Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In The Summertime.....

It is such a beautiful evening out there!
We grabbed some sandwiches from a local shop
and headed down by the water to eat dinner.

Even the birds were singing joyfully!
Tomorrow the heat and humidity is to return for several 
days....but for this evening we enjoyed the perfection.

Our "temp Kid", Jared, is going to be with us just a week and a half
more before returning back to his home in Missouri.
I have been so very sad to have been sick nearly the entire time
he has been with us and therefore haven't done many of these
fun kinds of things.
But it made my heart happy to get out there this evening
and have a spontaneous picnic.

The butterflies are here!
So pretty.
I have a hard time not taking photos every time.

There was a HUGE surprise in our neighborhood yesterday.
Mom called me to say that there was a bear in her back yard.
She was serious!

She watched him try over and over again to climb this tree.
But it wasn't to be so he found one he could get up.
Right beside this deer target in our neighbor's yard.
For whatever reason he determined that he should knock it down.

I took the photo below later after the bear was long gone into the corn field.
But you can see why he was able to get up in this tree.  
There was something to get hold of.

Mom took this one from her back deck as he sat in the flower bed\
between attempts to get something from the bird feeders.

The bear was captured about 11 pm last night
in the park behind our Pastor's house.
It sounds like a lot of people came out and helped in the capture 
by keeping the bear in a tree until the forest rangers were able to 
arrive and give it a sleepy dart and a ride to a mountain
just north of Harrisburg.

While Mom was taking bear photos...before calling me....
I was out back in my yard taking more butterfly photos.

There is a butterfly in that photo, I promise.

Our family news of the week is that we are supposed to 
get a new little sweetie dog.
Molly is coming from the home of an elderly couple
who can no longer care for her....
although, I know they have done a great job up until now.
My heart hurts for them.
I know they must have hated to let her go.

We haven't yet met Molly.
She is on her way to Pennsylvania, (from Florida) right now.
I think we are going to hit it off very well because of how it all came to be.

Even Warren is excited!
He wasn't in a big hurry to get another dog but 
her sweet little face won him over nearly immediately.

Hoping that Bandit and Molly become best friends.
As you know, Bandit really needs another dog friend.
She has been so very lonely.

More photos of Molly to come once she is in our home.
I need to get used to a daily brushing routine...
she is a breed that needs it.

Our little "butterfly" dog.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This and That

Bandit's thoughts on being an only dog seem to be things like this:
I'll do it my way~
Feed me more human food....just because~
I don't have to listen anymore~
Love you Mama~

I guess the attitude she is exhibiting is an independence that 
never really showed up because Chloe was the top dog.
Who knew that she was the one making Bandit behave all of
those years.

There was an auction in our neighborhood today.  
Horses and carriages were parked in various places but this
was my favorite spot.
Most comfortable for the horses and kind of pretty if you ask me.
If you look very closely you might be able to see the wagon 
attached to the back of the first carriage.
They are prepared to carry their purchases home.

Chelsea turned 21 ten days ago.  
But Chadd and some friends surprised her with a party
on July 4th.
I took this of she and her daddy that evening.
So cute.
These two.

Our daughter in law, Emily, lost her grandfather this
week after some time of illness.
It is always hard to lose those we love.
Our hearts are with she and the rest of her family
with whom we have been friends for so many years.
I'm sure the family would appreciate your prayers
as they learn how to live without this man
in their daily lives.

Today is the one year anniversary of Chadd's accident.
So many memories are coming rushing back as we relive the hours....
So much still up in the air.
We are so thankful for all God has revealed thus far.
That Chadd survived....miraculously.
For Shelley who gave him immediate assistance
and the Quarryville Fire Company who took over as soon as they arrived
removing him from the car and calling the medical helicopter.
For friends who waited with us that very long first evening as multiple
surgeries took place.
For ALL of you who have been so faithful in love, concern and prayer.
That he is able to work and minister to others at his job.
That Chelsea and Chadd were able to be married and are seeming
to be adjusting very well.
So much to be thankful for.
And so ....we will trust for the rest.
And continue to wait on HIS timing.

Oh my goodness!
Big news on the Mom front.
She retired this week!!
After working 22 years at Penn State and then 9 at the theater
she made the decision and the change.
She is looking forward to being even more involved in the 
ministries God has called her to in the past couple of years.

Look who showed up to her going away party.
I happen to know they brought her some very pretty flowers....
but alas no photo of the flowers.

By the way.  
I didn't take the last two photos.
They were stolen from FB from a friend of hers.
Hope I'm forgiven.

So there is a lot happening around here.
Hoping to get to feeling much more normally soon
and back in a regular posting routine.

Friday, July 15, 2016

For The Women Readers - Keeping it Real

Menopause...It was just a word.

Then my heart decided to run away faster and faster.

They have checked out my heart.  It is a very good pumper.  It is just going toooooo fast.

Just last night I decided to look up symptoms of menopause....because the doctor had me try hormone replacement therapy.  It changed me immediately but also made my legs ache so badly that I woke up groaning from trying to move my legs in my sleep.  So....It is on hold right now.  And after reading that it is made from pregnant horse pee I'm not sure that I would touch it again.  Horse hormones are not the same.

This begins the research stage.  I really need solutions because I'm tired of being basically housebound.

The ten pounds lost due to nothing tasting good or feeling good going down may be a plus.

So anyway:  The list of symptoms was 34 long.  I have at least these 10....

1.  Racing Heart
2.  Hot flashes (Mild)
3.  Flushing of face and chest
4.  Chills  - like crazy shaking from head to toe
5.  Anxiety - I thought I knew what anxiety felt like before.....but....this is off the charts.
6.  Dizzy/Lightheaded
7.  Digestive issues
8.  Nausea
9.  Strange odor
10. Memory loss

There may be more but this is what I can recall at the moment.  You may think that 10 out of 34 isn't that bad.  But it is bad enough!!

Now, my research continues.....if you have experienced these joys....what did you do to survive it?  I want to go as naturally as possible.  This is my current plan:

1.    Research Estrogen Creams/Bio Identical Hormones to see if there are any that have less side
       effects and use sparingly.
2.    Eat lots of cruciferous veggies.
3.    Eat potatoes. (Not a hardship!)
4.    Find a source for "clean" meats.  No hormones.
5.    Exercise.
6.    Focus on sleep schedule.
7.    Continue to lose weight
8.    Use healthy supplements such as Vitamins B, D, Magnesium and Calcium, Fiber.  For the
       moment I am rejecting Black Cohosh and some other popular choices due to drug interactions
       with my Beta Blocker.
9.    Reduce Dairy Intake
10.  Resist the temptation to stay at home and avoid anxiety attacks that are much more frequent in
11.  Be faithful to get Chiropractic Adjustments.
12.  Stay in touch with my doctor to monitor blood pressure and pulse.
13.  Continue seeing a counselor to perfect relaxation techniques.

There are many jokes about menopause but I think we need much more conversation about it.  If I had known more this may not have impacted my life so negatively over this past month.  I feel much more confident with the knowledge that this is what I'm dealing with and that there are things that can be done to get back on my feet.....with JOY.  It will happen.  With your prayers and lots of hard work I know this can be temporary.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Catching Up

I've been struggling with what is possibly a reaction
to one of my medications for a couple of months.

The symptoms have gotten more and more serious
over the past couple of weeks and landed me
in the hospital a week and a half ago.

Sadly, we still don't know what medication, if any, is the culprit.
Tomorrow I will go for a test on my heart to clear 
any issues there from causing the tachycardia attacks
I get too frequently right now.

I felt an attack coming on yesterday morning and decided 
to take a new approach to it.
I went outside and took photos of my favorite
Summer flowers.

Then I came in and called Georgia when it didn't get better.
I am so blessed to have an RN next door!!

This is what I see out my kitchen window.  
I love the blues and whites that are so pretty against the green.

It is a bit of a jungle look out there right now
but that is just how I like it!

The grass is growing up between the bricks, the hosta
flowers are at full bloom and bending into the walkway.

Warren power washed the deck and moved a few things off so you
can see them sitting to the side along the brick path.

We'll get the deck put back together at some point.
At least it is clean for the moment.
In a yard full of trees a clean deck is to be appreciated.

A pop of pink is a pleasant addition to this garden area.

The elegance of the white hydrangea which will turn to a 
rust color as the summer progresses.
I love that they look amazing the entire season.

It is crazy hot out there right now but I'm enjoying all of this 
through the kitchen window.

Looking forward to better days ahead....
and answers to this crazy racing heart.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Now I Have Three Cars.....

Feast or Famine.....that's what we always say.  Turns out that when Chelsea and Chadd decided not to keep the car which Chelsea has been driving since she was 16 and find something else instead, Warren decided that we should keep the old one.  Now, we had just purchased the Kia...I can't drive it so it probably doesn't count, and we still have the van.  Of course it is very old and burns oil so who knows how much longer it will run dependably.  So I had to agree that barring trading the two old ones for something different we should just give the kids the trade in value and keep it around for a loaner for all of our kids should any of their cars need service and a spare for us for the same reason.

This guy is very happy with the 2002 RAV 4..... because it works.

Chelsea is very happy with it as well.  She actually loved it first.  They test drove it on Monday of last week
and then did the smart thing and decided to look a bit more before making a decision.
In the meanwhile there was a ONE day sale on used vehicles at the dealership and it was marked down an additional $1,300.
Warren and I went on the day of the sale since both Chelsea and Chadd had 10-11 hour work shifts that day.
We kept them up to date and spoke with the previous owner to find out as much history as possible.
Warren became convinced this was a great vehicle for them and so we got Chelsea and Chadd's go ahead to reserve it.

Monday morning, one week after they did their first test drive we went back
 for one last test drive and they purchased the car.
If you are counting this was the third sale I have brought the salesman named Andy.

Jonathan - New Jeep Renegade.
Mom - New Toyota Corolla.
Chelsea and Chadd - Used RAV 4.

He is pretty cool and said I am his number one customer.
I told him he probably says that to all of his customers.

This was the longest we have spent on the actual car buying process...maybe ever....since Warren and I were at the dealership for hours on two visits that day... but it was worth it for the savings!!
The first time we were there someone else had staked their claim on the car but when we came back later it was still for sale.  Must have been meant for Chelsea and Chadd.

So...for a while I will have my choice of two cars to drive.

2001 Mazda Protege
2003 Mazda MPV

Most likely it will be decided by which one is running OR which one is easiest to get
out of the driveway.

First world problems!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Temporarily Without a Car

What was I thinking?  We bought a car that has a manual transmission.  I can't drive it.  Part of me wants to learn.  Part of me would rather not.  I really need that when something comes up I have options.

I had a rather quiet week scheduled but Chelsea and Chadd have their regular full week so when their car broke down this week I let them use the van.  What this means is that I've been home a lot more than I would have been normally.  This also means that the laundry is almost all done.  Woo-hoo!!  I think Warren will be tempted to take my car away a few days a week on a regular basis.  He likes it when I do the laundry during the week and he doesn't have to say anything or do it himself.

It did work out that I could drive Jonathan's new Jeep to teach music lessons yesterday.  It was the first time I've driven it.  There was such a sense of responsibility and worry that I would be the one to make the first bump or dent in this beautiful vehicle that I'm not in a hurry to drive it again.  However, I have to say it is sweet!!

I'm up to four music students now.  Three for voice and one on piano.  What a joy!!  It still boggles my mind that I have something to offer them that is worthwhile...and yet...I know we are seeing progress and so it must be true.  It is all about the teaching for me!  I will never get over the thrill of seeing it click in their eyes and their joy in mastering a new skill.  I am not the best vocalist in the far....but I have a decent ear and can communicate techniques which are helpful.'s great as long as it lasts.

My Bandit has been healing from the loss of Chloe.  We cuddle a lot.  She goes pretty much wherever I go...even on short errands around town.  She especially liked the drive-through pharmacy because they give dog treats.

There is an overall sense of sadness and heaviness due to the important things happening all around us.  The wretched shooting in Orlando...well...make that two.  Christian Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was killed first by a man who was bothered by her stand for Christ on her social media. Then in an act of terror 49 mostly young people were slaughtered by an Islamic Radical.  And there you have it.  The hated.  Those in the gay community and those who follow Christ.  Interesting how these things "happened" in the same weekend, in the same city.  I'm praying that God will overrule the intended outcomes and instead use these horrible happenings to further the spread of His gospel of peace.  I know that the Word of God tells us that there will be war, hate and fighting as long as we are on this earth until He returns to make all things new.  I just don't want to be a part of the hate.  I want to continue to show love to those in my life who disagree with me.  I want to point them to Jesus.  Nothing I can say or do in my own strength will change anyone's mind about how they live....but His Word does not return void.  It lives and breathes.  I want to spend more time in the Word so that my life can be changed and brought closer to His will all of the time.  I'm so thankful for the precious love of our Heavenly Father.  For the comfort that comes in sweet communion with Him.

No word yet on Chadd's case....please just keep praying.  It is so hard, on all of us, really, but especially on Chelsea and Chadd.  I can see the toll the stress is taking.  I do also see how these two are amazingly strong and so deeply in love with each other.  It is a joy to see them learn to make decisions, live together, figure out how she can be warm enough without him being hot.  LOL  Welcome to my world, Chadd.  And that of most other grooms of the world.    They will laugh about it some day,  I hope.  But in the meanwhile....keep those prayers headed heavenward.

It is time to go switch the last loads of laundry and pop some chicken in the oven to roast for dinner.  Woo-hoo!  The domestic life..."forced" on me this week.  :-)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Temp Kid, Saying Goodbye and The Joy of the Lord

We are borrowing a fifteen year old boy for the summer.  His name is Jared and he is pretty great.  Jared is one of those tech genius types that Warren can totally relate to.  They have a good time together over dinner and traveling back and forth to work.  Work? You say?  Yes.  Jared scored a summer internship at the theater.  That is how he came to stay with us for the summer.  You see, his parents used to live here and his dad now works for the Branson branch of the theater.  We love this family dearly and were so happy to say yes when Jared needed a place to stay.  On his first evening here Jared was online chatting with some friends and I overheard him refer to me as "Temp Mom"...I looked up and he said, "I don't know what I'm supposed to call you".  Melt my heart.  I told him to just call me Becky...he's here doing adult work so I'm planning to treat him mostly as an adult. Although I did try to put butter and syrup on his pancake this morning....he told me he could do that. lol  So......things are going great with our Temp Kid!!

Over the weekend our Chloe went downhill very quickly. Her respiratory rate was more than twice the normal count.   Monday morning I called and set a time to say our goodbyes.  It was hard, hard, hard.  But Georgia was available to go with me and so it happened.  I immediately felt a weight lifted off my chest once she was out of her distress.  In hindsight I wish we had either taken Bandit with us for the appointment or brought Chloe's body home so that she would have known what happened.  As it was Bandit spent the first 24 hours searching for Chloe.  In the approximately eight years we have had Bandit, Chloe was like a mom to her.  She has never been alone.  Poor baby.  I have shed more tears for her distress than my own pain.  But each day she is a bit better and I know that she will be fine.  I've been trying to figure out benefits to having just one dog and I'm coming up short at the moment.....but we won't rush into anything.

Through all of the challenges of this past year the JOY of the Lord remains.  Last evening I spent time with some ladies and this theme came up over and over again.  I know that sometimes we don't feel happy.  Sometimes we feel pretty stinkin' awful.  But the foundation of His Joy remains.  It is very resilient.  Before you think it would be possible.... you begin to know that peace.  And quickly following the peace come the bubbles of joy.  Like the bottom of the pot of hot water....slowly and just a couple at first....and then it comes to a boil.  Because the Love of God and the way He shows His intimate involvement in our lives can not leave us in a constant state of despair.  We must respond in gratitude and that brings the Joy.

I am holding on to this truth as we come closer to knowing how things will go for Chadd.  These are important days in the process.  Your prayers are so appreciated.  Thank you, so much!!