Archive for February, 2015

The world isn’t flat, and neither is the carpet

My mom came home from the hospital today.  She’s been there for over two weeks, following a collapse that caused a broken ankle.  She had three surgeries in four days (one cardiac “procedure,” one minor surgery, and one major orthopedic surgery), and when you are eighty and not too terribly spry to begin with, that can really zap your strength.  She’s also had something like 10 days of rehab therapy, which I understand has been both helpful and exhausting.

She’s got a 15-pound cast on her ankle/foot and she can’t bear any weight on that foot for at least six weeks.  Their home is one level, but all entrances require several steps, so Dad built a ramp in the garage to get her into the house in her wheelchair.  That was fine, but once inside, the challenges began.

While she had been able to negotiate a bit with the walker and wheelchair in the rehab unit (which had hard floors and wide doors), at home she can’t really move either one alone on the carpet.  And the bathroom doors which have been just dandy for 40 years will accommodate the walker only with difficulty and the wheelchair not at all.

So it sounds like they are somewhat discouraged but also determined to figure out how to make things work.  I may be going down to help them for a while (they live several hours away), and I know that God has grace for what appears to be a difficult situation.  It hurts to know that they are having a tough time, but I am still very thankful that Mom’s five months of collapses were finally diagnosed and treated (she needed a pacemaker, which is now in and working well), and that she has had good medical care these past couple weeks.

If anyone happens to have any creative ideas on adjustments that might make it easier for Mom to get around (hopefully without ripping up carpet or removing walls) please let me know.


The joy of labels

Some of us relish unusual experiences.  Today Jessica and I worked at the church for a while, coming pretty close to completing a major task we started on yesterday.  Jessica’s helping our pastor as interim children’s minister for a few months while she’s home, and she’s been working like a mad woman to get some systems figured out, set up, tested, and functional before she leaves in a few weeks.  To that end, she’s done a ton of organizing, and yesterday and today, we worked in what has become the “children’s ministry supplies room” sorting reams of construction paper, zillions of pipe cleaners, an unbelievably large collection of children’s safety scissors, and what appeared to be a gross of glue sticks (plus LOTS of other stuff).

Today we finished up the more fun part:  labeling everything and putting signs on cabinets to direct the various workers where to find what they need to do what they in ministering to the kids, because as we all know, “It’s for the kids.”

It was supremely satisfying to get the boxes and bins positioned for maximal effectiveness and then label everything clearly.

Due to remodeling through the years, the light switch in this particular room is currently positioned behind a crib that is almost maximally distant from the door, and reaching it requires one to navigate a maze of toys and supplies that used to be used when the church ran a preschool (which it no longer does) and which are stored in this same room.  So in addition to tamer labels like “Puppet Props” and “Game Prizes” and “Cotton Balls and Q-Tips,” I also got to make fun signs with arrows, saying things like “Light Switch is in Back Left Corner Behind Crib” and “Light Switch That-A-Way.”

Jessica and I just has a grand time, as we are both embarrassingly beavish when it comes to decluttering, organizing, and labeling.  However, Pastor Barb was at the church after we left, and she said we did a great job.

Maybe the only thing better than making labels is having someone else appreciate them.

7 Wonders

It’s a game.  It’s a game I understand in theory, but can’t quite get my head around.  At least not well enough to win.

Thankfully, I am not an intensely competitive person, at least when it comes to games.  I enjoy a lot of them, and generally, whether I win or lose doesn’t have much bearing on my enjoyment.  However, this evening, I felt so very mentally slow!  I couldn’t seem to remember which little symbols meant I had to have that resource to buy what was on the card and which ones meant I was gaining that resource by playing that card.  And no matter what I did, I always had a lot fewer resources and much less money than everyone else.  And I couldn’t seem to complete any stages of my wonders.  And even when I worked hard to beat Josiah in the military fight, he won.  And to top it all off, why on earth the “ore” looks exactly like a beehive simply escapes me!

So I lost twice, but we laughed a lot.  I am pretty good at laughing with others, even at myself.  The bonus tonight was that even though I kept losing the game, and even though the water heater’s turned off, and even though the extra car is out of oil, IT IS STILL SNOWING, and we got to play 7 Wonders in front of the fire.  Ahhhh!

Do rejoice with me

It is SNOWING in Walnut Shade!  It’s coming down pretty heavily and it’s so very beautiful.  I am thankful to God, and Jessica is very happy to be here and get to see it actually coming down and sticking.  This doesn’t happen very often in Hong Kong, so we all count this as a blessing.  There has been snow on the ground for thirteen consecutive days, although as of this morning, it was only visible in a few shady spots.  Now it will be ALL OVER THE GROUND, and I will smile.

Middle of the road

Because my life has been quite full lately, I haven’t been blogging, and I really regret that, so before I totally forget one of the great things that happened a week ago. . .

IT SNOWED!!!  It snowed big time; nearly six inches of pure, cold, white glory!  I was SO happy!  We moved our life group to 4:00 PM last Sunday (instead of the usual 6:00 PM) because snow was expected, and it did not disappoint.

Monday morning I donned boots and related winter garb and went out to walk.  Amazingly, our road, a US highway that is always plowed post haste, was still virtually untouched.  Cars had gone by, but no snow plows.  (We call those snay plows in our family, but that’s another story involving Mr. Frumble.)

There were big drifts on the shoulder I frequent, so I actually ended up walking down the middle of the road!  How fun!  There was almost no traffic, so it didn’t matter.  I just moved into the thick stuff on the side when a car came by.  I took some pictures that morning which I need to upload and insert into this post.  Hopefully I will remember to do that soon, but feel free to remind me.

Now it’s Saturday night and there’s still plenty of snow on the ground in spite of our balmy high of 44 degrees today.  Not to worry, it’s expected to range between 25 and 30 all day tomorrow, so I don’t think there will be too much melting.  God sure must love me a lot!

Jeopardy question: What is 13.4?

Answer:  The gas mileage that your average, 11 year-old Dodge Durango (odometer reading 141,000) will achieve when pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with a 2006 Honda Accord up through the Ozark hills from Walnut Shade to Willard.

Bonus points if you also happened to guess that the driver of this entourage used hand signals(!!!) for all left turns because the left turn signal on the trailer would not work.

To the tune of “Three Coins in the Fountain”

“Three dogs in the stroller,
Each one furry, gazing out,
Pushed by one older woman
Who won’t let them walk about.”

This afternoon found me back in the Taney County Tire and Towing waiting area for a few minutes, being treated to more TV-for-people-with-no-brains, this time “Dr. Phil.”  While I sat there, somewhat disgusted by both the on-screen activities and our “new” car situation, in walked a 60ish woman, pushing a stroller.  I saw her come in to the main area and made a mental note that 60ish women aren’t usually seen pushing strollers; maybe this one was babysitting or raising a grandbaby.

Imagine my surprise when she wheeled her blue, three-wheeled stroller into the waiting area and I saw that it contained not one, not two, but three. . . DOGS!  Yes, she brought her dogs to the car repair.

They were very cute – maybe Yorkies? – long-haired terrier types and extremely well-behaved.  They just sat in their “PetGear” stroller, not moving, not barking, not whining, just looking around and smiling; one of them gazing longingly up at the small window.

Every now and again, something happens that makes me think, “Now I’ve seen it all!”  and three dogs in a stroller was definitely it for today.