, and french fries.
Danny: What else can we offer?
Dad: Green beans???

Spaghetti, french fries and green beans were served in a little cafe in our living room this evening. A few of the patrons passed on the green beans, but the spaghetti and french fries were enjoyed by all in attendance.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snow, at Last!

Much of the country has had so much snow and ice over the past few weeks, but here's it's been unbelievably warm - until now. We've finally gotten our first snowfall of the season, and it is entirely welcome! I thoroughly enjoyed watching my kids playing outside in it. The boys played pirates (don't ask me!) and Miss Lydia had the best time going down the sliding board and landing in the snow. Adorable! Even the dogs got a huge kick out of the white stuff. I built a fire in the fireplace and cooked a huge pot of chicken chili soup, then I went downstairs and worked on an ongoing project. It was a lovely day! All of the kids and dogs are now sleeping quite soundly, totally worn out from the excitement and adventure.

It's Sunday, so we were in church this morning. I had the opportunity to sing in a trio during worship. We sang the song, "My Beautiful One." Our pastor was totally pumped up and gave a tremendous, albeit short, sermon. God has given him a prophetic word that 2007 is to be a year of increase in our lives. It doesn't come without warning - if we walk in disobedience we can expect the repercussions of that to increase as well... Anyway, today he went through the Scriptures that showed different ways that God has brought increase in the past, and ways He promises to do so today... Increases in strength, knowledge, wisdom, love and opportunities to love, fruits of the Spirit, prosperity, health, years... I plan on reviewing the Scripture references tomorrow, and probably several times in the near future to get the full impact. I do treasure the Word of God!

I should really get off to bed. The roads are icy, so I do not expect to go anywhere tomorrow. I hope we will be able to get lessons done in short order so the kids can enjoy what is left of the snow. Here's hoping...

Friday, January 19, 2007

A New Day

I love it that every day is a new day. What a relief! I have the opportunity every day to do better at something, to try something new, to either forgive or correct the wrongs of the past, to bless somebody, to make a fantastic memory. Each day I have the opportunity to assess how well I am walking the Love walk, and usually to do something to make it better. Each day I have to opportunity to reach out to God and thank Him for the day He made, and to ask Him to help me live it the way I should.

And each day I usually miss so many of these opportunities.

Knowing that God knows me better than I know myself helps, of course, and I never want to take His grace for granted! It wouldn't be grace, then, would it? Still, having experienced His amazing grace makes it a whole lot easier to come to Him whenever I discover I have missed the mark (or when I'm finally ready to face up to that knowledge,) to ask forgiveness, and start moving forward again. How awesome is that! I do not take this lightly! This is the confidence that I have, that He created me, that He knows me, and still He loves me. Thank You, Lord!

Not sure why I wrote this... just soaking up the Love of the Lord, I guess!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I've been blogging at another site for several years, but I feel like it might be time to change it up. I will post on both for a while, then choose whichever one I like better to take over :)

I wrote this introduction to Me about three years ago. It still applies, so here I am...

Who Am I?
I am Child of God, woman, wife, mother.
I am musician. I am artist.
I appreciate the silences as well as the shouts.
I love tiny kittens
and big old dogs with floppy ears.
I am voyeur in a sense...
I love to watch my children when they play
or when they concentrate on some new problem.
I love to watch my baby struggle to stand on her own,
like her bigger brothers and sisters did before her,
appreciating how different it is with each one.
When I was a child,
I never dreamed I would marry or have babies or love to cook.
I never imagined how much pleasure I would get
out of making a quilt with my own hands
and scraps of fabric,
or the joy that would shine from the face of the person
who just received that quilt for their own.
When I grew up I began to understand
that I can do anything I set my mind to.
What I become is up to me.
What I fail to do
is because I have chosen not to do it.