Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What We Used to See

I snapped these two pictures the last Sunday we worshiped in the "old" sanctuary.  What you see is what I've seen for approximately 43 years, every Sunday. 

All the pews have been disassembled and sold off.  We even have one ourselves-going to make a nice bench for the front porch.  The new chairs came about six weeks early-is it because it was a Canadian company?  So we're sitting on those in the basement.  Everybody is so excited about the new sanctuary.

The floor tiles are asbestos and we were very afraid that they would break when we pulled up the carpet.  Stan decided to give it a try one day and it just came up-zip!  So now the floor is bare, and after they pull out the old ceiling, insulate it (there is NO insulation in this 50's-built building), and sheetrock, new carpet will be laid.  They're going to build a little kitchen in the back where the restroom and coatrack are now.  Gets a little daunting hauling coffee and such from the basement.  We'll bring most of the tables upstairs and store them there and the old sanctuary will now be a new flex-space.  Much better use of the building.

In the back of our basement sanctuary, there is a hand carved plaque, made by a man from the congregation.  It quotes Nehemiah 10: 39, "We will not neglect the house of our Lord."

Hopefully I can give you in-progress pictures, plus I have custody of the old black and white pictures of the original construction of the church.  I'll show you a few of those, too.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Boys

Stan and Steve bowl in leagues, and this weekend is the city tournament.  I was to be in charge of Sydney, so I called and asked if Sam could join us for the day.  We went to Burger King and then to the bowling alley for a couple of hours to watch Grandpa and Daddy/Uncle Steve bowl. 

Of course they have vending machines and pinball machines there, and the two tapped out my meager supply of quarters.  One of the bowlers from another team asked if he could buy one of the boys' crowns, so he bought Syd's crown for $1.00.  Then when Syd was making change from the buck, the guy walked up and just gave Sam a dollar bill!  (This was someone Stan and Steve knew and saw every week.)  When we were ready to leave, Sydney went up to the guy and asked him for his crown back.  The little con artist got it, too!

While we were downtown I stopped at Cactus Records.  A couple of weeks ago, I saw a crocheted sweater that kind of looked like tie dye.  I didn't necessarily want to buy it, but I thought it would be a good Christmas project for, well someone special in our family.  (Mustn't reveal too much-I think she reads my blog!)  Today, I went in and asked the girl how many they had in stock, and while she was checking on a size, I snapped a picture with my phone.  I felt kind of bad, but they did not have the right size, and probably wouldn't get any more in.  And I would like to change it a bit.  Anyway, here's my stealth photo.  Anyone know of a pattern for something similar?

When I dropped Sam off the two talked Sam's mom into letting Syd stay the night, so I am here alone until Stan gets home from the tournament.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Good Hands

I am so very glad I picked the massage therapist I did.  This gal really knows what she is doing, and it isn't prejudice because she's an old friend.  She took my history and filled out the forms.  Then she went to work on my, er, bum muscles, then turned me over and worked on my knee scar.  She showed me pictures and illustrations of healthy tissue and scar tissue and what massage will do to smooth out the tangled scar tissue fibers.  She only got to the one side-that took a whole hour!  We'll be doing two massages this week and next, then we'll see how it goes.  Of course insurance probably won't pay for it-I did have the doctor write prescriptions for massage and for acupuncture in the off chance they do pay-so I'm not sure how many I can afford.  Even 4-6 sessions will really make a difference.

Knee doc actually thought I was doing OK.  He wishes I could bend my knee better but I did get him to admit that there is still time to make it work.  Especially with Stacey working on that scar tissue!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I really have been crafting-mostly knitting, but today I finished this for Gracie:

She has been wanting a tutu for a long time.  She takes ballet lessons and the class is pretty laid back, so I'll bet she wears it to practice!   It's a really simple pattern.  I cut a piece of elastic to fit her waist and sewed it into a circle.  Then I cut tulle into 6" strips, then cut the strips in half.  Then I put a light pink and a dark pink strip together and tied it on the elastic.  I used 11 yards-5 1/2 of each color.  Her favorite color is pink, but what do you bet she'll want blue, green, purple.......  I stitched a ribbon bow at the waist just to give it a nice touch.

 I'm knitting socks-pretty constant thing-but I found this sweater pattern on the Lion Brand website, so I started it. 

I remembered that I had a box of nice worsted in a soft ginger color that was among my mom's things when she passed.  Since I'm the only one who knows what a needle is for, the family gladly gives me all the materials-Stan's family is the same, so I really have a lot of fabric, yarn, and notions.  It was funny that she had this color, she was usually into bright colors and pastels.  I wonder if she meant it for me.

This sweater will be all mine-if I like it I'm going to make it in several colors.

I know you must be getting sick of hearing about my health, so I won't say much.  Doing the exercises from the book Contessa recommended, and am actually feeling quite a bit better.  I'm only going to physical therapy every other week now-I think Jason knows the exercises hurt more than they help.  Monday I have my 3-month with the knee surgeon, we'll see how that goes....  Oh!  And I have an appointment for a massage on Monday, too!  My friend Stacy is a massage therapist and is anxious to see what she can do for my leg, too.

Onward and upward!  I'll get better really soon-have to-Mazatlan is in our near future!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Such a Pain!

Yep, that would be my lower back!  I did go to the spine people today, and got some really good news.  I do NOT have a ruptured disc!  Still not sure why the guy with the big needles and cortisone said I did.  He's an MD, you'd think he would know how to read an MRI.  The spine guy and I read it and in his words, "Your spine looks really clean!"  I could see it easily and I'm not an MD!  It's probably a tiny muscle causing the problem, the piriformis.  The sciatic nerve can run through that muscle and cause terrible amounts of pain.  Only thing is, they can't do anything for me.  Of course, they half-heartedly mentioned physical therapy, but my experience with that is less than optimum.

It's good news to me that there is nothing structurally wrong because now I can take over my own healing.  There are a few options open to me-accupuncture, massage, chiropractic, etc.  My friend Contessa recommends this book, and I think I will get it.  It has to be mailed, it's an older book and isn't available on Kindle yet, but that might be better-Stan can use it for his rotator cuff pain.

I'm reading some other books, too, about tension and the mind-body connection.  I just might combine both and come out on top!

Stan's sis is chomping at the bit to go to Mazatlan soon-like in a couple of weeks-but I'm not sure I can sit in a plane that long yet.  I really want to go, so I do have to get in shape quickly!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Look

Decided it was time to get rid of Santa.  I started sifting through my pictures and ran across this photo.  This was taken in the early 20th century.  It's my Grandma's wedding picture.  From left to right-Grandma's friend who stood up for her; my uncle Stephen (my grandpa's twin brother);  Grandma Hazel; and Grandpa Bill O'Rourke.  She was a tiny, spunky redhead.  To me, in this picture, she looks totally unhappy to be in a dress.  She was always a tomboy.  I loved her dearly, she was always willing to spend time with me, and I spent many weeks in the summer at her little house in Livingston, MT.  She taught me to paint-watercolors.  I still have the picture she painted for me of two kittens playing.  She was a pretty talented artist, I'll have to scan a picture and show it to everybody.

Grandpa died when my mom was still in grade school.  Grandma later remarried, and her second husband died in the '60s.  Grandma lasted until the late 70s.  Grandma was born in the 1880's.  She always bragged that she was the first white child born in Yellowstone Park, at Mammoth, but we found someone else's Grandma who was born before her.  She raised 5 kids-my mom was the youngest.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mind over Matter

I am so tired of being a sickee, that I have decided to tell myself that I am well, and that I don't feel any pain.  I started pushing myself a bit on the stairs and did the exercise bike in spite of the nerve pain.  Don't know how long that will last, but if you don't push yourself you'll ever make progress.  I'm doing both legs on the stairs because it looks to me that my quads are weakening.  We'll see how this goes, but for today I feel optimistic.  The shots helped some things, but not others.  I still have that nasty leg pain, so until I see the spine guy on Friday I'll pretend I'm just fine.

Robert Browning said, "A man's reach should exceed his grasp."  Well, I'm reaching.....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Quick Update

Had my shots today.  I was supposed to get two on L4, but they gave me two on L5 also.  We came right home and I went right to bed.  I slept for a couple hours, got up and ate lunch, then settled in my chair for the duration.  At 5:30 I decided I should lay down again.  I slept until 7:30!  I got up, went downstairs, lay down on the couch and fell asleep again.  Stan cooked a little supper and now I'm in my chair again.  It's 8:54 and I'm ready for bed, but I'm wondering if I'll sleep tonight!  Might have to get out the melatonin.

It was a good idea to lay low today!  Really can't tell about the pain yet-I think the right side is better, but they didn't do the left side, since it came late to the party.  I suppose that will be another session.....

Update-I went back to bed at 9:00 and slept til 4:30.  12 1/2 hours sleep in 24-unreal!  I'm alert now, must have been one of the things they stuck in my back.  I feel a little better today, but I didn't have the quick relief like I did last time.  I'm taking that as a good omen.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More (big) Shots and Bittersweet Goodbyes

Just waiting for Thursday and the shots-never thought I'd be looking forward to something like that!  God certainly is working on building my patience!

Tonight is my last church council meeting.  I am done being a deacon for at least a year.  We serve three year terms and I can't believe that three years have already gone by!  Tonight we will attend the first half of the meeting-a kind of changing of the guard, so to speak, we will break for treats that the outgoing officers provide, and then we shake hands and leave.  I have mixed feelings about the end of my term.  I loved serving-most of the time I was the only woman on the board, but the relationships we established and the work we did was incredibly rewarding.  I love that I am forever ordained as a deacon.  The two that replace Bill and me will have to be ordained too-I am so excited about watching that.  We lay hands on them and pray for God's blessings.  They will then sign the form of conscription that says that they are now deacons.

The process we use is very Biblical, I think.  Members of the congregation suggest names of people that would be suitable, the council goes through the names and sends letters to the candidates.  The candidates then either agree or turn it down, then the names are published in the bulletin for two weeks.  On the first Sunday of January, the names are sealed in envelopes, and the outgoing officers each select one.  I am thrilled that one of the new deacons is a woman-Kara, the lady that married the missionary.  They are back in the area for a few years to receive training, so we get to reap the bounty of her experience.  It's also a great training ground for her-it surely was for me.  The second one is the one I selected.  As I reached out to pick an envelope, I said a quick prayer for God to direct me.  My hand immediately moved to the envelope on the end-very cool and very profound!  The name I selected was definitely God's doing.  This man has struggled for years with a bi-polar disorder and has made great strides.  I just think it was a way for God to tell us that HE picks His servants, not us.  I see great things happening in our church because we are obedient to God's direction!

Well, I'd better get moving.  I hope the copier repairman calls soon so I can meet him at the church.  Not good when it goes on the fritz!  And I have to assemble my part of the treats for tonight.  We are having a sundae bar and I am bringing homemade caramel sauce and hot fudge sauce.  The hot fudge is so easy, just bring 3/4 cup heavy cream to a boil, take off the heat, dump in 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips, let stand 5 minutes and whisk til smooth.  This is a basic ganache.  When you want to heat it, just put in a bit of cream-maybe 1 tablespoon, and warm in the microwave.  Best hot fudge ever, and no corn syrup!