Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Prayers

Lord, call me.  Call me to be a disciple, and follow You.  Call me to prayer and praise.  Call me to witness.  Help me to forgive.  Teach me to forgive.  I worship You this day and all the days of my life. Amen.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It Is Saturday

It is Saturday and I have other plans of various sorts.  Today is not a bloggy kind of day.  The previous days of this week were not bloggy kinds of days to schedule something for this one.  I am out living life and I will be back when I am back.

Friday, January 23, 2015

7 Quick Takes, Friday,

Kelly Mantoan hosts this meme.  She isn't taking the bait from the last couple of weeks when I threw that logo in her face, so I guess I am done with that. I work with middle school students, I can respect someone who practices "do not engage" like a master.  Go around and visit the rest of the linkers.

1.  I removed Googlebot from my stats.  I am not sure whether I have stopped the bots or just removed them from the stats, but either way, it is okay with me.  I would rather be a blog that you found by the referral of friends than one that you got by searching sycamore trees or shishi dogs.  This is a personal weblog, not an information piece.  I would hate to be sited in some kid's footnotes.

On the downside, the statcounter has dropped dramatically and the illusion that many people read my blog is over.  And that is okay.

2. The weekend was spent cleaning up the last vestiges of cat from the house.  We have been cat-less for about 2 weeks.  I miss my little fat cat, but I am not anxious to replace him.  Cats are fun, but they are work.  Getting another cat right away says that my cat was replaceable.  To me, he wasn't.  I need a little time.

3. Monday I finished off the rose quilt for a friend's second grand-daughter.  I didn't really like it when I first put it together, but as I worked on it, it grew on me.  I did a little fancier quilting in the white spaces than I usually do.



I also finished the quilt for the secretary at my school  Her little boy isn't due until April.  I was on a red, white and blue kick for a while, but I think I am over it.


4. Tuesday seemed like a long day at school.  I got a lot done.  I marvel that I probably got more done than last week on Thursday when my classes largely didn't show up.  The hum of busy keeps me productive.  It is harder to start the work week on Tuesday than to have Friday off, in my opinion.

5. Wednesday, I had book club after school.  Those kids are a mouthful.  I finished putting the book quizzes into my grid during the day.  It was a grueling day of filing. There was over 100 quizzes.  My school is still winning.  This is one of those tasks that is better to keep up with than to catch up with.

6. Thursday night I went to the area wide prayer meeting at the Rigalli Center.  Friday there is a soup-er bowl at work and so I am bringing soup.  Dust bowl soup which is sort of a beef vegetable soup.

7. Even though we have had very little snow and the temperatures have been pretty good lately for January, I found myself feeling a little down and longing for spring the other day.  At the grocery store I saw my favorite mid-winter aide.  I keep it beside the sink so that I can smell it while I am doing the dishes.
There will no doubt be snow and wind and foul weather still, but I have a little whiff of fragrance to remind me that spring is coming.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thanks, Lord

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the January thaw!  The sunshine and warmer temperatures remind me of springtime, or hint that it will return someday.  Thank You for my siblings.  Having brothers and a sister is such a gift.  I longed to give my son that gift, but You had another plan for him, and I will trust that.  But, I sorrow for the people who have chosen to limit siblings for their children.  Siblings are a blessing.

Thank You for my returning health.  It is truly and miracle and a gift to feel this well after feeling so rotten all last year.  It feels exactly like You rescued me from a pit.  You saved me.

I praise You and I thank You for all the blessings in my life, for the ones I see and know and the ones that just happen without my recognition.  I praise You, Lord, for everything.

Your beloved daughter,

Mary

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Take My Hand and Run!

It is mid-winter and as I get back to work and routine it is easy to feel stressed and over-tired.  It is very easy.  Lately I have taken it to Jesus, taken it to prayer, this tired discouraged feeling.  And clearly I see my Savior holding out His hand and inviting me to take His.  And when I do, we run!

In real life I doubt I will ever really run again.  My Achilles tendon gets fussy when I stress it too much.  I am afraid to run.  If I rip that tendon, or what it left of it, I won't be walking anymore and I like to walk.  I take care of my tendon.  But in my prayer, I run with Jesus.

I ask Him what it means this joyous run we do.  It seems that I need to keep going, keep planning, keep dreaming and keep my chin up.  There are good things ahead, great things.  If I doubt that, all I have to do is imagine all that I was spared by dodging the cancer diagnosis.  I have just as much chance of having cancer as the next person, I had a scare that showed me a little of what that would mean.  I have reason to fit in those someday things and plans.  I have reason to take Jesus' hand and RUN!  I can't wait for someday.  It may not be there.  My days are written out and I can't add a minute to them.  I need to pray for the strength and courage to answer the call.  And when I hear it, I will run hand in hand with my Lord.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Eldercare, Mom at 93

My mom says that we have reversed roles, that I am her mama and she my child.  She says it as a joke, but there is more truth there than she realizes.  At 93 and a half years old, Mom is surely nearly the end of her days.  Even if she lives to 100, as the surgeon who took out her gall bladder a while ago predicted, she is in her last years.  None of us know when the end of our days will come if we trust God's plan for us, but we can't go on and on forever.

Mom still drives, has passed the driver's test every year.  But, I am hoping, wishing, praying, that she will give it up soon.  She keeps saying every year that she won't take the exam when it comes up again.  She is saying that now.  But, then her birthday approaches and she gives it a try and passes and there she is driving another year.  At 93 she is frail.  Her hearing is declining and her eyesight.  Her thought processes and reaction time are not what they were and decline with each passing day.  Until October when my brother lived in town with her, I didn't worry as much.  If she got into trouble, he would be there to help her.  But, now my sister and I live an equidistant two plus hours away.  A fender bender could become a big emergency.

If she gives up driving, of course, new problems present themselves.  Groceries and appointments and the banking and things she would like to do like the library book discussion and the retired teachers.  I started going to the doctor with her a couple of years ago when she got herself into a big health mess and kept telling me that she wanted to die, but wouldn't call the doctor about it.  Now I can call the doctor.  The trouble is, I have lost a lot of work due to my own health issues this year.  My sister is stepping in for me.  That has been a relief. 

I have made a decision in that regard, I am going to pay my sister and I and our brothers, if they are able to step in, for taking Mom to the doctor.  Mom has some savings. It seems likely that she will have enough money to take her through the end of her life and have a little left over.  To help her keep living and to live happily she needs us to help her.  She likes to think that we do it because we love her and we do, but I have decided, as trustee, that it is time to reimburse those of us who help her out.  It takes away some of the burden associated with dropping everything to help her by driving 5 hours up to Q and back.

I am writing this because I struggled with it.  I had to talk to lots of people and read eldercare materials and pray.  It isn't talked about much.  It is different in every case.  For us, the travel makes it tough, but Mom has made it clear that she doesn't want to move closer. If she lived closer and I could drop in on the way home from work it would be easier, and perhaps the idea of money would not come into it. But, I have come to the conclusion that maybe if there is any money involved, that a money talk should come into it.  The ones who do the most should be paid a bit to help cover expenses.  It helps to remove resentment when the final accounts are settled someday. 





Monday, January 19, 2015

Just Breathe

I read something within a list on the Big Mama blog that has helped me a lot.  I thought I would share it, under helpful hints to know and share.  Big Mama had a link to an article about this technique and I am too lazy to look all of that up, but I thought I would share how it has helped me and if you really want to know about all of it, you can find it somehow on the interwebs.

The article extolled a method to fall asleep 4-8-9. Breathe in deeply while counting to 4.  Hold your breath for 8 counts.  Exhale for 9 counts.  As I recall the article talked about stressed people not breathing deeply enough and releasing some kind of natural sleep aide within your body when you breathe slowly and deeply like this.

I have long had difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep and falling asleep again during the night.  I have read almost every article on sleeping I have come across.  I have tried almost everything suggested to get a good night's sleep.  I have cut down caffeine and eliminated it after 4pm even de-cafĂ©. I don't talk about upsetting topics in bed or an hour before bedtime.  I stretch, take a warm shower, pray, sleep warm (socks and heated mattress pad), and take a non-prescription sleep aide.  But, sometimes I still can't fall asleep until about midnight.  Sometimes I can't go back to sleep after awaking during the night.  Most of the time I am sleep deprived and I am not able to nap.

I tried the breathing.  I wasn't really expecting it to work.  Big Mama said that it didn't work for her.  I have tried some sort of breathing thing before and it didn't work.  But, this worked.  It really works for me.  I have gotten a better night's sleep since I have tried this.  I have gotten so that I say a rote prayer while breathing instead of counting.  I usually find that after 5 or so of these deep breaths I fall asleep.

Helpful hints to know and share--just breathe.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Prayers

Lord,
Teach me to read Your word and hear Your voice.  Help me to feel Your love and recognize Your hand in my life.  When I am weak, You are strong.  Be strong in me, because I am weak.
Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Boring Post for Saturday

January Thaw time.  Go out and have some fun.  Don't look here for entertainment.  Do something.

Friday, January 16, 2015

7 Quick Takes, Friday, Hi Ho

Here we go again with another round of 7 Quick Takes, Friday, with our host Kelly Mantoan.  She lives in NJ, so I wouldn't mess with her or she light make you design another logo for her.

I work as a middle school librarian at a public school of over 800 students some 25 minutes from my house. I have been off work since early December with an emergency hysterectomy to remove a tumor.  It all turned out to the good in that the surgeon is of the opinion that he got it all and I will not need further treatment. My QTs are about my return to work this week.

1. An uneventful weekend anticipating as ice storm that mainly appeared here as rain and mist.  Ice can really mess things up, so, one has to show an appreciation for it.  Since the ice storm never occurred, I had my first day back at school on Monday.

2. This Monday was a week earlier than people expected, so they didn't have time to plan for the parades and light show.  That was fine with me. I did get some rather sweet notes from 8th graders.

3. I made it through Monday very well.  I was not as tired as I expected to be at the end of the day.  I even rode on the stationary bike for 20 minutes before I went to bed.  I sat in the chair earlier in the evening and quilted. I have a plethora of baby quilts going and few babies in the horizon.  Actually, one of my oldest friends has just become a Facebook friend and announced her second grand-daughter.  I might try to finish up the rose quilt for that baby. I am almost finished with one for an April baby.  But, there are a couple of others that are not spoken for yet.


4. I worked on overdues my first day back.  Almost 400 overdue books.  I will have to start beating the bushes for them.

5. The laptop computers that were the bane of my existence before I went on medical leave have sorted themselves out to some extent.  I lost 15 of my laptops to the classrooms, but after the initial surprise I was rather happy that I have less to care for.  It is not like I am the one to use them.

6. Tuesday sped by and presented the problem of my having too much to do.  I am never good at being overwhelmed with the amount of work.  It seems impossible to try to finish it all. There were books to process and overdues to continue and book club stuff and mending and schedules and on and on.

7. Wednesday and Thursday were late days at school, but I am happy to say that I made it through without wearing down too badly.  Hubs took me out for chicken Thursday, so that helped things along.  I miss going to daily Mass and having time.  But, I am energized to be back to work. And I will sit in meetings all day today.