Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Deep Roots of Spring and Friendship

Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men. ~Chinese Proverb
So the why am I ever surprised when I walk the dogs out on a February morning to find the bulbs ears peeking out from the earth?  I have to enjoy the green leaves for March winds and some late winter storms can make short work of my lovely daffodils.
and last but not ever the least....
Left to right:
Kate! her mother, Rebecca, Peggy's daughter,  Peggy, Rebecca's mother and Kate's grandmother, Bee, Peggy's sister, Rebecca's aunt and Kate's Great Aunt, (how wonderful to see you again and actually eat a meal together) Kathryn and Jana, funny and dear friend.
A fast but delicious time - and the food was good as well.
O, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.
--George Eliot
(and Ruthie....the legacy of friendship gets sweeter as the years go by. Thank you for being the first to introduce this poem to me.)
With much love, kathryn

Friday, February 18, 2011

Faithful in Prayer

I believe this is enough for the day.  "Give us our daily bread" - not only physical the feeding of our spirit.  May God bless you with joy and hope, patience and faithfulness.
Love kathryn

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  Romans 12:12

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Gentle Reminder....So Pay Attention!!!

March is Colorectal Health Month
Blue is the color for colorectal cancer survivors.

If you are experiencing these symptoms:
In its early stage, colorectal cancer usually produces no symptoms. The most likely warning signs include:

Changes in bowel movements, including persistent constipation or diarrhea, a feeling of not being able to empty the bowel completely, an urgency to move the bowels, rectal cramping, or rectal bleeding

Dark patches of blood in or on stool; or long, thin, "pencil stools"

Abdominal discomfort or bloating

Unexplained fatigue, loss of appetite and/or weight loss

Pelvic pain, which occurs at later stages of the disease

Call Your Doctor About Colorectal Cancer If:

You notice a change in your bowel movements, experience bleeding from the rectum, or notice blood in or on your stool. Don't assume you have hemorrhoids; your doctor will most likely perform a rectal examination and possibly a sigmoidoscopy or schedule a colonoscopy -- an examination that involves a long flexible tube inserted in your rectum.

You experience persistent abdominal pain, unusual weight loss, or fatigue. These symptoms may be due to other causes, but they could also be linked to cancer.

You are diagnosed with anemia. In determining its cause, your doctor should check for bleeding from the digestive tract because of colorectal cancer.

Reading this is step one.  Step Two: Contact your doctor and make an appointment.  The time to take action is today!
Call NOW!
  If you have not had a colonoscopy and are either experiencing symptoms or have reached the age of 50, symptoms or not.
Take care of yourself and
get 'er done!
(and to a few of you who are putting off getting a colonoscopy, I know who you are and know where you live and where you attend church.  I've got your number, a car and will deliver and take you home).


Monday, February 14, 2011

A Happy Valentine's Day To All!

"They who meet on an April night are forever lost in love, if there's moonlight all about and there's no moon above."
  ~E.Y. "Yip" Harburg and Fred Saidy, dialogue just before the song "Old Devil Moon" in the musical Finian's Rainbow 
Jim and Kathryn met on an April night...4/23/78 - we have not a clue about the moon.
(thanks KH for the beautiful cheesecake! delicious)

Or you could say this is the truest love of all
Happiness is a warm puppy.
--charles m. schulz
even when you are trying to get some work done - there is nothing better than this!

Love is faithful, love is kind, does not brood over injuries.
God's love never fails.
Nothing is better than a hug or ten, all the while, smiling in the arms of your
sweetest heart.
Then share a chocolate of two.
Happy Valentine's Day!
With deep affection and love and a hug,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter Time Memories (and who does not have those??)

A chilly morning out here in the land of enchantment.  The skies are turning that dark shade of winter blue.  I KNOW there are those of you who are so tired of snow and that "certain shade of blue".
  That "blue sky" reminds me of home.  Mom cooking at the stove, 3 bleary eyed children, staring into their bowls of oatmeal and that "blue, winter sky".  We somehow manage to get dressed for school, head out to the back porch/mudroom, each complaining about having to wear galoshes to school.  "They hurt the back of my legs."  (and they did, they were hard rubber/plastic and as soon as that winter wind hit them, they hit us back).  We walked out the backdoor and immediately started searching for the snow that had been frozen over during the night.  I loved to walk on top of the snow.  I was a short kid, (now I just think tall). From my frozen tower, I felt like some caretaker of the land - able to see things from a different perspective and enjoy this look as if from a tower.  The world all dressed in a brilliant white.  Whooosh, the frozen snow gives way and now my boots are filled to the brim with snow.  hmmm.  The dilemma....remove my boots and shake out the snow or continue on, reaching school with no feeling left in my feet.  Teresa seemed to just be on a mission - I don't remember her stopping to help me - she just marched on.  Of course, her boots hit her about at knee level.  She was shorter than I was, so her boots really were a help. She can tell her own story.
It's been a many years since I've walked any distance on top of iced over snow.  Past the lilac bushes and the maple tree - a train whistle blowing in the distance.  Walking through our set path, between houses and chain link fences and crossing the "big" street (1st) street right by the 'creek'.  Sometimes we'd meet up with friends, other days we'd walk together.  I wonder what we talked about?  I see in my faded memory laughter and other times tears and other times - just enjoying the walk.  We walked 7 blocks, 4 times a day.  From kindergarten through 6th grade.  It was a rare occasion one of my parents picked us up from school. It was our routine and don't think we gave it much thought.
This morning made me remember our long Kansas winters.  We built a lot of forts, made stacks of snowballs and usually ended up in the house, crying, because one of the boys hit us too hard with their super-hard packed snowballs.  I liked to just make tracks in the snow with my boots.  Sometimes the night time snow fall let my trails covered, yet I could still see my work.  I had been there,  My time in the snow was not erased.  That was comforting.  Like seeing my mud pies the day after I made them.  I had been there.  My work remained.
Growing up in the heartland, I wonder if the farmers felt like that.  The farmers planted wheat or other grains and as theses fields filled up - they too knew they had been there and they were producing a harvest for others to use.  Now, no one used my snow paths or my mud pies - but I had produced something - even if it was for myself.  It made me feel good.
Whatever you are doing today is leaving an impression - either on you or on others.  It's important to glance back and see where you've been and know you are present in this day - making another mark.  Don't forget to plant the seed of kindness as you are walking along.  That makes more of a difference than my boots ever did in the snow.
love you,
p.s. i didn't mention this one time.  It was Wednesday after church.  All of the kids were running and playing in the parking lot (we could talk for hours about this....an unlit parking lot, with ice and snow...). 
I went over to our car.  There, all freshly iced over, the car door handle.  Just waiting for me.  uh huh, i did.  I stuck out my tongue.  It was like a very powerful magnet and I was stuck. It is very hard to scream when your tongue is stuck to a car part.  I just stood there, looking down at my feet, wondering how to escape the door handle.   I did what any intelligent...(I was proving by the moment how intelligent I was) person would have done - I ripped my tongue from those icicles and the car door handle.  Never mentioning this to my mom or dad, on the ride home, I had toilet paper stuck to my tender tongue. These are thing you just didn't tell adults, they wouldn't understand. (right?) So, if you want an icicle, break it off the roof of some building.  And how many times did we did that??! Yuk!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Test #1

All is clear and fine in the lymph nodes in my neck!!!!.  I'm celebrating by reading a book, writing on the computer, eating vinegar/salt potato chips and enjoying a Dr. Pepper. 
The Joy of the Lord will be my Strength!!  Thank you for your prayers.  After I celebrate here, I'll get to dusting for a bit and sit down and snooze a bit.

Love kathryn

Thursday, February 3, 2011

As There Are No Atheists in Foxholes....

there are no atheists laying on medical tables either.  Tomorrow, I have a test involving an ultrasound wand/monitor.  Tuesday -  a brain scan.  When Dr. C was not making small talk a few weeks ago.  He said I would be watched very closely. I've been very, very blessed.  All of the last tests have been negative.  Anticipating these tests will follow suit.
and February's calendar is no longer empty. 
The dogs are wondering what happened to their backyard.  The back of the house is always the last place to melt after a snowfall.  Jim and I scrape the snow away so they can see the grass, however Coco and Scout would much rather chose their own spot.
We're supposed to see 33 degrees tomorrow.  Have to break out the lawn chairs and sunscreen - for us and the dogs.  
To my Texas family and friends.  Find a warm spot, cook great amounts of good food, find a good book or project and stay indoors.
I guess I will cheer for the Steelers for the Superbowl this Sunday.  Honestly, I'm waiting for March Madness.  We both really enjoy college basketball.  Go Vols!
Reading some good books and getting back to my knitting bag. Great to be able to concentrate on both of things again.
"This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel;
I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go."  Isaiah 48:17
Prayers especially for Mike M., Simone and Bev. 
Good Night from bitterly cold but clear Albuquerque.
love kathryn

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

During and After the Storm

Tuesday: All are settled in.  Jim is working at home, Sophie is staring out the window; mesmerized by the snowfall.  It is a winter wonderland.  I do realize this vicious storm is affecting millions of people. May there be a port in every storm for all at risk.  I know I'm of the minority who loves snowfall.  I lived in New England - it was still one of the things I loved most - for we didn't receive as much as snow as you may be thinking, for we lived on an island.  Heavy snowfall is more rare than you may think (not so this year!!)
"The Thin Man" is on TMC.  William Powell and Myrna Loy were the "perfect couple, working as sleuths, no matter how many times I've seen it, it is still good. And Astor - their brilliant and perceptive dog.
 I didn't have to get up and head over to the cancer clinic today (is that good planning or what?).  I do miss "my people", but today is a good day to hang out at home.
This evening it will be time to bring out the Scrabble board (if I can stay awake) and eat some homemade soup. 
Wednesday.  Almost finished a book and did quite a bit of knitting yesterday. I found out my thyroid numbers are low as well as my Vitamin D levels.  ah HA!  I will have energy to burn once these things start doing their job.  Good news is always welcome.  It's going to be a while before I'm not jittery over "every little thing".  This helps those jitters. 
Still doing my physical therapy and have to brave the cold this afternoon.  The sun is out but I think once again, it's that deceptive sun.  "I'm here, but I'm not really putting forth much heat".  The snow is gorgeous this a.m.  The sun creates a blinding blend of beauty - there's nothing else like it.  (ok, the ocean on a summer evening tops it, but this is what we have : ) and it's lovely.
There are still many burdens on our hearts.  God knows what those burdens are.  We pray like we've never prayed.  We are learning about these attributes - faith, trust, God's time, God's surprises, that tears are gifts from God, that sometimes are prayers are nothing more than whispering the name of Jesus when words fail.  We know God knows the entire story, that he works through everything and everyone; even when we are astounded, we remember the stories of old.  We can say to one another, remember this particular story or that one?  They are like salve for our bruised souls. 
To Bev - I pray healing for your skin, your swollen legs, for another chemo or treatment to be kinder to your body and available to you.
It was good to be with everyone at Montgomery on Sunday.  Your hugs and support are precious gifts - each one of you. 
For those still having snow days, enjoy being indoors, playing games, dusting(!), cooking or reading a good book you've been waiting for time to read.
Love to all, kathryn
For today, from one of my devotionals I too bid you peace....on all levels of your life.
For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, "Peace be within you."
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.
Psalms 122:8-9