Wednesday, February 11, 2015

For My Bible tells me so

Jesus loves me yes I know, because my Bible tells me so.  Because my Bible tells me so… My morning Bible study included Chapters 10 and 11 in Acts.  You may have heard the story.   Peter, a Jewish believer in Jesus, was approached by God.   God shows him food considered “unclean” by Jews and tells him to get up and eat.  Peter says no because it is unclean and common.  And God says, “Do not call anything unclean that God has made clean.”  This morning I found that amusing.  I have always felt different and not like everyone else.  Sometimes I felt “less than” or “unclean” for lack of a better word and a little awkward in social settings.  So I just giggled because I wasn’t meant to be common and I can’t be unclean because He created me in His image.  You go God! And that story just kept going through my head.  Then a friend shared a prayer with me that talked about not comparing ourselves to others because He made us perfect in His eyes.  We were wonderfully made.  And again I was like Yeah God!  Apparently He wasn’t finished sharing with me.  I like it when I get to spend a whole day in constant communication with Him. 

And then my daughter brought to my attention that three Muslim students were killed last night on a North Carolina University Campus and it was only a whisper from the mouths of the media.  I knew she had to be mistaken because no one was talking about it.  It was sad, it was horrendous and it was not mentioned on any of the news I had watched tonight.  Why?  Surely it can’t be because these children created in God’s image, these children that were fearfully and wonderfully made and that He loved were also Muslim.

Please tell me that is not why it is not mentioned?  And a third time today God took me back to Acts 10 and 11.  God said to not make “unclean” what He made clean.  He made them.  Now after Peter was told by God to not make unclean what he deemed clean, Peter, a Jew, was invited to visit in the home of gentiles. Now Jewish law stated he was not to go there. And up until that point, he probably would not have gone but he said, “God has shown me that I should not call anyone unclean or impure.”  And because of his obedience the Holy Spirit came down upon the gentile, whom Peter and Jews in general would have considered unclean,  and they were baptized in the Holy Spirit and praised God and started to speak in tongues.  When Peter began to see people through God’s eyes with no judgement and just love, something amazing happened.  On that day God fulfilled the promise He made to Abraham when He told him that he would be the father of many nations. On that day, the barrier between gentile and Jew was broken, the veil was torn again and no man was excluded from God’s grace and God’s love.

So why then do we, in what is supposed to be a Christian nation, decide what death is worthy of our time, our sympathy, our compassion?  These lives mattered to their parents, their community and to God.  I am saddened that we have turned our backs on them and barely whispered their story.  And so I will sing, Jesus loves them yes I know for MY  Bible tells me so, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves them, Yes Jesus loves us, For my Bible tells me so….

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chandelier lighting office

If someone would have told me four months ago that I would love the idea giving up my beautiful Tiffany Blue office with big window for a dark gray room with a smaller window; I would have laughed.  But I absolutely love my new space.  The most recent addition to my room is my chandelier. 

One date night at Home Depot we were looking for blinds for my bedroom.  (Remember the post I did a year ago about pulling the carpet from our bedroom and staining the cement?  Well we took off the blinds at that time and replaced them with brown paper. And we are just getting around to replacing the blinds.)  I don't know how those people do it on the DIY network.  It takes us the whole  weekend to change a light bulb.  I digress.  Where was I?  Oh yes,  date night at Home Depot. Well on our way to the cash register,  I stopped by lighting.  I love drooling over all the lighting. 
That's when I spotted it.

  A Hampton Bay Chandelier for less than a hundred dollars.  According to the many positive reviews at Home Depot,  it goes on sale from time to time for $60. I am a bargain hunter but I didn't want to wait for another sale, besides I think this is a fabulous price for something so beautiful.  As luck would have it, they were out of stock and I called every Home Depot in town but they were sold out also.  So I ordered it online. 

It took about two hours to assemble it, small price to pay for a chandelier that is less than a hundred dollars. What I won't forgive is the horrible instructions on how to install it.  It does not mention that the smooth and ridged wires are in the same plastic covering and they are not color coded.  I also decided to put a medallion around the top and painted the chrome cover white to match the medallion. However, the nipple that comes with the chandelier was not long enough to go past the thickness of the medallion so for a couple of days, the chandelier looked like this:

You remember it took a year for us to buy blinds?  Well, my biggest fear is that my chandelier would look like this for decades.  Thankfully, an unscheduled day off from work, my wonderful husband was able to buy a longer nipple and properly install the cover.

Don't you just love it?

I have since moved the shelves against the wall to the closet and made more changes to the room, which I will reveal  soon. My husband loves it, my daughter wants one but my mother thinks it is odd to have a chandelier in the craft room?  What say ye?  Do you have one in a non-traditional place or do you prefer to keep chandeliers to traditional spaces?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Unboxing of Silhouette Cameo

I am so excited! Today I am showing you a video of my Silhouette Tote bag.  I adore it.  If you have a Silhouette and want to travel with it, this is the bag.  This video is the unboxing of it.  I plan to do a review of it and show you what is in it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Improving under the kitchen sink

My area underneath my kitchen sink was a scary place. No one liked to open the doors or grab items from inside.  When we had to open it, we hastily threw things other their and grabbed what we could with one finger.  Because of that, many kitchen cleaners were lost in this black hole.

It doesn't look like it but there are quite a few bottles of cleanser that are just lurking in the background of this picture.

You can even see where the floor of the cabinet was just a bunch of flakes.

Once I removed all the junk from under the sink, I had to sweep and vacuum all the flakes from the floor.

With the flakes gone, I took some left over vinyl tiles from another project and placed them on the bottom.  They are super inexpensive.  I bought mine from Home Depot. Home Depot Vinyl Floor They were only 89 cents per 12X12 tile.  I needed six for this project. Can you believe it?  It took less than $6.00 to redo this cabinet floor. 
Once the tiles were place and I added a tension rod, another Pinterest idea, the area below the sink was no longer a scary place. And yes all those bottles were underneath my sink originally.  And if I have to be honest, there were more...duplicates.  So I combined some of the half full ones and others I put in a storage area for cleansers.  I didn't realize how much money this black hole cost because once items went in, they never came out.  Note to self:  clean out all the black holes in my home.  (it's gonna be a long year)

I have a few more items I want to add to the space.  For instance, I saw an item on Pinterest on how to hang trash bags in your cabinet.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

GBS: Her first signs

Let me preface this by saying, my mother is a strong woman. She does not let a sickness get her down.  She powers through it.  Her motto:  "Get up and get moving or you are never going to get better."  So when she called me a few days before the initial start of the GBS and told me she had a stomach virus, I thought nothing of it.  That phone call was the beginning to the end of the life we had. Every day from that point forward was a new revelation.

Monday:  My mother calls me with news that she has a stomach virus.  I shouldn't worry because she went to the store and picked up some Imodium.
Wednesday: My mother drives to her primary care physician for her yearly well woman exam.  While there, they give her a prescription of Ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic used in treating bacterial infections.   
Thursday:  She still feels bad and stays in bed.
Friday:  She wakes up feeling like her old self and runs errands.  By this time, she believes she is better.
Saturday:    AM She wakes up and her leg feel "off".  She describes it as they are weak and wobbly.  Oddly enough, the term"wobbly" is used in several discriptions in other articles. She is able to get up wash her face, brush her teeth and change the kittly litter.  But lies back down.
Noon:   By mid afternoon, she notices that she can barely walk.  She is not in pain and has no other symptoms but she decides to call my brother to take her to urgent care center.  They determine that she needs to go to the hospital.
  Early evening:  Her arms start to feel weak and she can't stand up at all.  She calls me to tell me that nothing is wrong but they are keeping her over night.  She insists that she feels fine but just can't stand up.  
  Midnight:  My brother calls me and says I should go up to the hospital because mom seems to be getting weaker.  She can't move her legs at all and picking up her arms is getting difficult.  
Sunday 2 AM:  I show up at hospital and my mother is resting but has noticed less movement in her arms.
Sunday afternoon:  Doctor comes by and notes a decrease in mobility and her oxygen intake is diminishing.  He has tests ordered for Monday.  I stay with my mother and she begins to complain of being in pain. She doesn't know where the pain is but at this point she cannot change position on the bed without aide, so I am up every 3-5 minutes to move her from one side to another.  She is given morphine to help with pain but it does not provide relief.
Monday:  It has been a week since my mother has complained about stomach virus and now she can't lift any of her limbs.  The hospital is monitoring her pulse oxygen levels and limiting the amount of pain medications they give her.  You see pain meds can make you sleepy and your breathing slows when you get tired.  They do not want her breathing to slow anymore.  They put an oxygen line in her nose.  But if they can't keep her oxygen levels up, they will have to intubate her.
Monday noon: Test results come back negative for something in spine that helps determine if it is GBS.  But after another physical examination by doctor, he officially diagnosis her with Guillain Barre Syndrome.  He states that even if diagnostic test comes back negative, physical examination trumps diagnostic test and she has classic symptoms of GBS.  It typically starts with a decrease in movement in the lower limbs and then starts in the upper ones.  For some patients, it can become so severe that they have to put them on a breathing machine.  Thankfully, my mother was not one of them.

And so treatment begins:  IVIG.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Back in the land of the living

My blogging has been at a stand still.  On October 26th, my mother became ill and many lives were changed, including mine.  My mother was diagnosed, for lack of a better word, with Guillian Barre' Syndrome.  It is rare.  So rare that only 1 in 100,000 are diagnosed with it.  So what is it? It is basically an auto immune issue where your body starts to attack your nerves in your spinal cord.  My mother went from a healthy fairly active person to being paralyzed from the neck down...within 24 hours.  It's sudden onset catches any family off guard. I hope that my weekly post about how we deal which it, will help others. So one blog post a week will be about GBS. If you found this blog because you or your family member were diagnosed with it, know that you are not alone and that there is a light at the end of tunnel.

Chain reaction 

My mother is struck ill---->New living arrangements have to be found for her two siblings that she cared for  -----> Family begins to bicker about who needs to share in responsibility of my aunt and uncle ----> my brother and I are small business owners so when we don't work, we don't get paid----> budgets are created----> hobbies and vacations are put on hold-----> my brother and I become detectives and try to figure out my mom's finances> we learn her medical benefits----> forms are filled out so that we can talk to her credit card companies, bank, physicians----> our world evolves around caring for my mom and her home -----> and I have to drop training for marathon.

That is right.  I would not see the fruits of my labor.   My mother was in the hospital until mid January and my brother and I shared the duty of seeing her and helping her.  She had become quadriplegic and needed our help and support.  In mid January she moved in with me and I no longer had the freedom to go run when I wanted to run.  If I thought taking time out of my week to drive to see my mom for  a few hours was hard, I was wrong.  Trying to be her caretaker 24/7 was harder.  Don't try this at home.  I rarely slept or ate. Doing work was impossible and the idea of leaving the house, even for an hour, was something I could only dream about doing.

But I am back.  We have a caretaker that comes in a few hours a couple of days a week. This allows me time to work and start enjoying life again.  My first run was Monday and I loved it. So what if  my pace was not the same as it was before or that I felt really sore the next day.  What a great feeling that was...soreness. I missed it. I know it sounds crazy but I did.

So here is to my first run and my first attempt at a normal life again, to be among the living.  Over the next few weeks I'll share my experiences on running and the balancing act I must do in order to be a full time care take for my mother and a full time me.

Be ready because here I come.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

In honor of the celebration of the exchange of candy for dressing as any impostor you wish to be, here are a few pictures from a recent crop I held at my place.  First let me say...the haunted house took more time than expected and thank goodness haunted houses look rickety because mine sure did!

First let me introduce you to Sally the Skeleton Scrap Diva.  She believes fashion and function are both important.  She sports a bejeweled crown, high heels, dangling ear rings and a petite crop bag that has her scissors poking out.  She is actually a movable monster from a Cricut Cart.  I cut her at 12 inches on white poster board and pink paper.  I used brads to connect her bones.  Remember, I don't have an original bone in my body. (pun intended).  I actually found this project at the website.  Isn't she darling?

 This is my first year to decorate for Halloween and I wanted to keep the budget reasonable.  I found this cute lighted pumpkin at Walmart for $2.97.  I also bought the small candle wrap. I owned the candle stick already.
I cut way too many bats from Happy Haunting cartridge. But I used some here.  Funny thing, the bats were the easiest to make and yet they had the most impact.  Again, not an original...thank you Pinterest.

 This was my favorite craft project.  I took my daughters mirror and used the Happy Hauntings cartridge to create this scene.  And again...not an original...thank you

 Ok, this took the longest. It was the 3D Haunted House from the Happy Haunting cartridge.  It took so long to make but I love it. I used black poster board because it had to be sturdy.  I don't know if you can tell but but I put a strobe light in the inside.  It looks better with the lights off.  Did you notice the bats flying around it?
 Here is a larger picture of the bats flying out of the house.  Some were caught in a spider's web.  I love the webbing.
 I didn't want to take apart my vase so I just added webbing and bats. The frames are cut from Happy Hauntings.
 This bouquet of spooky is not from Happy Hauntings, except for the haunted house.  They are actually from Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge.  It is one of the best cartridges. It pretty much covers every holiday and much more.  The house is a flat version of my 3D haunted house. I am impressed at how the Cricut was able to cut all the details at this small scale. I bought moss from dollar store and the pumpkin was a dollar from Walmart.
 This is where the food was going to be displayed.  Initially, I was going to place the food down from the kitchen side of the counter and break through the webbing so that people could get their food. Apparently, this webbing has many of the characteristics of real webbing.  You couldn't make a clean break and get to the food without getting webbing also.  Next time I'll wrap the webbing behind the counter.

This is why I love die cut machines.  It didn't take much money to make most of these decorations.  It took about 10 dollars worth of poster board and 10 pieces of 12X12 cardstock.