Monday, November 24, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done that you think you need to get done. And that is how the past week went. Sunday arrived and I was still behind and decided to get up early for me--eight o’clock--to get ready and run the last of my errands before we flew out for California for Thanksgiving.

Right on time, the suitcases were almost finished and I was off to take care of three short errands, or so I thought. My car battery was dead. AAA came to my rescue. I explained I was flying out in just a few hours and they arrived at my home with a half hour. It almost didn’t want to jump but at last it did.

Straight to the local Les Schwab Tire Center and they confirmed that my battery was beyond charging and they rushed to get a new battery in the car and get me on my way quickly.

In and out of both stores in under two hours and a quick stop to gas up the car. Back home to finish packing the bags, feed the cat, empty the dishwasher, put away the dishes, load the dishwasher, check my email, all with an hour to spare before Michael arrives to pick us up and take us to the airport.

Now it’s time to fly home to my mother’s for Thanksgiving in California. I am truly thankful that Larry and I will be spending time with my family for the holiday. I am taking the gifts for the December 26th annual stocking night, and a special gift I made for my sister.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

World Vision - HIV/AIDS

Tonight our small group attended the World Vision Experience Aids. The program is an interactive walk-through experience about the lives of four children from Africa living with the Aids crisis in Africa.

More than 11 million children have been orphaned by Aids. Larry and I walked through the life of Emmanuel. Emmanuel is a six year old boy who is cared for by his nine year old brother Fred. Both their parents are dead from Aids and now they must survive on their own.

I can’t even imagine how my own children could have survived on their own if something had happened to me when they were this young. I can’t imagine how terrified a child must feel to see both parents die from a disease that is slow and painful and then have to bury them.

Children tug at my heart when I see them hurting or in need. When we reached the prayer room it was lit with candles and you were asked to take a card with the picture of a child and their personal information and then carry it around as you looked at the pictures of mothers and children, some of whom have already died. When we progressed to the next room we were able to write a prayer for the child. The wall was filled notes from people who have been walking through the exhibit for several days.

Sadly it will take more than prayers to help the children of Africa who are facing a monumental crisis unlike any we may have ever seen. World leaders, health care providers, pharmacy companies, and ordinary people will need to change their views about talking about HIV/AIDS and come together to find ways to educate and inform themselves and others, if we are to stop the epidemic and find a cure.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

The new study - 90% done

Meanwhile back at the ranch while I had to go to Vegas, our friend Bob came to our rescue to take over the painting task I left behind. He painted my cowboy dinning room several years ago in the same Ralph Lauren hunting coat red that he just put on the fireplace wall. He also started the rest of the walls and the trim work. No more dingy white, most of the brown wood will be gone, and the last of the blue in my house will be gone. Yes!!! A freshly painted, masculine, contemporary guy study is almost complete.

The drapes are now hung. A new indoor sunshade needs to be ordered. I bought a red ceramic lamp with a deep tan lampshade and the brown leather parsons chair just arrived along with the new Herman Miller desk chair. I might even make slipcovers for the parsons chair to change the look of the room once in a while. That is the girl part of the room, fabric, but heavily disguised as masculine by the colors I’ll pick out. Pillows, tables, art hanging on the walls, Harley, ducks, fish, and Larry almost forgot his “UT” University of Texas treasurers. Too late to paint the fireplace wall “longhorn orange” but we will find a place for his singing longhorn mascot doll.

Fireplace – done
TV – done
Speakers – done
Surround sound system – done
New massage recliner chair – done
New paint – done
Baseboard molding – done
Fireplace molding –looking for alternatives
New desk – ideas only
Carpet – done
Drapes – done
Art – ready to hang
desk chair - done
Area rug - done

Cost: priceless on the planning and decorating a special retreat for Larry.

The real cost: only the credit card company knows for sure.

Come Jingle with Us

The Mt. Baker Chapter Harley Owners Group is again participating in “Team HOG” for the local Arthritis Foundation Walk/Run.

Sure it’s cold, and sometimes wet and cold but Team HOG always shows up and we have a great time laughing and talking during our two mile walk. Then we head off to a local restaurant to have breakfast and lots of hot coffee.

Yes we have bells on our shoes and black leather coats or vests to proclaim who we are. In a see of red, white, and green, we do make a statement with our black leather and raise money for a good cause.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mommy I need you!

My daughter Kelly called on a Monday night several weeks ago…mommy I need you! I am lucky to have the means, the time, and a supportive husband that said go. The only thing my daughter needed to know is that I love her and I’m going to her.

The worst part of being a mother is when your children hurt and you can’t kiss their pain away. I’d give anything to protect them but sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do but hold them and say I love you.

Saturday evening when I landed in Las Vegas it was 830 and sunny and the mood was somber. It’s only been a little over a year since my daughter battled the first stages of cervical cancer and had surgery. I only worry about her health and future.

This is another life bump in the road but feels like a boulder when you run into it. Then when you move it, what remains is a pothole and another set of complications. She worries about me and I cry for her. Someday there will only be tears of joy and only good thoughts.

On Sunday Kelly had to go to work and I went to Central Christian Church at the Summerlin campus. It’s a lot like Cornwall Church, except on the campus site the video of the service is broadcast. It is nice to have a church so close to where my daughter lives and not miss attending church when I am out of town.

Kelly took her roommates car to work since she was out of town and I took Kelly’s car. After church a chai tea, chicken Caesar salad, and a diet Pepsi and I was ready to wander around until time for dinner. I headed back to the house and visited with Kelly’s roommates children. I walked in the door and they all came running…grandma.
I headed off to Kim and Tony’s house for dinner. Kim is Kelly’s boss and she invited me over to a home cooked meal of spaghetti and meatballs since Kelly was working until 9:00 PM.

Monday…hugs, kisses, reassurance, cuddling, but not complete. Kelly will have to return for surgery. Life on hold! Nicki brought her special recipe chocolate chip cookies to share after we got back to Kim’s house. This girl needs her own bakery to showcase her baking skills and talents. Naps for everyone! Kelly requested chicken enchilada casserole for dinner so I cooked for Kim and Tony. A simple salad and a Boston cream pie for dessert.

At the end of the day it is nice to know my daughter has friends who care about her, take care of her, and watch out for her, when I am hours away from her. I won’t be able to come back for the second round of doctor appointments and surgery so her friends will be her support system, and I know they will take really good care of her.

Tuesday I took Kelly shopping to get her out of the house. Just to wander around, get something cold to drink, and meet up with her roommate Kelly.

Wednesday morning was a lazy day cuddling on the sofa watching desperate housewives, season four. We drove to Costco and indulged in pizza, polish dogs, and Caesar salads for lunch then bought a roast beef to fix for dinner (we weren’t very hungry at dinner time), and coffee because you can almost never have enough coffee.

Well I was busy getting dinner ready and peeled the potatoes and put the skins down the garbage disposal which I do at home but theirs was a little cranky and clogged up. I had the phone book out to call a plumber and the girls took the drain apart, cleared the clog and put everything back together again. Amazing how self sufficient they are. I didn’t know how to fix it. The kids went off to a Halloween party and Kelly and I spent our last night cuddled on the sofa watching TV.

Thursday morning the alarm went off and I had only allowed a half an hour to get ready. More than enough time and Kelly drives like a pro on the Vegas streets so she got me to the airport right on time. Check in, okay. Security screening, not so good. The guy in front of me used three bins for his stuff but the TSA agent told me I could only have one bin. I wore the same jeans home that I flew down in but I beeped and that meant I had have a wand circle my body (no magical fairy to grant wishes here) and then patted down. I waited, and waited, and waited some more and then after asking twice in fifteen minutes finally a woman who was too busy hand screening men’s backpacks (there were more than enough men to do this job) came to screen me. Meanwhile I’m watching my bin with my purse and my ticket, and notice my coat has been put into someone else’s bin. I asked the TSA agent and he didn’t seem to care. Finally they put my coat on top of my single bin that was now piled high and unattended.

The screener arrived and left my stuff unsecured and moved me farther away from where I could keep an eye on it. Don’t forget to wand my ears a second time because I might be hiding something in them. No I won’t take off my jewelry. If you can’t secure my purse why would I trust you with my wedding ring and bracelets? This is why I always show up at the airport two hours early.

Home to Larry, Ally the cat, and Deuce the dog.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A night to remember

My grandmother Maggie Miami Dye Melton saw more in her lifetime than any other generation will probably ever see. She was born in 1890 and traveled by wagon train from Tennessee to Missouri. She saw women win the right to vote and rode in a horseless carriage. She watched a spaceship lift off and an American walk on the moon. Electricity, radio, television, the Grand Ole Opry…

When my grandmother died in 1993 at the age of 103 she had experienced more in her lifetime than I thought I could ever imagine. That was until tonight when my vote for president was counted along with millions of other votes, and the United States of America elected Barack Obama as our next president.

I would hope that the healing would begin now, tonight, and that both sides of the political process will come together to heal our nation from the economic and social heartbreak that has injured so many families.

In Obama’s speech acknowledging his election win he spoke three words over and over again, “yes we can.” Together we can. We must if our nation is to remain the greatest nation in the world.

Monday, November 03, 2008

10 Predictions, Regardless of Who Wins the Election

A friend from Kansas sent me this and I thought with everyone putting so much attention on the elections that sometimes we just need to step back and realize what is really important.

1. The Bible will still have the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. God will still love you.

10. God will still save the lost who come to Him.
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