26 December 2013

If you don't find new posts here...

please check out my "Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint" blog. It's getting a little difficult to post in both places, so I think I'll begin mixing art and family blogging on that blog. Hopefully, this one won't go anywhere! Thanks!

01 December 2013

A Pause in Advent #1

I see the link for my Pause in Advent posts has directed you here. May I redirect you to my Pen and Ink blog, which is where I actually am posting for this. Thanks! *smile*

25 November 2013

So long since I've posted!

These have been a long 5 months spent at the bedside of my sweet husband and best friend of 33 years. On November 19 Jesus held out his hand and beckoned, and Bob followed Him into a wonderful eternity we can only try to imagine. I'm so happy for him, that his suffering is past and is now forgotten in the joy of being in the presence of his Lord and all of those loved ones who went before him. Thank you, Jesus!

This holiday season will certainly be different than any before for those of us still here on planet Earth. We will try to create new traditions centered even more closely around the real meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Our little 2 year old granddaughter, Audrey, still doesn't know where Grandpa is. Up until now we've been able to tell her he's at the doctor. We're working on how to explain that he is with Jesus. She has kind of stopped asking, but I'm sure she'll remember eventually and I hope God will give us the right words. She and Grandpa were best buddies. Give us wisdom, Lord, please.

I am thankful for my wonderful family. All seven of our children and their families have been such a lifeline through all of this. Thank you, Lord, for taking us on through to that great reunion of believers that you've promised in Your Word! :)

20 October 2013

We continue on our way...

Since the last post on this blog we've moved around a bit. We didn't actually leave the next day as hoped, but stayed a while because Bob's platelet counts were low. When we did get transferred to Golden Living Center in Walker Bob only stayed overnight and had to go to a hospital about 40 miles away because of low blood pressure and dehydration. We think they discharged him from Fargo too soon. After a week in Bemidji, he was transferred back to Walker where he is now.

Bob has been pretty stable and seems to be comfortable and fairly good natured about being in the nursing home. He likes the staff and they are all very sweet to him. One of the CNA's told him that it was generally agreed that they wish all of the residents were like Bob! His memory is very short, so if someone visits he promptly forgets they were there, but we remind him often of how many have cared enough to drop by. He's eating well, which is a good thing. I try to keep the TV tuned into something positive like Trinity Broadcasting or HGTV so I know there won't be any questionable programs on overnight. Bob has never been good with silence and solitude, so the TV is always on. I notice a lot of other residents do likewise.

Bob is finding it challenging and frustrating to form his thoughts and verbalize them, so I'm kept on my toes trying to figure out what he's needing. I can usually suggest a change of position or give him a drink or a snack and all is well. I try to use humor to let him know I'm not frustrated with his communication problems. I'm spending about 6 hours a day with him and I'm trying to be there to feed him his lunch and supper.

Most of Bob's sentences are non-sensical, but occasionally he says something meaninful. Yesterday he asked me if I had enough money in my pocket which I found very touching. It sounded like the old Bob concerned that I had lunch money for work. Today while watching a football game he said, "Good catch!" He asked me today, "Who's changing the baby?" I asked, "What baby?" He answered, "Sophie." He's mentioned a baby named Sophie on several occasions. This fascinates me because I don't know any babies named Sophie. Is it possible that he's seeing a baby who awaits us in Heaven? One never knows!

I'll be staying with Bob as described as long as needed. I'm glad to have this time to show him how much he's loved and to make sure he is comfortable.

Thanks for checking in and shalom! :)

22 September 2013

A change of scenery tomorrow?

We got moved to a private room a few days ago. This is part of the view out of our window. This is the roof of the Catholic church. Looks like a fun place to sit and birdwatch!
I'm hoping that tomorrow will bring a change of scenery for Bob and myself. I think I'm happier about it than he is. He won't get to go home, but will be much closer than we are here. Bob's being transferred to the Golden Living Center in Walker, MN where I hope he gets good physical therapy. I'll be 18 miles away at home and hope to spend the first couple of weeks being with him a lot before thinking about going back to work.

Right now, work is 12 miles west of home and the nursing home is 18 miles east, so that will be a lot of driving. If Bob needs long term care I may go job hunting in Walker. That would certainly simplify things...I think. I'm finding there are no guarantees or fail safe plans, so we take it day by day.

It will be nice to be home. I'll try to make sure they are taking good care of Bob. It's all I can do right now.

I want to babysit for Micah on Thursdays and Fridays, so I'm looking for a four day work week with Mondays off as well. That will mean working every weekend, but with Bob not at home that doesn't really matter. That way I can visit him on Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings and then work out some other days to visit along with Micah and Josh doing a little visiting. If I actually work in Walker it will be much easier to visit him every day for a bit.

So, that's what's happening right now. Bob is pretty quiet and not very perky. Thanks for prayers! :)

Shalom on your day.

15 September 2013

Awesome church architecture...

There are three magnificent churches right next to the hospital where we are staying. I've walked by them and wished I'd brought my camera, then I finally remembered and took some snaps. Wish we had churches like this where I live. They don't make them like this anymore!

The Congregational Church of Christ is the most modest of the three churches, but still fascinating to study. (Click on the images to make them bigger.)

St. Mary's is just to the southwest of the hospital.



First Lutheran is just across the street to the south of us. I loved the brick details and stained glass. I took a lot of shots of this beautiful church!


I loved this cool little brickwork above a side door.

 I thought these pointy brick pyramids on top of the tower were a great bit of workmanship.

Just to the south of the Lutheran church is this very ordinary looking part of the old downtown of Fargo. I was happy to find a store called Art Materials a couple of blocks away.

That's where I bought my first Moleskine sketchbooks! I opted for the set of 3 Plain Journals and also bought a Sakura Microperm pen. Ready to sketch! I almost sprang for some cheap watercolors, but decided not to since I have some across town at my daughter's apartment. I just didn't want to drive that far! But some sketching will be fun and I do have some colored pencils in my purse.

Did a little walking around the neighborhood. The house up ahead planted sunflowers on both sides of the sidewalk so you walk through a tunnel of flowers.

We are here. I'm actually standing in front of the Congregational Church while taking this photo.

 Part of the healing garden in front of the hospital.
 The helipad is right outside of our window!
This is part of our panoramic view of the treetops.We're surrounded by older neighborhoods with many beautiful mature trees. A lot of them are cottonwoods and are very majestic.


We're hoping Bob will be discharged and sent to a rehab closer to home tomorrow or, at least, very soon. I'm kind of concerned about whether he'll get a good enough level of care at a nursing home, but we'll do the best we can and trust God to make it good! I look forward to sleeping at my own home and it looks like Josh and family are returning to the area again!! (Yes, they seem to enjoy making the trek back and forth from Kentucky!) Josh wants to be closer while Bob is going through these health issues and he's already got a job at the same store where I work. He will stay at our house while house hunting and then bring the family. I'll be glad for the company and to have more family here.

Son Bob, who lives in Longmont and has his business in Lyons, has been sending photos of flood damage at his shop. The whole thing was sitting in the river, but the garage door held up so he's hoping the mud didn't get inside. His construction trailer was still sitting where he left it outside the shop. Looks like he may not have as much damage as he could have had. Praise God! (At the time that I spoke to him he hadn't been able to actually get to the shop because of downed powerlines and a gas main that had to be shut off.)

Y'all have a great day!

01 September 2013

The mother ship...

I tease my step-daughter, Missy, that she lives in the shadow of an alien mother ship...

This water tower stands about 10 feet behind Missy's garage and in the event of a tornado would probably land on top of her apartment. I'm not sure what they were thinking building  it this close to an apartment building. It wasn't there when she moved into her apartment two years ago. Anyway, it is an impressive sight to a hayseed like myself.  This is where I'm staying while Bob is in rehab and finishes radiation treatments.

It's been a slow weekend. Bob's physician ordered bedrest for him so he can't be moved out of the bed until Tuesday when we hope the order will be changed so he can begin physical therapy. He has treatments until Friday and maybe a few more. We won't know until this next week. He seems to be doing well and didn't need the anxiety drug this last treatment. I'm glad of that because it makes him really out of things.

So, not much happening at the moment. I sit with him about 10 hours a day, but I'm learning to take breaks and explore Fargo a bit. I went to the mall today and shopped around in a Scandinavian import store. I found a copy of  Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Big Red Hen, which is part of a series of books I read to my kids many years ago. I had to buy a copy for Audrey and Hazel. They don't write 'em like THAT any more! (I'll try to take a picture of it later and post it here.)

That's all for now. Things are winding down and I'll be heading out to get some supper and return to the mother ship for the night. :)

Shalom, folks!

19 August 2013

Healed in the name of Jesus!

I'm not going to name the thing that the doctors say is going on in Bob's body. Instead, we believe that the name of Jesus is more powerful than any other name on earth or in the entire creation! We are praying and believing that he's healed by the stripes of Jesus from the top of his head to the soles of his feet! We would love for you to join in agreement with us.

Lots of sitting in the hospital room for the last couple of days. It's been good to sit and visit with Bob, daughters Micah and Missy, and having Josh and family come to visit for a while. (Little ones don't dig hospital rooms that much, so it was fairly brief.) We had quite a good prayer meeting with two of our kids on speaker phones. Hallelujah!

Trying to keep lists of things to do and the kids are helping a lot.

The ramp guys are back finishing up the  ramp. They kind of wondered when they saw that Josh and I had laid boards across the unfinished portion so we could get Bob to the hospital on Saturday. They thought that was quite ingenious of us!

We're awaiting the doctors' decision about when Bob goes to Fargo. It will be either today or tomorrow.

God is good, all the time! He is doing good things in Bob's body and in our lives. Thank you, Father!


06 August 2013

Update on Bob...

It seems like a long time since my last post! That very night (about midnight) I called an ambulance to take Bob to the hospital. He was worried about the way he was feeling from the hydrocodone he had been taking. At the hospital they put him in observation overnight. I got home and to bed about 3 a.m.! Then up at 8:30 so I could do chores and make preparations to go into town to pay some bills before going back to the hospital. Good thing I took some clean clothes for Bob. He insisted on going home last night. It sure doesn't seem like only last evening that we came home.

At the hospital they switched him to Tramadol for his pain. He's doing better on it, but still needs some time to form thoughts. The pain killer is making him pretty sleepy and he's sitting all the time, so it's getting harder for him to get up at all. Here by myself it's difficult to have him stand and use his muscles except when he absolutely has to. At 290 pounds I have to be very careful.

Josh and Jess are coming up this weekend and are going to move in with us and help with Bob's care. It's a real blessing that they want to do this. I  don't know how I could have found round the clock care any other way. One challenge will be two active little people. Bob seems to like things quiet, but we can't do this on our own, and I'm so grateful to the kids for doing this!

I've been making many phone calls to our seven kids over the last two days. They are all wonderful and volunteering to do what they can. Our son in Colorado is helping a lot financially and is going to pay to have a wheelchair ramp built. Our son Jordan in Ft. Worth has a great bunch of prayer warriors at his church holding us up in prayer. Our daughter in Fargo is great at hunting up information and helping us to figure out what we need to be pursuing as far as Bob's back pain and lung diagnosis go.

Yes, we did get a diagnosis on the lung biopsy. The doctor said they found "a cancer cell", so he labeled it lung cancer. I'm not going to let these words panic me. There are so many different versions of this disease and these spots have been on Bob's lungs for many years. We will do what we can to find out more, but we're not going to just let the doctors begin aggressive treatments that may do more harm than good. We have lots to learn.

The man from the medical supply company came by this afternoon and measured Bob for a wheelchair. He also checked out the house to see if he could get around in it. It looks like it will work well and Bob will be encouraged to exercise his arms. The medicine he's taking is making him weak, so we need to work on building him up with diet and exercise. My CNA training is coming in handy, though we're doing a lot of winging it. :)

God is with us! He doesn't give us disease, but he can use what Satan meant for evil, for good. When it comes right down to it, it's just us and Jesus. We all will meet Him one-to-one and our relationship is with Him alone. Help us, Lord, to learn to lean on You entirely!


04 August 2013


As you may recall, I made the brilliant decision to buy heirloom tomatoes this year. I have harvested a grand total of ONE tomato. There are a few green ones, but I'm not even going to bother with those. NEXT year, back to the good old genetically messed with versions! Yeah!

There is a cute story that goes along with that lone tomato. I brought it in the house, washed it and proudly set it on the counter to admire. A little later Miss Audrey and Miss Hazel came to visit. Audrey grabbed her little pink stroller, which she uses as a shopping cart, and disappeared around the corner of the kitchen island. We were in the living room and soon noticed that it was mighty quiet. Next we thing knew she came walking back around the corner, the big tomato in her hand and a chomp out of the side of it! I didn't even know she could reach that high!

She announced, "Mmmm, this is DEE-wish-us! This is an apple!"

I said, "No, honey, it's a tomato!"

"Oh," she said, "It's a to-MA-to. It's DEE-wish-us!" Then she crawled up on the couch and proceeded to consume it. We threw a towel over her lap and watched her with much laughter.

(If you readers already saw this on FB...oh, well!)


The drum demo...
and something for Pom Pom!
(I hope it wasn't you who posted this on FB?)

I came home early from work today to be with Bob. The pain medicine he's taking is making him very disoriented and I didn't think it was a good idea for him to be alone for too long. I'm taking the next couple of days off and hopefully the doctor and I can find a solution to the problem.

Y'all have a great day!

27 July 2013

Audrey's birthday party!

I can't believe I didn't take my camera! Audrey's birthday was actually on the18th, but we got together today for a party. Micah and Adam set up the party in the field next to Adam's grandparent's house. There's a nice fire ring where we had a bonfire and roasted hot dogs and smores. Then we sang the birthday song and Audrey blew out her "2" candle and ate a cupcake. I made the cakes and cupcakes and Audrey pronounced them dee-WISH-us! Then came present opening. She got lots of books (which she tried to read, but everyone hurried her on to the other gifts!) She also got coloring books galore, crayons, markers, a purse, and a plethora of My Little Ponies. Her mom and dad got her a tricycle/Big Wheel type vehicle with Dora the Explorer on it. She and cousin Cali played on the antique playground equipment that grandpa installed in the field. It's such a unique area. There are small patches of lilies, black eyed susans and other pretty flowers scattered here and there, a small playground, the fire pit and odds and ends of decorative metal objects (like an old arbor) placed here and there. It's kind of magical. Micah was apologetic about not thinking up something fancier to do for a party, but I think Audrey had a blast and everyone else really enjoyed the outdoor time.

The weather has cooled off as expected. It's feeling like...FALL! Yikes!

I caught Bob out in the pasture visiting with the horses. Before I clicked the shutter they were all gathered around sniffing at him. Pretty cute.

Josh once bemoaned the fact that people don't make their own greeting cards with their own words inside. So this is the card I made him for his 29th birthday, which will be on August 2. I hope he likes it. I wrote about a fond memory I had of his younger years when he loved to go fishing. I suspect he loved the solitude and time to think more than actually catching fish. He usually fished off the side of a bridge and he once came home and told me about how a huge loon had swum under the bridge. It looked like a torpedo under the water. I have so many good memories of my kiddos growing up, and I'm so proud of the grown people they've become!
Please continue to keep Bob in your prayers. Thursday is the appointment to get the lung checked and biopsied. He's feeling kind of glum and having pain from the ribs he injured on his left side. He's trying not to listen to Satan's whisperings, but when it's quiet his mind thinks on it too much. Thanks!
I think I already showed this picture, but I love it, so here it is again!

 Have a blessed day! Jesus will never leave us or forsake us! The road leads home! :)

18 July 2013

Check up day for Bob...

Another beautiful photo just outside our back door! I like the way the clouds pick up on the shape of the tree.

Bob went to Fargo and saw a doctor about his chest x-rays. He now needs to go back next week when they will put a scope down into his lung to see things in more detail. I may go with him then because he will need a driver to get home.

It's hot as a pistol here. We hear promises of cooler weather...I hope it's true! But it is very pretty and sunny outside and I feel a small breeze through the window. I'll have to get some pictures of my garden soon. I see some baby squashes!

Have a wonderful day!
Shalom all!

13 July 2013

God's Art...

Kind of beautiful, huh? This was last night just before a storm passed over. God has nicer paints than me, ha, ha. But that's fine!

We have a challenging week ahead. When Bob went in for an exam a couple of weeks ago they found something on his chest x-ray. He went back in for a CAT scan and the doctor here said he needed to see an oncologist to get it checked further. So, Bob has an appointment on Thursday to go to the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo. Prayers are appreciated.

We're believing God for healing and trying not to get in the "cancer fear" mode because Satan operates almost totally by inserting fear into our hearts. It's his only weapon. Bob plans to drive himself to Fargo where daughter Missy has offered a place for him to stay. Wifey (me) will stay home and do chores. At least that's the plan at the moment.

On other fronts, son Jordan just returned from a big event he participated in in Florida. This had to do with his singing and other talents. He didn't "win" anything, but I think he is now more content to minister in his church. He said he was competing against big folks from Los Angeles and such places. I'm glad he's not getting into the slick, professional side of music ministry. God is using him right where he is, but I'm glad he got a chance to see what's going on. I think it was a good experience.

Everyone else is pretty much doing the same old things. It's been hot and steamy here though today is not too bad.

Have a great day! This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!

04 July 2013

A happy birthday song from grandson Nathan to his Uncle Jordan...


Happy birthday, Jordan.
I love you!
(Or something like that.)

I should say it's from Nathan and Ellie aka Starry. She does make a cameo appearance at the beginning. Too much joy not to share!

Jordan is in Florida as we speak at a big seminar where he will compete in singing and such. It's the culmination of the past year he's spent with a Christian talent organization called Actors, Models and Talent for Christ. As you can tell, I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but he's hoping it will help him in his ministering abilities. Hope he's having an exciting time. (You can find out more about AMTC by clicking the link above.)

It's the 4th! Bob took me to a flea market this morning to browse. Now I'm back home and he and Micah are on their way back to town with the grandgirls to watch the parade. I worked so hard yesterday that I really wanted to stay home today... so I am! :)

Here is what I purchased while "browsing" at the flea market.

Four bucks!
Another $4! (And it has a basket, Pom!)
Most of the puzzles at the flea market were $1. I thought this one was pretty. Haven't done a puzzle in years, but I thought we could leave it out on the dining table and do it while admiring the garden outside.

 I bought lots of little frames! Cheap!
I especially like the two frames shown below. They are both heavy metallic frames. I'm not sure if the pictures are of "real" people or advertising, but they're intriguing enough I just might hang onto them!
The lady who sold me the two frames below, for $1, also had many oil paintings for sale. They were painted by her husband and were really pretty good. Since I couldn't afford one of those I bought these! (She lowered the price to 50 cents but, since I was feeling magnanimous, I paid her the full $1!)
Yay! Peter Rabbit! Audrey will love it!
Sorry, for 25 cents I just couldn't pass up this ceramic spoon rest thingy!
That's it! I even had money left over!! :)

Have a great 4th!

25 June 2013

Mini family reunion!

We're expecting a great get-together today. Trev and Rhonda and the four grands from Maryland are coming to spend the day. Also, Missy and great-grand, Hailey, will be coming. Of course, Micah will be bringing Audrey and Hazel. (Trev's family traveled here by van to attend [grandson] Aaron's wedding next Saturday. They're making a full-blown vacation out of it.)

There are plans in place to play with and feed horses and to go swimming  in the lake. I'm sure there will be lots of talking (I do a lot of listening) and laughter.

Micah's little Audrey tried climbing out of her crib for the first time a couple of days ago and fractured her left arm. Poor little tyke! She's adventurous like her mom. She came walking out of her bedroom saying, "My bone hurts." They weren't sure it was serious at first because she wasn't complaining and seemed to be using it, but took her in for an x-ray and it was, indeed, fractured. She got a soft cast over the weekend but today she gets the real deal. I stopped by their place yesterday and she was kind of proud of her achievement. She proclaimed, "I broke my arm!" and held it up for my inspection. Micah called this morning and said that Audrey had removed the soft cast sometime during the night so she's taking her to the doctor a little earlier than planned this morning. Hopefully she will get the hard cast right away and they can join the family reunion very soon!

I'm hoping to post some pictures later! Y'all be good and shalom!

21 June 2013

Omigosh! Lisa's wearing...


And I LIKE them! Who knew I would? They'll take some getting used to, but it's nice to be able to see well at three different distances. (Please excuse the goofy expression. It's hard to take your own picture...)

We've been having tons of rain the last couple of days. Hope the garden doesn't get too soggy!

Micah had her first day of work today. She got a part-time job cleaning at a motel in Park Rapids. She was sad about leaving her girls with someone else but, actually, her only option is family members since they're the only people who will sit for free. With two girls it would cost her $6/hour for a sitter and she's only making $7. I've offered to babysit on my days off, but that's only one weekday per week. Hope she can make enough arrangements to cover her workdays. She also has jury duty next week. Her life is so complicated! (This job is just for the summer. She's hoping to earn enough to buy dog grooming equipment so she can work from home. Prayers appreciated!)

Bob and I just finished doing chores, so now I'm going to check up on my ATC site. Just mailed a batch off and I'm looking forward to receiving some cards soon. Just like Christmas in June!

Talk to you later! Shalom!

18 June 2013

Still enjoying the yard...

Remember that little red flower I took a picture of in the back yard? Here is a similar picture...

They're called geum triflorum or Prairie Smoke! I like the second name best! Here's what they look like when they blossom...

Are they cool or what?!? Many, many years ago, when Bob and I had just moved here, I remember seeing a field full of these and wondering what on earth they were. How one little specimen got to my backyard I can only wonder. One of God's little gifts... I'm going to keep an eye on it so I can see it bloom in person.

Oh, Glenn, I forgot to answer a question in your email. The little red bird in my header photo is a scarlet tanager. I've only seen a couple in the 23 years we've lived here. This little guy was pretty curious about us.

Well, I'm off to water the plants on the deck. I just watered all of the raspberries and the sprinkler is working on the large garden. Bob's mowing and the yard's looking pretty good...for what used to be a pasture! :)  But it's our little slice of paradise on earth.

Thank you, Lord, for this green and peaceful place.


12 June 2013

More playing in the yard...

Today was a day to finish up planting the two gardens!

My little garden now sports dahlias (in the back around the old wheels and cream cans). In front of them is a half row of lettuce. I'll sow more of that in a couple of weeks. The six circles are zucchini and yellow summer squash. After I finished this, Bob and I finished planting corn, peas and carrots in the bigger garden. Now to sit and wait. :)

I also checked on the raspberries I planted in the back yard. This is the biggest one. I think they will all make it, so in two or three years we'll have some berries!
This little plant was growing next to one of the sumacs. I'm not sure what it is, but it's kind of pretty!

Of course, the nosey neighbors had to see what I was up to...

The petunias are happy in their little pots...or bait bucket, whichever the case may be.

Hope you're having a great day!