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This Mother’s Heart

A very close friend of mine has just lost her 18 year old son to a tragic car accident. I received a text saying “Luke car accident airlifted to hospital pray”. Upon receiving that text, my mind kicked into gear as my body froze. I wanted to text back and get details:  what happened, where did it happen, who was with him, exactly how bad is it.

We live in a small town in a very closely knit homeschool community. I know this boy. I know most of his seven siblings. I directed his graduation ceremony just last spring. His mother is one of my daughter’s teachers. His sister one of my daughter’s dear friends. Facebook was abuzz with pleas for prayer. I wanted to be at the hospital with my friend. I wanted to be able to comfort her and bring her anything she and her family needed. This was impossible.

A dear friend from out of town had just arrived to visit for the weekend. This friend came amidst a very serious situation in her marriage. I don’t think I’d be offending her if I said she was a mess. She admitted it a time or two herself during her stay. My guest had some very demanding needs of her own.

I was in shock–and still am in shock–during her whole visit. Because our friends are dearly loved here, I was sure they were being well looked after; so I settled in for a weekend catching up with my out of town friend.

She and I feared that she was nearing a nervous breakdown. She certainly acted like it. I was very stretched to be as loving toward her as I would my grieving friend. She was fruitlessly doing everything in her power to control her situation. She was acting like a crazy person. My husband stated that he thought she sounded like she had lost her mind.

I’m not going to lie. I wanted to shake her many times during her stay, and shout, “My friend just lost her CHILD!” Many times. So many times it makes me ashamed. On the last day of her stay, she spoke with her husband and decided to return h0me. She came downstairs and told me with a smile on her face that she was going to go on a trip with her husband, so she needed to leave a day early because their flight was on Monday. Just like that she was gone.

Now that she’s gone, I can’t help but worry about her. Did she really reconcile with her husband or did she sense the impending shaking?

As the dust has settled, I’ve come to realize that when faced with trauma, adversity, or whatever you’d like to call it, we (not just women, but maybe mostly women) feel tremendous pressure to DO. Do something.

In addition to doing something for my grieving friend, what I wanted to do was to speak to my own son who is in Japan at the moment. I wanted to hear his voice. He’s too cheap to buy a phone with an international calling plan, so we’re relegated to communication over Facebook. I wanted to gather my loved ones near and not let them out of my sight for awhile–or ever. I wanted to run around like my other friend and do, do, do stuff even if it didn’t make any sense or make anything better. Instead, I did as I advised my friend to do:

Be still, and know that I am God…Psalm 46:10

I am so thankful today that I know Him, and that I know He cares for me.

TMI or A Cautionary Tail

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TMI or A Cautionary Tail

So…for the last three months I have been suffering from various ailments resulting from an under-active thyroid; too much gluten, sugar, and dairy consumption; and rapidly shrinking clothes. Actually, this has been going on for over three months. For exactly the last three months, I have had “weeping” earlobes. That’s what the doctor called it.

I assume the stuff they’re weeping is pus. I’d like to imagine my earlobes are improving–they might be. The drops that land on the nape of my neck and slowly trickle down my chest don’t fall as frequently as they used. Every one of my tops is stained with the stuff. I’ve used countless boxes off Kleenex and two rolls of toilet paper to sop up the stuff–And that’s just in the month of March. When I get tired of mopping my ears, I just wad up some tissue and tuck it behind the ears. I look like some crazy Teletubby with tissue ears.

When I must leave the house, I cleverly disguise my condition by taping non-stick pads to my ears. They look like perfect elf ears. I joke with people that ask that I’ve had a “little work done and I’m gonna rock my new Hobbit ears.” No one ever gets it. I have to work on the delivery or something. Taping my ears is required to avoid the clumping and drying of the pus–not only on the lobes–in my hair. Yes. It is THAT gross.

But it gets grosser. Remember when we used to paint our hands with Elmer’s glue in grade school, let them dry, and then peel the glue off? It was kind of repulsive, and a little hypnotic…maybe strangely relaxing. My ears are like that. They start to itch. I reach up to scratch them and touch hardened pus. I tell myself not to touch it, but I end up peeling my ears like a fourth grader peels that glue off their hand. It’s cathartic. But it doesn’t help the healing. AGH!

Yes, the doctor has switched my thyroid medications, so I feel an amazing return of energy. And look, I was able to string more than three words together. WORDS! I’m using words again instead of pointing and grunting. All progress for me and I’m thankful. I’m still a big pus monster that doesn’t want to leave the house, but at least I can use words again.

I brought this all on myself in the pursuit of being forever young or youngish. Turns out I have developed a severe allergy to the peroxide in the hair dye. This is the price of vanity, people. It’s severe now, but I did have lots of warning signs. Every time I had my hair colored in the salon, my ears would redden and swell up for a few days. I told my colorist and she said not to worry because she was using the hypo-allergenic stuff. It kept happening. The number of days my ears stayed swollen and itchy increased every time. I decided the colorist was not listening and she must’ve been just using the regular stuff; so I was gonna start coloring at home. Previously, I only needed to color my hair 2 -3 times a year. That changed to every 6 weeks when I started doing it myself resulting in the skin sloughing my ears and did I mention the sores on my scalp? Yes, sores. Pus oozing sores on my scalp. Don’t worry! Those are all healed. There must be more veins, or whatever it is that helps skin heal, on the scalp.

I could barely function. No appearances on Facebook, definitely no selfies, and no private phone calls (hurts my ears and speakerphone is a must). BUT now I have new meds and am relieved to find that the physical condition of my ears is not responsible for the weight gain, lack of brain function, and constant fatigue. YAY, me!

I did find powdered hair color at Walmart. We’ll see how that goes, but the ears still need to heal first. Be careful out there! It’s a crazy world!

HAPPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s that time again; when the year is shiny new, the possibilities endless, and the dreams yours to dream. I wish you good health, and the best attitude to make this a prosperous new year–and just enough time to reflect on just how awesome life can be.

Happy 2016!

Craft  Room Take Two

Craft  Room Take Two

A couple years ago, my hubby gave up his man cave so I could have a bigger space for crafting. Yes, it was very gracious of him, and he’s a wonderful guy; but I wouldn’t award him sainthood just yet (that’s another story). I needed the largest room because of all the different tasks I’m responsible for in the home.

I started with a fun paint job. Chevrons went up in one day with leftover paints from past projects (cost me nothing). Then we went to IKEA and bought shelves to add to my collection (cost the Mr. a pretty penny). I chose open shelving because I won’t use products I can’t see, and I hate spending precious minutes looking for an item.

I’ve rearranged the furniture a number of times because it’s what I do. Since setting up this room, I’ve added sewing and embroidery to my crafting repertoire bringing the number of activities enjoyed in this room up to six (seven if you count puppy cuddling). This year I am teaching a Biology Lab, a second year Japanese language class,  a sewing class, and I started a Lego Club. I’m not tooting my own horn; I’m just saying all this activity comes with staging and storage difficulties.

I actually worked a day and a half re-organizing and cleaning this room before taking “before” pictures. Yes, please sympathize with me. One of the biggest problems has turned out to be the open storage. Dusting this room takes too much time with all the different containers and products. The glass containers have the gall to require an occasional washing. Oh, the nerve! And everything is on display to tempt my teenage daughter and her friends into hours of creative bliss which leads to a wonderful mess.


Sorry the pictures are terrible. There is only one window and the pictures were taken on my iPad. That’s my sewing table with the accompanying fabric storage alongside it. The shelf in the back stores most of my paper crafting supplies.


More paper crafting supplies are housed in the shelves along the wall right inside the doorway. Alright, to be perfectly honest, there are probably a hundred magazines taking up a few of those cubbies and unfinished projects.



Yes, we are shamelessly addicted to video games. Currently we have two Wii systems and a new Wii U. The XBoxes are in the attic because only my son plays those games. And, yes, this is also our school room. (All you homeschool mamas cringe now.) There’s no way I could’ve had this set up when they were younger.


And here is our school desk. I love this desk because it allows us to sit across from each other, and keeps our school books and supplies right at hand.


I want to say something cool like, “Here is my command center. It keeps me organized and my home and school running smoothly.” BUT, I’d be lying. I’m currently watching House, M.D., which is what I do here; along with general internet activities. My homeschool job will be over in three and a half years. I won’t lie and say I’m working on my organizational skills. Maybe I’ll change my mind when New Year’s resolution making time comes around. 😜

Okay, since honesty has been a theme this morning, I will tell you that I plan to re-work this room to better fit our needs–okay, my needs–which are:  1) it has to be pretty and 2) it still has to serve all the original functions (school, sewing, crafting, gaming, socializing, yoga). AND, honestly, I’m giving myself three weeks, so it may not get finished until next summer when my “vacation time” will be longer. So, don’t wait with bated breath, but do check back in three weeks for the reveal (or at least an update).

Have a creative day!

UPDATE

It still looks like this! I haven’t been feeling well for the last 5 or 6 months, but I was feeling better today until I decided to come work on this room.

My major problems:

  1. I don’t want to partake in gross consumerism–ha! I actually have no money for consumerism…of any kind.
  2. I bought all of these IKEA bookshelves that are more modern than my taste, so I need to figure out how to soften the room.
  3. I love all the beautiful studios that have everything on display, but I’ve been there and done that. It takes FOREVER to keep everything clean. HOWEVER, I cannot totally conceal all my supplies because I would never use them–been there, done that also.

Is it terrible that I just want to throw everything out and start over?

Chasing the Thigh Gap

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Haha, not really! I’ve never had a thigh gap; even when I was a hundred pounds back in the eighth grade. However, I am trying to heal myself of hypertension and Hashimoto’s disease. I’ve immersed myself in nutrition and paleo blogs for the last three weeks. There is so much information out there.

Three weeks ago I came across Dr. Terry Wahl’s book, The Wahl’s Protocol:  How I Beat Multiple Sclerosis. It is very well written, and such an encouragement that I decided to implement her protocol right away. By right away, I mean at lunch that very day–even though my husband and I were attending a Paul McCartney concert that evening. I had such a feeling of “I can do this” that I had to start right away.

I sat down and ate three cups of romaine lettuce, one cup of broccoli, one cup of radishes, one cup of carrots, and one cup of tomatoes (yes, that’s six cups). I figured I could eat the rest of my vegetables for dinner. I also decided to start avoiding gluten and dairy, so my favorite ranch dressing was out. In order to get all these veggies down, I needed a chaser which turned out to be two salmon filets. TWO! What was I thinking?

Fast forward a few hours to me with a raging headache in a hundred and ten degree weather trying to enjoy our date night. Needless to say, I was not hungry for dinner. My headache intensified in spite of all the water I drank. Right before the concert started, I ate a slice of Little Caesar’s pizza (yes, full of gluten and topped with tons of greasy cheese). After chewing and swallowing two bites, my headache immediately disappeared. I am sharing this because that is the first and last headache I’ve had in three weeks.

I had breast cancer twice. I’ve struggled with high blood pressure and weight and fatigue and acne and arthritis. I’ve chalked it up to hormones and “just getting old”. On day five on the Wahl’s Protocol, my blood pressure was 109/77 ( a few weeks before it was 198/125 on medication). On week two, I actually started running on the treadmill again. This week, I’ve noticed that my hair–which had been receding and solid gray along my hairline–is growing back all along my hairline…and all the new hair is black, and the gray hair seems to be fading back to black. This seems so crazy to me!

This is such an exciting journey I’m on! And I’ve learned how to incorporate all those veggies and leafy greens into all my meals. My goal is to get off of my blood pressure medication and my thyroid medication, but I’ve gone down a size in jeans already. So…a thigh gap may be in my future! Haha.

Gypsy Girl for My Gypsy Girl

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Gypsy Girl for My Gypsy Girl

I finally finished binding this quilt. I bought the fabric last year, or maybe the year before? I pieced it this March and now it’s finally bound! My daughter chose the fabric, the pattern (which she found in A Baker’s Dozen:  13 quilts from jelly rolls, layer cakes, and more), and placed each piece; and I sewed it all together.

Gypsy Girl by Lily Ashbury Fabric

The fabric is Gypsy Girl by Lily Ashbury. It literally made my heart ache with it’s beauty–and, also, I regret not purchasing more fabric. I would love to cover my couches and dining room chairs with this fabric. Maybe even make some drapery, or sundresses in every print. Ha!

I woke my daughter up and chased her into the yard with her new quilt, so I could get a photo before we had to run off to vacation Bible school. We were both in our jammies, and while taking the picture we heard our neighbor’s car start up. My girl is a new teenager, and the thought of being seen outside in her jammies by the boys next door drove her to wrap herself in the quilt. I hurriedly snapped the photo and we both darted safely into the house unseen.

IMG_1035What shall I do with myself now? I’m sure I’ll find something! Have a wonderful week!

A Walk in the Garden

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A Walk in the Garden

Today was a long day. I was frustrated after supper as I washed the dishes. I kept thinking that the sun was setting, I still needed to water my garden, and there’s that quilt I’m trying to finish, and I hadn’t even started the laundry. I had to bake this week’s bread, and make a batch of dog food on top of cooking supper. I was really starting to feel sorry for myself and get angry at everyone around me.

I took a deep breath and left the dirty dishes in the sink. I went out to the garden and had a look around. There are tiny watermelons on the vine and blackberries! The tomatoes are coming along nicely. My English lavender looks like it’s dying, but on closer inspection I saw new growth coming up in the middle. Just ten minutes outside to walk through the garden and see what’s growing and smell the scents of rosemary, gardenias, petunias, and lavender, proved to be enough to slow me down and bolster the good attitude I had all day long until after supper. I am thankful for all the good I’m surrounded with, and for the fact that tomorrow is another day!