Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nannie: News

Yesterday we visited Dr. M again for the first time in a year. After Nannie's many reactions to cortisone in several forms (injections, orally, and in eye drops after cataract surgery) the spinal injections were abandoned. Dr. Will asked her to go once again and discuss the possibility of a nerve stimulator implant, which can be "sampled" for one week outside the spinal cord. The procedure requires a process. 
1. View a DVD of all the devices, procedures, and risks
2. Evaluation, required by Medicare, by a psychologist who determines if the patient is cognitively able to program the device that controls the stimulation
3. Assuming the evaluation goes well, an appointment is made with Dr. M, who surgically implants the temporary trial unit.
4. If the trial is successful, meaning that the stimulator improves the pain in the leg significantly, then the next step is to meet with a surgeon and make an appointment for permanent implantation.

The catch is that the stimulator will have NO affect on spinal pain or arthritis pain in other joints--only the nerve compression. 

After much prayer and several telephone visits with wise friends, Nannie has decided to move forward with the psychological evaluation. I made the call for the appointment and the assistant responsible for those appointments is out of town. We are clearly on a new journey and the first step is on "pause". 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Special People

Was it three years ago? It seems like yesterday, and it also seems like we've known you forever, that you have always been part of our lives. Is it almost four years and also one year in July? Kindergarten is closer than ever, and I want to run away from it, just as I did when it sneaked up on your Mommies.  Your baby softness was the best; I could have just rubbed my face over your chubby cheeks and fuzzy little heads all day and all night. I loved watching you just lie in the floor, in your swings, or cribs or car seats, sleeping so peacefully with those pouty little lips twitching and pretend nursing in your sleep. You were the most beautiful babies born on the earth since your Mommies were babies. And you have forever changed our entire family with your uniqueness and charm. Every morning and every night I thank God again for you, and you, and you and you.  I am so blessed to be your Marmee. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bag of Sunshine

My Daddy, Dubbie, dearly loved candy of all kinds. Hard candy was a big weakness and he had the dental work to prove it. In the category of hard candy, his very favorite was Lemon Drops. I don't remember too many days when the candy dish was empty of them when I was living on Mulberry Street. Since he is living in heaven now, and not on Mulberry Street, the candy dish has been empty. But our friend Mindy decided to do something about that. Yesterday she brought Nannie a GINORMOUS bag of lemon drops. It was like sunshine to Nannie's soul. Thank you, Mindy.

Happy Birthday, Boo!

On August 19, 1977 Muffin and I took a trip with CB in the car seat and King Solomon the Fifth, our Sheltie in the back of the VW bus.  Yes, we had an orange and white hippy van.  It was even a camper. The four of us drove from Sacramento, CA to TX, passing through Los Angeles, Barstow, Phoenix, where it was 92 degrees at midnight, and on to Albuquerque and Amarillo, through the West Texas cotton fields.  This is where we stopped by the side of the road and Muffin taught CB to say "ahl wehl", rather than "oil well" like the proper Texan she is, even though she was only two years old at the time. Somewhere under one of those cotton plants, we found Boo, and brought her home with us. 

The previous story is not true. Well, part of it is true. Actually, all of it is true except finding Boo under a cotton plant. And I didn't really make that up. Well, it's made up, fictional, but not original. My Daddy, Dubbie, wrote most of that story to me while I was in college. He substituted a horse and wagon for the VW bus, his parents, Pappy and Pickle, for Muffin and me, and his siblings Callie and Pat for CB and Solomon. And the trip was much shorter--just going to town from their farm. But he absolutely, truly wrote all of this to me in a letter while I was in college and told me at the end of the letter that my Aunt Bennie was plucked from a cabbage patch on the way into town one day. 

So, back to the truth. On the way from California to Texas we really did learn that Boo would be birthed in 1978. And on April 22nd, after a fish fry at church on April 21st, laboring all night, cleaning house all day, while running to sit on the piano bench during contractions, our beautiful second daughter, Miss Boo, was born at 11:50 p.m. My labor and delivery nurse became a lifelong friend, and her first name is the same that we chose for Boo's. My doctor was not on call, so a very nice doctor who is now retired delivered her. The birth was natural--no drugs at all--and I hyperventilated when Muffin went to get into scrubs and we were on the way to the delivery room. We stayed in a recovery room for a couple of hours while we bonded with Miss Boo, made late night phone calls, and spoke words of love to our lovely baby girl. CB spent the night at Mulberry Street with Dubbie and Nannie. 

About 3:30 a.m. Muffin left the hospital to get some sleep and roughly thirty minutes later I began to hemorrhage.  But no one told me what was happening. The nurses just wouldn't leave me alone all night and I got no sleep at all. The next day was Sunday and all the staff was completely different,  so I received no report that day either, although I felt really sore and achey all over. On Monday when my doctor arrived, he told me what was happening and suggested that I take it easy. By then I was feeling recovered and went home to enjoy both my pretty girls and play dress up with my dolls. 

Boo had lots of company in the hospital and at home. Friends and family made quilts and other gifts for her and Nana and her sisters went shopping. My favorite outfit for her was a blue, white and yellow dress with layers of ruffles and panties to match. I loved the way her blue eyes popped when she wore it. She had a perfect oval shaped face with fuzzy blonde hair and was just the best at nursing, burping, sleeping. CB adored her and mothered her from day one. My second favorite outfit was a t shirt we bought for her and had embroidered with her nick name that CB gave her--Beckiboo.

Now Boo is all grown up, having another birthday, playing with her own dolls named Jonah and Gracie, dressing her sweet baby girl in blue or pink or lavender and having a beautiful day with her son. She totally understands how much I enjoyed her and her sisters, how I dreamed dreams for them and have been so delighted to see them fulfill their own dreams and become wonderful women. My prayer each night for them as little girls was that they would love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind and strength and love their neighbors as themselves. Today, I still pray that they and their babies and all the babies that follow for all generations of this family, will fall in love with Jesus. 
And all your [spiritual] children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children. Isaiah 54:16 (Amplified)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I don't want to face the fact that the Esther Bible study is finished. We learned so much and connected to the "cast of characters" so completely. Each Wednesday was a great blessing, and I anticipated seeing the DVD's of Beth Moore teaching, as well as being with my sisters in study, discussion and prayer. To be very honest, my favorite part of this study was the homework. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed each day of it. I would get my coffee, my workbook and my computer and open Libronix,

Libronix DLS Logo  a Logos Bible study software,  to

 study. Each week I would automatically pull up the chapter for study on the home page, then go to the Bible study tool with the passage guide feature, and click on "passage in parallel versions".  My three favorite versions, stored in order, are the Amplified Bible, New International Version (Nearly Infallible Version if you are a smart mouth), and The Message, always with a fresh take on what I think is familiar.  

At this point, I'm practically salivating in anticipation and I begin to read the chapter of the week, along with Beth's comments on the daily homework. I just devour it! And if something really captures my attention or curiosity, I can double click on the home page and get the Strong's numbers and research from that angle. Or there is always the Bible dictionary with more info, or some of the books that Beth references are also in Libronix so I can read further than what she has actually written about in that days homework, or... Well, you get my point. It's endless.  My favorite studies are laced with Greek and Hebrew nuances and revelations and I begin to make notes in my homework book and in my "real" Bible too.  

Actually, I loved doing the homework so much, that I would sometimes save it up for a morning when I had no meetings or interruptions. Then I would do three or more lessons from start to finish, spending all morning and two big cups of coffee with my eyes, fingers, and spirit spinning out of control!  As Beth says, there is no high like the Most High. And there is no better caffeine than that which come from He-brews!  Aww, there are worse things that being a Bible study geek.


It's that blessed day of the year when we are allowed to pay for the privilege of living in the USA. Or maybe you, unlike us, are getting paid back for that privilege. Anyway, Muffin stayed home Monday to complete our complicated returns for the IRS. It's complicated because I play in an orchestra as an independent and nothing is withheld during the year. And because I play in a quartet and contract the other players and pay them as independent musicians. And because I have a music studio in our home which makes the house and all the services connected with it deductions. And because I have to keep records of trips in the car, postage costs, supplies for my instruments, CD's, downloads, sheet music, electronic supports, pencils for tests, tickets to supporting concerts, meals purchased at workshops and conventions, and......lots of other stuff.  

Every year I try to keep better records in a better, more improved system of organization. And every year it seems that it becomes more complicated so that my organization fails to cover all the bases yet again. I have files in the music room, files in the office room, files in the file cabinet, and files on the computer. I have two calendars on the computer with every meeting and every rehearsal and every trip written on them. There is a separate folder in my computer for receipts for music organizations, tickets purchased online, supplies ordered online.  There is a membership folder for all the professional organizations. I have an insurance folder for the instrument insurance. There is an entire e-mail folder for download confirmations, because for every concert I play I download music well in advance so I can listen to it and learn it before even receiving the music to practice. Finally, there is a folder of receipts of real paper from real stores where I purchase supplies, stickers, posters, paper, computer supplies and recital supplies for students. And I order real, honest to goodness CD's as gifts for them too! 

Poor Muffin puts all of this together and makes sense of it every April. So I made this lemon pound cake for him. Good boy, Muffin!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Maundy Thursday

photo of Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

Easter Comments

Wearing new clothing at Easter may seem vain, but the idea is that with the celebration of resurrection, all things are made new. And, it's the beginning of spring, which also reminds us of newness. Above, you see Gracie Girl in a lovely pink outfit with a pretty little bow on her head.
While the W's were visiting in TX in late March, the Rowdy Girls arrived and Marmee made matching Easter dresses for all three Grandladies. Here you see all three girlies modeling them over their pants on a cool March day while Buzz Lightyear, still wearing his PJ's, entertains.
Accessories will complete the outfits. Accessories are so important to every lady's total look. Notice the Nannie blanket shawl that Emme wraps so artfully.

Roo knows that a hat commands attention and can definitely emphasize the eyes. It's essential on a bad hair day!

Jonah understands the importance of a well placed hat for men.

Gathering Easter Eggs is the perfect chance to sport new fashions, as  shown by both Roo and Em while they practice egg gathering in Grandpa and Marmee's back yard.

Fabric is cotton, "Grandmother's Hankies", and "Teapot Prints" from Hancocks. Embroidery floss by DMC. Smocking plate is "Firelight".  Ribbon by Offray.  Stitching by Marmee.

 Egg hunting practice does not necessitate fashion clothing for young men.  It's all about the prizes in the eggs.

May the One who makes all things new, bless you this Easter.

Good Friday

O Sacred Head Now Wounded

O Sacred Head, now wounded,
In grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, thine only crown:
How pale thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish which once was bright as morn!

What thou, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Saviour! 
Tis I deserve thy place;
Look on me with they favor, vouchsafe to me thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this they dying sorrow, thy pity without end?Happy
O make me thine forever;
And should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for thee.