Tag Archives: Christmas

Infectious Bacteria Stalkers-My Summer Saga

Seven

After nearly two months of illness, on Sunday July 11th I felt well enough to attend a church service.  The pastor who spoke that day read Psalm 23 and challenged others to read and ponder over a weeks’ time what God might be saying individually.

I took up the challenge and my regular journal recorded… after my first reading, the 4th verse jumped out at me, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – fearing no evil…  my immediate reaction is fear. Perhaps because I’ve been ill for 2 months and that’s been terrible enough. I would struggle greatly with a “death sentence.”

I’m not finished here yet but often I wonder what I’m doing – what’s of value – what’s not.  Too often I believe I’m simply coasting, putting in time – wondering, waiting, – not living the life intended for me…I then recalled some areas of my life where I’d struggled by not fulfilling my own life’s dreams and the current journey to rectify that.

My journal ended with, Now what? What’s it all meant? How am I moving forward?

It was weeks before I made it back to my journal as my body let me know it had been through a battle and needed some more assistance.

With all the antibiotics and pain medications going into me my gut ran out of good bacteria and the nasty bacteria called Clostridium Difficile decided to take over. Was it already there? Had I picked it up somewhere else? Why me?  I’ll never know…

The bacteria were in control and with a bare minimum of details, I stayed home, I stayed close to the bathroom and I stayed in bed.  It was the amount of blood passing through me that sent me back to plunk myself down in the doc’s chair once again.

So, one might ask, how does C Difficile get treated?  The crazy answer is with yet another antibiotic.

In my Gratitude Journal July 22 – Grateful for “more” antibiotics to kill off the C Difficile bug in my body.  I will hopefully be on the mend. 

On that day, I continued my Psalm 23 reflections and in my regular journal, recorded some notes…Bang – right off the top – The LORD is my shepherd, not life, not hubby, not the things about me.  “I shall not be in want”

He will satisfy me – as I think about what to write, what to paint, where to spend time…if I go to my Shepherd and ask for his direction he will guide me, show me and lead me because “his rod and staff” they will comfort me. In him, amid his presence I am surrounded by his cloud of protection.  Whatever it is I do; it will be right.

The following day in a continued somber mood Psalm 23’s reflections met mine and my pen flowed with ink over several pages in my regular journal.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”

The water runs out of the spout in my garden fountain, into a bowl and trickles below only to cycle through the system again, and again.

This is how God is leading me beside quiet waters.

I’ve sat many hours this summer, listening to the water, waiting to be well while one strange infection after another attacks my body.

I live in a Modular Home Park – AKA (also known as) a mobile home park where a typical impression might be one of lower class, poor and unkempt – a TV view of what I’ve often heard called, ‘white trailer trash’.

I love it here, when I can put aside my own biased views of my home location. Out my back door is the deck designed by hubby who then enlisted the services of his talented brother to build.

Surrounding our little yard is the wood fence designed and built by hubby earlier this spring just as the garden was coming to life and I became ill. My daughter and I had assisted just enough one day to get bragging rights that ‘we’ built the fence together.

The fence keeps Thomas the Cat within, who graciously chooses not to jump and run and is the perfect backdrop for the multitude of seasonal pops of color that have entertained me.

I feel protected and contained within my boundaries – it reminds me of ‘walking with Jesus’ along the narrow path – completely free within.

So, I sit, I think, I pray…

I wish I were well, I fight with the frustration and anger that rises within me.  I have little choice but to relax, accept that I feel fatigued, have little energy and I cannot control this current situation. I can instead, enjoy watching my cat enjoy being outside with me looking at the birds and listen to their songs.  Like him, I can stretch out my legs and lift my face to the warmth of the sun and simply… be beside quiet waters.

This is my moment to be grateful for all I have and which is being provided for me.

On Monday, August 1st I wrote in my Grateful Journal, Grateful. Feel better/off medication.

On Monday, August 22nd I wrote in my Grateful Journal, Grateful.  Sunshine. Feel Healthy.  Have options. Have a future to enjoy.

 

Please look for my next and last entry on …my summer saga…after all, summer came and went, fall rains arrived and it is nearly time for Christmas trees and snowfalls.

 

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Pearls for the Girls

Recycled Pearl Necklace

Recycled Pearl Necklace

A great surprise for me this past December was discovering a creative talent in a fellow Pickleball player when he showed me pictures via his phone, of some necklaces he had crafted out of recycled ‘bits’, stones and beads etc,  that he’d picked up.  Using silver wire as the link to pull it all together which he carefully twisted into tiny designs of loops he managed to create some lovely jewelry.

While admiring his craft my mind looped over to my home jewelry box which contained an unused pearl necklace so I pondered out loud and drew him into my visual idea of creating two bracelets.  I gave him a couple of ideas and being the artist creative type that he is,  he agreed to try out the project.

The next time I saw my friend my pearl necklace was handed over and off he went.  I thought it may take weeks to put the bracelets together but within 24 hours I was shown one of the designed pieces, complete with a Turquoise stone he had laying around in his supply stash of jewels.  Within a couple more days I had both bracelets in hand.

These bracelets became two surprise gifts in Christmas stockings – something special for two special ladies in my family.

If anyone is interested in having a jewelry piece created or redesigned please respond via this blog and I will pass on your name and contact info to my friend who has given me permission to post this blog.

Logistics of location, postage, etc…will have to be decided upon between artist and purchaser.  I’m a writer, not usually considered a salesperson, however, the above picture may lure you in as my friend’s phone photo of his handiwork stirred up my own artistic mind.

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Snow Day

DSC01026 - Copy (640x480)This painting is unfinished business, waiting for my return.  How appropriate it has come around to winter again so I’m more motivated to get out the brushes and finish this project.  I began it in winter, left it over a summer and here it is again, winter.

It all began as a photo opportunity, an interrupted moment when I was at a friends house during an intimate time of group prayer together.  I looked up from where I sat and saw the thick snow flakes drifting down over the yard covering the two lawn chairs which had not been put away after their last sun soak in summer.

After the photo was taken,  the painting was created and though originally the ground was like a freshly fluffed white comforter, the chairs loaded like cotton balls, the tree moved from the right side of the yard to behind the chairs and branches hanging with added weight and the fence barely distinguishable from sun bleached wood to snow covered my fingers could not produce what my mind wanted.  Everything was too white on white and I seemed unable to distinguish objects.

Then I discovered blue.  A now forgotten mixture of various blues, but once I put the first stroke of brush over canvas, this artist got excited as the fence took it’s rightful place in the back, backyard, and the chairs stayed on the ground without floating and the tree hovered it’s limbs like a blanket about to drape and protect.  Ahh, satisfaction.

…and then I put the brushes away.

With recent snows, though typical to west coast living, has come and gone in a flash, I’m still motivated to finish the painting and will pursue thinking about when I will do that.  Before spring and summer arrive I hope.

But not today.  Today is Boxing Day – known in Canada as the day after Christmas, traditionally known as the day one boxes up the gifts from yesterday.  But, for our family, this day may be the beginning of a new tradition when our group of 5 will gather to have brunch of Waffles, Crepes, Ham and chocolate, (lots of chocolate) exchange gifts, hang out….hopefully take a walk and eat a Mexican dinner.

Merry Christmas and happy Boxing Day…

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Christmas morn…

Today’s Tip:  Don’t Give Up…

After rising way too early today (4am), I decided to put some recent learning to good use and post a blog.  I managed to retrieve a picture and insert it into my post and then I wanted to tell the beginning of my Christmas story.  With one wrong button pushed, my snowy photo disappeared and could not be found.

With time still available I forged ahead without the photo and pushed out around 500 words explaining just how I had gotten myself into such a confused blog/picture/post/laptop/new windows/learning curve dilemma.  I was really getting into the mode of having a great time writing and decided to ‘save draft’.  That was when I was told I had no internet connection.

Huh….what was that supposed to mean?

Well,  it meant not only had my photo gone into who knows where – in space, my well groomed and patiently expressed words of my not so perfect story time were also gone.  I had really liked the part about me whisper-yelling at the laptop in order to not wake up my little household, but that image has been lost too.

I didn’t exactly slam down the lid on my still too new to me Asus laptop, but I did give the screen a good tongue lashing and let it know how disgusted I was with the performance thus far. Then I closed the lid and slid the computer out of sight before I did any damage to it.

And, on Christmas Day too…sheesh!  I was just trying to recall my memories, sit quiet and not disturb the cat sleeping at my feet and the husband crashed out down the hall.  Speaking of husband – when he appeared and sat groggily listening to my rant of what the computer did to me today, he very nicely let me know it is a good idea to regularly click on the ‘save draft’ area of my screen and then I’d be able to retrieve my ‘words’.

It was then I remembered the teaching experience of my new young friend who is coaching me along on this journey of my laptop and WordPress blog.  She too has stressed the importance of this little feature.  I have learned the hard way – again.

I am going to try again to do my step by step instructions of moving a picture/resizing it then inserting it into my blog post.

Just not today.   Merry Christmas…

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