Lost in the (W)Hole

Good Heavens it’s been TEN months since I’ve been able to post anything here! If this was a baby I’d be a month overdue!!!

To be honest I rather feel like my name got changed to Alice this past near-year. I got sick and had some MAJOR surgery in February that culminated in a three week stay in the “new” rehab wing inside a nursing facility where I used to work. Talk about panic! I had already spent a grueling week in the hospital but to then find myself in the receiving end of an old work place was nearly more than I could bear.

This was at the hospital. (Oh My!!! That is NOT a bedpan! It is what left of a meal tray!)  I looked awful and felt just as worse. And yes, that is a walker. Used that the week I spent in the hospital. They upgraded me to a cane when I got to rehab.

I actually spent my birthday in rehab. That was a bummer. One of my friends sent me flowers and my grand kids brought me lots of balloons. My daughter also had a BIG canvas made of the kids for me to hang on the wall next to my chair. Believe me, I looked at it every day! AND they brought my dog to visit for my birthday!

0204160758-00

She made herself at home in my blankets! I think I missed her the most….

So now I’m home. I still have to use a cane. Nothing fancy (yet). Found some “old man canes” at a second hand store after using one previously left behind by an ex….that thing was too tall for me anyhow. To help me feel better about the ugly canes I started crocheting handle covers and even tried my hand at making slip-on flowers and leaves. The grands love it and my little neighbor girls are fascinated that my cane wears clothes. ūüėÄ

I was told I would have to use a cane the rest of my life. I do believe it. Something connected to this surgery further aggravated the cancer-induced neuropathy. I was severely dropping things and stumbling all over myself. Funny but they taught me to use the cane in my primary hand….which is the one I was always dropping things from! Since I’ve been home I’ve learned to use that cane in either hand depending on how weak my hands are. I shift my weight usually off of the affected foot and leg too.

Oh, in case you are wondering, I had surgery to repair what is called a Recticele. I’m not sure if I have that spelled correctly. I had been passing lots of blood rectally as if I had a faucet turned on. Praise God I didn’t have to have a blood transfusion! But all the same the surgery lasted over 5 hours. It was only supposed to last 30 minutes. It was really super bad. So, once again, I am glad to be alive and am continuing to heal.

So many more things have happened since I came home. Many of which were NOT good for me. The day I came home I had a major meltdown. I am so GLAD the kids didn’t send me BACK to the hospital for mental reasons! They were the CAUSE of it all! More about that the next time. To be honest, I am still trying to heal from that incident. Worst thing to ever have happen to me since cancer and having that surgery. Oh! I forgot to tell ya’ll that I actually wanted to and honestly thought I was going to die about three days after surgery. Never had pain that intense in that manner except one other time in my life. I honestly would NOT wish it on any of my enemies! (Childbirth was NOTHING compared to this pain…).

Slowly climbing back up the (W)hole…rabbit or otherwise.

Oh! While in rehab I watched their GINORMOUS pet rabbits!!! These things were nearly twice the size of my dog!!!

dscn6361

Just call me “Alice”…..I’m in here somewhere!

Until next time I pray peace and an abundance of blessings on ya’ll!

~ Bonnie

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Disregarded Gifts

scan0039

Here we are right on the threshold of yet another Christmas holiday. That is the holiday my family celebrates. I am not nor ever have been ashamed to declare “Merry Christmas” to friends and strangers alike. I cringe when I see the “Christ” part of the word replaced by “X”. That is offensive to me to be honest. And yes, I have read and heard many of the arguments pro and con concerning the use of “X” and pine trees and decorations….and all the other many “pagan” things that have come together to make up our holiday as we know it today in the year 2015.

Also with the holidays comes the influx of charities and usually the “spirit of giving” to go along with that theme. Unless of course your name happens to be Ebeneezer Scrooge. I know a lot of people with his “spirit”. They have a total disregard for anything charitable. I pity those folks really. They don’t know the reality of joy that comes with giving.

For nearly as long as I can remember I have handmade nearly all gifts I’ve given to friends and family for Christmas. Each gift is lovingly thought out and planned for the specific recipient. I receive great joy when those gifts are cherished. Perhaps you have seen on social media the petition to buy local, buy handmade, that handmade isn’t cheap. I support all that as I have an Etsy shop that doesn’t have much traffic. I tend to gift more than I sell. You can find my shop here: ¬†http://www.etsy.com/shop/peabuttonsmom

But what about the gifts that we purchase and gift to others? Are we simply giving a gift of disregard? Are those gifts lovingly thought out and pursued? Did we fight with somebody on Black Friday to save a buck just to give that kind of gift? One that will ultimately be “disregarded”?

Today I rather had a heart break concerning a lesser gift. Given a couple or so years ago. Gifted with love to a family member.  I did not fight for this gift or necessarily save money on this gift. But today there it was, in all its glory, laying in their trash can. I simply was throwing away an orange rind and there the gift was, partially hidden, but still crying out from the recesses of despair. Being the dumpster diver that I am of course I fished it out of their trash. My heart was broken. It sank. I realized that that particular gift was disregarded as trash. Not as the collectible which is what I had bought. Not being regifted nor even being recycled. Trashed. Oh the horror!

Now I would like to interject here that I also had another family member years ago who was notorious for ridding herself of last years gifts. Gifts we gave her often showed up in the yard sale next spring. We finally just started gifting her with gift cards. What else could we do? She made it evident that she would rather have the money.

But how does one deal with the gift that lands in the trash?? Honestly, I do not know yet. I am not finishing the handmade gifts I had previously been fussing over for this person. I just don’t feel like it is necessary any more. ¬†It is necessary that I pray harder about this and forgive this person in my own heart. They obviously don’t see any wrong committed here.

This holiday season I would like to encourage all who read this post to re-evaluate your reason for giving the gift, as well as the gifts you receive. Some of us have spent precious time and expenses choosing those gifts just for you. Or making them. Or even having them specially made.

It makes me wonder how Santa can keep on giving and gifting when he knows he’s only giving gifts of disregard.

There is a sermon in here somewhere.

Bah. Humbug.

 

 

DayTrippers

Greetings friends! Have you missed me? I’ve been out and about with family recently.

I grew up enjoying weekly “Day Trips”.¬† As a child my family usually took us to see extended¬†family. Sometimes we would spend an entire day picnicking and hiking at any number of state parks within a two hour drive. A few times dad would drive even farther to an amusement park or a special zoo attraction. After I became an adult I continued this tradition with my girls. And now that my girls are grown, they are¬†continuing our family tradition¬†with their friends and family.

Recently I was treated to one such outing¬†by my oldest and her fella. Travelling a bit closer to home, we visited¬†Merom, Indiana,¬†and the park known by locals as “Merom Bluffs”.

Image

There are numerous historical signs like this all around the area. Merom sits on the banks of the Wabash River. It is rich in American Indian history, Christian history, and, as you can see, cultural and even political history! The 10 day Chautauqua festival has since been whittled down to a weekend event. We showed up prior to the event.

Image

As mentioned before, we went to the main attraction here:¬† Merom Bluffs. The actual bluff is what we went to enjoy. I have no idea how old the wall around the bluff is…you can see some places where the wall has been mended and other places where it’s rather broken down. Not really a safe place for children, the elderly, or drunks ūüėČ

Image

We considered this entry point to the bluff. It was quite broken down so we decided to take another route.

Image

The tree in the right of the last photo is the same one seen at the top and left of this one. That’s the Wabash River in the distance and Illinois just beyond that. This photo is looking slightly north-north west.

Image

This is about the center of the wall. I tried really hard to get a good picture of the horizon. I could barely see the stacks at the refinery in my town. Not as the crow flies (because I’m no crow) the distance is well over thirty miles to the horizon. Probably a bit more like forty. ¬†As you can see, the sun is shining but it’s also cloudy/hazy. You will notice in the¬†next few pix there is a storm rolling in…If you look really hard you will notice a building just to the center left in this photo above. I will show you the same building in a bit.

Image

Here’s a view back to the south along the wall. I had forgotten but this was a military wall during the civil war!!!

Image

One of the original cannons! It’s actually a pretty good walk to see this too. I had to use zoom just to see it this well.

And FINALLY, we find a relatively new bridge and trail! This had never been here in times past for my visits.

Image

And so here begins a hike downwards to the river. I will share several pix to show how steep this hike was for me. Image

Doesn’t look so bad yet? Alrighty then…I DARE you!

Image

Well, well…hmmm….and this isn’t even the steepest part!

Image

Yes, this is carved right out of the stone in the bluff. STEEP! My rump got real familiar with this set of steps ūüôā

Image

Here is evidence that some form of this trail dates back an incredibly long time! Rock carvings! Yeah, some is “new” but you could also see evidence of some very well worn carvings too. I’m going to guess that this is at the halfway point.

Image

Looking back up into the dizzy view. Still on the trail. the stairs rather disappear into the upper right of this photo.

Image

HAHAHA!!! The stairs on the left here only go to a shelter house with a picnic table! Where we came out was in the far distance!

Image

This shelter sat a bit closer to the actual ground!

Image

Remember the building I said to notice before? Here it is again, just across the river, at the bottom of the bluff.¬† ¬†ūüôā

Once we DID get to the bottom, I realized¬†there’s a ROAD that you can take to get to the bottom! Sheesh! My legs felt like jelly rubber bands so I made the kids hike back UP the bluff, get the truck, and come back¬†for me.¬†¬† ¬†ūüôā¬†

After regaining ourselves a bit we drove back around town to the only other attraction.

Image

I thought this history sign was placed rather close to the street sign. Made for an interesting photo, wouldn’t you say?

And when I turned around while standing pretty much in the same spot I photographed the BIG sign.

Image

I dare say there weren’t many Christian colleges in 1859! AND now, just to the right of this sign is the triumphant LONG lane that frames the main college building.

Image

Those are glassed in doors at the bottom front. Until recently the building had been vacant and vandalized. There was a news story about this building and it’s bell tower¬†on one of our local (CBS) news stations prior to these doors being built. Fascinating interior. Alas, there’s no evidence of tours.

Image

One last view. Very picturesque. This older gentleman was taking some finer photographs than I have capability. There’s that building across the river again. And the storm looming in the sky just to the right of the photo hits us as we leave for home.

I do so hope you have enjoyed day tripping by photo and blog with me.¬†If you are ever in the area just shout across the river. I might hear you ūüôā

Until next time (and I hope to be sooner than later)

~ Bonnie

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day in the USA!

Happy Mother’s Day to all!¬†If you assist in the raising of children, whether male or female, my sincerest wishes go out to you!

On Saturday I was blessed to spend my entire day with both of my daughters and granddaughter. My eldest and I tag-teamed caring¬†for the baby while my youngest cooked apples for¬†her. Later we all changed clothes and my youngest did our hair and makeup. When her husband got off¬†work he joined us as our photographer and baby carrier!¬†¬† ūüôā¬†¬† We had a “Mother’s Day” photo shoot!¬† Here are a¬†few pix:

Image

He’s so wonderful! He’s even holding my little purse!¬† ūüôā

Image

Me and my girls! I feel like the older I get, the more American Indian I can see in my face. I see it in my eldest girl too!

Image

If you look close you can see that the entire field is CLOVER….Looky at what we found:

Image

The one in the center of the pic had even been mowed over! My youngest managed to find that one.

Onward. Today, Sunday, Mother’s Day, I was blessed to attend worship service with the family in the morning. Then, about mid afternoon, I embarked on a treasure hunt of sorts. Let me explain.

For many years I lived alone with my girls. We never had money for spending on some of the simplest of things, like buying flowers. So, we got creative and found a way around it! We went digging for flowers! As a family we would embark on our quest with a shovel (sometimes a broken one and other times just a hand held garden version), a few trash bags, maybe a box or a bucket, and our wits. I usually packed along drinks in their sip cups and a few snacks. We would hunt for flowers along roadsides, by abandoned houses or properties in the country,¬†near old forgotten cemeteries,¬†even in cow pastures! A few times we found flowers near the river bottoms along farm levees too. We’ve¬†had¬†some¬†beautiful gardens that loved us back every year! I always hated leaving them behind when we had to move again. But that always gave us cause to go flower hunting again ūüôā

So today, remembering my girls and some irises we had previously spotted, I borrowed my youngest’ shovel and a big garden fork. As it worked out I never even had to use the shovel! Here’s a picture of the sad, sad shape of how I found the irises:

Image

Hard to see them through all the poison ivy! Hope I don’t get infected with that horrible stuff!

And finally, here is my newest treasure:

Image

The orange hint of something seen in the bucket is a brick I found that was marked as made in St. Louis, Missouri. That is an added bonus for me! I love treasuring hunting this way!

I will be keeping these in the bucket for a little while. I don’t have my own yard yet. Soon…..And when it happens I will be documenting EVERYTHING, including the planting of these irises that I found for free.

Hey! Have any of you ever done something like this? Drop me a comment! I look forward to sharing with ya’ll¬† ūüôā

Until next time….

Hug your Mom!

Bonnie

 

Easter After

bucket of carrots?

Carrot treats I put together for my family ūüôā

Do you ever wish that we could have an extra day for celebrating a given holiday? An extra day for finishing everything we wanted to do. An extra day for visiting everyone we couldn’t find enough time for. An extra day. That’s how living a life free of Cancer is viewed….celebrating “an extra day”….. I have found to pace myself. Quit trying to outperform another family member, or even myself. I have learned to accept that whatsoever I get done is how it’s supposed to be and not to fret about what didn’t get finished or done. Those aren’t important. Those are not the things that truly matter in life.

Snorkeling Eggs

Snorkeling Eggs for the family

As for visiting the people we didn’t quite get to….there’s still a telephone! Calling them can be just as much of an encouragement as a physical visit. It always helps me when somebody thinks enough to call. Sometimes I’m not up to a visitor but a phone call can usually be accepted no matter how grungy or dressed I am at the moment. AND, if I’m not quite up to the call I can opt to let the answering service¬†pick up. Sometimes I will answer and let the caller know it’s not a good time and I will call back later.

In light of all this, I want to share my Easter. It was a wonderful day until I got so tired I nearly passed out on my daughter’s couch and had to go lay down in the spare bedroom. I should have learned by now to not over-extend myself and my abilities. I was full of regret later into the day yesterday. Today, however, I am redeemed. I got that “extra day” to spend some time with loved ones. I’m still tired but I can lounge around at home and know that tomorrow will also be “an extra day after”…….