Remembering, Planting and Close-Ups

May 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm (Uncategorized)

This is the second year I’ve tended the graves of my Grammy, Pappy, Grandma Millie and Grandpap.  It is an honor to do it.  This year I took darling DannyO along for muscle help.  We took Jazzy just for the ride.

Jazzy loves the air on her nose :-D

Jazzy loves the air on her nose :-D

Jazmine-13

Our first stop was the Pike cemetery.  Danny weed-wacked around the grave and I started digging.  This year I brought along some mulch.  I’m not sure if mulch is allowed but… Jazzy stayed in the car and barked at the people tending other graves.  I used a mixture of pansies and cosmos.  I talked to Grammy and Pappy.  Grammy especially liked “DannyO.”

2015

2015

Dan insisted on taking a picture with me in it :-D

Dan insisted on taking a picture with me in it :-D

We then drove to Ogden Cemetery.  Again, Danny weed-wacked around our families’ grave stones.  I dug and planted the flowers.  I talked to Grandma Millie and Grandpap.  Ogden cemetery is on a back road and when there was no one else around, we let Jazzy out of the Pilot.  I introduced her to Grandpap — he loved dogs, especially his Socks.

Pansies and Cosmos

Pansies and Cosmos

Me and Jazzy :-D

Me and Jazzy :-D

Jazzy giving kisses

Jazzy giving kisses

When we got home, I used the rest of the mulch on my herb garden.  Danny and I also planted two hydrangeas.  I hope they grow!

Herbgarden-2

My friend, Juel, gave me this faerie years ago. I love her as much today as I did when she gave her to me :-)

Herbgarden-1

Of course, I can’t post a blog without including another picture of Jazzy.  I have had quite a year and a love-hate relationship with our Airedale.  She turned one on May 14.  In the last week we have seen a drastic change in her behavior!!  She is listening, not as demanding and I can actually exist in the same space with her as I create – both sewing and painting.

“I’m ready for my close-up!”

Jazmine-14

Jazmine-8

Jazmine-1

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Mixed Media Pieces and Other things…

May 7, 2015 at 10:01 am (Uncategorized)

Jesus, You’re the center of my joy,
all that’s good and perfect comes from You.
You’re the heart of my contentment, hope for all I do;
Jesus, You’re the center of my joy.

When I’ve lost my direction, You’re the compass for my way,
You’re the fire and light when nights are long and cold.
In sadness, You are the laughter, that shatters all my fears,
when I’m all alone, Your hand is there to hold.

This song has been running around in my head all morning.  Maybe that’s because I’m working on some mixed media pieces that include the word “joy.”

As promised, I will try to explain why you haven’t heard from me since September.  I was in a very dark place and I just couldn’t be open and vulnerable.  It started when I began to take an extended release of an opiate on top of the same opiate.  I just wanted to leave this world.  I wasn’t actively looking for a way to end my life, but I would have been okay with just not waking up.  It took me a little bit of time to recognize what I was feeling.

At first it was just darkness… It is hard to write about and describe but if you’ve had those feelings, you understand.  When I realized what was happening, my first thought wasn’t to call a psychiatrist (although maybe it should have been) but to figure out what had changed in my life.  I am through menopause, my kids are doing very very well and my darling hubby is still my darling DannyO.  The only change was the extended release on top of the regular opiate.  (They are now gone from my house!!!)  I talked to my PA at the neurologist’s office.  He said that it was one of the more obscure side effects.  The same medicine takes my Mom to a bad place so since I am her daughter it stands to reason it might have the same effect on me.

Rafe instructed me how to word my explanation to my pain management doctor so as not to alarm them.  I called and said I was having “intrusive thoughts” and needed to go back on a regular pain pill.  It is a step back and isn’t as effective, but I tolerate it better.  I left a message and within an hour they called me back.  I explained that I was not actively suicidal but needed to get off of the meds as soon as possible.  I had to wean myself off of the extended release pill.  It took about 10 days of me being completely off of the meds for me to see light again.  But then I had to pick up the pieces…  {{sigh}}

The winter was very long but slowly I began to actually believe that there are new mercies every morning.  I also started to paint again, but differently.  I will explain in another blog about my “Lovingly Millie” venture…

The beginning of the process...

The beginning of the process…

Further along

Further along

My choir director called me in February and asked me to play for two things…  The Cresson Lake Playhouse Cabaret and the CC Middle School Concert.  He prefaced it by saying, “You can say no.” I couldn’t find a reason to say no so I dusted off my piano and began to practice.  The cabaret went very well even though I was scared to death!  The middle school concert is the next week so we shall see…

The cast of the cabaret

The cast of the cabaret

For now I am putting one foot in front of the other, taking one day at a time.  Jazzy Joy is making me crazy, but a good crazy.  I have to walk her every day so it gets me out of the house.  I’ve also started some PiYo in an attempt to get more exercise.  Each day I am thankful that I am blessed, so very blessed.

Jazzy, before her haircut

Jazzy, before her haircut

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Tiramisu Cupcakes

April 26, 2015 at 9:26 am (Uncategorized)

I haven’t blogged for 8 months.  The reasons are varying and I will get into them later in another post (they include meds that didn’t react well with my brain’s outlook on life…).  I have been working on some mixed media pieces which people seem to be interested in buying.

The reason for this blog is I made some delicious tiramisu cupcakes yesterday and two people have asked me for the recipe so I thought I’d share the deliciousness with everyone!! I got the recipe from a Food Network magazine

Tiramisu cupcakes

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners

Cupcake ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 heaping tsp expresso powder (I used instant)
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and expresso powder together.  In another bowl, whisk 1 stick melted butter, sugars, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture just until combined.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the tops spring back. (18-20 minutes)

  • 1/4 cup brandy

Brush warm cupcakes with brandy.

Frosting

  • 1/2 stick softened butter
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Beat butter, cheeses, vanilla,  pinch of salt with a mixer on medium speed until creamy (1-2 minutes). Gradually beat in 2 cups confectioners’ sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, then beat on medium high until thick and fluffy. (1-2 more minutes).

  •  cocoa powder

After you frost the cupcakes, dust the tops with cocoa powder

I did a few things differently.  In my oven, the cupcakes needed closer to 25 minutes for the tops to “spring back.”  I didn’t brush the brandy on the cupcakes.  I dipped the warm tops into the brandy (just like you do when you make Tiramisu). It made less of a mess.  I didn’t measure the mascarpone cheese, but used one whole small container.  I didn’t measure the xx sugar, just added enough until I like the consistency of the frosting.

There you have it!!!  One delicious recipe.  I promise you, the cupcakes taste like tiramisu, but without the labor-intensive process!!

I also am giving you a sneak peek of one of my mixed media pieces.  I will explain in another blog my inspiration (my Grandma Millie).  This piece is called “Find Strength for the Journey.”  I am going to have it professionally photographed before it goes to its new home :-)

"Find Strength for the Journey"

“Find Strength for the Journey”

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A Place Of Rest

September 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm (Multiple Sclerosis, Musings...)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11: 28.

Fair warning… this isn’t a happy blog post.  It is a cry from my heart.  No pictures. No profound statements.  Just me trying to put a very long battle into perspective and searching for a bit of peace.

Those of you who read my blog understand that I work really hard to find JOY in every circumstance.  You haven’t heard from me because I didn’t want to burden you.  Many, and I might say most public blogs only show the fun side of life.  Right now, it is very hard to read them because it seems most people are sailing through life, creating, functioning beautifully, without a bump in the road.

My “bump” is coming up on 25 years… multiple sclerosis.  I have fought bravely with all of my being but I am tired, very very tired, tired in my bones, tired in my soul.

Several factors have culminated to get me to this point.  First, my disease is progressing.  My trigeminal neuralgia gives me a literal pain in my head most days.  Medicating that is tricky.  I walk a fine line between being addicted to opiates and under-medicating to the point where it takes more drugs to get rid of the pain.  My MS is causing my legs to weaken by the end of the day, meaning that by the time DannyO comes home from work I am totally spent.  Add to that sweet Jazmine.  If I am honest, we have a love-hate relationship.  She is nearly 5 months old, very smart, but a puppy with frenetic energy.  I no longer have the privilege of staying in bed all day.  Sometimes I need to do that but right now am unable to do so.  Since I agreed to get her, I cannot complain to Danny about it.  If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have her – she is Dan’s.  But what is done is done.

I weep a few times each day.  Yesterday I took Jazzy outside to run off some steam.  It was a beautiful sunny Autumn day but I couldn’t see the beauty.  As I lie in the grass I asked, “Where are you Lord??  I can’t feel You!!  I can’t see You!!”

A whisper came through my spirit… “Breathe, my child, in and out… breathe My Name. I am here. I love you my child”

You see, I forget to pray for myself.  I pray for others… sweet Madeline, my darling DannyO and children, my MS Ninja friends, Jenn, requests that come over the EBC Facebook page, my Momma and Daddy.

While it wasn’t a big “ah-ha” moment, I decided to just breathe the name of Jesus.  Today I am doing better.  I was able to do a load of wash, pay bills and pick a few things up at the grocery store without having a panic attack.   I took Jazzy to the store because I went early enough that it wasn’t too hot.  Right now she is crated so I can rest.  I am learning that her crate is my friend. :)

Tomorrow??  Don’t know.  I’m just trying to get through today.  Jazzy will want out soon and we will be taking a slow walk (that would be me) to help wear her out.  She romps and runs as I shuffle along.  My house is filthy (by my standards).  It probably would be a good idea if I found someone to help me one day each month.  We need to clean part of the basement so Jazmine can go out using that door. It would help keep my kitchen floor clean.  I can’t go into my art room during the day because she likes to be right by my side and there are too many things she could ruin.  In the evening I am just too tired.  Soon she will be willing and able to simply lie at my feet… soon… I want to sing.  I want to sew.  I want to paint.   I want to dance (not really but I’m planning to dance in heaven).

So, I breathe, in and out, breathing His Name, asking the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf because I don’t know how to pray.  I behave my way through each day, knowing that there is a chance that tomorrow will be better… maybe.  But I hold on to the promise that, if I am weary and heavy laden, I know a place of rest.

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

Refrain:
O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

Refrain:
O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

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Meet “Blueberry Hill Jazmine”

July 21, 2014 at 1:03 pm (Uncategorized)

Our sweet Tessapoo died on January 23, 2011. My Post, “How Do You Say Goodbye.”   I vowed we’d never have another dog.  My heart was so broken, I didn’t know if I could recover.  Then Darling DannyO started wearing me down.  We made compromises, which is why we just didn’t go to a shelter — I wanted a dog that did not shed (I was NOT EVER sweeping each and every day again).  He didn’t want a little dog, but a hunting buddy.  Friends B & G posted pictures of their dog, Crockett on Facebook.  I asked what kind of dog he was and where did they get him??  We found out Crockett was an Airedale Terrier.  Someone we actually knew, Jeff Varner, breeds them.  Circumstances prevented us from actually purchasing one until this year.

Because she is AKC registered, we had to come up with more than “Jasmine,” her original name.  So, she is “Blueberry Hill JaZmine,” because her Mom is Mountain Summit Black RaZberry.  Of course, I’m already calling her “Jazz” or “Jazzy” or “Scoobydoo”(not sure why!?!?)

She is smart and really wants to make us happy, except when she wants to make herself happy :-D.  {{sigh}} it will all work out!

At the breeder's home

At the breeder’s home

We are crate training her. She stays in her crate if we cannot watch her 100% of the time.  She sleeps in one too.  Now, to be sure, she has accidents — she is only 9 weeks old.  They are down to about one a day.  We are learning her “signs.”

 

Second Visit to the Breeder's home

Second Visit to the Breeder’s home

Home at last!!

Home at last!!

My deal with DannyO was that the dog would be his (registered in his name) and when he was home, he would be her primary caregiver.  He is holding up his end of the bargain.  Of course, he works 8-10 hours a day so that leaves me and Jazzy a lot of bonding time.

Already causing trouble

Already causing trouble

Eight weeks old

Eight weeks old

what a cutie!!

what a cutie!!

Nine weeks old

Nine weeks old

She loves to sleep on the tiled kitchen floor

She loves to sleep on the tiled kitchen floor

An odd sleeping position

An odd sleeping position

Amanda came home to give me a much-needed rest -- her "walk" with Jazmine

Amanda came home to give me a much-needed rest — her “walk” with Jazmine

With me battling MS and TN, this is indeed a stressful time for me.  I am not afraid to put her in the crate when I need a break or a nap.  She complains because she’d rather be sitting ON my feet, but she’s surviving.  I know it is temporary — Jazmine will become part of our family and to be honest, she already has my heart :-)

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Baby Dresses and Bracelets

July 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm (Jewelry, Sewing Projects)

I have been sewing non-stop for the last month.  My daughter’s friend Sarah and her hubby are having a baby girl.  She was Amanda’s roommate when she moved to the DC area. They lived together until Sarah and, six months later, Amanda got married.  I knew I wanted to do something special for Sarah’s baby shower.  I decided to dust off my sewing machine and make one of those tutu dresses that are so popular.  Of course, being the thrift store maven I am, I chose to re-purpose two skirts I purchased for $2.99 each.  I decided to make two dresses just in case I screwed one up royally… I would have a back-up. I always have complete confidence in my abilities.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into!!

I made the 6-12 Month

I made the 6-12 Month

For the tutu dresses, I used Violette Field Threads – Chloe. I re-purposed a skirt for each bodice. I had to purchase three different fabrics for the skirt, 2 yards each, netting, tulle and chiffon.  They suggested nylon chiffon because it doesn’t fray, but my local Joann fabric store didn’t have any, so I had to get the kind that frays like mad — and it frayed madly!!  I decided to interface the fashion fabric because each skirt piece had a slight 4-way stretch. I wanted it to be firm. Again, re-purposing is about giving pre-worn garments a beautiful second life.  It was easy to do and, once I interfaced it, the material cooperated 100% !!  I also used buttons from my Grammy’s stash.   I fully finished the bodices, buttons and all, before I even started on the skirts.  That was a good decision on my part.

The skirt… ahhhh… the skirt… three different fabrics cut 10 inches long (10 1/2 for the chiffon because I had to hem that), 2 yards wide.  The fabrics were hemmed, side seams sewed, lined up, and then I began to gather… 72 inches to 20 inches.  Each skirt took about 2 hours to hem, sew, gather BEFORE attaching to the bodice.  The one thing I will do differently next time is I WILL learn to use my serger and I WILL use it to combine the three fabrics.  I also will be purchasing a gathering foot for my machine in the hopes that it will make this step easier — quite honestly, there probably is not much that will make it easier except to use less fabric, which I won’t do because the finished product is AMAZING!!!!

Madeline's dress

Madeline’s dress

...the back (using buttons from Grammy's stash)

…the back (using buttons from Grammy’s stash)

Both dresses turned out beautifully and I was only giving one dress to Sarah.  I decided to give the second dress to my friend Tab who is having a baby girl soon too.  (You can click the link on Tab’s name to read her wonderful blog).

Dress for Tab's baby girl

Dress for Tab’s baby girl

...the back (using buttons from Grammy's stash)

…the back (using buttons from Grammy’s stash)

A sane woman would have stopped at two beautiful tutu dresses.  But I have never said I was sane!!  Sarah and Tim have named their girl Madeline.  I decided to use my machine embroidery attachment to make a pillow for her room.

Madeline's pillow

Madeline’s pillow

It took me as long to reacquaint myself with the attachment as it did to embroider the pillow. Of course, I didn’t stop there.  I had some beautiful sparkly beads that I sewed around the embroidery and I found a beautiful butterfly that I hand-stitched on.  I don’t have a picture of the back of the pillow, but it has three buttons/buttonholes.  I used buttons from Grammy’s stash.

Simplicity 1547

Simplicity 1547

Then, this crazy woman decided to make a winter dress for Madeline.  I used Simplicity 1547.  I found a sweet corduroy fabric.  I made a small pink felt flower to match.

Sweet corduroy dress

Sweet corduroy dress

And then… Sarah has always loved the earrings I made for Amanda’s bridesmaids.  She will often email me when she wears them.  I had a few of the stones in my stash…

Sarah's bracelet

Sarah’s bracelet

Now she has a matching bracelet.

And then… I went through my iTunes and made a music mix for Madeline.  I chose all women artists, including my darling daughter.  For Sarah’s music mix, I gathered all of the worship music that heals my heart and encourages me.

The baby shower was beautiful!  Sarah’s friends did a wonderful job.  I helped Judy put the little teeny-tiny appetizers together.  Of course, I forgot to take my camera and didn’t get a picture of me and Sarah :-(

Judy's beautiful "little bites."  I only helped assemble them :-)

Judy’s beautiful “little bites.” I only helped assemble them :-)

I was putting together the mailer to send Tab her dress and decided to make her a bracelet.  I don’t know her favorite color, but green is my “go-to” when I don’t have a specific inspiration color.  I used one of my “joy” beads just to encourage her.  She is going to, very soon, have three kiddos all under the age of five and two dogs and a hubby and a blog and a business… she’s one busy, inspirational lady.  I pray she is reminded to simply en”joy” each day, no matter what it brings.

Tab's bracelet -- always remember to have JOY

Tab’s bracelet — always remember to have JOY

Oh, and last week I spent five days helping Amanda decorate her and Hengyi’s new townhouse.  We walked and walked, looked and looked (she says I touched and touched… I must confess, I touch everything!!), bought and bought (again, another story — I have to put my credit card away for a while).  I hemmed drapes and curtains and, when we got back to my house, I made two pillows out of the fabric that was her inspiration for all of the color choices for her first floor.

Amanda's "jumping off" point for her house

Amanda’s “jumping off” point for her house

Whew!!  No wonder I have been tired all week.  I am sleeping and napping and sleeping some more.  And then on Friday, we get Jasmine.

Jasmine

Jasmine

I have two sewing projects on the list.  First:  Learn how to use my serger!!  I think the tutu dresses would have been easier had I been able to use the serger.  Second:  repurpose a maxi dress I got at Goodwill into a vintage summer dress.  The dress is a newer Target dress. I love the fabric but it hits me in weird places.  I am going to use a vintage pattern, 1963 McCalls 6712.  So, in essence, I am going to do things backwards — take a new dress and make it old :-).  I want to have that done before we go to the beach.  Here’s hoping…

1963 pattern, which is awesome!!

1963 pattern, which is awesome!!

Oh, and I was going to make baby shoes.  I made one sample successfully but I ran out of time.  Another project for another day :-)

Sample baby shoe -- too exhausted to even think about this project!!

Sample baby shoe — too exhausted to even think about this project!!

 

 

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Link to My Guest Blog Post – Tab’s “Mom Next Door” Series

July 6, 2014 at 11:48 am (Multiple Sclerosis)

I know this terrific lady. Her name is Tab. I met her through her sister.  She is an amazing mother and wife and an even more amazing woman!!  I am sure that, if we were both raising children, she would be one of my best friends.  As it is, we are blogger friends and each other’s encourager.

She has a fabulous blog, which I read faithfully.  I love the way she is teaching her children how to find their places in this world and how to be people who make a difference.  I know that I didn’t thoughtfully raise my children the way she does…  I was mostly flying by the seat of my pants.

About six weeks ago she asked me to participate in her “Mom Next Door” series.  I was honored to answer the questions she posed and I included pictures of our family throughout the years.  Interestingly, she said the photo that prompted her to ask me was this one…  I was getting an IV steroid treatment (notice the makeup and earrings and new nightgown I made).  Dan would bring the kids in to see me.  I got treatments every three months or so until my stomach couldn’t handle the steroids and I developed bleeding ulcers.

http://studerteam.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-mom-next-door-series-melodye-o.html

1994-95 -- I was in the hospital having a solumedrol treatment.

1994-95 — I was in the hospital having a solumedrol treatment.

Take a few moments and read my guest post:

http://studerteam.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-mom-next-door-series-melodye-o.html

Thanks, Tab, for using my life experiences to encourage other Moms and, most of all, thank you for being an inspiration to me!!  I am honored to call you my friend!!

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Finishing Projects (Yay me!)

June 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm (Jewelry)

I’ve been a busy bee in between bouts of vertigo and trigeminal neuralgia pain.  My OCD kicks in big time every once in a while and I work to finish projects.  I have a brand new project I’m working on but the first version was an epic (and I mean epic) fail!!  However, I will not be deterred!!  I have the second version half-way done.  When I am successful, I will show you both the “epic fail” and the “fabulous” versions!  The weird thing about creating is, at least for me, I don’t ever feel I’ve wasted my time if I have to trash something and start over (which I did in this case).  It’s all part of the journey!!

My butterflies -- I cannot get a non-blurry picture for some reason :-(

My butterflies — I cannot get a non-blurry picture for some reason :-(

Bracelets for two sweet young girls' birthdays and something for their Momma.  Unfortunately, this isn't a final photo.  I forgot to take those :-/

Bracelets for two sweet girls’ birthdays and something for their Momma. Unfortunately, this isn’t a final photo. I forgot to take those :-/

A bracelet for Marissa

A bracelet for Marissa

A bail I made to hold some charms for my son's chain.

A bail I made to hold some charms for my son’s chain.

 

There you have it!  Now I need a nap :-D

Postscript…  Marissa loved her bracelet.  The two bracelets I sent to the birthday girls must have been stolen.  Shown delivered, but didn’t arrive!!  Grrrr… Apparently, according to the post office, if it is marked “delivered” is it out of their hands so I am out three bracelets and a pair of earrings.  Oh well.  I am not wasting negative energy on the situation.  I will just make more :-D

 

 

 

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And so began the rest of her life

May 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm (Memories, Multiple Sclerosis, Trigeminal Neuralgia)

“One day she decided to listen. Really listen. Not to the noisy chatter of her mind that told her she couldn’t, but to the voice within her heart that knew she absolutely could. And so began the rest of her life.”

I cannot take credit for that quote — I just found it today and it spoke to me.

In my devotions today, Jeremiah 33:3 was the verse I studied. “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

I have been really struggling lately, struggling with intense TN pain, with my weight, with the continued MS deficits, with my place in this world.  I am over half-way through my life and I spend most days just barely making it through, with pain being my battle.  I am my own worst enemy.  I have so many creative ideas, but no energy.  I wake up in pain, and then must medicate, which makes it impossible to really, truly function.

This past weekend, I tended both of my sets of grandparents’ graves.  I was blessed to know all four of them.

G&GSaveringGrave-2014

G&GGayGrave-2014

Grandma Amelia died when she was my age, 54, in November 1969, killed by a drunk driver.  I spent the summer of 1969 with her.  We spent lots of time in her garden.  She entered me in the Garden Show and my flower arrangement won first place!  I remember her as a strong woman — not afraid of any man, of anything.  If she wanted to do something, she just did it.  She told me there was nothing that I could not do.

Grandma and Grandpap Gay

Grandma and Grandpap Gay

 

Debbie, me, Susan and Grandma Amelia

Debbie, me, Susan and Grandma Amelia

Pappy Savering was a hard worker who spent lots of weekends fishing.  My first real memory involves him.  I had cut my chin on a plastic cup while in the bathtub.  Pappy held my head while Dr. Ebandjieff stitched my chin.  I remember seeing my Momma, sitting by a big Coke vending machine, with her head between her knees.  Pappy was very tall and handsome and could be intimidating, but his hands were gentle, that I remember.  He died in 1988 from a stroke.

Pappy and Grammy

Pappy and Grammy

At their 50th wedding anniversary party

At their 50th wedding anniversary party

Grandpap Gay lived until 1999, with terrible issues as a result of the accident that killed my Grandma.  He was a prayer warrior.  I used to go over to see him and, if it was a while since I had been there, he would say, “Did you lose the map?”  He had strong opinions.  I can just imagine that he and Grandma had some knock-down-drag-out fights!!

Grandpap and Molly

Grandpap and Molly

Grammy lived the longest, until 2009.  She prayed for me every day.  As my sister said, “she loved, more than anything, she loved!”  Grammy never had a bad thing to say about anyone. She would find positives in every situation.  She was very quick to tell you that “outer beauty” wasn’t as important as “inner beauty.”  She’d tell us that we were still in our “ugly duckling” stage.  She was the one who handed out nickels for us to put in the offering plate and could split a piece of gum into five pieces (it was usually very stale so it broke easily!).

Me and Grammy

Me and Grammy

Me and Grammy

Me and Grammy

I shared brief memories with you, but there are so many more!!  As I tended the graves, while I said hello to Grandpap and Pappy, I had conversations with Grandma and Grammy as I loosened the soil, removed the pansies from their temporary pots, dug some more and planted.  As I planted a purple-themed bed, because she would have liked that, I told Grandma Amelia that I missed her and that I wished that I had her strength.  I used many different colored pansies for Grammy, because she never saw a color she didn’t like!! I told Grammy that I missed her and that I wished that I had her sunny outlook.  I told both of them that I was looking forward to seeing them in heaven.  As I left each grave, I kissed their names, told them goodbye.

This morning, I found the quote, I remembered Grandma’s strength, Grammy’s positive outlook, and realized that I was listening to the wrong voices.  For reasons I do not know, the Lord still wants me here on earth.  I need to accept where I am, what I weigh, my physical limitations, my pain issues, in order to live my best life!!!

So, today I am listening… remembering my sweet grandparents’ advice, waiting for the Lord to reveal the “great and mighty things” I do not know.  Above all, I am hearing only the voice that tells me what I CAN do… and so begins the rest of my life.

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Three Subjects, Starting with Tuesday-Shoesday

May 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm (Jewelry, Musings..., Shoes, Social Anxiety, Trigeminal Neuralgia)

Subject #1

“Life is not waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain!!” I know this statement is figurative, but it can be taken literally too!  In the middle of March, it was raining buckets.  I had a neurologist appointment in Altoona.  Of course, it figures, all of the handicapped spots were taken!!  Now, I am not pointing fingers at anyone, but I do know that when it rains, anyone who has a placard, even though they don’t need it on that particular day, is more likely than not to use the HP. I needed my rollater.  It is nearly impossible to manage a rollator AND an umbrella.  I parked WAAAAAYYYY far away from the entrance.  By the time my feet, in slow speed, made it to the entrance, I was soaked through to my undies!!  {{Sigh}}

It was at that point that I decided to buy a pair of rain boots.  I already have a pretty rain-resistant coat.  Since I am not going fishing, just getting from point A to point B, it will suffice.  It is pink.  I looked at many styles and colors of boots, but the yellow ones made me happy :-) .  So… Rain, give it your best shot!!!  I am ready for you!!! (Plus, I will look stylish dodging rain drops!)

My Awesome Rainboots!!

My Awesome Rainboots!!

Subject #2

Weekday 12 of no daytime television.  I am on a roll!  This morning I went to the high school (Subject #3), came home, took a nap, planted my herbs, took another nap, am blogging and plan to start supper soon.  Last week I finished a bracelet for my sweet niece, Kristi Brinklie (Really!!  Her last name is Olsavsky). She liked it.  I am very happy with the finished product.  I used one of my wire-worked hearts.

Jewelry-5

Subject #3

MelodyeJoy – 2  Social Anxiety (SA) – 0

I have spoken about my struggle with social anxiety.  I am working so hard to “behave my way” through it.

Last week, my friend Michelle and her group, New Journey, were singing at EBC.  I really wanted to hear them.  I waffled throughout the week.  On Thursday, I made it Facebook official.  I was going!!  I ran one errand before heading to the church.  I started panicking when I hit the Elton Road exit.  I kept driving… I parked… I pulled out my rollator… Michelle’s sweet hubby, the V man, met me at the door with a big hug.  I am so glad I went to hear them.  They blessed my heart.

Some of you know that I was the accompanist for the Central Cambria School District for 12 years until 2009.  What was later diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia, made it necessary for me to “retire.”  I have not been back to a concert, at first, because I was so very sad that I had to stop doing something I loved.  Then this stupid SA reared its ugly head rendering me helpless to even attempt to go.  Two weeks ago I texted Paul, (the director and a wonderful friend) and asked if I could attend the double-period rehearsal the day of the concert. He said yes and to text him Monday to remind him to tell the office I was coming… Monday… every time I started to text, I couldn’t.  I promise you this is a real feeling.  Unless it has happened to you, it will make no sense at all to you!!

Finally, I figured he was home from school and couldn’t tell the office I was coming so I texted him, apologizing for not texting earlier, but not telling him the whys of it.  His answer to me was “No worries!!  It will be chaos but I would love to see you!!”

I set my alarm for 7:15 a.m. and, fortifying myself with coffee, dressing to the “nines” with my new Toms and my favorite Isaac Mizrahi scarf (and my goodwill jeans), I went to the school.  I spent two hours listening to wonderful music and talking to two of my favorite friends, Paul and Tom (Tom now accompanies the choirs). Again, I am so happy I went!!

Graduation-2004

Tom, Me and Paul Graduation-2004

PaulTomMe-2

Paul, Tom and Me One of our themed concerts (I re-made my sweatshirt)

I am feeling more confident that I can win this social anxiety battle!!

 

 

 

 

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