Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Weekend and Sisters

My sweet sisters called Thursday and said, "We're coming!"

Now, how blessed can a gal be?

When planning our weekend, I mentioned mine and Hubby's thoughts about going to the local Farmers Market early Saturday morning and that we would need to leave at 6:30.  Well, Middle Sis, being the early riser she is, was all in.  Little Sis, not so excited so we let her sleep.

We got there before the huge crowds appeared and while the veggies were fresh and in stock.  But, the Louisiana sun and humidity beat us there, I'm afraid.


Beautiful floral mixtures
  I heard a lady say that the Brown Tomatoes are a perfect blend of sweet and acid.  I have to agree.
Brown Tomatoes

 Sis and Hubby are loaded down and ready to head home for a lunch of fresh roasted veggies and baked salmon.
By the way, my precious Sis is just 6 lbs. short of reaching her goal to lose 50 lbs.  She has done it in less than 4 months.  She is radiating beauty, health and confidence, not to mention lots of new clothes.

We didn't leave little sis out completely.  We did do some fun shopping this afternoon which she was more than game for.

Thanks Sisters for being so special and knowing that JUST RIGHT time to be here.
Love you.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Letter to My Mom

Dear Larla,

It has been almost six years, next month in fact, since I last sat down and talked to you.  I don't think I've missed you so much until just recently.  I know, I know, you can't actually listen or speak to me in so many words, and you can't hold me, and you can't shed a tear with me, but I just need a visit.  Is it silly for an almost 69 year old to still need her mother?  It really doesn't matter, does it, because I do.

I need to ask you some questions.  What did you do when disappointment and hurt slammed your heart against the back of your chest?  I know you had these times and that I was the cause of many of them. How did you handle that?  Did you talk it out by yourself?  Did you sit Daddy down and say, "I need to talk?"  Or did you wish for Mama?

How did you feel when your heart was broken?  What was your response when you thought you had been so unjustly treated that you were completely depleted of energy?  How did you forgive?

My body aches and tears have been so close to the surface that I've almost choked.  I've become totally consumed by one of the most nonsensical and avoidable situations I have ever had to face.  I can't find a compartment into which I can comfortably tuck this and move on.  That tough exterior and ability to handle the tough things is totally evading me.

Laying in bed last night, I think I finally figured it out to some extent.  A part of me has died!  I feel as if I have experienced the death of my dearest friend.  But I can't find her name.  I can't exactly put my finger on who she is/was.  I only know a part of me died with her.

Do I grieve whatever that loss is?  Do I tell myself it doesn't really matter?  How do I make myself move on from here?  Then, where do I go?  Do I fill the void?  With what do you refill a hole that today feels like the Grand Canyon?  Do you wait for it to seem smaller, or do you forget the refilling and just try to find a way around it?

Mom, I know there really aren't any quick answers, if there are answers at all to my questions and thoughts.  But, I do know if you were here, you would hear me out and you would pray with me, and you would seek God's answer for my otherwise unanswerable questions.  You would love me and say, "Honey, we will get through this together because that is what families do."

As I opened my Bible this morning, because that is the only source of help I know, I found one of your handwritten notes to me from years ago.  I have treasured it and recognize it as being your hug and your heartfelt response to me today.

"Cause me to hear thy loving-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust:  Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul to thee.  Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God."  Ps. 143:8, 10

"I will extol Thee, my God, O King; And I will bless Thy name forever and ever.  Every day I will bless Thee, and I will praise Thy name forever and ever."  Ps. 145: 1,2

"The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth."  Ps. 145:18

Thanks Mom for your wisdom and for being the example to us that you and Dad were and still are.  Thank you for instilling in us the love of family and joy of giving.  Thank you most of all for teaching us the real source for all questions.

Love you,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Miscellany Monday: Where Do I Go From Here?

 As mentioned in my last post, I spent this past week helping Daughter and family move into their lovely new home in Dallas. It is in an older, well established neighborhood that seems to be very family friendly.  There will be no sharing of pictures however, out of respect for Daughter, and the lack of interest in packing boxes.

After driving in on Friday night, Hubby and I planned to get up early on Saturday and visit the local Shreveport Farmer's Market.  That was a great idea until I tried to get out of bed that morning to find I could not move without excruciating pain in my lower right back. There went the plans for the day. So, my Saturday was spent trying to find any position or movement that didn't elicit a scream and wondering which box I shouldn't have moved. Fortunately, Sunday brought some relief and we are now looking forward to the Farmers Market this week.
Tomorrow is Grandson Jackson's BIG day!  He heads to Western Michigan to enroll for the last Summer Session and begin his conditioning regime for the Broncos Fall Football Season.  We are so excited for him and this new adventure in his life and that of his family.
With that in mind, I want to share a link Son sent us today, written by Lewis Hamilton about the new WMU Coach Fleck. I think you will find it very interesting and inspiring. You will for sure see why we feel blessed to have our grandson mentored by this fine young man.
Row the Boat

As for "Where I Go From Here," I'm trying to decide which direction, if any, my blog needs to take. I feel like I'm floundering without much direction and focus. I would appreciate any feedback you might have to help me think this through. Maybe it's just the funk mood I find myself in right now and will seem all better tomorrow, but here's where I find myself today.

May you have a great week and remember to "Row Your Boat" wherever you are, and I'll keep reminding myself to do the same.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day and Just Plain Trivia

Thank you Daddy for being the most godly example of a man, husband and father a girl could ask for.  Not a day passes that I don't think about you and miss you.
While on a family Spring Break in Cancun, our granddaughter crafted this beautiful candle holder for us.  I told her I had the perfect place for it and here it is.  It adds the perfect touch of color and whimsy to our new Sun room, and I love it.  Thank you M-E.
 Since this was our first week home after being away for six weeks, there was so much to do and catch up on.  One was adding plants to the empty urns outside our new Sun room.
 Also, Hubby hung our hanger for the Bougainvillaea that graced us with a resurrection from last year.  It should be a gorgeous spot of color on the patio this summer.
 While visiting Son and family, we went to a granite shop in South Bend.  While looking around, the sales person offered a look at their throw away bend.  So, Hubby and I went dumpster diving and found this beautiful piece of granite which was perfect for our old sewing machine stand.  Not bad for free!
 My dear friend, Judy has a catering business.  One of her specialties is wedding cakes.  This is one she did for a wedding yesterday.  I think it is gorgeous and just had to brag on her a bit.
Just have to wish our LSU Tiger Baseball team all the luck possible as they contend for the National Title in Omaha this week.  First game is tonight against USLA.  I am envying our friends, Tommy & Lea for getting to be there in person.  Enjoy for us all, guys!
Well, I have my bags packed and car loaded and am about to hit the roads again.
I am going to do what I can to assist Daughter and family as they move to a new home in Dallas.  I can't wait to see it and be part of this exhausting adventure.  She said my job will be to entertain the 6-year old granddaughter and have food on the table at night.  I think I can handle that!
 So, until I have time to blog again, have a great week my friends and may God bless you richly.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wednesday / Thursday Hodgepodge

I really didn't think I would be able to make this Wednesday Hodgepodge again this week, but alas, I found a few minutes to sit and reflect on Joyce's thought provoking questions.

I deliberately left the above sentence from yesterday morning because not long after I got started, I got stopped and am now, on Thursday morning getting back to finishing my Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Oh well, such is the life of a busy retiree.

1. Have you learned more from success or failure?  Explain.


I have learned a great many lessons from my failures, but often I've allowed these to defeat me or at the best, attack my confidence to try again.  I tend to be a perfectionist, so if I didn't do something as well as I thought I should, I generally just didn't bother with it again. Example:  Roller skating as a child.

On the other hand, successes have given me the confidence to move on to bigger things, believing that I could accomplish this new goal.

2. What did you call your grandparents when you were growing up? If you have children, what do they call your parents?  If you have grandchildren, what do they call you?

My maternal grandmother lived with us, so we called her "Mama" just like our mother did.  Mother was always "Mother" to me, but my younger sisters called her "Mama" as well.  Our dad's mom preferred to be called "Grandmother."  My grandfathers, both of whom were deceased when I was born, were called "Poppa" and "Pappy," respectively.

My first nephew couldn't pronounce the "L" to call me Aunt Libby, so it came out Bibby.  I loved it and it became my name with all my nephews.  When it came time for grands, I didn't have to debate - Bibby it would be.  Now Hubby's grandfather name has not been so simple, but much more fun.

Our first grandchild heard her mother refer to him as "Daddy" and us reference him to her as "Granddad," so she came up with her own name for him - Daddea.  Isn't that precious?  Well, when our second came along, he had trouble with this complicated name and just shortened it to "Da."  Our daughter's girls continue to call Hubby Daddea, but son's children continued to keep it interesting.  When Savannah started speaking, she called him "Da Da."  By the time the third came, he of course became "Da Da Da."  Could this be a more perfect  evolution of names for a musician?

3. You're invited to a luau.  In keeping with that theme, what dish do you bring to share?

I have never been to a luau but we do have something similar in Louisiana - Cochon de Lait.  One can never go wrong with a good potato salad.

4. Besides Jesus, what one person's life story do you think everyone should know?

We can learn from both good lives and bad, but I'm going with my first thought, Corrie ten Boom, a tremendous lady of faith and author of "The Hiding Place."

5. "Don't sweat the small stuff." Agree or disagree?

Both agree and disagree.  I know people who go to the extreme with both, so I think it depends on the circumstance.

6. June is National Rivers Month...when were you last on a river?  What's the prettiest river you've ever seen?  What's a river you'd like to see?

The last time I was actually on a river was years ago when we used to have a boat and took the kids skiing.  Never my favorite thing.

But, some of my most precious memories with my dad as a child are those spent fishing with him on the Red River.  I helped him run his catfish lines stretched across this turbulent waterway.  We both cringed years later thinking about how crazy that was, but yet so bonding.

Perhaps the most important river to have seen was the Nile.  I shall never forget that experience.

7. Speaking of rivers-paddling, swimming, fishing, or bird watching safely from the shore?  Which activity would you choose?  Yes-you have to choose.

I don't swim or enjoy fishing anymore, but if I could swing in a nice hammock under some hanging Spanish moss I would be perfectly content to watch and listen to the birds overhead.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We have two more days of our extended visit with son and family in northern Indiana.  We have been able to experience so many things with them including watching our grandson play Rugby, our granddaughter play soccer, both girl's orchestra concert, youngest's induction into the Junior Honor Society, seeing grandson receive school recognition for his Full-Ride Football Scholarship to Western Michigan, and hear his Rugby coach say some really nice things about him at Tuesday nights Rugby Banquet.

On Friday night, we will be privileged to watch him walk across the stage and receive his High School Diploma on the Notre Dame campus.

We have spent some really good times playing games, watching movies, eating, talking, snuggling, scratching backs, and just spending time together, these past six weeks and we will treasure having this time with our precious family.