Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Day Is Every Man's Birthday

Into the New Year
Friday’s Reflection

TAKE ME INTO A NEW YEAR, Gracious God. Help me to continue looking for meaning, seeking peace, praying for light, dancing for joy, working for justice, and singing your praise. I go into the new year filled with expectations, a touch of worry, and a bundle of hope. I do not journey into the new year alone but with you as my guide, with a commitment to my disciplines, with a community of family, friends, and faith. Take me into the new year, Creator of beauty and wonder. Bless me with the companionship of Jesus, and gift me with the guidance and power of the Spirit. Amen.
- Larry James Peacock
Openings: A Daybook of Saints, Psalms, and Prayer

It is 16 degrees, wind chill - cold.  It is so brilliant - so eye piercingly clear outside this morning.  A perfect ending of mornings in the year 2010.  The sun is basking this valley for all of it's might, but warmth will not be found outside today.  There will, however, be plenty of warmth indoors. 
Pancakes and bacon for breakfast with dear, dear friends this morning.  Jeff and Lisa came to our house to spend time. How mighty is their gift of love and friendship!  So far, I've managed to scare the pants off of them - I turned left on a red arrow.  It was completely clear you must understand....and they said in some form, you MUST understand you scared the bejeepers out of us!  I will leave the driving to Jim or Lisa and Jeff for the remainder of their stay. 
I may or may not have night time asthma.  Albuterol helped tremendously, so I'll stick with it for a few days and see how things go.  My breathing has been labored, however, my pulse/ox levels are amazingly high.  So we muddle through these little mysteries. 
Again, I want to say thank you to all of you - for your comments on the blog and off the blog, for your love through prayer, through means I have no clue about, for your beautiful bounty of cards and calls.  For laughing with me/us, for sharing a load of heart ache this year.  For standing in the gap, for reminding me how much God loves and cares for all of us and for being my friends.  What a bounty.  When Jesus told the disciples to throw out their net on the other side of the boat - their net was so full of fish, it snapped.  That is how I feel about you.  My net is full and overflowing.
Thank you for being a part of a year that is still filled with mysteries and tears, love and laughter.  I hope you will continue on with me.  My journey in this land of cancer is not over.  Year 2 of colon cancer is a year filled with tests and concerns.  For this is the year colon cancer seems to like to find a new place to hang out.  I pray that I have not hat pegs for it to hang it's hat on and that God is in the process of healing me fully.  Our Father does hear our pleas and knows the hidden places in our hearts. 
"O the Fount of Every blessing, fill our hearts...".
Happy New Year - with love and prayers for God to fill every corner of your lives. 
Love and Best Wishes!
(title quote: Charles Lamb)

Monday, December 27, 2010

That Post Christmas Shopping....Bleah.....

Not a post holiday's a rare day for me to arrive on a big shopping day and I dash in and dash out.  (call me Dasher). 
Today, Jim MUST have some dress slacks and jacket for Leah's wedding.   Is anyone counting the days with me?  Am I the only one?  13 days.  13. Thirteen.  2 weeks and 1 day. I'm so thrilled and excited for them and filled with GLEE to get to be there and dress up and feel happy and giddy and celebrating a wonderful couple.  Wheeee!
Christmas 2010 is past.  What a year.  What a year this has been.  Still mulling this over.  What a year.  oh yes, I AM HERE!  "O! The Places You'll Go", seems very fitting.  I'm ready.  My body isn't quite ready.  A lot of post chemo "slo jo".  But soon and very soon, I hope to be mopping my own floors, making our bed on a daily basis, cooking, cooking, cooking and enjoying bring people into our home to celebrate what they have done for our family. 
Goodness....the "i owe" list is very long.  And I'm thankful to have such a list.
Have a warm day - enjoy your time off if indeed you have some time off, enjoy your family and friends and eating too much good food. 
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to The Entire Fenno Family and Bill & Donna....more to follow.
"And now let us welcome the New Year.  Full of Things that have never been." 
O Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is Good.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Being A Child Tonight

Christmas Eve

IF WE WOULD see the Child on this Night, then we must be prepared perhaps even to be a child on this Night, to let our imagination and our hope and our faith carry us to some new way of seeing, some new way of hearing, so that our eyes might be opened and our ears might be too, so that our hearts might be quickened and our spirits might be touched.
In the end, we must be willing to believe in the Promise that Immanuel will come, we must have faith to believe that the Promise will be kept, and we must hope that we too will be willing and able and childlike enough to recognize the face of God in the face of the Child.       - Robert Benson, The Night of the Child
Merry Merry Christmas! 
Love, Kathryn and Jim
Sophie, Coco and Scout
(photos tomorrow; dogs are asleep all over me)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ninja Fever

I was having a difficult night last night.  I got out the magnets that friend's shared with me and put on the headband that holds the magnets.  Jim thought it photo worthy.  I ended up at the ER again!!!!!  Again?!?!?  I am healthy....simply worn out by chemotherapy.  I'm up some and down some (physically).  I had acupuncture this a.m.   It helped quite a bit.  I was told no corporate worship for a couple of weeks.  Too many germs?  Too many opportunities to fall?  Too little time to sleep?  Ok, I will mind and rest and read a bit.
Behold The Lamb of God, He came to save us from the sin of the world!
Happy Christmas Eve Eve.
Love and thanks for your wonderful encouraging comments. 
love to all, kathryn

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

These Boots Are Made For Walking....Walking......not Falling

“Alice falls down the rabbit hole and her dress poofs up like a parachute.
Alice: Well, after this I should think nothing of falling down stairs.”
Yes, I fell down on Sunday.  My boots simply didn't want to grip onto the linoleum floor beneath me.  Off I went, banging my head on the wooden part of the back of the pew.  I hit my hand and leg - leaving some small bruises.  God had it all set up....3 nurses were right around me.  You do realize you must go to the ER.  The week before we had called the EMTs.  They were the same crowd.  How to convince these people I am not a frequent flyer??
I did have some takers on my boots.  They are pretty cute and I got them at a steal so that makes them cuter still.
An all day in the ER found me rattled up a bit, but nothing serious.  Anemia was discovered - ah! the fatigue is caused by chemo and anemia.  More tests are being run this week.  I swallowed a pill for a sitz marker study.  Full of white, little elastic bands.  Very tiny rubber bands - all in white.  I got 3 times for xrays to see what is up with this non functioning large colon of mine.
A lazy day for me and the dogs.  We needed one.  I am hoping to get a call to come in for acupuncture.  I will probably have to wait for my real appt on Thursday.
Why do I keep hearing "the theater, theater" running through this rather tangled brain of mine?  Explanations welcome.  Be sure and say, "theater" with a rather barmy English accent.
Is that "Funny Girl?"  I don't remember.
Happy December 22.
love to all, kathryn
King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  His name be praised - today and forever.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ah, Home!

I am getting my feet under again.  I am moving slow.  Even fell at church yesterday just to make sure I got ample attention.  A trip to the ER for the day.  Brain, chest, neck - all good.  Great ER dr and staff.  They do need a couple of ER dr and nurses to open up and empty space.  Any takers?
Good night from here.  More when my fingers are cooperating again.  Neuropathy has me on a short leash right now.
love you kathryn
The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength!

Cancer Center Art Work, Now Owned By The Stephens

the funds go to support those who are in need.  This is called Cat Dreams.  I love helping and I love the artist.  Thank you!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

and further more....

1.  Not getting "real" food - remaining on liquids.
2.  Test is tomorrow. Red tape and we definitely need a technician here to DO the test (this was the tech's day off).  I'm giving my doctor a break.  He's writing for some high tech tests and he doesn't know if someone is here or not.  All he wants - get the tests completed.  I am on his team and he's a great and fully competent coach.
3.  My Coco and Scout will be very sad.  Becky, neighbor who is a one in a million, is in charge of Sophie, Coco and Scout.  All is well, all will be well.
4.  Great nursing care continues and someone is walking by with a well mastered whistle.  Whistle on. 
5.  We're going to have to bundle up here in NM after 60 degree days.   A temp drop of 30 degrees is forecast.  Just a bit on the chilly side.  For normal folks, an evening such as this would require soup, chili, Mexican food, or stew and homemade bread (Whole Foods constitutes homemade) or cornbread, particularly Bill Kolb's cornbread.  Yum, yum!!
Good Night Chet, Good Night David.

love to all again, kathryn

Yesterday Was A Skuvala Kind of Day

They have me bound and gagged in the hospital....not really, but those who have been hospitalized only want to go home.  Though I realize I'm not quite ready, my little dogs are now entering a neurotic state of being.  Bless their little doggie hearts.

What? no novella today?  Nope, but I am getting REAL food.  I'm going off of "liquids".  That is a grace that I am thrilled with! 
I am doing better and the doctors, nurses and staff are more than wonderful to me....God's hands and feet at their best.  I am amazed at what they have put up with from my body and how loving they are.  They set aside their families and their problems to assist us.  God bless them, everyone.

Now, to figure out exactly what is going on.  I am staying tuned.

Love to all, kathryn

Psalm 37:5.
Much love and get well greetings to Jeff - love you so.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas.... Around the Corner

We are planning a trip for Christmas this year.  A dream come true for me.  I'd much rather take a trip than buy gifts.  Time to be together, time to see new areas of the country, time to drink too much coffee and relax, spend time with dear friends...and eat too much rich food.  It's also one of the best times to reflect on the birth of Jesus.  Much time has been given to when Jesus was born - probably springtime, as the shepherds were out in the fields.  But in our very secular, post-modern society - Christmas still creates in us a time to reflect and remember why Jesus's birth still touches people's hearts with kindness that is often not available the rest of the year. 
So, as I learn to steal other's material quite well, I wanted to print this very old poem - it is so appropriate for this time and actually all the days of our lives.
We cannot know the grief
That men may borrow
We cannot see the souls
Storm-swept by sorrow;
But love can shine upon the way
Today, tomorrow;
Let us be kind.
Upon the wheel of pain so many weary lives are broken,
So may our love with tender words be spoken.
Let us be kind.                                 ---author unknown
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love."  Romans 12:10

I am learning the slower graces of knowing God.  He has slowed me down, sometimes to the point of dead stop this year.  I've had a great deal of time, when I was not asleep, to think through a good many things.  I suspect whatever you have been through this past year has given you a time to "take pause" and reflect on the many graces of God through this past year.  May the time you spend shopping, eating, having coffee/tea with dear friends, gift exchanges, dinners with family and friends bring you a moment of awe and wonder --- a reflection time on how very good God is to us.  And how really it doesn't matter one bit if they are "colored twinkle lights" or "white twinkle lights".  Whatever makes you smile.

Ok, now for a pretty decent cookie recipe. 

Giant Ginger Cookies
Prep time: 30 min  Total time: 50 min

Makes 12 - yes, worth it

2 l/2 cups all purpose flour
2 l/4 t. baking powder
l/2 t. salt
l T. ground ginger
l/2 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. ground pepper
3/4 c (l l/1 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
l/2 c. packed light brown sugar
l/2 granulated sugar, plus l/3 cup for coating
6 T. molasses
l large egg

Preheat over 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds of oven.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside
Whisk together all dry ingredients.
With electric mixer cream butter, brown sugar, l/2 c. granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and molasses.  With mixer on low, gradually beat in dry ingredients.
Flatten dough, wrap in plastic, freeze for 20 min.
Divide dough into 2" balls.  Place remaining l/3 c. granulated sugar in bowl. Roll balls of dough in sugar, place on prepared baking sheets.  Flatten into 3 inches rounds with a bowl works best.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake until brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 12 to 15 min.  Cook on racks.
Store in container with parchment or wax paper between cookies. 
Martha Stewart "it's a good thing"

Friday is here again.  Jim's Friday off...a little chance to hang out, read the paper and enjoy a beautiful day.  60 degrees here today.  (apologies to those freezing)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This Resplendent Autumn Day...

I pulled out a dear book from the bookcase yesterday.  A book that still motivates me.  Words written on the everyday'ness' of life.  This particular book is about Jacob and his jaw dropping dysfunctional family - a book that reminds me we are all closer to Jacob and his family than we might care to admit. This mystery of God's vast and wondrous family.  Dysfunctional as we are, God delights in us - we are threads in God's sewing basket.
So, I'll pirate some one's words...
"What makes sense of my journey - the everyday experiences as well as the passages --- is God.  The providence of God means that God oversees me and my life is not a bundle of accidents.  The pursuit of God means that God engages me for a compelling, world-transforming mission.  And the welcome of God means that I know continuously and deeply that God accepts me, approves of me and - most amazing of all - finds pleasure in me. 
Do you recall Jacob and the heavenly ladder? Some have believed we too are climbing "Jacob's ladder" to perfection.  That isn't true.  Jesus came down that ladder to meet us right where we are.  "Come unto me" is spoken by Jesus from the bottom of the ladder. 
I've met Jim at the bottom of the ladder as well as my dad.  What is it about meeting someone as they bounce off that bottom rung?  There is a hug, there is a smile, there is solid ground under their feet, there is forward motion - even if it it means returning to the top of the ladder again.  Perhaps you will think of Jesus being at the bottom of the ladder next time you heft yourself onto the ladder and make your way down.  Jesus will meet you there.  Dirty shoes, rough hands and all. 
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."  Matt 11:28 The Message
One of my favorites from The Message.
Love and blessings on this Sunday afternoon, kathryn