Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chit Chat

Today I got a special blessing. My husband came home weary of all the trials in his life and placed his hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes. He said I am worth it all. After working all day he always looks forward to coming home to see me. Then he wrapped me in his arms and hugged me for a long time.

I am thankful the boys had Monday off from school for Yom Kippur. It gave them an extra day to recover from the flu. I was not sure that Eric should go back on Tuesday, I worry about him since he has asthma, but he did just fine. Brandon still has head congestion & some coughing, but he is doing okay. Me? Well, I am still struggling, I have been coughing and I feel weak and achy yet. Even so I have been doing housework as best I can. My tummy is still having some issues. Thankfully, some of them are better, but others are still bothering me. I have been unsure if it is my usual tummy problems or the flu. Seemed like a combo for awhile and it was very uncomfortable.

The sad thing is that Mark is finally coming down sick. We were supposed to go on our weekend trip to the sea this Saturday. This is the last weekend that Mark's parents can watch the boys for us. Mark is determined to go, so we will see what happens. Besides that I got a report from the school regarding my youngest son. Seems he has not been doing his assignments. I tell you, there is never a dull moment at our house.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pain, Parties & Fever

Saturday was a hot day and that evening our house was an oven. Unfortunately, the flu claimed another member of our family that night, my youngest son. So both the boys were down with fever. Eric was at 101 and Brandon, 102. I mothered both of them as best I could with a terrible tummy ache. I woke them and made them drink every few hours. All the while, a loud party was going on next door. In case you don't know, loud music irritates me. Add to the mix that there has only been one quiet weekend without a party in our neighborhood and you can understand why. The boys being with fever slept through the racket, which made me wish I had a fever.

For awhile the music was turned down to a bearable level. Maybe another neighbor went over and complained Mark and I thought. It was during that time I was able to enjoy visiting a few blogs and pick out some new wallpaper for mine. As we waited for the party to end so we could get to sleep, we realized that the music had gotten louder; so loud that we could feel the vibration of it under our feet! I was about ready to jump out of my skin with irritation. Desperate for peace and quiet, I knew I had to leave the house. I declared to my husband that I was leaving to mail a letter. He was not sure that I should be mailing a letter at 10:30 PM, but he did not want to hear my long impassioned commentary on the evil of partying neighbors.

As I drove away I felt a great sense of relief. I mailed my letter at the deserted post office, but after that I did not feel like going home. So I parked somewhere safe, took out my trusty pink cell phone and called hubby. Bad news, the music was raging on with no end in sight. Knowing my city ordinances on loud music, I encouraged him to call the police. We ended our call and he made the dreaded call. As I laid in the backseat of the van trying to sleep, my cell phone rang. It was Mark with the grand news that the offending neighbors had turned the music off. It was ten minutes after midnight. I carefully made my way to the driver's seat of the van. As I drove home I passed by the bank that has one of the huge digital thermometers. It displayed a temp of 61 degrees and the car's thermometer displayed 69 degrees. I always wonder which one is right. Whatever, I was thankful to come home to a cooler and quieter house.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Swine Flu?

The boys and I have a weird virus troubling us. What we thought was just a bad cold, took a turn for Eric and myself. Eric woke up with a fever of 101.4 this morning and all the symptoms of flu with nausea. I wondered if it was Swine Flu. I got on the computer and surfed the net a bit. The only noted difference I can make out about this Swine Flu from regular flu is that there can be an absence of fever along with intestinal symptoms (nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting). In my case I have not had a fever, only 99.4 at the highest. However, I have had diarrhea, some nausea and an upset tummy along with my respiratory symptoms. You can read about the Swine Flu here and here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autumn Path

Autumn Trails
By Charles White

When pressures mount because we walk
The path of truth and right,
We can rejoice to know that we
Are pleasing in God's sight.

~D. De Haan

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

His Loving-Kindness

It is the middle of the week. We are halfway through. Whew! Yesterday was a rough day. I woke up worse than the day before, my voice set itself to whisper. I did not do much, but then the drama began when I picked the boys up from school. I showed up a little late and even then the boys were dragging. I became impatient knowing we were late to an orthodontist appointment. They brought a friend along that needed a ride. I obliged. He was kind enough to have me let him off at a spot nearby his home, not off my course. We got to the appointment late, of course. After enjoying a chat with Eric and reading recipes in a magazine the tech appeared with Brandon. They grade the kids on their teeth brushing and Brandon got a D. That is bad because not too long ago he got his teeth cleaned at the dentist. Sigh. Now either Mark or I has to sit in the bathroom and make sure he brushes his teeth!

That was not the only drama that went down. We learned about another encounter with the principal due to another fight. Undone homework assignments, lousy test scores, but praise God, a found book! Then the cherry on top was my that my oldest son has to write an essay about a member of the family. He chose me as his subject. What he wrote needs some work, but what he chose to write meant a lot. I tend to think my work at home does not amount to much and that I am not making an impact, but the Lord let me know otherwise.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer's End

Painting by Oleg Shtykhno
Autumn Flower from the Garden

"The proof of spiritual maturity is not how pure you are, but your awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to God's grace." ~Philip Yancey

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh, its one of those mornings, huh?

First I woke before 6 AM because of bad dreams. Having bad dreams usually means that I am sick. Well, I woke with a sore throat, so yep, I am sick. I guess whatever the boys have isn't the same thing I just got over. Then I heard my bowel talking to me which led to a visit to the bathroom more than once. My husband's alarm sounded and he roused the troops. I thought maybe Brandon should stay home since he has been coughing, but he insisted on going to school because missing a day means doing make-up work. While the guys were getting ready I messed with laundry, folding a clean gym uniform for one of the boys (the other forgot to bring his home). Then I heard Mark on the phone, he was talking to our vet about our cat Princess. She has had a snotty nose with sneezing for weeks. Mark gets off the phone and says "9 AM". That means, get my rear in gear. As they were getting ready to leave, I spotted a hairball under the dining table on my new rug.

After saying our goodbyes, I cleaned up the hairball mess, then I put the tea kettle on. The phone rang and I slowly picked up the receiver, afraid of what was on the other end. It was Mark saying that Eric forgot his lunch. I sighed. I stumbled with my words. My husband, being a smart guy, knew that I did not want to deal with it. So he was very kind and said he would take care of it. Praise God! Hubby arrived home to pick up the lunch and then left. I continued on with making myself breakfast. As I gazed out the window I saw something lurking on the sofa out back. It was black, then a head popped up and I gasped. Silly me! Its the rabbit! LOL One of the boys must have let her out of her hutch.

Now when a morning starts out the way my did, well you sort of wonder what the rest of the day is going to be like. Well the appointment with the vet went well. Princess kitty has some medicine to take. Mark came home for lunch and we ate up the leftover pizza. Yum! I got to take a nap on the couch after lunch. Oh boy, did that feel great! However, when I picked the boys up from school I found out that Eric lost his math book and the lunch Mark dropped off at the school did not get to Eric until after his lunch break. Honestly, I have to say, that I am glad I didn't drop that lunch off.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Paradise Pool and Men

I know, this title does not sound quite right for a Christian blog. Well, sincerely, if you read on you will see why the title is appropriate.

We decided to hang around home today since both the boys have colds. Both of them need to rest, but whether they will is a different story. Anyway, I decided it would be a good day to make some Thai chicken soup. I learned how to make this soup from my Thai friend Hong. I started it in the morning. While I was working on that, Eric decided to blow up my pool. Yes, a blow up pool for $14.98 +tax. The weather channel warned that there was going to be a horrible heatwave this week. I really hate the heat and we do not have any decent air conditioning so with that in mind I snagged myself a pool amongst the summer clearance items at Target. Anyway, my son set up a little oasis for me in the backyard and my husband helped him.

In the afternoon I got to feeling a bit warm so I slipped on my suit and went and enjoyed my little paradise pool (Good name, don't ya think?) Anyway, I got in the cool water and had a nice time soaking. There was a slight breeze from the ocean and the birds were singing. It was nice! I got out and sat in the sun. As I sat there I was enjoying the wonderful aroma of something cooking. It smelled like chicken. Then it finally dawned on me that it was my cooking and I had forgotten about my soup! So I quick ran into the kitchen and stood over a rapidly boiling pot. Sigh. Fortunately, I had not ruined it and was able to save it. It looks wonderful. Then I made some coconut pudding. Yum!

Yesterday my men were at work in the garage. The garage is their domain simply because it is always a mess. I hate going in there and whenever I see it I cringe. Sometimes I open my mouth and start ordering men around. This does not create happy men, rather it creates grumpy men. So most times I look the other way. Okay, here below are pictures of men working.

Mark and Brandon sanding the patrol box.

Eric testing his stencils on some scrap wood before leaving to go surfing. He did not tell me that he was coming down with a cold because he knew I would make him stay home.

Here is Brandon with his friend from Scouts painting the patrol box blue. Brandon got paint all over himself. We found paint on my car. Paint on the ground and paint covered paint brushes. The paint also got on Mark's shirt. It continued into the kitchen where they rinsed the paint brushes. Then it continued on into the bathroom where I found flexs of paint on the wall, sink, bathtub, etc.

Today, Eric decided to do the stenciling on the box. Here below are a couple of pictures of what he did (a little blurry, sorry). First picture is of the top of the box.

And here is the sides of the box. Again the picture came out a bit blurry. I think the boys did a pretty good job. Next they will be applying a poly coat to seal it. Currently I have all the cooking gear from this box taking up space in my kitchen. I will be glad when the box is dry and ready for gear.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Guy Stuff

I am over the achey part of my virus, but not out of the woods yet. Even so, I am up doing what a Mom does. And it finally became clear why the Lord wanted us to cancel our trip. Because my youngest son has come down with a cold. The boys were going to be staying with their grandparents, but since my father in-law is getting his treatments for cancer he cannot be around anyone that is sick. So it is a good thing we canceled.

Last night Mark and I went to Back to School Night. We had to split up and take one of our boys' schedules. I took Eric's. It was sort of fun going from class to class and taking down notes. We got the big scoop on what the boys are supposed to be doing. It was very helpful. Today was a minimum day, so I had to pick the boys up at lunch time. Brandon (my youngest) greeted me with a question, "Has the vice principal called you yet?" That isn't a question a mom wants hear. He explained to me that he got in a fight with a boy in his PE class. I finally got a call and the vice principal reassured me that my son was not the trouble maker (although we know he can I told her I am glad that it wasn't any worse than it was, which she agreed.

Well, my men have been up to lots of other stuff besides fighting. Below are pictures of them practicing their new found sport of archery. We have a range nearby our house. They have made some nice friends at the range and they have been giving them some pointers (small pun there) on how to shoot, etc.

Here is a picture of a patrol box. The boys load this with cooking gear when they go camping with the Boy Scouts. We have this in our garage right now because Brandon (who is leader of his patrol) wants to paint it. He asked his big brother to make stencils to decorate the box.

Here below are the stencils Eric made. He is artistically gifted. He found the images on the web and then cut them. Brandon's patrol is called The Vikings.

Tomorrow the sanding and painting begin. Eric is supposed to go surfing with a friend, but Brandon is having a friend from his patrol come over to help with the sanding and painting. I can't wait to see what it looks like when they are done!

Please check out my Hopes & Dreams blog when you can, it has a couple of new posts out there that I hope will uplift you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

White Wednesday

Okay, I have seen other lovely blogs participate in something called White Wednesday. One blog referred to Faded Charm Cottage as the originator of White Wednesday. Here is my contribution:

This gorgeous white leaf I recently picked up at Ross Dress For Less. I love it! As you can see I am using it as a tealight holder.

This picture isn't very good, but good enough that you can see my ceramic white pumpkin next to my Friendly Village plate. I think the two look good together. I got the white pumpkin at Marshal's for $5.00. I didn't have to worry about money to buy it because I had a gift card. Yeah!

In other news, I am still under the weather. Slight congestion in my head, but nothing big deal (praise God). Mostly just aches and a general feeling of being unwell. I do not have my usual spunk, my ears are ringing every so slightly, and I keep having hot flashes. Sigh. So Mark decided to cancel our trip for this weekend. He is rescheduling it for the first weekend in October. I am hopeful that we will all be well at that time.

Last week I had to take my youngest son to the doctor. He has an infection in two of his toes. We have been soaking his feet at least 2 or 3 times a day, putting medicine on the affected areas and he is taking an antibiotic. Tomorrow night is Back to School night where parents get to meet teachers. I hope that I am feeling up to it so that Mark doesn't have to go alone.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Feels Like Fall Today

Puffy white clouds with a slight touch of gray moved in. It feels like Autumn has decided to take up residence; well, at least for the day. I decided to take a few pictures around the cottage.

Another of my school decorations on display for the month of September. The sign says "Too many days till vacation." I have been hanging this cute sign up since the boys were in elementary school. They still love it.

I decided to do a little bit of Autumn decorating. I love how this silk flower arrangement looks with the dark wood of the antique table.

Here is Dusty kitty in a basket taking a nap. The basket is right next to my computer table. She likes to sleep nearby me.

Here is a recent frivolous purchase totaling $4.00. The blue plate was 99 cents and the creamer was $2.99. I just thought it looked so pretty together.

Here is a new nightstand that I bought yesterday. It is currently on sale at Target stores for $79.99 (originally $99.99). Eric put it together for me, he did a great job. I am mixing dark wood furniture with white in my bedroom. Why? Because I recently picked up a white vanity for free. I have always wanted a vanity. Once I put it in my bedroom it looked neat with the dark wood dressers I've had since 1988. Here is a picture of the vanity, it has a stool to go with it, but my men are in the midst of repairing it.

In other news, Mark and I planned a getaway for ourselves this coming weekend. We did not really do much for our anniversary this year, so this trip was going to make up for that. Well, both Mark and I feel like we are coming down with a cold virus. I am so disappointed, I was so looking forward to our little trip to the sea right next to Torrey Pines State Park. Oh well, I guess the Lord has other plans for us.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Year Anniversary!!

Hey everyone, I am excited, this is my 220th post and The Little Blue Cottage's one year anniversary! Yeah!!

To my readers, thank you! Your kind words, your thoughts and prayers are a huge blessing. I am very thankful for all my blog friends for their encouragement not only with their comments, but through their blogs. Blessings & hugs to all. Becky

Friday, September 11, 2009

Posting with blessed remembrance of September 11th, 2001.

Through all the trials that day
God's love was very evident
through people helping one another.

Free Love

Today I thought I would share some verses that are touching me.

"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love." John 15:9

God's love is there for me. It is free. It is the football I need to pick up and run with. Sometimes I drop the ball. Then there are those days I feel I am unworthy to carry the ball. Grabbing on to God's love and hanging on is the only thing that gets me through difficult days.

"But His joy is in those who reverence Him, those who expect Him to be loving and kind." Psalm 147:11

I like this verse because it corrects my thinking about the Lord. I am to expect Him to be loving and kind. Isn't it amazing that the Lord is actually joyful when I need Him. This is hard for me to fathom due to issue in my past, but God is so amazingly patient with me. This is the reason I praise Him.

"Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." Luke 12:15

I like this verse because it corrects my desires. My life is not about material goods (money, car, house, etc). Praise God! This verse gives me the refocus that I need. It refreshes me like taking a dip in a pool on a hot day. The Lord has not gifted me with material wealth, but none the less I am rich!

A short quote:

The riches of this world are vain,
They vanish in a day;
But sweet the treasures of God's love-
They never pass away. ~Bosch

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Memories: Remembering Beverly

With the boys away at school, I have time to think. The thoughts are gushing out all over the place, I need a mop to clean them up! I also think maybe I have a case of ADD; let me explain. I am cleaning and reorganizing and in doing so, I come across items and writings that stir my thoughts. I wonder where the years have gone. For example, I picked up an old note pad and read what I had written on it and it took me back to when the boys were in elementary school. It seems like everything has gone by with lightening speed and I realize I've had no control over time. Time just keeps moving and it never stops. Thinking about time then brought my memory to when I was in the hospital. I remember looking out the window of my room. I had not been outside for weeks. I felt like I was a prisoner and the world was passing me by.

I have all kinds of memories, items, writings, cards & letters tucked away. Many things I treasure and hang on to for what they represent. It is my way of hanging on to peoples' love and care through the years. The Lord sends so many people to help us. It is His way of loving us. But back to cleaning, there are so many things that I have not been able to attend to between dealing with my health issues, homeschooling and stays at the hospital.

I sat down after cleaning so hard I broke into a sweat. I laid on the bed and stared up at a bookcase in our guest room. At the top are two flower pots with fake roses, some peacock feathers and a teddy bear sitting in a wicker chair. Doesn't sound like a decorater's dream does it? Well, I am looking up there knowing I need to take all that stuff down, dust it and the bookcase, but then I start thinking about what those dusty item represent. The teddy bear my mother in-law gave to me before she moved away to Arizona. She cleaned the old bear that used to be my husband's when he was a child and propped him up in the wicker chair. When I look at that bear I remember my mother in-law.

Okay, next comes the two pots of fake roses and the peacock feathers. They remind me of my neighbor Beverly. When I moved into the neighborhood 18 years ago, I never knew what blessings were in store for me. Beverly was one of them. She and her husband kept a very tidy home and beautiful gardens. Bev tended her roses and every spring she would faithfully grow sweetpeas at the side of her house. She and her husband raised bees in the backyard and kept lawn so green that everyone wanted to sit on it. She was friendly and invited me down to meet her sister and brother in-law when they came from Oregon. That is when she gave me the peacock feathers. She loved my boys and they loved her. Not long after that she had a stroke, but being a woman of faith and courage she battled back. She bravely took daily walks always waving hello to us with a smile. I would send my boys to visit her and at Christmas we exchanged cards and goodies. When she finally passed away Mark and I attended her funeral.

Afterward, her children came and started cleaning out the house. My boys always love other peoples junk and they picked up these flower pots with the fake roses. I have kept them all these years to remember Beverly. They are not a decorator's dream, but I am thinking that the love and memories they represent are worth the dust.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Phone Appointment

Today my tummy felt better, but I am exhausted from all the pain. My sore calf muscle was feeling better today too. Still a bit sore, but better. Praise God! Okay, I had my phone consult with my endometriosis doctor. I felt we had a good talk and after asking questions I feel he is the right doctor to do surgery if any is needed. My husband thinks so and so does my bowel doctor. I think the Lord is trying to tell me something. ;-) The deal is that I am going to try working with a physical therapist for awhile which I am cool with because it doesn't involve drugs. If that does not work then it will be time for surgery. He even assured me that he is not going to give up on me. That was very comforting!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mishaps and Other Tales of Woe

Hope you all had a good Labor Day celebration. We did not do much. Eric got together with a new friend he met at high school. They went skateboarding together. Mark and Brandon went down to the archery range and hung with the guys and shot their bows. I ran a couple errands, but mostly hung around home resting.

It is a good thing that Mark and I canceled the colonoscopy scheduled for this week. I woke this morning with pain and nausea and it carried on all day. I have felt quite ill. Mark said "See, the Lord was leading us in our decision to cancel." I am so glad. The way I feel, it would be a big drag to have to down all that stuff for a bowel cleanse. Tomorrow I am scheduled to speak with my endometriosis doctor via phone consultation. We will see how the Lord leads.

To add to my tale of woe, I have been accident prone the past few days. One evening I sat down in the dining chair funny and ended up hitting my heel. That hurt enough, but at the same time I pulled a muscle in my back. Then the next day I dropped a glass bottle of soda on my toe. Ouch! It started to swell and my men quickly got some ice for me. I did not let my toe stop me from doing things I wanted. Mistake! That night I had a hard time getting comfortable enough to sleep with my throbbing toe. The only place I could manage to get comfortable was on the sofa. In the morning I woke with an extremely sore calf muscle, although the toe is better, I still can't walk normal. Sigh.

All in all, I was able to make a very nice Labor Day dinner for my men.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Summer at the Cottage

Flowers for my garden.

Next Saturday (Sept. 12th) will be The Little Blue Cottage's one year anniversary. I am not sure what one does in blog world for an anniversary. If you have any input on this let me know.

It is a warm summer night at the Little Blue Cottage and the music of Beethoven is wafting through the air. We had a nice summer dinner in our sunroom. Best of all, my stomach is not bothering me. Yahoo!

Here below are some recent pictures I have taken around the cottage.

The moon hiding behind some clouds.

Just thought this looked so pretty.

This is my Dusty kitty, she is my napping partner.

Here is Princess kitty in our sitting room.
That is her chair that she is sitting in.
The end table is an antique from my Grandparents.
I had it in my bedroom, but recently moved it into our living room.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Path is Set

Reaching out for something to hang on to. Something that provides security in the storm. In the midst of all the pain I have been enduring for the past week my emotions run wild. When Peter walked on the water toward Jesus he at first looked at the Lord, but then he looked down at the waves and started sinking. He immediately called out to Jesus and the Lord grabbed Peter's hand.

The past few days I have felt I am in a storm and I have been focused on the waves. I have been praying and seeking the Lord's guidance, but trying to hang on to something I shouldn't. Finally, my husband said to me, "You are seeking security in a man." (meaning my bowel doctor). It was then that things became clear. My doctor is not the one that can lift me, only God can do that. So together my husband and I have decided to cancel the colonoscopy. I am going to seek security in God.

You see, my bowel doctor has already told me that he is not sure that he can help me. He wants to, but he doesn't know endometriosis. So that means I need to go back to my endometriosis doctor. The path has been leading that way, I just have not wanted to go down it. Why? Simply because I have wanted to believe that this disease is gone, but I can no longer deny it. The path is set before me, I need to be obedient and walk down it. To be honest, I am afraid.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to School

Yesterday I put my school decorations up. This is my new garden flag. The boys don't particularly like this flag. ;-)

Here is the official "Back to School Sunflower". The colors are so perfect for Autumn.

Here are my "back to school" boys nervously awaiting their first day at the public high school. Princess is comforting them. They are sad that summer vacation is over. Can you tell I am too?

Eric was out in the backyard visiting with our rabbit this morning and brought this beautiful sunrise to my attention.

Please view Becky's Journal for a new post regarding my health situation.
For a spiritual uplift please see Hopes & Dreams