Monday, February 28, 2011

"Always glory! Always praise!"

Romans 11:36 (The Message)" Everything comes from Him; Everything happens through Him; Everything ends up in Him. Always glory! Always Praise! Yes..Yes..Yes"

When we had the second house which was our "dream home", we also had a log cabin (which I think I have told about already. We had such fun building it, doing the chinking of the logs, making it as authentic as possible. I put my weavings in it, and some old quilts, including the one my great grandmother made. We found an old four poster bed that had originally been a rope bed and it was perfect in there. Our oldest grandson and his wife have that bed now.

I used to climb trees--alot--even now I might climb a little one. Back growing up I would climb trees so high that the limbs would sway and they were probably 50 feet high at least. When John and I were dating, he came early one night and found me up in a tree. He told me later he wondered just "who is this girl I might marry?" When we camped with the children and even the grandchildren there were always wonderful pine trees to climb and we had our favorites at each camp ground.

We used to camp--all over the United States, in fact we camped in all but 3 states. We had a Coleman travel trailer and it sure did travel well. There was a tent on top that opened up and a bed on each end that pulled out; all our supplies pushed in under all that. I sure do miss the camp fires and the sitting around that in the mornings, cooking breakfast over the fire, sitting there at night, and just relaxing. Sure enough, there is a "time for everything" we sure were blessed to be able to do all the things we have done.....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"...a season for every activity under heaven..."

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven; ---a time to search and a time to give up..." Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6

I went out and walked a little today and checked on our potatoes and onions we planted this week...I have a row of about 20 onions and John has a space of about 3 feet x 5 feet with potatoes in it. Like I said earlier, it beats nothing! And we do love gardening! The family who bought our house last year has bulldozed down ALL my flowerbeds!!!I just wish they had asked if we would like to take some of the plants! I think how hard I worked on those beds. I dug about 10 inches down and got all the Bermuda grass out and got several truck loads of really good soil and had all seasons of flowers...iris, tulips. peonies, roses, day lilies, lots more I cannot think of the names...but all my beds had something in bloom all year around except winter of course.

So I cannot be sad over things I have no control over. Then I thought of all the things I used to do! Besides the flower gardens we have had everywhere we ever lived, we have had vegetable gardens. When we lived in our first house from 1960-80, we raised and froze or canned enough vegetables for the year and it really helped on groceries. Our next house, the children were grown, but we still had a nice garden and lots of fruit trees--cherry, apple, peach, grape vines, blackberry bushes--and I made enough jam and jelly for a year at a time and we served this in our B&B we had during that time.

When we lived in that second house, I had a Tennessee flower garden with all native Tennessee flowers and small bushes. Researching this was lots of fun.

I thought of lots more things I no longer do, either I cannot or don't want to! More of those later. Everything physically is the same. Tuesday will see what is next.

Verse 13 of this same passage says..."[man may } find satisfaction in his toil--this is the gift of God"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"...He does our praying in and for us..."

Romans 8:26 (THE MESSAGE) ..."God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sigh, our aching groans..."

One day recently several friends came for brunch and we talked and talked, among other things about chicken feed sacks. I think I have talked about this before, how Grandma saved the cloth feed sacks from her chicken feed and made garments from these sacks. My friends all told of how their mothers used the sacks for dish towels, for table cloths, dresses, and many things. I had used napkins Grandma made from feed sacks for the brunch and these brought back many memories from everyone. If you go to up-scale kitchen stores, they have the white "feed sack" type fabric dish towels and they cost more than other fabric cloths.

I see my oncologist in 2 days and am curious as to what he will plan for me. I cannot do chemo again any time soon. I just cannot put poison into my body that is still damaged so badly from the last "poison". This chemo turned out to be the harshest I have had except for the first one which was the "killer". I have not lost my nails but they are very sad looking!!! I have been on chemo for five years almost continually and I am very tired of it! So maybe a rest for a few months...maybe...I really feel guided by God and I will know what is the right thing to do.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"...He will rejoice over you with singing..."

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

A wonderful christian friend who used to be our worship leader at church, used to lead us in a song based on this part of the Bible, and part of it went, "when your life is over and the race is run," and then part of it says "God will sing over you"...It is a beautiful song and every time I hear it I think of my sister who ran many marathons, and I think of her running and her final race, and how God sings over her now.

Nothing new here or different except MAYBE I am not quite as full of rash, not well, but not as miserable. Still horrible fingernails. I have been tired the last few days, and could be blood pressure too low due to the lasix pill. There is still some swelling of feet and legs, but not as bad. I went to art tonight and as always, it is one of my weekly highlights.

When I have a few minutes of not being sleepy in bed, I say the Lord's Prayer and usually I do not finish it before I am asleep. That is true comfort! and imagining God "singing over me"...

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Praise the Lord, O my soul..."

I talked to my grand daughter awhile today on Face book...and it was so good to just chat. I think the new great will carry my maiden name for her middle name. What an honor! We hope to see that family in a few weeks. They have the three boys already and now to have their daughter is such a blessing to be.

I am maybe a little better but still suffering with the rash and the pitiful finger nails. My nails are yellow/purple and one wakes me with pain--don't know why that one is like that. I never realized how important finger nails are! What amazes me over and over again is how God planed each tiny part of our body and gave it importance even if we don't realize it. I was at the store and got change out and I could not handle it so I poured it out and told the saleslady to just pick out the correct amount. I cannot pick anything up hardly that it tiny. When I sew, I have a really difficult time doing any hand sewing because there is no nail to push the needle through the fabric, so I kind of do weird things and use my little finger which is in better shape than the others.

But each day is good and life is pleasant, John is getting ready more each day for that "garden" and is planning to get his potatoes in the ground this week....all 8--10 none! We plan things we will do and pray for God to give us reasonable health. Psalm 146:2 ..."Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life. I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

" may have peace..."

John 16:33 Jesus says " me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

After church, John and I went to a Vanderbilt basketball game today and sat next to the nicest family from Alabama. We really enjoyed talking (when we were not ranting at the unfair referees) and realized that this world is not fair, and there is trouble. This was called the "PINK OUT" game and all cancer survivors went down on the floor and lined up to have the players run through two rows of us onto the floor. The people I talked to near me, were truly survivors and cancer-free. I would love to be able to say "I am cancer free" and maybe some day I can.

The more time I spend away from chemo the more I would dread going back on it. I guess when I have a CT, we will decide what is next. It has been Six weeks since I had a treatment and I have suffered more from that treatment than any I have ever had (maybe) and the results are still going on. I wonder how long it takes for your nails to totally fall off? I see my oncologist March 1 and I am sure he will have options for what is next. Meantime, I will enjoy life and have the peace that only God can give. I know I am in His total care.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"God...created each of us..."

"...we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and the saving. He created each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing."Ephesians 2:9-10 the "Message"

Last year a friend gave a devotional based on "the daffodils principle", and this is based on a five acre mountain top covered by daffodils every spring. There is a sign that says, ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS; "50,000 bulbs, one at a time, by one woman, two hands, and begun in 1958." The premise behind the devotional is that of what one person can do, and that of not giving up. Also, the women who drove to this site, were going because the younger had begged the older to go. How often do we not do things with family or friends because we are "too busy"?

I think of the glorious rose gardens on Victoria Island near Vancouver that were planted on reclaimed rock quarries.

I think of times I have not done things with someone because I was too involved. I think of that "still small voice" that will give me ideas of something to do for someone and I again am too busy. I think of how God created us to do His goodness for others and create beauty in the wilderness..either wilderness of earth or soul.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Do you see how thankful we must be?"

"Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God."Hebrews 12:28 "The Message"

I went to art tonight and as usual, just lost myself in the class. That class is such a blessing! David, my teacher, just returned from an art seminar/workshop in Atlanta. The same lady who taught that class will be here in April and I am going for a 3 day workshop. Can't wait! What fun!... He said, they had a sit and talk session and the first few told about their paintings and what they were selling, etc...and when it came to him, he told about his classes and particularly about our Thursday night class,( which to me is like a Care Group ). We all have a love for each other, and pray for each other, and share our heartaches and sorrows, our good times and our not so good. And most of all, we paint, sharing help and cheer when one of us does a really good painting or sells something. There is no jealousy, or bitterness if one of us does better than the others, but or happiness for that person.

David shared with this group in Atlanta about us and how this group helps me feel better on a bad night (from chemo) and how I might drag there, feeling tough and in a few minutes, I am happy and ready to paint. That is what this group does for me. Anyway, when he told this, that group all opened up and shared things they were not expecting to do...just because David shared first about us. Isn't love of God wonderful and how He connected us with fellow christians no matter where we go. Wow, I am so thankful!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust..."

We heard today that our next great grandchild is a girl, giving us four grand daughters and four grand sons in the next generation. We are so proud of our grandchildren and the manner they are raising their children. We are so honored to be part of their lives and get to be with them. They have dedicated their children to the Lord (most of them) and next month we will hear what the last one coming this year will be. What fun! We never even thought about GREATS, we were having so much fun with the grandchildren and all of a sudden they grew up and now here are the GREATS!

"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust...You are my help and my deliverer..." Psalm 49: verses 4 and 17

I am still just "being".......that is all I can say....I must not be depressed, and I must be encouraged, and I must not say "I must", and I just am tired of chemo...not chemo, but chemo results!....God is my deliverer.!That keeps me going........

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"A wife of noble character who can find?"

I have (in the past 20 years or so) desired to be spoken of as a "Proverbs 31" woman. Some of the younger women at church call us "older" ones by this beautiful name. What an compliment! Anyway, as a former weaver, I felt I was somewhat achieving part of these accomplishments. I think this (in Proverbs 31) is a real today's woman. She can, and does, do it all!

When I was working on my masters degree, there was a loom in one corner of an art room. I expressed interest in it and my advisor found a local weaver who came and taught me how to weave. Then that became my emphasis in that degree. I bought a loom and wove a bedspread, many "throws" and table covers, table scarves, and even fabric and then sewed this into a suit for our first grandson. I loved weaving--it is soothing with the shuttle going back and forth, laying in the pattern on the warp that was first strung on the loom. I collected yarns, as much to look at as to weave with. I did some dying the yarn with flowers and weeds, boiling these to achieve a color.

I had to get rid of all this when we moved, another sadness in changing of life styles. (But I cannot talk about that!) A really precious lady from Knoxville bought my loom and I know she is happy with it. John and I have a coverlet woven by my great-great-great aunt in the middle 1800's . She also wove "a jeans type fabric" and sent it to a nephew for his Civil War uniform. She wrote a letter telling him she was sending this to him, and my sister who died had this letter. It is a continuation of family to feel like a relative over 150 years ago and I both were weavers.

Most looms are 36 inches in width for fabric so antique coverlets are woven in three long lengths and these three sewed together giving the bed width. Then the top and bottom are hemmed. I have a book of many patterns and like quilts, these patterns have names. Some are "Tennessee Trouble", "Pine Cone Bloom", "Bonaparte's March" can get the idea... I have another very large book called "Of Coverlets".

I would pray to be somewhat of a wife like Proverbs 31..."A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth more than rubies..."

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Put your hope in God..."

"My soul is downcast within me; day the Lord directs His love, by night His song is within me--a prayer to the God of my life.....Why are you downcast, O my soul? ...Put your hope in God, and I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." From Psalm 42, part of verses 6, 8, and 11.

I had to have extra blood work today to check on my kidney function...this chemo I just quit has damaged a lot of me! But I am pretty sure all was ok as the nurse did not call me tonight. The blood last week showed some irregularity, so they had to see if I was back to normal. I have about another month off and see if I can recover. Still rash and itching, and nails about to fall off--they look horrible, kind of a Halloween type thing!

John and I are anxious to get into our tiny 8 foot garden! It is almost time to plant potatoes. We can put maybe a dozen and when they are big, put out green beans in between the potato plants. The old farmer's almanac said to plant potatoes the end of February on the dark of the moon. Root plants (under ground growing) go in the dark...a new moon... and above ground plants are planted in the light of the moon....a full moon. We can put maybe 3 tomatoes in the flower bed. Not much but it beats nothing. I have a small flower garden area that I want to have herbs in there. I have a few flowers started from small pieces friends gave me last fall, so I am anxious to see if the plants survived and what they will look like. We brought blackberry roots with us and last fall it looked like we might have four blackberry bushes this year.

This hope of spring and getting in the yard and digging and having gardens is part of what keeps me going. I get excited about the newness of flowers and just cannot imagine "giving up". God is blessing us and me particularly and we are thankful! We daily have our "hope in Him".

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"God is our refuge..."

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble..." and verse 10..."Be still and know that I am God..."

This rash is "driving me crazy" is very difficult to "be still"....I am trying to be calm and know God is near..........

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"...but Joshua spared Rahab..."

Speaking of snow, in Job 38:22 , God asks Job "have you entered the storehouse of the snow..." What an image this envisions...more snow than we can comprehend...and I bet Johny keeps an eye out for that area :-)

When the children of Israel went into take Jericho (and Rahab had helped save the spies,) is a story we all know and how the Israelites marched around the city and eventually the walls fell down. This is told about in Joshua 6. When we went through this area of Israel, there is a deep hole in the ground and rubble around a large area and this is ruins of "Jericho" in the Bible era. It has been rebuilt several times and is supposed to be the longest, continually, inhabited town in the world.

In Judges 7, the Bible tells of Gideon and his preparation for battle and how God told him to bring his men to the spring of Harod and God picked the fighting men according to how they drank from this stream. We have stood by this spring of Harod and marveled at just a simple "creek" should be so important , but then God usually choses simple things to astound us.

There are so many with cancer but I especially think of Gene daily (my friend in Florida) and another dear friend of the family, Kathryn, who is also doing through this "valley".... I may have scratched a little less today, so that is a BLESSING. My nails look horrible and I hate going out in public, but we do what we have to do!
Please pray for courage and strength for each of us and those we do not know who are with us.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"A friend loves at all times..."

Proverbs has lots of short "sayings" about friends, but this is the best (Proverbs 17:17) I think, because we are blessed with friends who have always been there for us.

I may have told about this but I cannot remember. About 15 years ago ( or more) we had one of those terrific ice storms followed by snow. Our home had no electricity for 11 days and John and I made it ok by becoming early Americans again. We walked to friend's homes each night and had a shower and a hot meal. After about a week, the roads were open and we could drive to other friends who lived farther away and be taken care of. At night we kept warm with our wood burning stove and closed off much of the house so that the heat went up the stairs to our bedroom. We cooked oatmeal on that stove each morning and soup at noon and survived quite well . We listened to books on tape with our portable radio at night for entertainment. Each time I walked by a light switch, I would flip it, from force of habit!

We found out later that the reason we had no electricity when neighbors across the street had it was because (by some fluke) the transformer for our side of the street ran behind a woods and was not easily accessible, so the electric company put us off until last to be turned on!

We were so blessed by the help and generosity of our friends during that time!

As for me, not much better with the rash...I wonder if it will ever go away! I pray for relief and back to normal! Friends send beautiful cards and check on me and again we are blessed!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"...the rain and the snow come down from heaven.."

"...and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and is my word that goes out....and achieve the purpose for which I sent it..." Isaiah 55: parts of verses 10-11...seeing about snow in the Bible, in fact there are nearly 30 verses about snow.

Today on local TV they showed how this year's snows are compared to the 1959-60 we had over 38 inches of snow and this year so far, about 14, so this is lots of snowy days but not that much each time. We have pictures of the children in the snow that year and our daughter was a baby and she was out in the snow in a snowsuit...with the boys. We had a lot of snowy days when the children were growing up and used to sled down Gallatin Road (a major highway now). It was only a two then four land road then and with big snows, no traffic and we lived on a hill and it was great sledding.

One of those years my aunt and uncle next door had died and my sister and her husband lived there for a year or so. John worked uptown at the State Health Dept. and there came a big fast snow. Usually when I kept the car (our only one) I would pick him up about three miles away at the end of the bus line. This night, there was no buses running and he could not find a way home. We had no cell phones then, so we think he must have gone back into the state building and called us..and my brother in law drove up town, found John in East Nashville where he had walked to. The buses were all stacked on the bridge and could not go into or out of town because of the heavy snow. John finally got home about 9 that night!

We love the snow and complain about driving in it..we take pictures of it and watch the flakes come down. Johny loved the snow so much and I think he must be in heaven working overtime on wanting it to snow this year...(You know it snowed on his birthday January 25 and we said he was reminding us about his day---as if we needed that). It is another of God's beautiful scenes and will give us wonderful water for the spring.

As for me today, same-old, same-old...rash driving me crazy itching/sore. I am using lots of creams and salves and special body wash, etc. I hope one more month will heal this!!! I know it is all in God's timing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"There is a time for everything..."

"...and a season for every activity under heaven;...He has made everything beautiful in its time..."Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11...

I saw my oncologist today and he said I was "pretty beaten up" and we would go about another month without any chemo, have a CT and start another possible new combination of drugs...taxitere and a new one, creating an experimental. That month off plus the five weeks so far might bring me back to normal. I am going to lose all my fingernails, but maybe by March 1, I will have normal skin back...I sure hope so. My hair???I don't look for it to return for a long time!

Maybe I will gain back some energy, because I have been tired more than usual this last month. I hate to give up on a chemo that we think was doing away with some of the cancer, but there is also the fairly normal life to be lived as long as possible.
John and I want to live this beautiful life with family and friends as much as possible.

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone..."

" hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken." Psalm 62:5-6

We have a novel written by a family member but I have not found it since we moved...that is about trains and riding them, in a wonderful novel...wish I could find it. I say some days, "I spend half my time looking for things"...and then we got rid of so much since we downsized so MUCH.

Growing up, I lived close to a train track that came through Nashville, north to south. I was always hearing the train blowing its' whistle in the middle of the night. Is there a more lonesome sound in all the world? I heard one last night and made me think of this. I used to walk the track for fun and lay my ear on the track to listen for a coming train. When seeing one with a dining car and people having a meal in that diner, seemed to be the most glamorous occasion ever to be. I always wanted to be able to do that.

When John grew up that same track ran behind their land and he also would see the dining car and wish for the same thing. His Dad worked for the trains and they did take trips all over. Can you imagine that John and I have gotten to travel and eat in dining cars all over the world! We rode the train across Canada one year and would get off in this town or that one then ride again in a few days, always getting to eat in that magical dining car! We got to ride in the car with overhead windows (Like in a movie) and look at mountains and streams going over the Rocky Mountains! Then I have told about riding the Orient Express from Paris to Vienna and eating in that dining car. It even had lace behind the seats. I got to ride the Bullet train in Japan from Tokyo to ? (don't remember where we stopped.)

So our love affair with trains continues to this day. Two years ago we went out west and went by plane, then a car then a train from Utah to Kansas.

God is so good and gives us opportunities to see much of this wonderful world. I pray we will have more opportunities in this year. God is truly my rock and my fortress... I see the oncologist tomorrow (I am a little nervous) and wonder what we can do next. I am NOT well from the chemo five weeks ago. So we are praying for something wonderful and perfect to be available!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Out of Egypt..."

From Joseph to Jesus, the Bible shows intermingling of His people in and with the Egyptians...In Genesis 40:41 Pharaoh made Joseph in charge of his kingdom and Matthew 2:15 God says "out of Egypt I have called my son."

With all the news about Egypt lately, I thought about where we had gone and what we saw there. We went in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (where the rioters this week have damaged some of the museum). We saw many beautiful antiquities that are irreplaceable such as King Tut's sarcophagus and gold jewelry, bowls, chairs, etc.. We went down into a pyramid, a burial shaft, deep underground where they buried the kings. We rode a camel and went to the Sphinx. We took a boat up the Nile River which unusually, flows north. When we left Egypt we crossed around the Red Sea and went to the base of Mount Sinai , spent the night and about 3 AM, climbed the mountain and got to the top at dawn and watched the sun come up from the top of Mr. Sinai. The rocks were fire red at dawn and this was an unforgettable experience. It was very cold up on top. We thought we had warm clothes but we were still cold and "rented" camel blankets from the camel drivers to stay warm. Amazing what one will do to stay warm!!!

Our experiences in Egypt and around all that country, Jordan and Israel will never be forgotten, seeing part of the Bible come to life.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"...In a dry and weary land..."

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1

Several times in the last two days, memories of Israel and our trip there have come to mind. Yesterday my daughter and I were talking about how special it was to sit on the old temple steps and KNOW that Jesus walked those very run my hand over the marble steps and know He walked there was overwhelming! Then we sat in the remains of the arena at "Caesarea" where Paul gave a speech. This week the news focuses on that area and we are so thankful to have been there. Our oldest grandson who was here today went with us on that trip and he and I were talking about what a blessing it was to have gone when we did.

We did have such good times today with the three greats here and our grandson and his wife--she is so dear, I feel she is a grand daughter. We did make the Christmas cookies and they turned out good and fun to make. It can be Christmas any time! They had fun opening their gifts also!

I am feeling tired and weak and anxious to see the doctor and find out what is going on! I am "in a dry and weary land" indeed and only God can rescue me!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"The Lord will fight for you..."

Exodus 14:14..."The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

I think I am constantly figuring what to do next...I rarely am "still" and I could easily miss the Lord or "that still small voice" that could tell me what to do. John and I agreed that I am more tired than I was a few months ago. It could be cumulative effects of the chemo which is still with me, age catching up with me???or the effects of the cancer which I really have no symptoms from (that I know of). I know I am slowing down. Maybe I will listen better if I am "quiet". I pray for Him to keep John and me in His care.

One of our grandsons and his family will be here tomorrow and that is so exciting! We will do "Christmas" with them (only 6 weeks late). At Christmas, all their family had the crud that went around (some of them twice), and John and I both had it, then we left for Florida, so this is the first time we have been able to get together. The little ones and I will make some cookies (candy cane cookies which are like "rolling out snakes" then form a candy cane) and bake them. I have some Christmas paper plates and napkins so this should be fun. Dates on the calendar make no difference as long as family is together! I regularly pray for the five (soon to be six) of them that God will keep them safe and well.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"I have overcome the world..."

Jesus tells us in John 16:33 " this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

I have found out three more friends have cancer. It is such a scourge on this earth. Jesus says "you will have trouble" so why are we so surprised when "bad things happen to good people"?

I feel sorry for bald headed men because your head sure does get cold with no hair! I really miss my hair. I sure hope the ground hog with right, because this has been such a cold bad winter!

This blog just said I have lost this post...sometimes they are wrong...we will see. I know of one acquaintance who does not want to do chemo...I might reach that point in the future, but not yet. I sure hope my doctor can find another one for me to that is not so harsh.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"...the hand of the Lord..."

Just a little of this and that..........our cousins in Columbia, Missouri have 18 inches of snow so far at 7 pm tonight and it is still falling. I 70 is shut down all the way across Missouri...this all just boggles the mind! They have a gang of grandchildren (7) and no one could get to anyone else if they were needed...that is scary! We have not talked to the part of the family who are at the family farm a few miles from Columbia. They got rid of their animals a few years ago and just raise corn and day lilies...beautiful amazing day lilies and have an open house in June and people come from all over and pick the ones they want and then the cousins ship the lilies in September. They also have a gang of grandchildren (10 I think) One of their daughter's and her husband are missionaries in Turkey and we pray they will be safe in all this unrest.

I may lose 3 fingernails and another one is very, very sore. This chemo is doing things they did not mention! I am not sure they knew what all it would do---(that's why it is called experimental!) There is still swelling and rash--I don't think it is ever going away! Food is tasting better and I am hungry all the time.

Our friend Gene (in Florida) as more spots in his liver, please pray for him and his family. He and I are in the same spot. One blessing, is the liver tumors grow slowly.

In Joshua 4:24, talking about how God dried up the Jordan River so they could cross over, and wonderful faith for us..."He did this so that all the people of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God." We crossed the Jordan River close to this spot and it is amazing to be at biblical sites and know what happened there. I want to always know the Hand of the Lord and His power!