Thursday, December 30, 2010

"And the child grew..."

Luke 1:80 "And the child grew and became strong in spirit;" then in Luke 2:40 "And the child grew and became strong ; He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him." Both babies born about 5-6 months apart...cousins by earthly standards. There is a famous painting that shows Jesus and John the Baptist as young children, playing as their mothers look on...I think Da Vinci painted it..They area certain to have been together as children since they were kin and lived close to each other. Don't you love to suppose the family time of Jesus before He started His ministry.

We certainly do love to be with our family and seeing the babies., but not enough!
John and I went to Opryland Hotel to see the Christmas lights and it certainly was beautifully lit up and decorated. There is a large white nativity scene with at least 40-50 characters, wise men, shepherds, cattle and lambs, and Mary and Joseph and Jesus all across part of the lawn. It is lit and really beautiful. It is similar to what was at the Parthenon 50 years ago.

The worst thing in "chemo-land" is still swelling of hands and feet, more "tearing" and nose blowing---my eyes and nose just run clear liquid. That is seems one things will get better then another starts up. This is the longest I have gone without seeing the nurse or doctor and I honestly feel that the worse things wrong with me is the chemo! Happy almost 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

" angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph..."

" angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up' he said, 'take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.'" Matthew 2:13 I think I saw six times an angel spoke to Joseph and told him what to do and where to go. I wonder sometimes is I am doing what God wants me to do. I feel so blessed to be alive and able to do all we do. I pray I am following His will .

I wonder if angels ever speak to us and tell us what to do? I do believe the Holy Spirit directs us by giving us impulses to do or say things and guide us that way.
Daily report...same cracked fingers, food is better! Digestive problems, probably because I am eating more...same "breaking out" or red,raw places on my arms and legs.

I cannot believe it is nearly 2011, so Happy almost New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"...we saw His star in the east..."

Matthew 2:2 tells of the wise men (Magi) who "from the east came to Jerusalem and asked 'Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.'" the end of the Bible, Revelations 22:16, Jesus says "I am the bright Morning Star." What would Christmas be without stars? They seem such an essential part, maybe because Jesus is our Morning Star!

All our Christmas trees have a star on top. I have a very nearly torn up one that was Grandma's but it had to go on the top every year! We also have the three wise men featured in our nativity sets and show them by the side of baby Jesus even though it probably was a number of months before they actually got there and Mary and Joseph had long since moved into a house. I have two special sets of wise men that are treasured possessions. I have angels and sheep all over the house, a sheep tree and I used to have an angel tree but space does not allow that many trees now. I actually have six small trees instead of seven large ones I used to have.

Decorating is fun and we have enjoyed seeing how everything would look in our new apartment. I am sure I will re do things next year.I made my 27Th annual Santa pillow this year. I started this in 1984 and make one each year as the X stitch pattern comes out in august. It is always a Santa doing his annual "whatever" and then after they are embroidered I make a pillow. I also X stitch other Christmas patterns and make pillows for gifts, and get a lot done as I sit in chemo.

So we have finished this Christmas and all the gifts and decor and food and cards and it was fun and I am glad I felt like doing it all. (Last year I was too sick to do anything) So we always look forward to the next and today was good and I feel pretty good, ther sore hands and just some nausea--cannot be totally OK! Happy end of Christmas and Happy almost New Year! God bless and keep us healthier and well for this new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news..."

Somewhere in the singing of the Messiah, they sing this passage from Isaiah 52:7..."How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'" I have listened to the CD I bought of the "Messiah" several times all the way through. When I come across the words in the Bible, I can hear the singing in my head!

Yesterday, Christmas we we had about 25 here in our daughter and son in law and John and I (in our shared home) We had a great time seeing the cousins together, regretting our oldest son was not here. And of course, Johny was one of those first cousins. Some of the next generation were here but few of ours, since they live away. Today was a quiet day with snow! We seldom have snow on Christmas Day and there is something so magical about that, and the colored lights seem brighter. John and I have watched all our favorite old movies on TV.

I am enjoying food a little better but my cracked fingers make it very difficult to type. Also, I am having more swelling of hands and feet ( not unusual, whether I mention it or not). Of course, I wonder if I will be here next Christmas. I will pack away the decorations and trees and dishes just as if I will be! I have started working on next Christmas' cross stitch pillows already. I don't want to be unprepared!

John and I both had that viral cold "thing" that has gone through the entire nation I think! We are better and really well, but still cough and have a laryngitis. Some of our grands and greats have it and cannot come here tomorrow and I am so sad about that! Well it was a great Christmas time and we will probably listen to Christmas music for another week or two. Blessings to each!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Mary treasured up all these things..."

Last night I was so discouraged about my throat I woke up with less pain---what an answer to prayer!!!Thank you, God!!!I was ready to throw in the towel but now I know to keep going. I could even eat better today. The hands are still bad, but that will get better in time for the next chemo!:-(..

Luke tells more of Mary's reaction to the baby Jesus, and don't you know her heart was so filled as "she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19. When a baby is born we mothers look at each finger and toe, to see if he or she is perfect, and we always remember those first moment with each child. Can you imagine the primitive conditions of Jesus' birth!

We did our annual cemetery visit today and put greenery and ribbons on the three graves we go to every year at this time. Some years John goes alone and I just cannot do it. Don't know what is the emotional reason that some years are more difficult. But today was OK and I made it fine. We go to my parents, John's parents which include Johny's (and the space is there for us.) The third is Grandma and Grandpa and their baby (all together). Some people might take offence at our only going once a year but ---they are not there, and I just cannot go and hang over a grave! Christmas was so special to all our family and it seems fitting to chose this time to go and decorate these graves. That is our thing we do.

This recipe was John's aunt's in Alabama and is a family favorite. I know, we have many "family favorites", but we like to eat.
Baked Fruit Casserole
1 large can each,(29 oz can) of pears, peaches and pineapple chunks. Drain these well. and arrange them in a casserole. Sprinkle over them, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp. flour . Cut up and put around 1/2 stick butter.Bake 300 for 1 and 1/2 hours, then add drained red maraschino cherries and 2 Tbsp rum or sherry extract and bake another 30 minutes. This is especially good with ham or pork of any kind. You can substitute apricots for the may not find the large can of these two so do whatever... Enjoy! Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

" will find a baby wrapped in cloths..."

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you ; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Some thoughts about Christmas: Mothers forever have wrapped their babies in cloth of some kind and I guess they always will. More people this year say "Merry Christmas" than in a long time, in almost all the shops! Today, we saw some friends we have not seen in several years, and friendship never changes, you just take up where you left off. One of our sisters died nine years ago and my brother in law remarried after a few years. His wife is so lovely and seems like we are really family with her; we are so blessed! We are still in prayer and sad over several friends who either have new illnesses that are serious, or they have returning cancer. One young friend who was in a wreck is now in a nursing home facility, and we wonder about his future. Several friends are in their first Christmas without a loved one who passed away this year. Those of us who have lost many family members know nothing will ever be like it was "when Mama and Daddy were alive" but we also realize the blessings of new family members who bring joy. Our Johny was just ecstatic around this time of year and looked for snow constantly. Occasionally he would see a few flakes and be so happy. Sometimes we even had a real snow on December 25 and,oh my, that was pure joy! Our daughter still hangs his stocking by her tree every year.

So we are ready for extended family to be here on Christmas Eve, maybe about 25...that will be fun. I am still fighting the same finger,toe pain and the throat burned feeling. Not much fun! Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"...My soul glorifies the Lord..."

Luke 1:46-47..."And Mary said, 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...'"...Do you ever wonder how a 14 year old could sing such an eloquent praise to God? Mary was just a young teen-age girl, chosen by God, to be the mother of our Lord and Savior.

Today was a cold, wet, wintry day. John is a little better and I am still hoarse. My daughter and my "great"her granddaughter) and I went for lunch today and had a manicure! It was the first for our "great" and she really enjoyed choosing the polish (a dark red glitter) and looking though a fashion magazine as our nails dried. She is for sure a clothes person, and really has never played with dolls. We went to the library and got some books...This was a good-out-of-school day.

My fingers are cracked so bad...the manicurist really had her work cut out for her and she was careful and did a good job on just the nails and did not hurt my fingers. But I feel discouraged as far as "can I continue on this chemo"? It will have to really, really be doing a great job for me to keep this up. I cannot eat, my throat is so raw from the chemo. I can get through another week and make it to the Ct in 10 days! Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shepherds in the field, keeping watch over their flocks..."

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flock by night. ..suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests..'." Luke 2:8-13-14...

All our lives we have heard this Christmas story...and gone to see nativity scenes and if there were live animals, we would thrill..when our children were small we would go to this particular house every year, and they would build a manger like a shed. Alongside was a little fence and always a couple of animals, a lamb and a calf usually, sometimes a donkey. The scene in the shed was artificial and I cannot remember if it was manikins or what but our children were always excited to see these live animals and the scene, and the angels on top. Always the lights are beautiful and the unusual thrills the children.

John has been sick all weekend and worse today, and we finally got some antibiotic from our doctor. This viral cold has gone around the family, I had it last week and now John ;several more family members have had it at least once. I hope we can all get well before Christmas Eve when all the "first cousins" (children of my two sisters and me) will be here, along with various kin.

My taste is worse than ever and nothing tastes good. My hands and feet are cracked open and nothing seems to help. Sure hope the CT shows something good!!! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

" walk humbly with your God..."

Luke 1:26-38 tells of Mary being seen by Gabriel and Jesus' birth foretold...Mary says "I am the Lord's servant." Micah 6:6-8 is a beautiful depiction of our offering to our Lord.Verse 7 asking "shall I offer my firstborn?" reflecting upon Mary,..and verse 8 says "and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

Today at church, the four and five year olds portrayed the Christmas story...oh my, were they darling and so self assured, "Mary" making sure a king's crown did not fall off, and she was holding a real baby in the manger (an adult there also) and "Mary" brought a pink toy for Jesus to hold! They were incredible perfection in their innocence . After this the Bible reading was of Jesus says "let the little children come to me..."

Tonight our immediate family (here) was together for our dinner and gifts. Family and friends are what we treasure. My fingers and heels are cracked open again, same as last cycle...a week after the infusion, this happens. They sure do hurt. Food is also not very good. That is just part of the chemo. People ask how long I will be doing this and I say "forever" because I honestly don't know unless this chemo is the miracle we have looked for, if I can ever quit it. Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

."...We have seen His star in the east..."

When we were with old friends we were talking about the diseases we used to have (as children) and don't think children have many or these any more. I had scarlet fever and missed three months of school in the fifth grade. When I recovered, they threw away all my paper dolls and anything I had played with during that three months in bed. Skin peeled off my hands and feet. A friend said she knew those whose hair fell out. I did not lose my hair but, I surely was sick! I think I may have told this before, about how Daddy was oversees and finally got a letter saying I was "better" and he did not know what I was better from!

A cousin wrote after seeing the blog and said she never had a "jam cake"...this must be a Tennessee or Kentucky item because I never knew anyone who did not have Jam Cake at Christmas. The old time ones had homemade blackberry jam which of course was full of seeds. Today I use the seedless jam and you don't have to pick the seeds out of your teeth! I did find some pear preserves to use instead of watermelon preserves but a friends said she had seen some (watermelon).

I made a buttermilk pound cake this week and made the caramel icing for it today. Normally the saying is that icing will not "make" if the weather is rainy but I made the icing today (has to come to a soft ball) and it did OK, even in a wet day.

I plan to make that jam cake tomorrow. I felt kind of weak today (chemo-weak) and did not do a great amount of house work or baking. With chemo you just feel like no energy, and no ambition to do anything!

"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked 'Where is the one who has been born, king of the Jews? We have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.'" Matthew 2:1-2

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"...the virgin will be with child..."

"..and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel..." Isaiah 7:14..."She will give birth to a son and will give Him the name, Jesus because He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21... What wonderful promises given about 600 (?) years apart and gloriously perfect as God alone can be.

How exciting is this season when the entire world centers on Jesus' birth. Whether they believe or not, for whatever purpose, Jesus' name is called by many each day.

I went back to the doctor today for a white cell shot and do not have to go back until January 3 for CT and the 4Th for chemo, the 6Th cycle. This is going on the longest chemo I have ever done, and I pray I can keep it up, especially if the CT shows more improvement. I feel so excited that this one is working! I feel so protected by God and His safety inside me. I love knowing He is keeping me alive for His purpose and pray I am in that purpose every day.

Did I say our grand daughter is expecting again, number 4? I hate it when old people repeat themselves! Forgive me for being excited! This will give us eight "greats" and they are such fun! They look at us as being very old and they do not know that deep inside we are still "young at heart". We still plan our next trip and love thinking of fun things to do. Our minds are still young, just our bodies are old!

God is good to us and gives us joy in being together each day. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"..those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength..."

This has been the most snow in December in years, also the coldest December in years...following the worst flood in hundreds of years back in May, and drought conditions all summer, wonder what is to come during this winter???As we came home today after our 8 hour day at Sarah Cannon, John pointed out the building where his dad worked during the Depressions, helping sell coal. So many people heated their homes and businesses with coal that Nashville had a permanent "Haze" over the city all winter. We sit in a basin, surrounded by a ridge in all directions. People during that depression would come to get coal in a "toe-sack" or a bag made of burlap, getting a bag at a time probably about 5 cents a bag , and it could not have been very much supply. I can remember trains also ran on coal and people would walk the track picking up coal.

My "cold" or whatever it is, seems a little better, but I cannot talk much. John cannot hear so that makes for poor communicating! I have no fever today so I got my chemo infusion and started back on the chemo pill. I had just about recovered from the rash on my arms and legs, and my hands are well, so here we go again! I have a CT scheduled for January 3 and don't have to go back until then except for the white cell shot tomorrow which always follows the infusion, to keep me better able to fight off infections.

Isaiah 40:29-31 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint."

Please pray for Gene as he has a PET with a biopsy tomorrow. He certainly "hopes in the Lord" Please pray for our friend Jim who starts at Sarah Cannon this week and finds out possible treatments for a recurring melanoma.

We will all "renew our strength".....Merry Christmas

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Prince of Peace"

I have to repeat this passage, one of the most beautiful..."For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders....And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

We have had some three days---I started getting sick, gradually worse, we had snow, and Cable went out, and I have pretty much slept for these three days. I am on a ZPak and go maybe for chemo tomorrow...I cannot believe I got sick and might mess up getting this! I think it depends on white cell count and temp.. I have been so careful and have not been sick for 7-8 months. Last December this happened and I was in the hospital for four days with three infections, but maybe this won't happen this time.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"He was oppressed and aflicted..."

"...yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth."Isaiah 53:7

I woke up with a bad cold this morning so I spent the day asleep on the couch. This is the first I have been sick in about 8 months, which is really pretty good. My white count is up about normal, so I guess if my fever goes higher, I will have to call in. So far, it is 100.2, not at that "magic call-in number of 101). Yesterday, the doctor told me to get some cortisone cream for the rash on my arms and legs. So far, it has not helped much, but I am no worse.So I am all fixed up tonight with cortisone on arms and legs, Mentholatum in my nose, and soon, the gloves and aquaphor on hands, socks and aquaphor on feet. If that a vision of loveliness or what??? and John tells me I am pretty. What a man!!!

Getting close to Christmas, and one more thing about the Jam Cake, you can use pear preserves or chopped citron (in place of the watermelon preserves).
I hope to get mine made this week, but it won't have very long to "soak"...

We are having a "gathering of the clan" for the first time is several years. There were 7 first cousins plus one by marriage. Then we lost Johny so there are 7 cousins and all but one will be here...that will be so fun to see the children of my two sisters and me all together almost---plus a few more of the next generation, about 25 in all. So I have to get well....Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray..."

"...each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him, the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamp to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth." Isaiah 53:6-7

I found a great CD of the "Messiah" and listening to it, I feel like I am sitting in a great hall, being sung to by a chorus, and the Bible comes to life even more.

Well, I am anxious to see what tomorrow will show. I am in such a mess, physically, with this rash on my arms and legs, and the swollen feet and hands. I just don't know if the chemo could extend all this for these three weeks. If not that, then what???

Our friend, Gene, (in Florida) cancer return. We are praying for the doctors to find some way to heal him again. Also, another friend, a coach/teacher with whom I have worked, a great christian man, has a melanoma metastasized over his body and he is starting at Sarah Cannon and looking for cures. So, sadness in the midst of such a happy time of the year.

More of our "greats" will be here during part of Christmas and that is very exciting! We love our "babies" and love to keep up with them as they grow. These three are 4 1/2, 2 1/2 and 1....what a crew! I pray to live long enough for them to remember me when they are older. I remember my great grandmother who died when I was 5-6.

Well, news tomorrow...Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"He was despised and rejected by man..."

Yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day...I realized I was writing this blog over a year ago and talked about December 7 last year... It is hard to believe I have been talking on here that long. Very little was said about it this year, less than ever before. I watched a show on the History channel and it was very real, especially since we were in Hawaii this year in April. We visited the harbor and saw the remains of the "Arizona" down in the water. So I watching the program on TV yesterday and having been to that location made it even more real to me. The reporter interviewed several men who were only 18-19 years old at that time and had been trapped under the water and were rescued. The TV interviewed some nurses who related the horror of trying to save the lives of the injured. John's cousin who died this past year had been an army nurse and she could not talk about her experiences.

So we are getting near Christmas, the time history thinks Jesus was born. If not this date, it was close by. When we were in the Holy Land we saw stone mangers which possibly were what Mary laid Jesus in instead of a wooden manger we always show. The stone mangers we saw were actually in pastures formerly belonging to King Solomon.

Isaiah 53:3-5 ...."He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering....Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows...but He was pierces for our transgressions,...He was crushed for our iniquities and by His wounds we are healed..."

My arms are still broken out in a rash, and now my toes are sore with cracked places like my fingers...I cannot imagine what I will have to do! They may take me off the chemo altogether! I will see in two days. I will not be depressed... Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Comfort my people, says your God..."

"Comfort, comfort my people says your God, Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, A voice of one crying in the desert, prepare the way of the Lord...Any the glory of the Lord will be revealed...for the mouth of the Lord has spoken..." Isaiah 40, part of verses 1,3 and 5.

I can just hear the singing of the "Messiah" and feel that is indeed Christmas!

One of my great grandmother's came to mind today. She was Grandpa's mother and she lived in Kentucky on a farm. (It was her mother that fed the Union soldiers that I have told about earlier). My grandma was visiting there on the farm and this great grandmother came out as they were leaving and handed her an iron cornbread muffin pan (the stick muffin kind), drying it on her apron as she came out, and said "I want you to have this". I still have that muffin pan and treasure it for the memories and the family behind it. This same great grandmother had long thick hair. She brushed it 100 times every night. She told that it had only been wet once in her life when she was baptized. Can you imagine never washing your hair? But Grandma said her hair was beautiful, clean and shiny! When she died, her children wrote the most eloquent obituary (in the paper) praising her qualities and beautiful christian life. I still have that framed article.

My fingers are still improving and I dread starting the pills again, but my hands are still swollen and my arms have that rash. I am a wreck! But I feel really good. I thought I had finished my shop sewing today except I am finishing a dress for a "great". I have made dresses for two more "greats". Then tonight I found out I may have four more pillows to make. I have two weeks so I can get that done. Everyone wants things for holiday parties in November and December. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

"...He will reign on David's throne..."

Isaiah 9:7 "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom...the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."

In making the jam cake, I forgot to say to drain the watermelon preserves before adding it to the cake. Here is the best buttermilk caramel icing recipe:
2 cups white sugar, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp soda and 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

Cook this icing stirring occasionally, on low until you reach a soft ball (drop a little in ice water until you can roll it into a ball in your fingers). Be sure and keep it just bubbling because it will boil over if you leave it. When you have a soft ball, add 1 tsp vanilla, let it cool and beat it. when it is just about ready to hold on the cake, start spooning it on. If it is not thick put in fridge until it thickens. I also use this icing on a Buttermilk Pound Cake which is a family favorite. Both these recipes came from a friend's grandmother.

My hands are even better today but now my arms are broken out with something like an eczema, so what do I do now???I will try the hand cream tonight on my arms. I go to the doctor in three days, so lots will be decided.

I went out today and walked in the Mall and did some shopping. I rarely do this, I guess just lack of energy for that. I had rather use my time and energy for things around the house or with friends. Well anyway, it was fun and Christmas feeling.

We had fun with friends tonight. All of us used to teach together and have been close for 34 years ,and see each other regularly. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"For to us a child is born..."

"to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,...." Isaiah 9:6

As I was getting in bed last night, I just started crying...there I was with really sore hands, salve and gloves on them, bald (of course), with this colostomy, and I really did lose my optimism for a few minutes. I rarely do that but it all hit me last night. Today has been better. I just rethink and realize that God is holding me in His hands and I will do as He wills. I do pray this chemo is working.

Since this is the baking season, this is the recipe for Mama B's Jam cake that we made every year, all my life. It had to be done about a month ahead and stored in a lard stand. Does anyone remember or know what a "lard stand" is? You would buy one at a hardware store. I assume they were used to store lard which you would render off the hogs when you killed them. No one needs that anymore!!! Anyway, then the family tradition was to soak a towel in wine and lay this around the jam cake for this month to make sure it was moist. You must know this is in a teetotaler family all year except for this cake (or the boiled custard).
so here is the cake:
1/2 cup Crisco, 2 cups sugar, 4 cups flour, sifted with 2 tsp soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 cups blackberry jam, 1 cup raisins1/2 cup watermelon rind preserves, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 6 eggs, 1 round tsp cinnamon, 1 round tsp cloves, 1 round tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp nutmeg.............Cream Crisco and sugar, add egg yolks, jam,salt and spices. Mix well, add buttermilk ,stir in flour (leave about 1/2 cup to dredge the raisins, nuts and watermelon preserves)...Add all of these, then fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into three 9 inch greased pans. bake 325 degrees for about an hour or until done when tested with a "tester" or broom straw. Let it rest upside down until it will drop out of pan. When you put icing on it, do a caramel icing. That will come later.
Usually all the cakes would be in lard stands on the back porch, and going out in the crispy cold to bring in these wonderful cakes really brings back memories!
Merry Christmas, look for this glorious Child!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

[He will be called "Immanuel..."]

The book of Isaiah is among my favorites in the Old Testament and I think I will pick up verses the rest of December that follow the proclamation of Jesus' coming. We also love the "Messiah" when we can find a group producing this on stage. We found one but it is $50 each, so I think we will just buy a CD and listen everyday.

Isaiah 7:14 says "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and call Him Immanuel."

I know you are tired of hearing about my hands...they are in terrible shape and I really have a difficult time doing buttons, or zippers. I have 16 "cuts" on my hands, a few places on my face and some on my arms. The brochure for the chemo protocol says "acne like sores" but this is not acne, just little ? whatever sores. Makeup covers the ones on my face, and clothes cover my arms, but the hands are just "there". I have left off the pills since Thursday and I really see no difference yet. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

John and I did some shopping today...I love Christmas, even the shopping, and today was not bad, and I love everyone saying "Merry Christmas". I love God's plan for us in His gift to us, for our salvation. I love giving gifts to family to show our love to them. In my tinniest little back of my mind, I wonder if I will be here next Christmas? I just for the most part never feel bad. So I think, "will I just fade away?" "Will I get really sick?" God is so good and has blessed us so immensely and we have a wonderful life together. How many more years will He give us? Well, for now, each day, Merry Christmas, and "He is called Immanuel"!

Friday, December 3, 2010

"I watch in hope for the Lord..."

I have 16 open cracks in my fingers tonight....they are too sore to write...I can only use certain fingers...I really had hoped it would get better without the pills...I guess one day is too soon...

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my savior; my
God will hear me." Micah 7:7

Another friend has a cancer that is come back...I am sad!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose..."

my hands are so sore..actually it is mostly my finger tips that are cracked. The doctor was concerned today and took me off the pill chemo for 8 days. I am so excited, because I can almost eat wonderfully well for these 8 days. It won't be normal tomorrow but each day it will get better. FUN! I hope the raw throat will get better also. They think it will.

I went to art tonight and we had our Christmas party. I ate because it was there and looked good. Everyone said it was. Anyway, we had fun and enjoyed just being together.I found an old picture of Johny sitting by the Christmas tree (he would have been 11 months old) looking at the ornaments. I have got to paint that some time this year. It will make a great Christmas scene. Most of us are painting winter or holiday pictures.

At Sarah Cannon today I met two ladies with cancer I have not seen before and also met a new nurse. Whether patient or nurse or doctor, everyone is encouraged or encouraging--always with a smile--in a place of hope, help and healing. When I got to SC today, most of the nurses and lab people were in a meeting and one your man took me back and drew the blood from my arm. I said something about the day, and he replied, "the day is a blessing from the Lord. " What a blessing for me to have someone, a christian, share his faith like that. We talked a minute about how God has blessed us both to share His word.

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love O Lord, endures forever..." Psalm 138:8

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord..."

"...whose confidence is in Him. He is like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream." Jeremiah 17:7-8

My fingers are so sore, it almost hurts to type...I have 8 cracked open places on my fingers. I go to the doctor tomorrow and hope they can give me some help. I have been putting salve and gloves on at night but apparently I am doing the wrong thing. I also use "skin shield" which you paint on like clear nail polish and it kind of seals the open places.

This has been a sad week, because an acquaintance at church died suddenly and tonight, we went to the hospital as a friend's sister is dying. It makes it sad especially here at Christmas time. I love this verse in the Bible, and love to imagine being rooted like that by a stream. I always loved swimming, especially in running creeks. One time when I was about 10 we went to the mountains and I swam with some Indian children who were playing in a creek. They showed me how to swim on your side under water. It was kind of like being a fish.
We trust in the Lord to take care of us...and John prays for my healing every day.