Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Let the earth open wide...let salvation spring up..."

Day 9 and day 10 of this chemo and I am better but not feeling good. We went to west Tennessee to see three of our "greats", and their parents, of course! It was birthday time for several of the family and we really enjoy being part of that. This little family will welcome another "great" in a few weeks and be so busy! I always wanted four but never realized that. Well, the 3 /12 year old grandson prayed our blessing for lunch. Isn't it wonderful when children are raised in the Lord. The birthday girl who is five, loves aprons and will be a kitchen helper soon.

All the fields and trees are pretty and green even with the intense heat,We always say there is no place much prettier than middle Tennessee. We saw boys jumping off ropes into creeks, in a swimming hole. I used to love to do that. I think I would still do that if I had a chance. I just have to get WELL so I can do some things again!

"The heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the Lord, have created it." Isaiah 45:8 This just sounds like a wonderful summer day with God's blessings showering down!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Message says "Get out of bed and get dressed!"

And on, "Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourself in Christ and be up and about!" Romans 13:14...that speaks well if one was inclined to be lazy! This week I guess it spoke to me as I stayed in bed one day most all day. Yesterday and today were more productive days. I sewed quite a bit and cooked and acted rather nice to John. I know he gets so tired of my being "snippy" (is that a word?) but some days I just cannot help myself.

Several friends comment on my cornbread and say it is so good and how do I make it? I have several old pans that are wonderful. One was my great grandmothers in Kentucky. It is a cast iron corn stick pan. I have three rectangle pans that are "steel" or metal. They are about 6x8 inches.
They were John's Mother's and are black from about 100 years of use. These are my favorites. I use self rising white corn meal and this is a general recipe that can be made into more or less.
1 cup self rising white corn meal
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg beaten
3 TSP Crisco or liquid oil
Beat the meal, milk and egg. Heat the pan with the oil or Crisco in 450 oven until the pan is good and hot (watch it!) If a bit of water on the pan "hisses" then it is hot enough. Pour the grease into the cornbread mix and stir it, then pour all back into the hot pan. Bake, 450 for 20 minutes. turn it out onto a board and cut into squares.

One cup of meal would make about 12 corn sticks.

It has been a week since chemo and this has been a tough week. Besides the nausea, pain, weight loss, sleeping problems, I have bruises and cuts all over my arms. If I hit any thing, it opens my skin. It is so tender! I look like I have been in a dog fight.Well God says to get out of bed! Get dressed! In other words, not being lazy. I certainly hope next week will be an improvement.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him..."

Sunday and yesterday were pain-filled days. The pain meds did not work, and I just rolled in bed with pain, finally slept last night. Today, I have slept nearly round the clock, making up for the not sleeping well Sunday and Monday nights . Does this sound dramatic? Food is just tolerated, a little to keep me going. So now what do I do? I know there have been times like this before. I look back and realize this is the same pattern. It just seems more difficult than the last time. I am too withdrawn to even let this be a "pity party"...what a shame to waste a good "poor me" time! There is always tomorrow!

Psalm 32:1-2 "Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another."

John 1:16 tells of blessings from Jesus, " one after another."

There is a lost art of making homemade pickles and "chow-chow". The grocery used to carry this but not now. I have a recipe from Grandma and every late summer, this was a "must-do" to get rid of green tomatoes before frost and use up extra peppers . This would last all winter and is wonderful on beans.
Chow-chow..........4 QT green tomatoes, 4 large onions, 5 green peppers, 3 hot peppers, 1/2 TB salt, 1 pint vinegar, Tie the next 3 in a cloth bag: 1/2 tsp cinnamon stick, 1/2 TB whole allspice, 1/8 tsp whole cloves. 1/2 TB dry mustard, 2 bay leaves, 7/8 cup sugar, 1/4 cup horseradish. Grind or chop all vegetables, cover and let stand overnight. Drain liquid, add vinegar,salt, spices, sugar then cook about 15-20 minutes. Pack in hot jars. and seal.

When our children were small I used to beg John to put a drain in the middle of the kitchen floor. Cathy saw this ,and laughed and said, how that sure would have made life easier! We had the pine paneling around the walls and when milk was spilled, it would splash up the walls as well as on the floor. It always took a long time to wash all that off!

I have slept most all today. I see back at other chemo's and this is a re-peat. The first week is the most difficult. I am just thankful for all God's grace, blessings,my John and his care for me, and ability to take care of ourselves.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"...the Lord upholds [him] with His hand..."

My, this is a harsh chemo. This is day 3, counting the day of it, and I have been pretty nauseated. If it is cumulative, this will be a tough one! But I will take it day by day. Psalm 37:23-24..."If the Lord delights in a man's way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, and the Lord upholds him with His hand." and a woman's as well, I believe. I am afraid I am stumbling and I pray for God to uphold me. I pray my "way" is acceptable to Him.

Our newest great is a girl following three boys. Her mother changes her hair bows with each outfit all day. The other day, she forgot the bow and one of the boys reminded his mom to do the hair bow! I guess they will assume this is part of a girl's outfit! What fun! I long to live enough years to see them grow and be personalities together.

We spent today with old friends from out of state and there is nothing like the blessings of dear ones like this. We have been friends for over 20 years and have lots of memories to share. We are honored as they pray for us. Thank you Father for this and all friendships. Thank you Father for your care and upholding us.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jesus, .."the Bright and Morning Star.."

Two days ago, talking about chemo being our last "stand" since there are no more options, and that "God is my last hope", I should have said GOD IS MY FIRST AND ONLY HOPE. Revelation 22:13, 16.. Jesus says "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Jesus is the "Bright and Morning Star."

I had the Red rat poison today, with steroid first. I did take a small nap today but went to art class, and at 10 PM I am still going strong. I know the bottom will fall out maybe tomorrow. My children called and checked up on me today and that is always good. I love talking to my son since this we do not talk alot. I love living next to our daughter and son in law and having this companionship.

Aren't memories funny how something 70 years ago will just pop into your mind! As an only child for nine years, I went just about everywhere Mama and Daddy went. When I was young there was a local movie theatre close by and we would go there. They had a special Friday night called "Bank Night" and people would win prizes, one night Mama won, don't remember what. Then one night they wanted to see this Lon Chaney movie about a "Weer Wolf" and I guess Grandma could not keep me so they took me and had me go to sleep in their laps. Just at the height of the movie, when the wolf leaped over the gate, I raised up. Mama said "she did not see it" I said "yes I did!" and to this day, I can remember that scene!

I am due for the next chemo in mid August then an MRI to see what is happening. God is my deliverer, my hope, my savior.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all."...

I John 1:5, then it continues in verse 7.."But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin."

On Wednesday nights we eat out after church with some of our church friends. We pray for one another, and life is tough, no matter what. Jesus did not tell us when we belong to Him that life would be a bunch of roses. He promised He would be there with us always. There is no bad thing on this earth that we hardly have not gone through as a group. But we love each other, and pray and stand by each other.

Tomorrow is my next chemo. I dread the idea of collective poor health. I dread the idea of feeling worse than this past month. I can stand it if it gets no worse than this (except for the pain that I would love to not have)

There is a great family favorite jello salad (even for those who do not like jello) that is not your typical "jello". Here is the recipe:
2 (3 ox) boxes red jello, 2 cups boiling water. mix and let cool a little. Add 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce and stir this up. Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Add 1 cup sour cream and stir until swirly. congeal. This is good with any meal. Think of all the congealed salads that are taken to "bowl dinners" or church picnics. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you..."

God's peace, how wonderful that sounds.
I got the call today to remind me of Thursday's chemo. I dread it but know I have no choice really.( Or no choice I want to make.) I hurt about a # 5 usually at night. You know the little smiley face-frown face you see at the Doctor's office and they ask where you are on that chart? Some nights it goes up to a 10. That is when I take another pain pill, no matter how few hours it has been! Day times, I have almost no pain. This is difficult to figure out. John 14, another place where Jesus says to "not be afrid"

The grocery I go to had the nicest elder gentleman when the store first opened several years ago. He carried groceries out for you. I asked him his name and he said "just call me 'wild bill'"...Then he died and I saw his, he had been a World War II flying ace! He had all kinds of awards, and honors. I wish I had known him and really talked to him and found out about his life. This is one of the sad things about older people...young ones don't see them as "people" but just as someone elderly, not seeing them as personalities, one with interests, one who probably made a difference in someones' life. I think there was a lesson learned in my brief encounter with "wild bill".

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubles and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Monday, July 18, 2011

"For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord..."

"my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you." Psalm 71:5-6

Last year I made an apron for my #2 great granddaughter who then was four. She likes to help her mother in the kitchen and to do art work. She is the oldest girl of soon to be four children in their family. She told her mother, "I like to wear my apron and think of Grandma"...This thrills my soul! She will have 2 sisters to take care of--you know how the oldest girl does these things so well. As for her brother, well he will make someone a wonderful husband with all these sisters! And I love sewing for these children, and I made this grandson an art smock so he would not feel left out.

I have had more intense pain this week and wonder what this means in terms of chemo--is it doing any good? Is the cancer growing? What do I do now? I am on my last option, since I cannot do radiation or surgery any more. God is indeed my last hope and my only possibility of healing. BUT THEN, WASN'T IT ALWAYS THIS WAY?!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"How great is your love, higher than the heavens..."

My flower beds are amazing. Just imagine how they will look next year with more time to spread and be enriched in this soil that was brought in. I have a white rambler rose and I am anxiously looking forward to its being all over the fence. Grandma had a pink rose (old fashioned large big blooms) and a white just like that one. I do not think this kind can be found (although I really have not researched antique roses) but this white is similar. I have the holly hock that will seed this fall and I believe they only bloom every two years. They have been fabulous this year. We have had a small amount of blackberries but for two bushes they are OK...they should bear much better next year.

I have had some dizzy spells, and the pain. I always wonder what this means, but I am staying on the nighttime pain med and not trying to do without.

We had the worst telephone mix-up. It was all my fault. I tried to switch our home phone to a cell phone company. John's poor eyes prevented his seeing numbers and dialing quickly and the "phone" would hang up on him so we had to switch back. This has been one of the worst business experiences and mistakes of my life! None of the businesses are easy to deal with. I think my being "sick" makes it more difficult also. I think I do not explain things as easily as I used to and most business people are young and talk fast and have little patience with older people. This is my first time in my life for feeling like this. In my despair, I need you more than ever, O Lord!

Psalm 108: 3-4 "I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies."

Friday, July 15, 2011

God says..."Before me, every knee will bow..."

"By me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, "In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength." Isaiah 45:23-24

Several months ago I recklessly remarked that I had no pain and I would not know I had cancer if I did not just know it...What a foolish remark that was! In the past two months or so, I have started having intense pain in my lower abdomen. I take a time release med at night so I can sleep. Well, last night, nothing helped! This happens occasionally. I dozed and turned, changed bed to couch, prayed, dozed, etc. No real sleep! I sure do get a lot of praying done on a night like that. Then I wonder how bad the cancer is, same ole, wondering. I just cannot go there! The finger nails are growing very slowly, but looking a little better. I almost have enough hair to go without a wig. Thank you Father!

Our granddaughter who has the three boys and new baby girl named all the children with a Gaelic middle name. This is to honor the Scotch family inheritance. Baby girl has my maiden name as hers and that is indeed an honor. When John and I were in Scotland 20 years ago I found some plaid wool fabric that is our "clan plaid". I shall give that to her for a skirt in the future. This baby has the clef chin like my Daddy had. Isn't inheritance wonderful! The next baby girl is due to be born in several weeks, giving us nine "greats". I love "my babies" so very much.

I lay my heart open to God for healing, for forgiveness of sins, and thankfulness for His strength and care of all of us.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you..."

"...bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." Proverbs 2:3

This is one of the hottest summers in a while. Did you ever hear "rain by 7, quit by 11"? This is true and we could use some of this rain! ...Can you remember "filling stations" or "service stations"? You sure can fill but there is no service any more!

We always said that Mama wore "rose colored glasses" because she always saw the glass half full. Her family were the smartest and the best and the most important in town. No one could persuade her otherwise.

In this heat I am reminded of our old ice cream freezer and our family favorite, Lemon Ice Cream (not sherbet). Here is the recipe:

6 eggs (I use egg beaters - for safety) 4 cups sugar
1 cup squeezed lemon juice grated lemon rind of 3 lemons
1 quart milk 2 cans Pet milk
Beat all this together and fill to 2 inches from the top of the freezer with more milk as needed. Makes 4 quarts or 1 gallon ice cream. This keeps well in the refrigerator/freezer. Freeze with ice cream salt layered with ice in the freezer.

These past two days are about the same, some nausea and some abdominal pain. I am making it with only the one powerful pain pill at night and none in the day time. I hate to be so dopey in the day time. Our newest "great" has my Daddy's cleft chin ( as do I) . Aren't families wonderful? I praise you, O God, for your goodness and care taking of all of us!

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light..."

I just found this verse in Micah 7, and what a promise! Some days I feel like I am in darkness. Some days I feel like all is normal. The worse things right now is the absence of appetite and food not good to taste. It is difficult to cook when nothing sounds good. John has not suffered because he has gained. I have lost a little but not enough to make the oncologist take notice. I still have a week before the chemo again. This four weeks has seemed so long. I don't think I have ever gone this long between chemo treatments.

I am going back over my blog for the past two years nearly. I cannot believe some of the experiences this cancer has given to us. I am, along with a dear friend, hoping to put this into a book form. I would hope that these weeks and months of trial might give hope to someone. I told my sister last week (and never in this world would think I could say this) that I would not take away this cancer and what it has done for me. I have gained so much dependence on God and feel so much closer to my Savior. I know the Holy Spirit is there for me every day, speaking for me when I have no voice to pray. Micah 7:8..."Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"I wait for God my Savior..."

I did not write yesterday, because it seems there have been bad days lately and I hate the repetition. Today was a good day. I went swimming with my family including my great grand daughter! She is nearly 7 and she will remember this. First I told her "you know I have been sick for some time?" She told me "yes", and then I told her about the medicine making me lose my hair. She was shocked that I wear a wig. So I took my wig off and she was like" "Oh my" and I told her that she is old enough to see me like that and I can trust her to understand. She said that was ok and so we went with my one inch hair and had so much fun! No one else at the pool even noticed or if they did, just thought I have really short hair.

I am still not ready to go public with my short hair. It needs to be about two inches for that. I think I realized as I was having fun in the water, that...this is why chemo is worth it! To have life and be with family makes it all worth it!

I have been seeing video of our newest and I nearly cry, seeing that precious baby whom I long to hold. Even with the bad days, life is good.

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

Friday, July 8, 2011

"...He has reconciled you..."

"But now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation." Colossians 1:22

These are not very good days, nausea, fatigue, just exhaustion from nothing. I stayed in bed much of the day, then was sick tonight. It has only been one treatment and that was 2 weeks ago so don't know what will come next. God has given me over 7 years so don't know how much longer we can work this out. I am trying to take a pain med at night so I can sleep without pain but it gives me nightmares so I don't know what to do about that.

I was straightening out some old jewelry today, untangling necklaces, etc. Each one brought back memories. I have Mama's pearls and I can still just see her wearing those. I found some of John's Mother's things, especially a watch on a chain that she wore and her initials are on the back. I think and wonder who will wear these when I am not here and wonder if they will mean the same since our grandchildren did not know these great grandparents. I have a bracelet and compact that John gave me for Christmas the year before we married the next year. They were not real gold and are tarnished, but oh these memories!

We have our second planting of green beans and have a big bag in the freezer besides what we have eaten. Our little 8x8 garden is being very successful (wish I could say the same for the carrots) Carrots is our family joke. John tries every year and they never do well, but he is persistent! We laugh about who he will sell them to! We have yet to get enough for a meal. God is good and I fall on my knees in prayer for relief and healing and His care over us.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"If my people will humble themselves...I will hear from heaven..."

This wonderful full passage from II Chronicles 7:14 is "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I turn from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Several happenings lately give me/us concern about the direction of our country. Sin is no longer "sin", and God can be "who you want him or her to be." Now the paper questions if Adam and Eve were "for real" Nothing seems to be as it was when John and I were growing up. We often say we grew up in the best of times. Many of us were not poor, but times were "tight"; we always seemed to do alright. We never went hungry. We had meat on the table at least on Sunday if not every day. We never went without shoes, or clothes. We attended church every Sunday. God was important in our families.

Remember the "Blue Laws"? All stores were closed on Sundays, then gradually a few opened after church hours, now Sunday is like any other day.

Used to if you needed gas for your car, you did it on Saturday. If you needed "milk and bread" you could always arrange to get that done on Saturday.

No the world is not like it used to be. Psalm 112 as many says, "Praise the Lord..." May we all praise Him and pray for our country and be healed.

I tried to do without some of the pain med in the day time but I cannot do that. The nighttime one really keeps me pain free all night, and I can get along OK with only one in the day time. They make me so sleepy! But I have only had one chemo and the next one is still 2 weeks away. I know the cancer cannot have shrunk yet. I just dream of being cancer-free and taking no medicine!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

" your Name be the glory..."

Today is very special, because our new Great Granddaughter arrived in this world. We have anxiously awaited her arrival for about seven months. She is so precious to us, and special to me because one of her names is mine.

I have a young woman friend who says she is a "Proverbs 31 Woman in Training". I think this is so delightful. I also believe my granddaughter is a "Proverbs 31 Woman in Training". She is this new mother (not really very new because there are three boys waiting to see their new sister.)

God has blessed us beyond all measure. Psalms 115:1 says "Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your Name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness."

I sat here to write and tell about my bad day, how lousy I feel, the nausea, fatigue, on and can I feel bad when this blessing is here. I will wait and feel bad tomorrow! Thank you God for your blessings and answered prayers.

Monday, July 4, 2011

"If you make the Most High your harm will befall you..."

" disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Psalm 91: 9-12

I was looking at a crystal pitcher that Mama gave me --one of the last gifts she picked out. Mama grew blind from the strokes and her diabetes and so she could not see the beauty she loved. She loved flowers, wonderful china and crystal, fabrics, and anything colorful. When she shopped, she bought according to the beauty, not whether it matched what she already had or not. Incredibly, everything just went together. We used to say, "But Mama where will you put that?" when she bought another antique something and she would always say, "I will find a place!" and she always did.

The last two years or so of her life, I used to drop John off at church and go sit with Mama for the church time and let Daddy be gone that period of time, and she and I had a time of just us together. We would reminisce, and one day, I went all over the dining room and living room and she told me where each dish or lamp or piece of crystal had come from..either bought or from an inheritance. We girls were so blessed that our parents and Grandma loved to collect these beautiful dishes, or lovely antiques.

When she and Daddy died, it was amazing how many things were in three's so we were able to choose and no one felt left out. But no matter what we inherited, the special pieces are the ones she picked out for each of us!

Today is the Fourth of July, a special day to our country and our memories, for God's safety and for His keeping us in His care. I pray for His angels to lift us up...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

"... God has given us eternal life..."

I John 5:11-12.."...this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

I am tired of saying I am fine when I am not. But no one really wants to hear a litany of problems, so I usually just say I am fine. I am nauseous, not in pain because of the morphine time capsules, but they make me so dopey! Is there no winning for losing?

I was thinking of Grandma's sisters. She also had three brothers but they were , along with a sister who died at age 20, the oldest four of the 11 children in their family. So that left the seven we always called "the sisters". What a bunch. None of them every drove a car. They got together a lot with either a daughter (or like my mother) driving many of them to another house, for their famous bowl dinners. Sometimes a husband would drive some of them. One time, two of the sisters and their husbands drove to Florida and back. They did not have much money (this was in the 50's) and they slept in the car at night at a road side park, then cooked breakfast at one of those stone tables and benches that used to be at those parks. They had a little one burner gas stove, and they really knew how to "rough it".

Several of the sisters' husbands were farmers, nothing big, but subsistance farming. tow were handy men, built a little and one was a railroad man. They all by today's standards were poverty level, but they always had good food, always dressed nicely, always had lots of love and fun in their lives. They were all christians,they belonged to several churches and could always get into big discussions ! They were such fun! Such love and all knew they would see each other "on the other side".

Friday, July 1, 2011

"Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;"

Today was blood day at the oncologist. Actually, my blood work was pretty good. Of course, I have only had one chemo so far, and I am sure the doctor is giving me the lowest dose he can, since the last one was so dreadful! Thank goodness for the kind which can be adjusted. I am in a different section at SCRC and different nurses, some new at this time to me. I have been there for 7 years and most are familiar, even if I do not know their names. My surgery was a week today and I think I am OK, but I might have some bloody urine for up to 10 days. I pray this stint is working.

The first time John and I saw each other, he was about 14 and I was about 6. Years ago, back before there was such a thing as a wading pool,kids would fill a big metal wash tub with water from the hose, set it in the sun and about 11:00 it would be nice and warm and you would play in the water. Would any kid today think this was fun? Well, it beat nothing! I was visiting my aunt next door to John's family and I was playing in this tub and he came up their driveway. I can remember a big boy but that was it. The next time we saw each other was the summer I was 16 and he was 24, My what a different perspective those years made!

Speaking of age differences, my sister next to me was born when I was 9, then the next sister when I was 13. The middle sister with that age difference, made us not close at all until we were grown. The baby sister, slept with me from age 1 until I married and she was nearly 5 and I almost felt like she was my baby. When we were all grown, we used to say the three of us were a "matched set" and we rarely fussed and were very compatible. We will always miss our middle sister beyond belief.

Isaiah is one of the richest books in the Bible, so full of new Testament preparation. Isaiah 45:22 starts with "Turn to me and be saved."..then " for I am God, and there is no other." Only our God could take care of us like we are being wondrously cared for.