Blessed beyond measure

The first six months post-retirement has been full of financial duress and prayers to overcome them. Happily, I am able to say that GODs timing has allowed our needs to be met and/or exceeded upon.  Our savings lasted thru June 2018 and God provided for us in July. August is upon us and I know our needs will be met someway that is unknown to me.  I have faith in God’s plan and timing.

On the home front, Robert has developed relationships with fellow churchgoers. It is amazing how he has opened himself up to new people- broadening his spiritual horizons.  I find myself swept along the tide, trying to grab ahold of anything stationary. I have joined the church, participated in Vacation Bible School services, created a stationary ‘Get Well’ and assisted in the ‘Visitor Welcome’ Ministries. We are joining a life group which is a bible study at night that meets bi-weekly.  I am uncertain where my path will lead- I know I must take care of myself to prevent burn out.

Robert’s health continues to decline daily as the ankylosing spondylitis disease progresses. There are limited results with medications– prayer is the only viable solution.  I have discovered through x-ray’s that I have a bone spur and am gliding bone-to-bone in my right shoulder. The repair solution is a total shoulder replacement. Without medical insurance, there is little hope of getting the surgery.  My job if you can call four-hours a week working, doesn’t have major medical coverage only AFLAC, dental and vision plans and I don’t make enough to even dream of taking them out.  Enough sadness!  Things will work themselves out through prayer and effort.





Peanut butter Log- candy

2 pounds confectionary sugar

1 small potato (Irish preferred)

1/2 cup peanut butter

Boil potato until done (soft) and drain well

mashup potato and start adding the sugar – a liquid paste will form

keep adding sugar until a soft dough is achieved

on a sugared board roll out potato dough 1/4″ thick

spread peanut butter onto dough

roll dough adding sugar as needed to form a “log” shape and cut 1/2″ slices

optional: chocolate, diced nuts, candy sprinkles

History:  This is a sharecroppers candy from the potato, peanut and sugarcane fields of the southeast USA. It is hundreds of years old, passed down through the generations.  My family Alabama & Georgia regions made this for all occasions as a dessert.




Lazy or Dispassionate

All it takes is one person failing to do their job and the company will get a bad rap. When I was in a rehabilitation hospital in October 2017 from knee replacement surgery I received poor care from the nurses. They would make me wait on receiving pain medications, and going to the bathroom- I went unaided (fall risk) many times because they failed to answer my call. One morning around one-o’clock I was strapped to an exercise machine that gently moved my knee up and down. I was in pain, I used the bedside button to call the nurse. An hour went by, and the pain intensified and I started verbally calling out for the nurse, another hour went by. I started crying from the pain and calling out for the nurse, and praying out loud,  more minutes passed and finally, he came. He smirked that he had heard me calling him. He removed the exerciser and eventually brought me a pain pill it was 3:28 a.m. I reported the insensitive and lazy nurse to the doctors that morning. The doctor told me to rip out the call button line from the wall if necessary to get the attention of staff; if that ever happened again, as I couldn’t reach my phone to call 9-1-1 for help. Of course, I didn’t rip it out although I still went unaided to the restroom afterward, the nurses just didn’t seem to want to help me.

When I had my second knee replaced in December 2017, I chose not to go to rehab. The therapist was top notch good, but the nursing was terrible.  So when the survey arrived at my home, I filled it out along with a letter for discussing comments to them. I only hope that they would reprimand, monitor, or even dismiss the male nurse that treated me that awful night.

A message for nurses:  I know you are overworked most of the time and some patients can be demanding or whiners which make you not want to be around them. However, the patients are at your mercy totally. They most likely don’t want to be there in the hospital and only want to feel better quickly.  Withholding medication is poor form, and not assisting your fall risk patient to the restroom is disgraceful. You chose to be a servant to the ill or infirmed out of compassion at one time. You may have become jaded or just burnt out by the burdens placed upon a nurse, if so please quit. Allow someone who still has the heart to take your place.  If you are still working and see yourself in this blog, then get help for yourself. Ignoring your basic needs and lack of self-care causes job burn-out.

Self-care can come in the forms of exercise, proper nutrition, meditation, talking to someone about your day while it is happening, joking, or just acknowledge that room 19 patient is a pain in the patoot.  I know when I was in rehab I wanted to get better quickly and worked hard doing what the therapist instructed for the 12 days of confinement.  I only wish I could recommend the rehab hospital to other potential patients.

Sewing Girl Blues…

I finished my scrapbook project and have moved onto sewing. Sewing involves excellent organizational skills. Does one sort by colors/patterns, seasons, material types, or length of cloths. Does one sort the scrap material bin for material under a 1/2 yard?  I have enough materials stacked to make a half-a-dozen quilts, shorts, and pants w/matching shirts for all five grandchildren.  My daughter has some blouse materials picked out for Fall season.

Then the patterns have to be sorted by gender, size, subject matter. I have over 100 new unused patterns to choose from. From infant to doll clothes, dog costumes, boys/ men, girl/woman sizes, holiday, and miscellaneous household sewing projects.

Next comes sorting all the notions, scissors, thread, bobbins, buttons, fasteners, zippers, bias tape, ribbon, lace, and velcro. I have enough Velcro to stick together all the pattern pieces from lightweight to heavy duty.  I filled up two  10-drawer rolling carts with this stuff and still had a separate sewing box for the Velcro.

I have three electric sewing machines; one for simple sewing and two computerized; one of which does embroidery.  Why all the stuff you are wondering?  Well, my husband gets behind me in whatever project I take on and when he see’s something he thinks I might use he buys,  buys, and buys.

After spending seven hours today accumulating my organized chaos I am too worn out to sew.  I’ve got the sewing girl blues.


Are you Aquaphobic? Me, too!

Aquaphobia, the fear of deep water or turbidity waters.  My aquaphobia is related to Oceans, Lakes & Waterslide parks which covers just about every nature scene to be had. My phobia is debilitating or should I say needed accommodations are in order.  Recently, I took my mom and sister to Galveston Bay, Texas. I was extremely terrified of the choppy bay/ocean water.

My mom and sister enjoyed a 2 miles hike down the sand by the water’s edge while I stayed safely on the west seawall parameter, well above sea-level and about 50′ from the edge of the water.   I would have loved to have gone with them, but my aquaphobia was in full swing.  Since then I have been told that I should have listened to music or meditated or gone to the waters surge line. I’ve also been told that I should buck up and face my fear head-on — what are people thinking?

It is embarrassing to admit to a phobia- an irrational fear of something or sense of dread.  Why go to the ocean if you’re not planning on going in you may ask? My mom has been close to Galveston, TX but never there and she wanted to experience it first hand. I figured I could suck it up for three days and have fun– and I did at what I thought was a safe distance.  I have been on the shores of Padre Island and was perfectly safe until Hurrican Hugo sent us packing our tent and hastily leaving the island in the middle of the night.  By the time the park ranger came to tell us to go water was surging and covering the roadway to the mainland. Result in fear of the ocean.

When I was a small child, I was at a red dirt bottom lake that had turbid water. I tried to get out to where my mom was at and fell into a depression that was over my head and swallowed lots of water and coughing the resulting in fear of Lakes.

Fear of waterslides is a new phobia garnered by too many people in the waterpark using the slides at one time, thus bumping into or dragging one beneath the water level.  This being dragged under also happened as a child. Swimming pools also fall into this category although you can see the bottom if it is over 4 feet I won’t go in the deep end, and I won’t go in without a family or friend tagging alongside me.  I took Beginning Swimming two semesters in a row at college; the first semester I was on anxiety medications and in talk therapy about my fear of deep water.

Taking showers, getting into the hot-tub/jacuzzi or bathtub is no problem for me even though I have had slips in them, too.

While on Galveston Bay Island we did activities that did not require me to face my fear head-on every day. I enjoyed looking at the ocean water from my distant perch, seeing the fish soar through the air as they sailed into the waves, and wonder why the seagulls didn’t have them for dinner when they were apparently seeking food.

Today, my grandson wanted to swim in the lake. I let my husband take him while I stayed safely ashore and revel in his success at swimming across the small lake.  I didn’t tell my grandson that I was afraid because I don’t want him to become fearful of lakes, too.

My plan of action is to take small steps in acclimating to water features. We have a 1′ to 4′ deep community pool, and I am pleased to say I am now comfortable to be in it.  I played with the kids in the shallow end and worked my way deeper till I was able to swim in the four feet center of the pool. I have found being distracted by talking about anything other than swimming has made this accommodation possible.  Visualizing me being safe in the water and meditation has undoubtedly helped and listening to music doesn’t hurt.

Do you have a phobia, write about it in comments?