Friday, September 30, 2011

cold front?

"As October arrives Saturday, Central Texas will see some of its first fall-like weather, with highs barely reaching 90 and lows in the low 60s."
That was a sentence taken from an article in our Austin newspaper today referring to a cold front that supposedly arrived last night.
 Cold front?
Not like the ones I remember from days gone by.
It'll be nice for sure to get further away from 100- degree heat so I don't mean to be ungrateful, but calling this "fall-like" is a bit of a stretch to me!
I remember my New Jersey childhood ... and our 60-degree nighttime lows here in Texas were often the autumn highs up North. I do miss it.
But I guess there is a trade off ... I know I don't want to deal with weeks or months of snow and sleet and icy roads either. I like the milder Texas winters. 
The cold evenings are coming here too. Soon enough I suppose. 
Tomorrow we kiss hot September goodbye. I'm hoping for good things to come in October. Maybe even a REAL cold front.

Monday, September 26, 2011

finding the words

Anyone who knows me personally knows I am struggling with and perplexed by certain aspects of life right now.  When you love someone with an illness it's difficult not to get lost in it all.  It's a time when you feel all kinds of crazy guilt as well as helplessness.

I began reading the book that will be part of a ladies' study group I am involved with and sure enough the first chapter began with a man who was dedicated to praying for a woman in a coma who had brain damage and was not expected to ever recover.  He prayed for hours and months ... and committed himself to praying for this woman and she recovered... fully.  It was a miracle.  That happens I know.  But wrestling, pleading and begging God doesn't seem to be any more a sign of faith to me than getting on my knees and sincerely asking .... with the belief that God could heal if He wanted to.   Trying to convince God to act as though my many words would somehow catch His attention more adequately seems less about Him than about me.

I pray.  I ask God for healing.  I will not stop, but I don't want my faith in God to rest on whether He decides to heal my husband or not.  Whether my prayers "work" or not.

I think I need to come to terms with the fact that I cannot... and will not... be able to know God's will and purposes completely in this life.  I need to rest in the knowledge that that's okay.

I talked to a kindred spirit today.  It healed my heart some to get together with a woman who really understood how I felt.   She said, "What cancer is doing to your husband's body, it is doing to your heart and soul."  Yes.  Someone who really understands.  Sarah lost her soulmate to cancer over ten years ago.  She shared some personal stories that made a huge difference in my perspective.  

So grateful for that.  For people who are lifelines to us.

Sometimes my faith gets lost in the shuffle.  But... 

.... A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

a nice Sunday

It was nice to sleep late this morning.  Late for us is 8 am.  The sun was up ahead of us, but even Nicky slept in.    Edd wanted to make Migas (his version) this morning for breakfast.  Why is everything better when someone else does the cooking?

fry up some corn tortillas and onion

potatoes and bacon

shredded cheese for the top

cook eggs with the corn tortilla

served with potatoes... oh, and salsa!
If truth be told Edd may be the better cook out of the two of us... and he definitely makes less of a mess!

It's almost afternoon "coffee time" but already we've gotten a lot accomplished on this day that should be one of rest.  

I washed the car, moved the furniture around in the family room but then realized it looked better the way it was so changed it mostly back again.  It was still a success though since I got to vacuum underneath.   

After a few more chores we drove to Edd's office to bring home some boxes of books that were on shelves in a filing cabinet.  I saw book after book with titles like Integrated Electronics: Vector Mechanics for Engineers, Circuit Design for Electronic Instrumentation, Macro Electronics Circuits & Devices, Delta Sigma Data Converters.  

Eee gads!    I asked him if he actually READ all these books and he looked at me like I was from Mars ....  Some were college textbooks.  

We then tried out a restaurant I had never been to and I discovered I like Vietnamese food.

And now for that coffee ....  Mmmm.....

Edd reading Time magazine..... (yeah, that's Rick Perry's big face!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

things I'm lovin'

I'm lovin' taking pictures ... especially with the zoom lens.

I observed activity in the garden this morning.  This was one busy bee!

Nicky is a favorite subject!


I'm lovin' my new iMac

and learning new stuff.


I am loving that I'm making the effort to exercise again.  I didn't entirely stop.  I use our elliptical machine from time to time, but I began strength training too.  And boy do I need it.  Where did my muscles go?  

I made a list of "to do" exercises and also put an electronic sticky note on my computer to remind me to do squats and lunges.

   I can't accomplish anything anymore without a to-do list telling me what to do!  Really.  

Today I can hardly walk down the stairs!

And sitting down in a chair makes my legs give out.  (Yes, it looks very graceful.)  It's hurting more as the day goes on.... but I'm lovin' that too!  I woke up some sleeping muscles!

I'm not into beating myself up anymore.  Not even close.  But I do know sometimes there is pain involved with growing stronger.  And I'll just accept that and keep moving forward a little bit at a time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


What a summer it's been.  The days have been hot and dry.  One after another.  Seemingly endlessly the same.    There is a drought here.  Still.  And there has been a bit of a spiritual drought in my life as well.

This summer has often mirrored my inner feelings.  The sun has unmercifully dried our land and it's a struggle to not let it dry my spirit of hope as well.

I am comforted by the thought that the rains WILL come.  The parched land will drink up the nourishment and come to life again.  Refreshment is sweet... and often comes when we think we just can't hang on a moment longer.

It's been a challenge not to complain about the scorching heat.  God wants me to trust him in the dry times.  Oh, how hard it's been though.  I hate the thought of complaining about LIFE ... meaning ... any day that God gives us to live and breathe.  Because life is a gift.

I'm learning it's important to be true to myself.  Even in my blogging.  The moment I write to simply please someone else my words become hollow.  Saying what you think and feel and getting out of your comfort zone leads to a satisfying life.

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.  ~Eleonora Duse

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

a day well spent

It was a busy day and I am achy and tired.  The day was more cheerful because we seemed to be able to concentrate less on problems and more on just living and getting some things done.

Edd and I like to talk about current events.  Our country's social challenges.  Politics. Issues of the day.  Anything and everything.  But the 24/7 cable new programs just annoy us as they dribble endless commentary and people talk out of their butts spreading hopelessness and fear.  The young 20-something big-boobed woman who pretends to be an expert on the war in the Middle East...  or the one telling us how to handle our finances just isn't cutting it for me.

Today we decided to shut off the TV and listen more to better quality radio stations, XM satellite radio (we have it in our cars), read more and stop absorbing a lot of the noise that leaves us feeling hollow and agitated with the "wonderful" rich lives of celebrities and endless commercials telling us what we absolutely need... NOW.

I exercised.  I ate well... meaning healthy choices... and gave my body what was good for it.  Not too much.  Not too little.

I shopped for valances for the bedroom... and cleaned up the room spic and span.  

Sitting area in the bedroom

Nothing earth-shattering, but a good day from beginning to end.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

a soul's growth

As I read words by C.S. Lewis in his book A Grief Observed I'm strangely comforted by a man who was such a great apologist for Christianity and yet still wrestled with his faith during a time of great suffering.

“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't... He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”


“When you are happy, so happy you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels— welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.”

I have felt this silence. And I have felt something even worse then anger toward God. What is worse is doubting that He even exists and that this life is all there is. Because if we doubt He exists where is our hope?

There are things we cannot learn any other way but to "go through it." I loved when my children were little and I seemed to have the power to kiss a boo boo and make the pain go away. Make it all better. But life is seldom that simple.

I've always believed one of our greatest callings is to help take the sting out of life for someone else. To help by our words, by a touch, by a kind gesture or loving support.

Deep thoughts. But they are mine tonight. And admitting our doubts, as I have been told, is part of our soul's growth.

I'm hoping.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Gratitude.  Something many of us need.  Being grateful leads to contentment and peace.   It is what I was reminded of tonight as I struggled with doubt and anger in my life.  I've come back to this song on more than one occasion.

I can't change others.  Heck, it's hard to change ME...   But I can ... with work.  I can't control people and circumstances around me, but I can try to be the best me I can be.

Friday, September 9, 2011

living it

This last week was a mixed bag of fun and frustration.

Fun.  Had a co-worker of Edd's over for dinner.  He was from England.  It was interesting to compare countries and see that we all have our problems.  It was funny when Jenni suggested I offer him a cup of tea after dinner.  When I offered Earl Grey he said "just regular" and I then realized all I had was Luziane teabags for iced-tea making. Hope that worked for him.

Frustration. My computer crashed.  Spent over four hours on the phone with a technical support guy from India trying to fix it.  Can't fix it without spending more money on a machine that I've already lost everything on.  Hard drive shot.  Software gone.

Fun.  Decided to take the plunge and get an iMac.  Yay!  Learning new very cool stuff!  My brain hurts though.

Frustration.  Couldn't load  an app on Edd's iPad and got impatient so somehow erased all his saved stuff.  Great. Had to restore to factory settings.  Ugh.  I need to be more careful!  I was forgiven though.  Phew.

Fun.  Weather was cooler so took some wonderful walks outside and worked in the garden.  Had some nice talks with my mom.  (I love her)

Frustration.  Dealing with health insurance and trying to understand it all .... and what is best to do in the future.   Working on my resume.  Again, my brain hurts.

Today Edd has a CT scan.  It's part of the journey.  Seeing what is going on inside.  Praying for all of that.  Praying all would just go away and never come back.  Hoping. Wishing. Praying. Waiting. Loving. Learning. Wondering. Questioning. Hearing. Resting.  Breathing.

Such is life.  Living it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

morning talks

Seems our day was begun by the coffee maker.  The coffee was programmed to be ready at 7 am, but real time was erroneously set ahead an hour so the coffee was finished at 6.  Edd noticed it was ready and assumed I had some reason for needing to get up that early so he woke me and asked if I wanted him to bring me a cup.  I said yes and then we realized the time and wondered why we were drinking coffee so early!  After a while we figured it out.

No matter.  We always have good talks in the morning over coffee.
But I was still a bit tired.  I had some trouble sleeping during the night and got up to write down some  thoughts as I sometimes do.  I’m going to begin going to a ladies Bible study again and the topic will be prayer.  Oh, boy.  I have some baggage  deep thoughts relating to that topic and how some “name and claim” their wants and wishes so I needed to sort things by writing them down.  I wrote down quite a few pages worth.

I’ve been in many prayer studies before, but at the end of the day, it’s still a mystery to me why He sometimes answers yes and sometimes answers no.  Yeah, I’m baffled.  I do pray.  I am real with God.  I ask Him to work in my life.  I ask for His protection on myself and those I love.  I ask for healing.  I give thanks for many things.  I talk to Him like a friend.  I pray my way through the day.  It’s like breathing.  But I have learned to give the situations to Him believing He knows more than I do. 

I started telling Edd how I felt, and what I had written and he, as usual, had some interesting things to add.  You’d think someone with cancer would be pleading with God for healing.  Asking for things all the time.  But no.  He said he rarely asks for things from God, but thinks if God wanted to heal him, He would.  He says he’d rather spend time praying for God to give Him the strength to deal with what is going on and to become the person he should be…. and he asks for forgiveness.

Beautiful.  I so want to trust Him with the rest.  With everything.   

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

just gotta keep going


Some days I feel like this. 

The winds blow strong and knock us off our feet. 

But a friend of mine wisely said the key is to keep on marching!



Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer.  ~André A. Jackson

The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

coq au vin

Looked in the freezer this morning to see what I had and what I wanted to make for dinner.  I thought it was chicken’s turn so I looked for recipes I might be able to easily make using the crock pot.  That’s when Edd piped in.

“What about Coq au Vin?”

Cock of what? Wanting to please my wonderful husband I looked it up and whalla! I found a crock pot Coq au Vin recipe.

I figured I’d run to the store to get the ingredients I lacked and just throw it all in the crock pot, turn the switch to ON and go on my merry way.

It wasn’t quite that simple.

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Bacon and onion needed to be fried first. Not to worry. Only one slice went into the mix. Then the chicken had to be sprinkled with dried thyme and salt and browned, then the mushrooms needed to be sautéed… Wine (a delicious burgundy from France of course) was then added to the fry pan along with some tomato paste to make sure all the browned flavor from the pan was included in the dish….

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Now all could be thrown together along with some fresh garlic …. and slow cooked all afternoon.

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YUM…. turned out pretty well.  I love to try new recipes!

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Even Nicky liked it!

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But he likes everything with chicken it its name!

Monday, September 5, 2011

a day to bask

This day is just too nice to think on anything but happy and beautiful thoughts.  As I sit in front of  an open window in my living room this afternoon, I’m confronted with a fresh breeze blowing through.  The smell of sweet vanilla is in the air from a scented oil diffuser nearby.   As I sip a freshly-brewed cup of coffee and take small bites of a Lindt 70% dark smooth chocolate square (my absolute favorite!)  I’m in a pretty darn good place. 

pictures from my rebel 018

We spent the morning sweeping out the garage, washing cars and commenting on how nice it felt outside… and how nice Texas can be.   After weeks of temperatures well over 100 degrees we woke to the feeling that change is on its way again.  It’s just the beginning.  When much of the country will soon battle frigid temperatures, high heating bills,  blizzards and ice storms, we will enjoy the best time of the year here.  We paid our dues this summer, that’s for sure, and the cool nights and pleasant days are returning.   The feeling of hope is palatable.

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My flowers have survived. Just barely, but they have survived.  Most of them anyway.  I even got outside to aerate the soil and dig in the dirt a little bit.  Funny, how good that made me feel.

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Garden 028

I know the world is a confusing and messed up place with problems few seem to care about or know  how to fix. I know my computer crashed and we need to decide what to do about  it.  I know Edd still has cancer.   I know the future is uncertain and there are always going to be worries and decisions to consider but for right now…. right now I’m going to bask in the happy feeling I have.  All I have is this day.