Wanna Buy My House?

Just thinking……

The Hubs called a real estate agent to come in a couple of days to possibly list our house. I’ve got really mixed feelings about this.

We tried to sell our house last spring and had it on the market for about 5 months. We had lots of lookers, but no buyers. I was really torn between elation and disappointment. Here’s the background:

All of the family lives out of state. We love them and miss them, and feel that we need to be closer to help take care of them. My parents are elderly and need more care, and the grandkids are there, too! We put a lot of prayer into the decision of listing and felt that we needed to be obedient to God’s will, whatever it may be. We felt that a move would allow us to better care for our parents and we felt that this would be in God’s will.

A large part of me did not want to move. So it was a real struggle during those 5 months, and actually rather a relief when the house didn’t sell and we took it off the market. I love my home. I love the area where we live. I’ve been here close to 40 years, and it’s home. We belong to a great church and have many wonderful friends. We are known and respected in the community, and it takes time to build a reputation. I didn’t want to start over. I didn’t want to take another driver’s license test. I didn’t want the hassle of packing, sorting, moving, unpacking. I didn’t want to close out utilities and try to open new accounts. I didn’t want to find a new doctor and dentist. I like our state’s low cost of living, and how part of our pension is exempt from state taxes. I like my part time job, and am not sure I could find another.

We designed and hand built this home. It was our dream come true….. a big solar home nestled into the woods, with a little creek at the back of the property. I know every inch of this house, and it’s hard to let go. I know that we’ll not find another like it, and certainly not one as energy efficient. When I go walking around the property, I see the benches that the Hubs made, and the firepit we built out of stones that we dug and dragged from the woods. I see the many flower beds and recall who gave us the starts. I think of all the nuts we picked up in the woods. I still can see my little boy, now a man, running and playing among the trees. I see the little orchard……

I have dreams about moving and then coming back to see what the new owners have done with the house. It’s never a pleasant dream.

So now……. the Hubs has called a real estate agent, and I find myself cleaning with a vengeance, making sure every thing is spit polished. In this economy, will it sell? Will it be agonizing? Do I really want to do this? Where will I go? How will I start over?

Yet, I still want to be obedient to God’s will. I don’t know why it didn’t sell before. And I know that God’s timing is exquisite and perfect. I know that He will direct my steps and light my paths. And yet my very human and emotional side cries out with distress and longing.

Oh Father! Take control of every part of me! May Your perfect will be done. And please…….. make it very very clear to me. Amen.

To God be the glory…..

Published in: on February 17, 2009 at 4:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stimulus? hahaha….. Got Another Joke?

Just thinking…….

Well, the House passed the stimulus bill. Where their brains have gone is anybody’s guess. Like most Americans, I am deeply concerned about the spending level of this monstrosity. But I’m even more concerned about the hidden aspects, namely the health insurance aspect. Parts of that are so blatantly anti-life that I gasp when thinking about the implications. Have you looked at this? It’s dangerous.

Frankly, this scares me silly. It’s scarier than anything you can think of for Friday the 13th. (and yes, this IS Friday the 13th) We have been on the slippery slope of lack of respect for human life for some time, and this is just the next dive. Each dive seems to de-sensitize us a little more to the respect of human life.

Seniors have a duty to die? Where will the wisdom that comes with age then come from? Who here will not someday be a senior? Who wants this to happen to their parents? What age will be the cut off where I am no longer considered important enough to live? 60? Then I have 2 months. 80? Then my parents should be done away with.

I have a real real real problem with trying to classify whose life is worth saving and whose is not. Life is precious and sacred. I don’t deem a mentally handicapped person, a preemie, or an elder as any less a person than me. Shades of futuristic sci-fi!!

Will I accept my own death with grace and dignity? Yes. But not at someone else’s whim and hands. I belong to a culture of life, not a culture of death!

Already insurance companies try to tell my doctor how to treat me. Now the government? I heard once that the scariest words in the world are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

Finally, I am livid at Congress for their lack of insight, wisdom and patience. There is no need to vote on a huge money spending package without carefully reading it. Yet Congress didn’t get the total bill until 11 pm last night and they had to vote today at 2 pm. KMOX radio in St. Louis interviewed our congressman this morning, and he said he didn’t intend to read the bill. HUH????? You should have heard the calls coming in from irrate citizens. And why do they have to vote this afternoon? Because Nancy Pelosi has plane tickets and is flying to Europe this evening………

I am so angry at this blatant disregard for American citizens. I despise being led by incompetents!! My wonderful America is turning into a nightmare much faster than I ever visualized.

Dear Lord, keep us safe from ourselves.

To God be the glory,

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 10:48 pm  Comments (5)  
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I Am Surrounded by Books

Just thinking…..

At this moment, I am sitting in my library at home pecking away at the laptop. Three wall of this room are floor to ceiling bookcases, and they are full.

The wall I am facing is filled with dictionaries. I collect dictionaries. I love the oldies and the newest slang dictionaries. I have thesauruses, (or would that be thesaurusi??), rhyming dictionaries, dictionaries of allusions, of musical terms, of biological terms. I have etymology books galore as the history of words fascinates me. I browse thrift shops, second hand stores, basement bookstores, college bookshops, yard sales and so forth to find the odd dictionary. I bought my first dictionary when I was about 5th or 6th grade. We were on a family vacation, and I purchased a pink and black dictionary, and proceeded to read it while we were traveling. I would find something wonderful and made the rest listen to me read the origin and definition of obscure words. I loved it. Many years later, the others told me how much they hated it.

I entered a writing contest sponsored by Writers Digest when I was in my 20s. I won a fantastic dictionary that I keep right beside me on a slanted shelf. It was an opportune prize.

My dad has a dictionary that he won in a spelling bee when he was in 8th grade. He has already autographed it for me, and it is to be given to me upon his death. But he wants that old dictionary around him for now.

The unabridged Oxford dictionary just blows my mind. Moving that little glass around the page and reading the great stories that make up each word is so exciting. Unfortunately I don’t own one. When I was teaching, I kept a copy in my classroom, and my students were fascinated by it.

To my left are old encyclopedias, reference books, and many types of Bibles and commentaries (and yes, Bible dictionaries). There are also 5 shelves of paperbacks, ranging from Luther’s Small Catechism to 2001 Space Odyssey, to Great Irish Short Stories. I’m eclectic; just as I enjoy dictionaries because they keep changing the subject, I also enjoy a wide variety of reading. And on the floor of that wall are boxes of magazines: literary mags, Mother Earth News, Life, and Look.

Behind me are my teaching books. The wall is filled with my literature classics, my theory books, my lives of great authors, and idea books.

And to my right is my work area where I can spread out materials.

I love my office; I love my books. And downstairs, one long wall of the living room is all book shelves. And we have books in the basement……

I grew up in a home that was filled with books. Dad used to go to the one room school auctions when the schools were being consolidated, and buy up all the books. What a treasure! I was constantly reading: reading in the bathroom, reading with a flashlight in bed, reading while I ate.

I am comfortable in homes that have books and magazines, and very uncomfortable in homes that are devoid of reading material. I find myself thinking, “What do these people do all day? Watch TV?” I can’t imagine not having something near by to pick up and read.

So here I am in my little office, pecking away, and peaceful in the midst of my books.

To God be the glory……

Published in: on February 11, 2009 at 2:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Where DO These Thoughts Come From?

Just thinking…….

I was watching the Prez’s speech tonight, and got to thinking about the economy. Big leap there: that’s what the press conference was ostensibly about. But I obviously had too much time on my hands, as my brain took off down its own meandering path.

1. What if we cut all the senators’ and reps’ salaries and perks, and had them all live in a communal dorm? They could eat senate bean soup at a communal table, and retire at night to their room, complete with a single bed and desk and chair.

2. No more fully funded health insurance for these guys and gals; a percentage can be paid for them from Big Brother Gov., but otherwise, they pick up the tab and deal with deductibles and statements as to why the insurance denied them coverage.

3. For retirement, they get a 403b and a match from Big Brother Gov. up to 3% of what they put in. It’s up to them to manage their own accounts.

4. No more Big Brother Gov. sponsored transportation. Get a car or take public transportation. Be sure to have correct change, keep up the licenses and inspections, and get up extra early to maneuver traffic.

5. How long would it take Congress to learn how the rest of us live? How would they rewrite bills then? Would they still tell us to suck it up and sacrifice for the good of the country? Ha…. Can you tell I have little respect tonight?

6. I’m fighting my health insurance company. Last summer a crown fell off a front tooth, and I swallowed it. Not on purpose, mind you, but it lodged in my bacon/lettuce/tomato sandwich, and was down the hatch before I realize it was off. A dentist put in a temporary crown and I paid him completely out of my own pocket. Then I went for the permanent crown. I paid half out of pocket, but the insurance company refuses to pay the other half. They said it wasn’t necessary work, and that the dentist should have just left it alone, or extracted the tooth, and then leave a gap. Come on! Pay up! And if you ask me, I’ll gladly tell you the name of the insurance company: it’s Unicare Life and Health Insurance Company out of Chicago. Chicago, hmmmm….. maybe that says it all……..

7. Let a member of Congress lose a front tooth. Or let the Prez. Let’s see them give a big smile in front of the camera as they pile unwanted legislation all over the American people. Let them deal with an insurance company that says it shouldn’t be replaced. Ha…..

8. I’m really concerned by a news feed from Bloombergs (I think that was the name…..), about the plan to withhold medical care from senior citizens. The rationale was that they were at an age where they couldn’t meaningfully contribute to society anymore, and that it would cost too much to sustain them. The senior citizens should realize that they had a duty to die, so that the younger generation could flourish. That chills me. The current economic climate and insurance situation make that disturbingly close. Shades of Logan’s Run or Soylent Green! The future of sci fi is here! Will Farenheit 451 be close behind? Remember that slippery slope about respect for human life that started with abortion rights? And, get this……. Tom Daschle, (yes, he who could not remember to pay his taxes) is sponsoring this foolishness and trying to hide it in the stimulus bill. But did anyone mention this in the press conference tonight? No……..

So, as I mentioned, my mind wanders. Believe me, it has a mind of its own. I just try to keep up with it. Blah………. Blech…….

To God be the glory…….


Company for Lunch!

Just thinking…….

We’re having company over for lunch tomorrow after church. The Hubs and I like to entertain, but I don’t do as much as I should. We are blessed with a large circle of friends, and stay socially active with them, going to each other’s homes for meals and such. I’ve been a little lazy this winter, so decided it was time to clean house and invite some folks over. So we have a couple families coming.

I like to serve buffet style. It’s just easier on me, and our table is on the small side. If I put all the food on the table family style, then we don’t have much room. Our dining table is in the same area as the breakfast bar, which is large. So we set the spread out there on the bar.

I have the table set. I used a gold, rust, green cloth, and have rust red cloth napkins. Then I used all white corelle ware for the dishes, starting with a large shallow soup bowl, and a smaller white bowl for salad. I have a marble lazy susan in the middle with condiments and extra napkins.

On the bar is a centerpiece of 3 candles in pottery, matching the colors of the tablecloth. I’m making homemade chicken and dumpling soup, and will serve it in a tureen. I have artisan bread that I’ll serve hot on a cutting board, along with dipping oil. And I’m making a great salad with mixed greens, walnuts, dried cranberries, and dried seeds, in a poppy seed dressing. For dessert, we have fresh fruit and cheddar cheese on a board. What do you think?

I grew up in a family that entertained a lot. I mean, A LOT! My parents are in their 80s and still entertain far more than we do. They often host meals for 20 or more. It boggles my mind. Mom will serve a meat, 2 kinds of potatoes, gravy, noodles, 3 or 4 vegetable side dishes, 2 or 3 salads, homemade bread and butter and jams/jellies. And she’ll whip up a big baked dessert with ice cream for dessert. She’ll have relish trays and bowls of pickles……. unbelievable how much she gets ready.

Me? Soup, salad and bread.

It’s a different generation. My son’s generation invites company over and orders pizza. It will be interesting to see what my grandkids do when they grow up. My grandparents always had the big spread for company, along with a formal table setting. My table setting is nice, but not very formal. My son sets out paper plates, and your pick of canned soda.

Ah yes, the history of food culture.

To God be the glory……

Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I Can Only Take Being Lazy So Long

Just thinking……

I’m in a forced laziness.

Not that I’m against being lazy. I’ve been know to have a lazy bone or two in the past. And I’m well aware of the benefits of rest.

But I’m under orders to take it easy, rest, recline, don’t lift, don’t do housework, don’t climb stairs…… Wonderful. I can sit around with my bon bons and grow fat and sassy. And I am finding this forced exile difficult.

Doctor’s orders after the cardiac cath were to lay around. I chaffed at that, but decided that if it kept me from bleeding to death, then I would do it. But even while laying around, my mind is busily ticking, and I start to get antsy.

I see that dust bunny by the bathroom, and that dead bug under the table. I know the kitchen needs cleaned. But orders are orders, and I can’t even vacuum. So I stare at it and make plans.

I’m normally a super busy person. I keep a 2500 sq. foot house clean. I garden. I exercise at Curves everyday. I do volunteer work. I work at church. I hold a part time job, teaching 3 classes a semester. I read, I scrapbook, I cook. I find time for friends and family. I really don’t have time to just sit around and stare at the dust.

Not being able to cook is a downer. Fortunately, before the emergency, I had a big pot of soup made and in the fridge. But then it turned out that it was too heavy for me lift! I’m not in danger of starving, but cheerios and coffee don’t quite do it for every meal. The Hubs fixes TV dinners when he’s here……. blah…… I’m grateful that we had them, but my cooking is definitely better!

So I’m itching to get back in to action again. I’m wanting to be up and busy and checking things off my to-do list. Hmmmm…….. wonder if this is what got me into trouble in the first place?

Dear Lord, what are You teaching me? I don’t want to have to repeat this class, so I’d best learn it right the first time.

To God be the glory……

Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Best Laid Plans of ………….

Just thinking…….

I had big plans for yesterday. First I had to be at the hospital for a stress test at 7. Then I planned to go to Curves and work out. After that, I was meeting the Hubs at Denny’s for their free Grand Slam breakfast. Then I had to go to the bank. It was voting day here, so I would vote on the way home. Then I was meeting friends for supper.

I was hungry when I left for the hospital. They had told me that I could have no caffeine after 7 am on Monday, and nothing at all on Tuesday. I like my coffee and some protein in the mornings, so I was a growly stomach little bear. At the hospital they hooked up all the wires and prepped me for the treadmill.

I got on it and thought, “Piece of cake!” I was just sailing along with it, and thinking that some upbeat music would sure help make it more enjoyable and keep the beat. The test was supposed to be 9 minutes long, but 3 minutes into it, the doctor stopped the treadmill and told me to get off.

I thought, “Wow! I must really be doing this right! They don’t even need to finish the test!” Ummmmm……. no. The doctor gave me four aspirin and told me to lay down. He said my blood pressure was spiking all over the place and that the EKG was going crazy. I thought, “That’s strange; I usually have such low blood pressure.” But I chewed the aspirin and lay down. Then he said, “Are you here alone? How did you get here?” I told him that I was here alone and that I drove myself there. He said he needed to get an ambulance then to transport me to a city hospital. Whoa Nelly!

What is going on? I thought I was passing the stress test, but it turns out that I flunked it big time. They wanted to get a hold of the Hubs, and he was at the hospital in 10 minutes. Luckily he only had one early morning class to teach. So off we went to the city hospital for an emergency cardiac catheterization.

The procedure itself was not bad, although they told me I was out of it most of the time. I was rather disappointed as I was looking forward to seeing the little wires thread up thru my arteries and heart. Rats…….

But after the procedure I started to hate the whole thing. I had to lay perfectly still for several hours. The nurse told me that if I moved my head, my trunk, my legs, my arms, that he would duct tape me to the bed. And they scared me by telling me that movement could cause the wound to bleed, not just bleed, but gush, and that I could bleed to death in 15 minutes. That scared me enough to be immobile.

They trickled at least 2 quart bags of fluids into me, and I couldn’t use the bathroom. That was the worst part of all; I was absolutely miserable. Then I started to itch. My nose itched, on the inside. My eyelid itched. The Hubs was trying to scratch it for me in the places that I indicated, but in reality, he made it itch more. My arms were useless, as one was tied down with a blood pressure cuff and the other was tied down with the IV. Nothing worse than having to go to the bathroom for 6 hours and itching, and not being able to do anything about it.

The Hubs even had to feed me. Yes, over 24 hours after my last bite, I got a chicken sandwich and chips. My stomach was growling so loud that passersby heard it. But I couldn’t lift my arms to feed myself. So picture me flat on my back with my nose and eyelid twitching and the Hubs trying to feed me, and crumbs falling out my mouth, and my bladder is about to explode………….

Finally they let me up and then later sent me home. The diagnosis? Clear. Yep. Not a bit of blockage or buildup. It’s good to know that I have clean-livng arteries, but it sure would have been good to find out in a different way.

So much for Denny’s………. And it was gonna be free. I don’t even want to know how much that chicken sandwich is going to cost me…………

To God be the glory……

Published in: on February 5, 2009 at 6:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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De-Cluttering the Soul

Just thinking…..

I read internet threads and magazine articles about de-cluttering, and find them very inspiring. It’s helped me to take a good look at what is around me and to realize that I have simply become used to it, and don’t really see it anymore. I love reading about how people find more peace in their homes after de-cluttering and simplifying their homes. This has helped me realize the materialism in my life, and helped me set some priorities.

Then I started to think of de-cluttering in a different way: de-cluttering the soul. Like my house, my life and heart and soul get buried under things that detract from the beauty within. I become used to those distractions and that clutter and don’t even see it anymore. I don’t even realize that it is choking out the simple life that I crave, and the peace that I desire.


Out with unforgiveness. I don’t want to carry around old scores anymore. Life is too short to clutter up with memories of how so and so said this and that, and wouldn’t apologize, blah, blah, blah…….

Fling the selfishness, of thinking that the world needs to rotate around me and my schedule, me and my wants.

Bury the junk, those snide thoughts and little dirty dusty words that junk up what should be clean.

Give away my love and passion to those in need of it. I have lots more to use!

Move the “stuff” away from the mirror. I don’t want to magnify the materialism, but rather be able to look into the mirror with a clean conscience. I want to see myself as I really am.

Trash the worry. I don’t need that litter all over my life. I’ll keep the concern, but trash the worry.

Box up the anger and discontent. Seal it tightly and toss it in the garbage. That’s all it is: garbage.

Sort through the noise. Find and save the peace of silence and quietness. Throw away the clanging TV, radio, ipod, stereo….. or use them judiciously with carefully selected pieces. Savor the sounds of nature: the wind, the birds, the rain. Delve into my thoughts and don’t be afraid to listen to my own thoughts. Too much noise clogs my energy channels.

Frustration? Out! I need to realize what I am capable of doing and do it to the best of my ability. And what I am not capable of, I’ll leave to others. I don’t need to try to be everything and then be frustrated because I can’t do it.

Bitterness? Out! Throw that poison deep deep deep into the trash bin. It squeezes my soul dry and is toxic to the mind. And I need to be sure to find the root of the bitterness and toss it as well.

I need to drop off all my comparisons at the comparison recycle center. Too many times I compare myself with so and so and how she is skinnier than me, or richer than me, or smarter than me, or….

I need to recycle these thoughts into an image of me as God intends me to be.

I found a pile of stubbornness stacked in the corner. I had sort of forgotten about it, and how I had refused to carry it out and dump it. Just do it; just dump it. And I know that once I start carrying out the stubbornness, I’ll find a pile of excuses tucked under them. To the dump with excuses!

And in another corner was my procrastination. It had been waiting there a long long while, just using up space. Dump it; do it NOW!

Ahhhhh….. It’s better already. With all the clutter gone, I can focus on who God created me to be. I can seek His will without the distractions that took over my mind.

Be not conformed to the junk, but be transformed by the renewing and de-cluttering of the mind and soul. Create in me a clean heart, O Lord.

Do you need to de-clutter the soul? What else shall we get rid of?

To God be the glory…..

Published in: on February 3, 2009 at 2:15 am  Leave a Comment