Aug 31, 2011

When life hands you a ...

  lemon    PEACH !

Over the weekend I came down with "something" so suddenly I couldn't believe it.  We were on our way to a function on Friday night and five minutes after we got into the car I told my hubby I was just exhausted! I chocked it up to a busy week and didn't think much more about it until, as the evening wore on, I felt like I might actually collapse unless I got home and into bed.  We got home within 1/2 hour and by then my throat was on fire, my body ached from head to toe, and I started running a fever, which went up to 101.8℉.  I stayed in basically the same condition all through Saturday and a good bit of Sunday.  By Sunday night most of the symptoms were gone except that my throat felt like it was closing up on me and my glands remained swollen.

I was ready to function on Monday, more or less, and the three grandkids that I watch arrived bright and early.  I was so happy that my d-i-l was exceptionally organized that morning and had them all prettied up for the day.  We had a low key morning and then it was time for the oldest to get to Kindergarten.  The other two got a nap.   Thank God for "easy" days now and then, and especially when we need them the most!

Tuesday morning found me feeling much better except for the nagging swollen glands and thick throat.  One of my friends asked me point blank if I was going to call the doctor, or was I in this for the long haul?  (She knows me too well.)  I decided in a split second that this day would be my only hope of having the TIME for a doctor visit, so as is my habit, when I'm feeling oh so much better, I finally go on in.  Good thing too.  Strep throat really isn't anything to fool around with.  

My d-i-l made alternate arrangements for the kids on Wednesday so I could have more time to recuperate.  Supposedly after 24 hours on the antibiotics I wouldn't be contagious anymore.  I'm still hoping and praying that all the people I came into contact with before I knew don't get it!  

Here are some of the things I was able to accomplish while on my little sick leave.  I took plenty of breaks and only did what I wanted to do and what I felt I COULD do.  I didn't push myself at all, obviously, but I am finding it amazing that I was able to tie up some loose ends, something I can't seem to find time for when I'm a lot more alive:

*cleaned out the tub/shower surround while showering.  (By using a non-toxic, natural, peppermint scented soap, this was very pleasant and easy, since I was already IN there)

*ran a couple small loads of laundry and hung them outside on the line to dry.  (We've been having some beautiful sunny but not too hot days, with a bit of breeze, so this made perfect sense and got me outside for some Vitamin D)

*hubby and I made some decisions about some of our insurance policies, and I spent some time on the phone implementing them.  (amazing what you can get done in a quiet house!)

*on the way home from the doctor appointment, we stopped at Swenson's for lunch. It sure tasted good to finally eat some real food after mostly subsisting on water for a couple of days. (No, I didn't intentionally expose more people to strep throat.  Swenson's is an old-fashioned drive-in that serves the best burgers on the planet~picture in my header!)  

*made another stop on the way home to the jeweler's.  My engagement ring, which is 35 years old this month, needs some work.  (My estimate of how much that might cost was WAY off...and so it will stay in my jewelry box a while longer until hubby gets re-employed.)

*after stopping for the burger in the early afternoon, we weren't hungry again until it was time to go to bed! I made a quick pot of tortellini soup ~ here's the recipe if you are interested ~ and we each had a bowl.  (I've had my days and nights totally mixed up since I was semi-comatose over the weekend and slept in 15 minute increments mostly around-the-clock!)

*paid some bills and balanced the checkbook.  (again, think quiet house)

*ordered a free credit report on-line to make sure we were squeaky clean, since hubby is job searching (we learned that potential employers look at these too!) 

*hubby and I together wrote and published a blog post for our church ~ which you can see here.

*cleaned out the fridge 

*finished a 500+ page (really good) book I've been trying to read all summer.  (Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy) When I try to read at night when the house is quiet I end up reading a couple pages and then fall asleep! 

*signed up for a fall ladies bible study

*and last but not least...drum roll please...I made a fresh peach pie today! Is it that food is just starting to look and taste good again, or could this possibly be the best pie I've ever made?  I do make my own pie crust (recipe here ~ scroll down, you'll see it) and this is how I made the filling, done according to instructions by my FaceBook friend, Vicki:  5-6 cups peaches, peeled and sliced, 3/4 cup white sugar, 3 Tbsp. white flour, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.  Dot with 2 Tbsp. butter before adding top crust.  After sealing top crust, I brushed it with a little milk and sprinkled on a small amount of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Then I baked the pie for 30 minutes @ 400℉, then lowered the temperature to 325℉ and baked it for 40 minutes longer.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13

Aug 27, 2011

Divine appointments...

Hubby and I try to discern what we call "Divine appointments" in our ordinary, daily lives.  A Divine appointment is a situation you can find yourself in that turns out to be something meaningful in a way you weren't anticipating or an unplanned encounter with someone that leads to a discussion of a spiritual nature.  It is "Divine" because we believe it is a God-ordained opportunity to encourage or help someone, often sharing our knowledge of Him.  In other words, God had it planned ahead of time and even though we may not be aware of it until it happens, (or maybe never realize it) we try to be prepared and sensitive to what He might be asking of us at any given moment.  I have a friend who travels by air frequently and she actually prays before each trip, asking God to give her an opportunity to be a blessing to the stranger who would be sitting beside her.  She has shared many stories of these Divine appointments and encourages others to look for them as well.

 I don't know if the encounter I had yesterday was one or not.  I was with my mom at the grocery store and I had my sweet littlest granddaughter with me.  (If I must say so) she is so beautiful that whenever I take her in public, she never fails to draw attention and strangers stop all the time to fuss over her.

As we were leaving the store, it happened again.  This time it was a man about my age, and just looking at my granddaughter must have given him a flashback or something.  This stranger began telling me that some years ago when he was 45 and his wife was 40, they found out they had their first baby on the way.  He proceeded to tell me how they had always been "pro-choice" and that he told his wife it was up to her what they were going to do about it.  After a few days of thinking about it, his wife announced she would continue the pregnancy and they would become parents.  He wasn't in favor of it and never really wanted kids.  

While following me out to my car, he continued his story.  His son is now 18 years old and the joy of his life.  While it wasn't always easy raising him, especially through the teenage years, this man realizes he has a dimension to his life he would not otherwise know.  I said, "well I am so glad you made the choice that you did."  He said, "I'm trying to figure out how I got from where I was to where I am now".  He said he was still "pro-choice" but couldn't imagine his life without his son.  Then he explained how his wife was one of five children and she was the only one without kids of her own, and what a "God-send" this baby ended up being for his mother-in-law, who died happy, knowing that all her five children had children of their own.

All I could come up with was "well I think you just answered your own question: it was a GOD-send!" Though it didn't seem appropriate to get into a heavy pro-choice/pro-life debate, I wish I could have thought of something more profound to say.  Whether he thinks about it anymore is up to him and God.  As I finished loading the groceries, mom and baby into the car, I gave him a wave of the hand and said "thanks for sharing your story, and best wishes to you."

Have you had any Divine appointments lately?  Do you ever look for them?

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15~16

Aug 5, 2011

My week at a glance...

Sometimes at the end of the week I can't even remember what I did with my life.  I think that's why I get so caught up in documenting some of it before I totally forget!  Here's some meaningful-to-me events from the past 7 days:

❤Hubby and I attended a 50th wedding anniversary party for the parents of a friend of ours.  It was a casual, yet lovely get together and what a blessing to see another committed couple hang together through all of life's challenges.  Our friend played the piano and sang a song to honor her parents...

(photos enlarge when clicked)

❤Three of our grandchildren were in my care for about 27 hours this week, plus I had the baby an additional 6 hours.  I invited the granddaughter of someone I know to join us on Monday for 1/2 day too so Elylah could have a girl to play with for a change.  I don't do this for money, I do it for love.  And fun.  MY fun...

❤Some treasured grandchildren quotes of the week:

*Me: "Eva is really getting fat!"  Elylah:  "Yes Grandma.  Pretty soon she is going to be just like you!"

*Ethan:  "Grandma, can you take your skin off?"

*Ethan:  "Grandma, you have cracks in your eyes." Me:  "Cracks??"  Elylah: "Yes Grandma, those red lines."

❤I brought order to a small corner of our garage, yes I did!

❤On my day "off", hubby and I toured an inner city ministry that our church supports and we ate lunch at The Front Porch, their new cafe.  We are becoming more involved with local outreach and every time we go to one of these places my eyes get opened wider and my heart expands a little more, and I am humbled.  

❤I enjoyed sunny days and beautiful skies...

❤One day I pressed my mom into service and she and I took all three kids to my favorite Salvation Army store with the purpose in mind of finding some school clothes for Elylah, who starts Kindergarden later this month.  Then another day mom and I took just the baby and drove to a nearby city where a garage sale had advertised the required size 6 girls clothing.  We were not disappointed on either outing!  Name brand clothing in fantastic condition for roughly $1 per item.  Seriously she will be among the best dressed at her new school!

❤I enjoyed a breakfast outing with my friend who leaves next week to return to England.  We had a soul soothing time of sharing and prayer together.  (I forgot to take a new photo but here's a bad one from a couple of weeks ago...)

❤Other than this, not much going on around here!  What about you?