Saturday, June 25, 2011

Getting Ready for the Trip

Travel and I have a love/hate relationship.

I hate getting ready for the trip and making the plans but I love it once we have everything (and I mean EVERYTHING...I'll touch on that later) packed up and ready to walk out the door.

I love seeing new things and experiencing new foods and things like that. I love seeing family and friends that I haven't seen in many years.  I love it once we are checked into the hotel and settled and ready to venture out into the 'newness' of a different environment.

This year we are going to Kentucky to visit with Tom's sister for a few days and plan on seeing an old old old (did I say OLD) friend of my husband's. I think he said his name is Don Clark. This is someone he grew up with (I think) and he hasn't seen him for about 20 years. I asked him if he was going to call him and see if we could visit and he gave me this little smirky grin of his and said, "No...I was just going to go to his house and ring the bell." Ah, the difference between Venus and Mars...

We went shopping today because I wanted some cropped pants to wear on the trip. I've never had cropped pants before but they are the popular pants to wear in today's world and they are EXTREMELY comfortable. When I was growing up they were called 'pedal pushers' and I think the were invented so young girls could wear them and ride bicycles (hence the name 'pedal pushers') without getting their pants legs caught in the chains of the bicycle. I wouldn't have been caught dead in them when I was growing up and they really don't look GREAT on me but my days of vanity really have passed (I think) because I bought three pairs of them today. Of course, they had some cute tops and sweaters/jackets to go with them so I think I'm pretty set for the trip now. I missed the Coldwater Creek 50% off sale that was going on during my birthday so today was a full price day. Ugh. Ah well, we only live once. 8-)

OK, back to the 'packing for a trip' saga. Packing is quite a process because we don't just take clothes...we pick out particular movies that we want to watch before we go to sleep at night and we pack up a DVD player (it's a little bitty one that works with most hotel TVs but if not then we use one of our computers to play it). Yeah, we take our computers, IPODS, IPADs, IPhones, wall chargers, Car Chargers, etc. (You get the idea, we must be entertained at all times...) Of course, I have to figure out which shoes, which jewelry, what medicines, what first aid items, etc are needed. My pillows have to be packed for the trip because I am a picky sleeper. (Yeah, two of them just for I can have a bad bed but I have to have 'my' pillows. We pack an ice chest with water. The list goes on and on. By the time we leave, there is nothing of any real value left in the house for anyone to steal so we don't worry too much about that.

With this trip, we are paying the neighbor's son to come over every day and feed and water Shadow (our fat cat) and make sure her litter is cleaned out daily. This way she doesn't have to be traumatized at the kennel. We think it is a win-win situation. Even if he only feeds and waters her and doesn't empty her litter then we will be happy. (Not that I would tell him that.)

So, we venture out next Sunday (not tomorrow but the 3rd of July) and won't be back for about a week. Pray for us as we travel. Pray my strength will hold out to ensure Tom has a great time while we are away. He SOOO deserves a relaxed and fun time.

Here is a really good quote by Max Lucado today...
"In God’s plan every life is long enough and every death is timely. And though you and I might wish for a longer life, God knows better.

And—this is important—though you and I may wish a longer life for our loved ones, they don’t. Ironically, the first to accept God’s decision of death is the one who dies. 

While we are shaking heads in disbelief, they are lifting hands in worship. While we are mourning at a grave, they are marveling at heaven. While we are questioning God, they are praising God." - Max Lucado.

By Grace Alone -

Sunday, June 19, 2011

By Grace Alone...

I'm just in the mood to write a little.  The sun is shining and the birds are singing and life abounds everywhere I look.  I'm glad I went through Chemo in the winter months because I wouldn't have wanted to feel that oppressing weight that I felt during the light summer months. 

I love summer.  I've always loved summer.  When I was growing up it was a time for getting up and going to the city pool and spending all day with my friends playing pool games and getting brown in the sun.  The first summer my Mom bought me a season ticket to the pool, I stayed out in the sun 8 hours the first day it opened and burned myself to a crisp.  I had to wait weeks for my shoulders to heal before I could go back out to the pool.  I did stupid things as a child.  (I was only 12...what did I know about  Now I'm not allowed to worship the Sun Gods...sigh.  I get to look at it outside my window though.  I wish you could hear these birds...they are so happy that summer has come.

I got my first haircut yesterday.  YUP...the back and sides have grown much faster than the top and we had to even it up so it didn't look like a really bad haircut.  That was kind of exciting.  I saw a bit of hair come flying off of her scissors and I said, "WOW...I just saw hair cool is that?"  I've been going to Nancy to get my hair and nails done for the last 4 years and she has become my friend and confidant.  She is a kindred spirit.  I love her dearly.  We have laughed and cried together from the first time we cut most of my hair off so it wouldn't be so bad when it started falling out to now when we are rejoicing over the ability to have hair to cut.    8-)  For those of you who might be wondering what type of hair I have is definitely curly.  It was curly before and it is still curly so it isn't always the opposite type of hair that one gets after it falls out from chemo.  I wouldn't have minded having straight hair but I think that my hair is too fine for probably would have looked limp if it were straight so once again, God knows what he is doing.   8-)

My Mom is settling into an easy rhythm now that she has moved to Texas.  My sister and her children are taking very good care of her and making sure all her needs are met.  I'm really thankful for my sister and her sacrifices to take care of my Mom.  (Of course, she is her mom too...8-)

We are defintely going to Kentucky to see Tom's sister during our vacation in July.  We've decided that I really don't have the energy to travel on to see our son in North Dakota on the same trip so we will take this shorter trip and come back and relax before going back to work.  I believe the trip will do both of us good.  We are going to get the neighbor's son to check on Shadow (our cat) while we are gone.  She did not do well in the kennel last time so I don't want to go that route again. 

Here is a little Max for you for touches Grace in an awesome way:

"To Be Saved By Grace

By Max Lucado

“God gives us a free gift—life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

One of the hardest things to do is to be saved by grace. There’s something in us that reacts to God’s free gift. We have some weird compulsion to create laws, systems, and regulations that will make us “worthy” of our gift.

Why do we do that? The only reason I can figure is pride. To accept grace means to accept its necessity, and most folks don’t like to do that. To accept grace also means that one realizes his despair, and most people aren’t too keen on doing that either."

By Grace Alone -