Thursday, October 31, 2013

From Battle to Battle, We Are MORE Than Conquerors!

Romans 8:37 (KJ21)  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

1 Thessalonians 5:18    In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Let me first say THANK YOU so much for all of your thoughtful comments regarding the passing of my sweet MIL.  The funeral was yesterday, and everything went as well as could be expected.  We were suppose to have thunderstorms all day, but not a single rain drop fell from start to end of the services.  Truly, an answer to our prayers.

Jerry and I are so blessed to know God and the scriptures the way we do.  I cannot imagine how people who don't know Him get through a single day, never mind get through heart-wrenching battles such as losing a loved one or receiving a terrible diagnosis.

And, yes, Jerry had the PET scan, and we saw the doctor.  The doctor did not give us good news.  It seems that back in 2008 when the doctors THOUGHT Jerry had lymphoma, but never found it, that maybe it receded and now has come back.

That seems to be the nature of the beast.

Whatever it is, it is in his bone marrow in both sides of his pelvis.  It is in his spine.  It is in a lymph node near his aorta.  And, as you know, all through his spleen.  His entire spleen was lit up like a Christmas tree!  Whatever fluid they injected into him goes to "cancer" cells and attaches to them.  On the x-ray it looks like a bright light everywhere there is a lesion or mass.  The doctor quickly showed it to us on his "not very good at it" computer (according to him).  It certainly was not hard to see -- good or not.

Of course, this is all my interpretation of what was said.  The doctor isn't the nicest guy, and he doesn't like questions from the wife.  I only asked one.  He flew through the scan images on his monitor.  He would say, "This is the pelvis" and then move without ever pointing to the area or showing us WHAT exactly he was looking at on the monitor.  I figured out if it was lit up like Fort Knox, that was bad, UNLESS it was in the kidneys or the bladder which meant that was normal.

I guess I should be thankful that other than Raggedy Ann and Andy in the hallway, we didn't run into any other Halloween characters in the doctor's office.  Well, actually, his nurse had on her invisible "I'm too busy to care about you" costume, and as she was snapping at us, another very nice lady suddenly appeared and started helping us.  She was very helpful and friendly.  I asked her what she did there.  She said she wasn't a diagnostician (HUH?), but she helped out.  I told her I really appreciated her helping us.

It had to do with scheduling for the NEXT stage which is a biopsy of the bone marrow.

FIRST, the nurse tells you it will be 1 or 2 days.  THEN she hands you a paper that says it will be 5 to 7 days.  THEN when you question her, she acts like you are a royal PITA and snarls at you.

That is when the nice lady shows up and rescues you.

We want to go home, and we might.  We need a break from waiting.  I need to swing.  We live in such a tiny town down there that it will probably be a very long drive for whatever is next, but we will see.

Pray that I will be very patient.  I have a feeling that this test is more for me than it is for Jerry.  God is preparing us both for the next phase of our lives.  I hope we don't disappoint Him.

Let me add that our employees have been WONDERFUL through this.  They have been so caring and kind and understanding.  My personal assistant, Candi, has done everything but drive up here to type this blog for you.  I love you Candi!

Phylly took her last day of vacation yesterday to be with me all day.  I had to go early and would have been alone if not for Phylly.  It was suppose to storm all day, and Phylly knows how I hate to drive in the rain.  I love you Phylly!

Margaret surprised me by being at the service.  A long drive in bad weather, but she did it alone.  If Phylly and I had known she was coming, she could have come with us.  She would have been stuck there all day though.  Probably better as it was.  Actually, Margaret was dressed in the most gorgeous outfit, and she is so pretty, Phylly and I probably would have had to have a beauty appointment and a stylist to be seen with her!  I love you, Margaret!

And, of course, Robert and Deanna were there for Jerry.  They are so sweet and loving to everyone, but especially, to Jerry.  I just love to see it because Jerry doesn't have any friends because he has so little time for them.  Robert and Deanna don't care.  They love us like we are.  Poor Deanna had cotton stuffed in her ear because she had a terrible earache.  She had been trying to get in to see a doctor, but hadn't been able to.  If I was her, I would have stayed home in bed!  I love you both, Robert and Deanna!

AND THANKS TO ALL OF MY BLOG READERS!  I love your comments and your heartfelt thoughts and your advice.  I'm so glad you are here.

Hugs, Joy

Monday, October 28, 2013

Walking Through Gates of Pearl on Golden Avenues

Leanida Josephine Bernhardt

Yes.  My precious MIL died yesterday morning about 10 AM.  We arrived to see her about 10:30, and she had just passed.  They didn't call us because they knew we were already on our way.  Jerry and I walked into her room, and I walked right over to her.  Jerry walked around the other side.  I wasn't expecting to have any reaction, but I suddenly burst into hysterical tears.  I sobbed for about 30 seconds, and then I dried my eyes.  I wasn't sad that she had died because I didn't want her to live one more millisecond in pain.  I guess it was just the finality of it.  It was OVER, and she had gone on to her reward.  Jerry was quietly wiping off tears on the other side of Mom's bed.

That's my sweet hubby there next to his Dad.  Too bad his Dad wasn't as nice as he was good-looking.

Over for Mom, but not for us.  So much to do.  You have no idea until you START proceeding with the proceedings.

Go to the funeral home.

Go to the chapel to see it and plan order of service.

Find a store that still sells music CD's, and find the ones you need that have the exact songs you want.  Go back to the funeral home with the CD's.

Go to City Hall to get a Burial Permit.  I had no idea one was even required.  We paid for the plot years ago.  Pay City Hall $350 for Burial Permit.

Go to the Florist and build a beautiful floral drape for the casket and make SURE they understand what "GIANT purple bow" means.

Go to Mom's house to go through the things she had at Countrywood because Aunt Betty Jane came in the cafe where we were eating and requested that we do that.

THEN, by an amazing stroke of luck, just happen to find the picture you saw once of Mom sitting in the middle of a huge garden.

I wanted that picture, but I had no idea where I had seen it.  As I was going through her things to see what Betty Jane could take to The Upper Room, that picture just popped up in a drawer of clothing.  I was THRILLED.  I wanted to get it blown up poster size to put at the front of the chapel, but it wasn't possible.  The picture quality just wasn't good enough.  It was only 4 x 6.   I was able to get an 8 x 10 of it without too much distortion.  Any bigger, and the flowers looked like shapeless blobs.  At least, I got it and it will explain why we MUST have the song "In The Garden" at her service.  Mom LOVE flowers and gardens.

The service will be held at 2 PM, October 30th at Sanders Funeral Home Chapel in Kingfisher, OK.  We will say one more final goodbye to an AMAZING lady and look forward to the day we meet again.

Hugs, Joy

Friday, October 25, 2013

Meet the Reverend and his Wife, Roberta

This morning was pretty uneventful.  I awoke -- combed through my Albert Einstein morning hairdo -- washed my face -- and went to join Jerry in the den where he was listening to praise CD's and reading healing scriptures.

We talked for a few minutes and then dispersed to eat breakfast, shower and begin our day.

I decided I wanted to go spend some time with Mom and have lunch with Phylly.

Mom was the same as usual this morning.  She opened her eyes and looked at me.  When I asked her if she was hungry, she said audibly, "No."  I don't know HOW she is hanging on.  Jerry's youngest brother, Don, is driving here tomorrow.  I suggested that he and Jerry go get the other brother, Bob, and all three go to see Mom.  Sometimes, a person will fight to live until all goodbyes have been said.  Bob doesn't want to see her, but that is just selfish.  He is going if Jerry has to drag him!  Jerry agrees.  I couldn't start to tell you all Leanida has done for both of Jerry's brothers.  One brother is thankful.  The other talks terrible about her.

I came back home to make more pillow cases for Rhonda to give to the hospital for the children.  Remember the lady who is collecting 900 homemade pillow cases?  She has over 800 now.  It is amazing.  I have sent 10, so far, and I have 7 more ready to go.  I will try to make 3 more tomorrow morning.  I am going to pray a special blessing over each one of mine so the child that receives it will know someone cares for them and is praying.

At SOME point today, I received a text from Jeannie telling me the preacher's name that will do Mom's service.  His name is Rev. Leon Seaton.  He has a small church in a very small town near where Mom lives.  Jeannie had mentioned in her text that the preacher was going to go by the Hospice House tonight to pray for Mom.  His wife, Roberta, knew Mom and had worked with her in a hospital many years ago.  She even knew Mom's nick-name:  Bernie.  Roberta and Mom are both nurses.

I called the Reverend to introduce myself and ask what we could do to help him.  We talked for a minute, and I guess I was too inquisitive because he said, "Hold on.  I'm going to put my wife on."  So I "met" Roberta.  She sounded very friendly and began asking me about relatives I never heard of.  She is related to someone who is related to a cousin -- or something.  I had a hard time following.  I don't even know my OWN cousins, never mind Jerry's.  I told Roberta I would like for Jerry and I to be there when they went to visit Mom.  She thought that was a great idea.  After further discussion, we decided to meet for dinner at a restaurant, and then all go to see Mom.  GREAT IDEA!

The Reverend and Roberta arrived at Longhorn first and got a table for four.  We arrived shortly thereafter and joined them.  They were very quiet at first, and Roberta was giving me a CLOSE looking over.  Perfectly normal.  I was looking them over too.

They were both gray-haired.  He was 8 years older than Jerry we learned in conversation.  She was short, like Phylly.  He was a jolly-looking guy with a Santa Claus tummy and suspenders.  He kept fiddling with his ear, so he must wear a hearing aid.  He seemed to hear just fine though because he commented on everything I said.  

We weren't there ten minutes when the Reverend looked at me and joked, "Do you ever have trouble saying what you think?"

Actually, I felt right "at home" with them.  Before long, we were all talking and laughing and having a great time.  The preacher decided I was quite a character, and he said he would think about things I had said all night long.  He asked why I didn't do the service myself instead of having him do it.  I told him the family would NOT want me to do it and would never dream of asking me.  I would actually be very comfortable doing it.  I can talk all day long about Leanida, about Jesus and about Heaven.  That is what I was doing at dinner, and that is why he made that remark.

After dinner we drove over to visit Mom.  Mom, for the first time, did NOT open her eyes or try to talk.  They must have sedated her just before we arrived.  We all touched her and held hands with each other while the Reverend prayed a lovely prayer.  After that, he started singing Jesus Loves Me, and we all joined in.  It was just like when I was growing up.  People were always gathering around Mother at the piano and singing hymns.  Perfectly comfortable for me.

The Reverend gave me his email address and asked that the family send him stories about Mom that he could include in his talk at the service.  Great idea!  I must go now and start making some notes for him.  I am really feeling good about Mom's service.  It will be a joyful going-home celebration.

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tears/Laughter, Faint Heart/Happy Heart.

WHAT a day this was.  Part of it was AWful and part of it was WONDERful.  Amazing that my heart has survived this whirlwind of emotion.

I made you a video this morning, but it turned out half-blurred.  I guess I was too far away from the camera, and I moved around so much, the camera had a shutter attack or something.  It is just a little Sony Cyber-shot camera.

The day started out by the phone ringing.  It was the doctor's office saying they wanted to see Jerry at 1:00 instead of 3:00 today.  I was thrilled about that.  Let's get this show on the road!

I wanted to MAKE SURE they had what they needed from ER, so I ASKED the guy:  Do you have everything you need from Baptist ER.  "YES", he said.  It is right here.

We went to get a burger for lunch, which Jerry ate without incident.  Then we headed to meet the doctor.  We arrived early and signed in.  In a few moments the nurse opened the door and said "Jerry?".  We walked over to her, and she asked the question that set off the Joy-fuse.  "Do you have the disk?"  I told her they already had it, and that I had verified it when the guy called this morning.  She said they had only the paperwork.  They had no disk.

THEN she said that she had told Jerry when they called him earlier this week that he needed to get the disk from Baptist.  That, of course, shed light on the whole problem.  You don't tell Jerry.  You tell ME!

We had to leave Mercy and drive all the way to Baptist hospital.  We had to go to the Radiology Lab on the 2nd floor and wait for the disk to be delivered.  They copied Jerry's license and made him sign something, and we were off again to Mercy to the doctor.

We arrived back there at 1:45, which was amazing.  I couldn't believe it hadn't taken longer.  The door opened, and the nurse called us back to the exam room.  GREAT, I thought.  We are still going to get right in.

WRONG!!!  We waited one and a half hours in that exam room.  At one hour, I opened the door and stuck my head out.  The nurse was at a desk in the hallway.  I told her we had been in there an hour and asked if it was going to be much longer.  "He will be in in a few minutes", she snapped.  Thirty minutes later, he arrived.  I was in tears by then and it was obvious.  I think it is SO RUDE of those places to just shut you in a room and not communicate with you.  We would have been much more comfortable out in the big waiting room with magazines, a bathroom and a pot of coffee.

ANYWAY.  Dr. Ellis finally came in.  He was a very monotone, soft spoken type.  He had no reaction at all to any of the paperwork or the disk.  I even asked him if he had seen them.  If a bomb blew him off his little stool with the spinning round seat, he wouldn't have blinked.  I, of course, looked like a bomb had already hit me somewhere.  I was all sniffy and emotional from the long wait.  He asked a few questions like "Does it hurt?"  "When did you first notice pain?"  "Have you had cancer before?"

I blurted out, "DID YOU SEE THE DISK?"  He did.  I asked what he thought about it.  He said Jerry's spleen was swollen.  He didn't even mention the lesions in it at first.    We asked him most of the questions.  I asked if he saw the lesions.  He said there were some.  He acted like he might yawn and fall asleep any second.  From what I can remember from his very non-emotional responses, this is the deal:

Jerry MAY or MAY NOT have Lymphoma.  Jerry MAY or MAY NOT have to have his spleen removed.  The lesions in Jerry's spleen MAY or MAY not require chemotherapy.  Jerry's spleen will NOT explode unless he is in a wreck or has a hard impact in which case any spleen could explode.  Jerry will be scheduled to have a Pet Scan so the doctor can see all of his organs.  Jerry will also have to have a colonoscopy.  All of that will be next week.  We will see the doc again next Thursday to go over the results.  Between now and then the doc will talk to his Oncology doctor buds to see what they all think.

Honestly, he was a very nice -- very knowledgeable doctor.  Jerry liked him a lot.  Much like Jerry's temperament.  I am the type to REACT immediately and then think about all the things I said wrong and wish I had done differently.  Jerry will interview everyone involved and their next door neighbor, and six months later, you MIGHT get a response out of him.  By then nobody can remember what the discussion was about to start with!

Opposites do attract, you know!

For some reason, as unfinal as that all was, I feel so RELIEVED.  I feel like my husband is going to live to be a very old man with this very hyperactive old lady.  I won't have to do payroll.  I won't have to figure out how to handle all of our investments.  I won't have to figure out how to sell his bulldozer and his tractor and unload the hundreds of old wheelchairs and other medical equipment out of his big, blue barn.

I won't have to do anything but love him, keep on sewing and keep on making jewelry.  YAY!

That was good, but that wasn't the Laughing, Happy Heart part, although a VERY heavy load has been lifted from my heart.  There is a lot of hope tonight instead of dread fear of the unknown.

The happy part was when we went to visit Mom at the Hospice Home.  She had just had a bath and her hair was washed.  She was in fresh bedding and a clean gown.  Jerry and I walked into her room.  I was on one side of her bed and Jerry was on the other side.  I started stroking her forehead and holding her hand.  Her blue eyes POPPED wide open.  She looked at me, and then she looked at Jerry.  I said, "Mom, Jerry and I are here to see you.  Do you know who we are."  She looked at us and made a sound while lifting her other arm up near her face.  I knew she realized who we were and that we were there.  I started talking about how nice she looked -- how pretty her blue eyes are -- how nice her hair looked with a relaxed perm and hair dye.  I told her she smelled really good and her bed was so fresh and clean.  She kept trying to talk, but couldn't.  Her upper teeth are dentures, and they are here in a container.  I asked her if she would like to have her teeth.

At one point I said:

"Mom, you should get a GOLD MEDAL for having the MOST broken bones."

She started GIGGLING out loud.

WOW!  I was SO EXCITED.  I texted Jeannie.  Jeannie was so excited, she called me for more details.  It was really wonderful.  She was really "back with us" for a short time.

I asked Jerry to turn on TV Land on the television hanging from her ceiling.  Mom watched TV Land 24/7 even before she had dementia.  She slept with it on all night long.  She has to have seen every episode of Bonanza and Gunsmoke a million times.

In case you can't tell, that cartoon is supposed to be Ben Cartwright from Bonanza.  LOL

Jerry and I used to kid her about how many times she must have seen what she was watching and she would say, "This is the FIRST TIME I've ever seen this!"

We stayed for 2 hours and enjoyed her sitting up in bed and almost watching TV with us.  She fell back into a deep sleep before we left.  It was such a blessing to share that time with her.

That's it folks.  TV time.  Jerry still hasn't figured out how to get the sound back so we can watch Amazon or Netflix, so we are stuck watching Fox News.  I am to the point where I don't want to hear ANY NEWS.  I just want to hear "happy".  I don't think there is any of that on TV these days.

I better get.

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Do You Ever Wish You Could Push "Undo" On Your Day?

Today started out really good.  I was in a great mood after a full night's sleep.  Jerry was in a good mood and he didn't hurt anywhere.  I woke up earlier than usual and joined Jerry in the den where he was listening to his favorite Praise and Worship music and praying as he often does in the morning.  He asked me to come pray with him.  It was wonderful.

Not long after, we got in an argument over the laundry.  He was trying to do it himself, and I was insisting that I would do it as it was my job anyway, and he had other things to tend to.  He ignored me and kept on doing it so I had a fit and insisted he let me do it.  It was only a few of his colored t-shirts, but he wanted them washed.

 I had told Jerry I wanted to go to Braum's and get a bacon and egg biscuit which is something I do occasionally since Braum's is right around the corner.  But we got in the argument over the laundry, and I decided to just make a piece of toast. He came in the kitchen and asked why I wasn't going to Braum's.  I told him I changed my mind.  THEN, I couldn't believe what he said next.

"I wanted you to get me a Big Country Breakfast at Braum's."

HUH?  He hasn't been able to eat since last Friday.  Everything hurts his stomach.  He did eat the chicken noodle soup and bread our friends brought over Sunday night, and it didn't hurt, so he has been eating a bit more.  But certainly not a HUGE breakfast.  I told him if he wanted a big breakfast, I would fix it for him.  I cooked some bacon, scrambled eggs and made two pieces of toast with jam.  He ate ALL OF IT!  No problem with a tummy ache or anything.  He was just like always.  Ate and went to work at his desk.

I left to go visit Mom at the Hospice Home where she wasn't doing very well.  There was a male nurse on duty who had the personality of Godzilla.  I won't go into details, but suffice it to say, he was not very nice or patient with Mom.  I wanted to slug him -- really.  After another pain injection putting Mom back to sleep, I left to drive the short distance across the parking lot to meet Phylly at Panera Bread for lunch.  We had a nice visit.  She returned to work, and I returned home.

A few hours later, Jerry got a call from Aunt Betty Jane about something, and during the conversation he found out that someone had gone into Mom's house with her the other day and had used the toilet.  Jerry and I always turn off the water with the big black tool that you stick down in the hole where the water meter is.  We don't have to worry about a leak that way.  Jerry and I decided we better take the hour drive to Kingfisher and correct that situation.  The house is on the market and is shown, so I didn't want a dirty toilet in the house.  We were going to stop by and stay with Mom at the Hospice House for a while on our way back into town, but the craziest thing happened.

All of a sudden, Jerry complained that his stomach was upset and he didn't feel good enough to visit Mom.  He said he needed to get home.  I went ahead and fixed supper, and he ate a little.  He was okay the rest of the evening EXCEPT for one weird thing that we keep fussing over.

The thermostat.

It was warm outside today.  A beautiful fall day.  Not even sweater weather.  I had on a very light weight knit v-neck top.  Jerry was wearing a heavy dark blue t-shirt with a long sleeve pull-over knit shirt on top of it.  I would have been burning up in that, but he wore it all day long.  Not only that, he kept changing the thermostat from "cool" to "heat".

I'll have rivers of sweat flowing back and forth under my boobs and down my sides, and I'll go check the thermostat.  Sure enough, he has it on heat.  I will holler that it is HOT outside and we don't need the heater on, and I will put it back on "cool" and 72.

A little while later, I'll have rivers running -- my bra is flying across the room -- and we go through the same thermostat argument for the thousandth time.

I don't know if this is just a ""growing old" syndrome, or it has something to do with his spleen condition.

Another weird thing is that every time I wake up -- and that is IF I go to sleep at all -- he will have all the covers pushed off himself in our bed.  He sleeps with no t-shirt or top on, so how come he isn't freezing???

This does NOT compute!

It is now 11:00 at night.

I WAS going to bed at 10:00 when I discovered the heater had been on all evening and that was why my bra was thrown off, and I had been mopping up puddles under my boobs.  It was 75 degrees in here, and Jerry said he was cold.  We argued.  He got in bed.  I went and got a heavy blanket and put it on top of all the covers already on him.  He told me to get it off of him.  I told him he was going to be too cold because the AC was back on.  He said he wasn't cold at all and to get it off.


Now, I am sitting here "talking" to you and feeling horrible that I got mad at him.  It has been 5 days since we were at ER, and we are getting so stressed waiting for something to happen.  Both of us are tense and on edge while trying so hard to be positive and NOT be that way.

We finally see a doctor tomorrow at 3:00.  I pray he is the RIGHT doctor and things will proceed quickly and smoothly.  Jerry's Mom can't make it much longer.  She hasn't eaten since last Wednesday, and she hasn't had any liquids since Monday when they took her off the IV.  She just sleeps all the time.

Jeannie and Aunt Betty Jane got the funeral arrangements started.  Jerry and I talked to the director today and made a few changes.  All of that is going well.  It is just so unbelievable that Jerry's Mom is dying at the exact same time as these health issues have come up with his own body.

I MUST be more patient.  I suppose if he has to have the heater on, I should be glad it is only 75 in here and not 85.  I hear cold weather is coming, and I am praying it won't be on the day we have the funeral for Nida.  The weather has been so nice this week.  If I was to lose him, I would gladly sit in 100 degree heat to have him back again!  I WILL be more patient!

Guess I better go join him.  He could be sleeping at a hospital soon.  I feel so bad for fussing with him over laundry and the thermostat.  Considering all we are going through, those things are so insignificant.  God, please forgive me.

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Well, That Didn't Go Well!

2nd post today.  What a roller coaster ride -- although a rather sloooooooooooooow roller coaster ride.

We were glad that Tuesday at 9:30 FINALLY arrived.  We drove up in front of the office building that is covered with mirrored windows.  It has been there next to Baptist Hospital as long as I can remember, and evidently, since the beginning of time.  The outside wasn't that awful, but the minute we walked through the turning door, I thought, "Oh, YUK!"  It smelled old and musty, and there were areas that looked like they were under construction -- or needed to be, but had been forgotten.  The carpet was old.  We got in the elevator to go up to the 8th floor.  I prayed the elevator would stop at the right floor and the door would open!  There was no ceiling at the top of the elevator!

It opened and we stepped out into another ancient hallway with old office doors up and down the way.  We walked around two corners to find the right "old door", and we walked in.  There were about 25 chairs inside all lined up with backs against the 4 walls.  EVERY single chair had a black adult sitting in it!  No white people, no Chinese people, no Indian people, no Hispanic people.  Not really a problem.  It just struck me as odd.  We walked up to the window to see a girl behind it.  She was standing where we could see her whole body, and she was dressed as though she might have come in from working in the garage.  Not at all professional, is my point.

Jerry introduced himself to her while signing his name on the list.  The lady said, "The doctor isn't here.  He is in surgery, and I don't know WHEN he will be back."  Then she asked if we wanted to come back later.  We asked what time.  She said, "Why don't you TRY 11:30?"  "Do you want to come back or not?"

Jerry looked at me, and I looked at him, and we practically ran out the door!

I then got on the phone to the ER we were at Friday.  The doctor had told us to please call if we had any problems, so I did.  After many attempts to get through -- a long hold -- a disconnect -- calling again and again, I finally found out there was a spleen surgeon on call in the ER today.  Her name was Teresa something.  I asked if they couldn't direct Dr. Teresa to Jerry's Cat Scan.  I was talking to Amy, and she said she would do that.  She said they would call us back.  That was 10 AM this morning.  Nobody has called.

We went from the old doctor building to the Integris Hospice House where Mom was moved to last night.

WHAT A PLEASANT experience that was, and what a TOTAL DIFFERENCE in building and staff.  A lovely place.  I had called last night and requested that they get Mom out of the rag she was wearing at Baptist and put her in something nice.  They had put her in a real pretty cotton gown, and they had combed her hair and bathed her.  She was very peaceful.  When I talked to her, she opened her eyes.  Jerry's x-wife, Jeannie, was there and had been for about 30 minutes.  She said Mom never opened her eyes for her.  That made me feel like Mom might like hearing my voice.  Most people don't, but she might.

We started talking about funeral arrangements and who was going to make them, and me being SO STUPID about situations like this, blurted out something about what kind of casket we wanted for her.  Jerry looked at me like he was going to knock my block off.  Jeannie did her usual non-response (picture a person completely opposite of my personality) and suggested we go into the common area to talk.  Jeannie, by the way, is Jerry's first wife.  She and I were friends way back then, and she actually introduced me to him.  We have all always gotten along.  Jerry's Mom adores Jeannie, and Jeannie adores her, so I think of her as Jerry's sister, even though she isn't.

I am NOT good at grief or sudden changes.  I'm such an open book, and I just say what I think, much to my dismay at times.  I know Mom can hear us.  She just can't respond.  I don't know WHY I didn't think about that.  The good thing is Mom doesn't remember anything longer than a second, so it is okay.  We left the room and no more was said in her presence.

I would love to go back and sit with Mom right now, but I feel like I should stay here with Jerry who is working as though nothing in our lives has changed in the least.  I'm so glad he can though.  All the loose ends he can tie up now will help me later.

I'm sort of making a new knit top, but my heart isn't really in it.  I haven't slept well for the last 4 nights, and it is catching up with me.

My mind likes to think of every single minute detail of what COULD happen, and what SHOULD happen and how I'm going to MAKE it happen, and what if I CAN'T make it happen, and on and on and on and on.....  I need to do this, and I need to do that, and I hope I don't forget to do this ......

Jerry doesn't eat now.  He eats oatmeal for breakfast.  He eats chicken noodle soup and bread for lunch or he drinks Ensure Plus.  Same for dinner.  That's it.  Everything else hurts because it makes his stomach expand, and since it is squished under the huge spleen, it hurts.  That is no big deal except for the fact that I'm not cooking because it would be just for me, so I'm living on soup and bread myself.  I would cook, but it wouldn't be fair to Jerry.

While we were at the Hospice House making plans for Mom, Tammy texted me that she knew a good surgeon that uses Mercy Hospital.  Mercy Hospital is right across the street from the Hospice House, so that will be very handy.  His name is Dr. Ellis.  Tammy got us an appointment with him for next Monday.  I talked to the receptionist later though, and I got the appointment moved up to this Thursday at 3:00.

Now we wait -- some more.  Fortunately, Jerry isn't hurting much.  He feels great, and he can work at his desk.

I'm TRYING to remain calm.  I'm not good at waiting, but as long as Jerry seems okay, I will behave.

This wouldn't be as difficult if Jerry's Mom wasn't about to ascend with the angels to her new home in Heaven.  Jerry wants to be involved in all of that, of course.  It is hard for me not to be in charge of all that too, but I know Jeannie and Aunt Betty Jane will do just fine.

I better get.  Think I'll go finish that blouse.

Hugs, Joy

We Meet the Surgeon This Morning

Just a very quick update, as I have to get in the shower.  Not much sleep at all last night for me, but Jerry sleeps like a baby.

We meet the surgeon for the first time this morning at 9:30.  As Phylly just emailed me, the ER acts like you have to have surgery the next minute, but when you FINALLY get the doctor to turn off his answering service and his staff answers the phone, they look up the next available appointment, and that is what you get.

My brother and his wife who have become preachers in the last couple years came over last night.  We had a marvelous time and before they left, we put Jerry in the middle of the den in a chair, and the three of us prayed together for him.  My brother anointed Jerry with oil and led the prayer.  WOW!  I've never seen my brother like that before.  Then Deana prayed.  WOW AGAIN!  She prayed the most beautiful prayer about God taking care of every issue so perfectly and smoothly that it would be like water flowing from a vessel.  What a blessing it all was.

Jerry is out of the shower, and it is my turn, so I have to hurry.  Leanida -- Jerry's Mom -- was transferred to a Hospice Home at 6:30 last night.  We will go visit her after Jerry's appointment, and then go to Kingfisher to make final arrangements.  Jerry INSISTS that he be involved, and I'm not fussing with him over anything right now.

We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers.  We serve a MIGHTY, AWESOME God, and nothing is too big for Him!  I love Him so.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Update on Jerry

Hello friends!

I want to tell you how thankful I am for all the sweet comments to yesterday's post.  Your prayers and thoughts mean so much.  I read them all to Jerry.  He brags to people about my blog all the time, so I am so glad you are getting to know him.

Today has been lovely.  Hagee church on the internet this morning -- as always -- and then back to TRAINING CAMP for me.  Sadly, it has NOTHING to do with sewing or jewelry making.  Wish it did.

Some of you may not know that we own a Durable Medical Equipment business called Family Medical Supply.  We have two locations and a total of 19 employees.  Jerry is the brains of the outfit.  I am the bank statement and credit card reconciliation person, and I take care of our 60 boat storage units.  That business is called Affordable Boat & RV Storage.  I am also in charge of Personnel hiring, firing and training and keeping up with the endless paperwork required for us to be accredited.  I can do all that by working just one day a week, or two part days.  It is very nice.

Jerry, however, works 24-7 except for sleeping and watching some tv late in the evenings.  He usually starts in the home office in his underwear about 5 AM and later migrates to the store.  He does payroll and all the federal and state business that goes with it.  He manages all the 401K plans of our employees and each of us.

I JUST walked out and snapped this picture:

Working still, as you can see.

He also does all of the rehab wheelchairs which require an ATP (Assistive Technology Professional).  He had to study for months and take a 200-question test that took 4 hours in order to receive that designation.  If a DME business does not have an ATP, you cannot sell electric wheelchairs.  Since the main part of our business is electric wheelchairs, it is a HUGE problem if Jerry isn't there.

Maybe now you can understand the gurgling in my tummy and the "fear" I fight off constantly:  "WHAT if something happens to Jerry????????????"

All of that to say, I decided since we have these two days before the ball starts rolling towards surgery, I would have Jerry teach me all about payroll and the deductions and the reports, etc.

You should SEE my notes.  I'm up to 30 pages, legal size and still going.  I take really good notes though.  I have to!

This is a picture of Jerry TRYING to train me.

Doesn't look sick to me!

If it wasn't for the pain, we never would have known anything was wrong.  He looks like he always does:  like my True Love!!!

He totally tolerates me!  That is why I love him so much.  So many people don't.

Our good friends, Robert and Deanna, are coming over soon to bring Jerry some soup since that is all he seems to be able to eat.  Deanna asked me what I wanted, but I forgot to tell her to grab a nice cheesecake or chocolate cake with nuts on top.  Darn!

We had a lovely surprise visit from my daughter, Tammy, yesterday.  Tammy is a nurse and works at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital.  She has the "gift" if you know what I mean.  Anything wounded gets her immediate attention.  I always tell people that I hardly ever see my daughter, and we seldom get along, but if I EVER get sick or am in the hospital, she will show up with bells on!

And she did.  She had on her pretty nursing costume and she is wearing her hair naturally now with beautiful strawberry blonde (she will say her hair is NOT strawberry blonde, but it is to me) curls all over.  Wish I had snapped a picture.  She called me a while ago to inform me that she will be spending nights with her Dad in the hospital, and I can do days.  She will to.  I hope she knows how much comfort that gives me.  It makes up for all the missed birthdays, Mother's Days and Father's Days.  She always says that just isn't her thing -- UNLESS, of course, you happen to be hit by a car on those days and end up in the hospital.  (-;

I've got to go and watch Jerry work.

I keep hugging him and kissing him for some reason.

Actually, I do that all the time anyway.

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Update On Mom and Jerry

Isn't it amazing the people that God puts in your life?  There is a nurse that works at Countrywood (where Jerry's Mom lives) that is the most UNLIKELY person in the world to have anything at all to do with me.

I was raised in a family that did NOT like doctors.  My Dad thought they were all "in it for the money" and they WANTED you to be sick, or they wouldn't have tons of money to buy yachts with.  My Mother wasn't quite as bad, but she was always very healthy and seldom needed a doctor.  She is 87, and she is still perfectly healthy except for her mind.

When I was growing up with my two sisters and my little brother, we learned real fast that you NEVER said, "I don't feel good" or "I am sick" or "I have a sore throat".  If you dared to let any of these sentences slip from your lips, my Dad -- and his Mother, Hatti, if she happened to be visiting -- turned into doctors.  Think of Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies, and you will have a picture of my Grandma, who, by the way, I adored.

For a sore throat, Daddy would find 3 fat q-tip sticks with long sticks on them and a bottle of Merthiolate.  He would roll the Q-tips around in the Merthiolate, and then he would stick all 3 of them down your throat and roll them around while you gagged and cried .  If you had swollen glands, which I always did, you got the iodine/glycerine/sock treatment.  Daddy or Granny would smear glycerine and iodine all over my neck, and then they would wrap a sock around my neck and pin it on.  Back to bed I went.

Believe it or not, all of that really did work!  That was the good part about it.

If you got any other dread malady, there was one SURE-fire treatment that Daddy never failed to use.

An enema!

We had to bend over the bathtub, and Daddy took some black, rubber bulb with a pointy tip with a hole in it full of warm water and I don't know what else, and you know WHERE he would put it.  We HATED it to the max!!!  If you didn't get cured IMMEDIATELY, you never said so!

I'm not one to run to the doctor for every little sniffle.  And my husband, Jerry, like most men, never thinks he needs to go to one because he always assumes whatever pain he has is "nothing" and will soon subside, and I shouldn't be such a worry-wart.

On Thursday morning, we drove up here from our home in southern OK to take care of Jerry's Mom at Baptist Hospital.  She was having surgery on a broken hip, and also had a fractured shoulder/arm.  That was in my last blog post.  The whole way up here, Jerry kept saying his side hurt.  Since he is not one to ever mention pain or complain about not feeling good, I KNEW he must really be hurting.  Still.  We had to take care of Mom, and we kept ignoring the pain.

We arrived at Baptist Hospital and found Mom in her room.  She was being rolled away from her room to the 2nd floor surgery area, and we followed her there.  She was sound asleep, and she never knew we were there although we tried to talk to her and wake her.  The 4:00 surgery turned into the 6:00 surgery.  For two hours, Jerry kept saying his side was really bothering him.  When they took Mom away at 6:00, we went down to the Cafeteria in the concourse to get some dinner.

We got our "to go" dinners and went into the dining room to eat.  Jerry took a few bites of his hamburger, and he said he just could not eat any more.  He said it hurt his side.  He also kept complaining that he could not take a deep breath without severe pain.  We returned our trays and went back to the surgery area waiting room.  Jerry hurt the whole time.  We JOKED about taking him to the ER since we were already there at the hospital, but never thought seriously about doing it.  I didn't think you went to an ER unless you were just in a wreck or fell off a building.   We did decide to stop by the AM/PM clinic close to our home on our way back to the house.

There wasn't a single person in the waiting room of the AM/PM clinic, so we got right in.  We were told that a "provider" would be in to see us.  I asked what a "provider" was.  The rude nurse said it was Carla.  I asked if Carla was a doctor.  No, she was a P.A.  We waited, and Jerry kept hurting.

After 30 minutes in the exam room, I went out to LOOK for "the provider".  A lady was putting on a dirty white lab coat and informed me that she was ON HER WAY.

She listened to Jerry's chest with a stethoscope and pushed on his belly gently.  Then she stood across from us in a corner and informed us that she really DID NOT KNOW what the problem was, and she probably was NOT giving him the proper drugs, BUT -- just in case it could possibly be bacteria in his colon, she prescribed him two antibiotics.  We went to CVS and got them both filled.

We came home.  Jerry took the drugs.  We went to bed.

The next morning, Jerry was still hurting, but maybe not as bad.  He thought he was okay.  We decided he HAD to get a doctor appointment.  We spent the next 3 or 4 hours TRYING to get a doctor appointment.  Nobody would see us because we weren't REFERRED by another doctor.  Did he have a PCP?  Yes, Jerry has one, but he hadn't been to her for over a year.  We called her office anyway.  She wouldn't help us because she hadn't seen him.  She wanted him to come in.  Hard to do when she is 150 miles away!

At SOME point, the unlikely WONDERFUL PERSON I mentioned in my first sentence above texted me.  The text said, "How is Jerry"?   I texted back about the doctor issues and the pain.  She called me.  She asked me some more questions, and then she INSISTED that I get Jerry to an ER.  As soon as I hung up, Jerry and I followed her advice, and we headed to Baptist ER.  We got there about 1:30 in the afternoon.

ER wasn't busy, and we were waited on right away.  They put Jerry in Room #9 which was like a regular exam room in a doctor's office.  A VERY NICE nurse named Brandi came in to help us.  She was a "chatty Cathy" like me, and we talked easily.

We waited.  Eventually, a very pretty lady doctor named Taylor ??? came in.  She was congenial and patient.  She said she was ordering tests and a Cat Scan.  Brandi had a real hard time getting a needle into Jerry's veins, but she finally succeeded after three pokes -- the third one causing Jerry to squeal.  Poor baby.  Some time later, a guy came in to roll Jerry away for the Cat Scan.  He wasn't very friendly, but he wasn't awful either.  Off they went.  Jerry returned in about 30 minutes, and we waited some more.

In about an hour, Brandi came in to announce that Jerry's Cat Scan was being read by the Dr., and she would be in shortly.  Brandi's nose was red, which I thought was odd.  Then she did something else I thought was odd, but sweet.  She got a blanket out of a cupboard.  She opened up the blanket and laid it across Jerry who was lying on the hospital bed with his head elevated.  He was fully clothed and had his boots on.  I said to Jerry, "Something is wrong.  She has been crying and she feels sorry for you."  He just shook his head and rolled his eyes as he always does and said it didn't mean anything.  He doesn't "get" women's intuition at all.  

It was nearly 6 PM by now, and the doctor and Brandi walked in and closed the sliding door behind them.  The doctor looked at me and said, "I need a chair so we can have a talk".  I, of course, had my feet up on the chair she needed.  I always have my feet up.  She rolled the chair around to the other side of Jerry's bed and Brandi stood beside her with a very red nose and tears in her eyes.  I KNEW it wasn't a good report.

She explained that we had a SERIOUS problem.  She said that the Cat Scan showed Jerry's stomach, liver, spleen, intestine, etc.  She said it was a very clear picture.  She said the spleen is usually the size of a small fist.  She said the liver is the largest organ in the belly.  She said that Jerry's spleen was extremely swollen and was LARGER than his liver.  She said it is full of lesions, one of them being 10cm wide, and she showed the width of her open hand to show how big that was.

The doctor said, "I will leave you two to talk about this."  I said, "We don't NEED to talk about it."

"What is next.  Are you going to get him a room?"  She gave us the name of a surgeon and told us to call him first thing Monday morning.  I thought it couldn't be THAT bad, or she wouldn't send us home.  She said the spleen had to come out immediately.  Again, why send us home?

Poor Brandi was falling apart.  What a HEART that darling nurse had.  She had told us that her Mom was just diagnosed with cancer for the 2nd time, so she was obviously feeling awful about that.  I asked her what her Mom's name was.  She said, "Why?"  I said, "So we can pray for her."  She leaked more tears.  Her Mom's name is Alice.  The cancer is where her uterus used to be from what I understand.

The nurse from Countrywood has texted me several times and called to talk about Jerry.  She has been such a blessing and a comfort to me.  I never would have thought she would be that way.  She is nice to Mom, but that is her job.  She hardly knows Jerry.  She does know me though from all the time I spent at Countrywood when Mom broke her arm.

Another AMAZING person and the greatest friend to me is Phylly.  Because of Jerry and ER, we never got to Mom's room to visit her yesterday.  We did call several times, and I talked to the doctor and explained about Jerry.  Just as we were leaving the ER, Phylly called.  Guess where she was after working 8 hours at her job and 3 grandkids waiting for her at home????

She was up in Mom's room checking on her because she knew we hadn't been able to.  She then walked to ER and met us there where she gave me the biggest hug and sat by my side while Jerry explained what had been said.  Today -- Saturday -- her day off --  She went to visit Mom again and called me with a report.


SOOOOOO, that is the current status.  Jerry and I still believe in the same AWESOME God we believed in when Jerry was diagnosed with cancer in his spine five years ago, but there was never a single cancer cell found in the large tumor wrapped around his spine.  The tumor was never removed either.  God removed it.

I have Jerry wearing very baggy clothes -- no belt -- and lying on the couch to leave room for that large spleen to rest in until it is removed.  I cooked supper, but he ate only a few bites before the pain intensified.  He is drinking Ensure Plus when he gets hungry.  I'm not hungry either.  I try to eat, but nothing tastes good.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever!, and we will serve Him and trust Him no matter what the outcome.  We are, however, believing for a complete healing.  Whatever is in Jerry's spleen -- it isn't bigger than our God!

Jerry is asleep on the couch next to me, and I am in my recliner with laptop on my lap.  Every once in awhile, he wakes up and says, "Joy???"  "Are you here?"  I say, "Yes, baby", and he goes back to sleep.  I love him SO MUCH!  He is a wonderful, amazing, generous person.  So sad his own daughter chooses not to be in his life.  He doesn't deserve that AT ALL!  Other than having a personal relationship with Jesus, the greatest blessing in my life has been being Jerry's wife, and I give all the thanks and praise for that to God.  There is NO WAY he and I would ever have even met except that God somehow, made it happen.  

We wait for Monday morning. Please believe with us.

Mark 11:23 and 24 says "We can have WHAT WE SAY!"

We believe and we say: "He will not die, but live, to declare the works of the Lord!"  Ps. 118:17

Special thanks to my reader who also advised the ER.  Wish I had seen it sooner.  You were so right!

Hugs, Joy

Friday, October 18, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Good Morning!  It is Friday, 10-18-13 -- I'm pretty sure.  This week has been crazy, and yesterday was a whirlwind and the looooooooooooooooongest day.

We got a call at 5 PM Wednesday from Countrywood.  That is where Jerry's 93-year old Mom, Nida, lives in the Alzheimer's unit.  Mom had fallen AGAIN.  She falls frequently these days.  THIS TIME, however, she was hurt and she was sent to ER in an ambulance.  She has broken her shoulder and her hip -- both on the right side.

Now, this is horrible enough for an elderly person in their right mind, but for a patient that doesn't even know who she is or where she is, it is so much more difficult.  The surgeon says she probably won't even be able to go to Rehab because she won't understand the instructions.

Jerry and I slept as much as possible Wednesday night before and after calls from the hospital, and yesterday morning we loaded up everything but the kitchen sink in our two vehicles, and headed 150 miles north to the hospital. Mom had surgery on her hip at 6 PM yesterday, and she did just fine.  BUT, the day wasn't over...

My super-healthy -- never sick -- not even gas or indigestion -- husband had a pain in his right side under his rib cage.  It hurt all day and kept getting worse.  He couldn't even eat all his dinner because that made it hurt worse.  So there we were -- in the hospital cafeteria while Mom was in surgery -- and wondering if we need to rush Jerry to the ER since we are -- after all -- in a hospital.

We decide we will take him to a Doc-In-The-Box (AM/PM Clinic) after Mom is out of surgery, which we did.  There wasn't a doctor on duty, but there was a PA there.  She told Jerry she thinks it is his intestine/colon or whatever that part of one's body is.  She gave him two prescriptions for antibiotics and informed him that they may or may NOT help, and he may or may not have to go to ER or a Gastroenterologist.

He doesn't have a fever, so it seems weird to take antibiotics, and she agreed.

It is to treat some kind of bacteria that may or may NOT be there.

We have been up for about an hour this morning, and Jerry is complaining that his side hurts worse.  We looked up a doctor on the internet who just happens to be right next door to the hospital where Nida is right now.

IF we can get an appointment, we will be going there today to find out why Jerry has a pain.  Otherwise, it will be ER.

Other than all of that exciting stuff, I am about to make a new top -- wonder if they allow sewing machines in ER??? -- to go with the new necklace I made the other day.  Poor Jerry.  I didn't realize he was hurting yesterday morning, and I had him haul ALL those boxes of beads and ALL my boxes of sewing necessities down the stairs.  He didn't tell me it was hurting him to do that lifting until hours later at the hospital or I would have just left the stuff there.  Right now, it is still in his van.  We may have to hire movers to get it into this house.  (For some who may not know:  We have two business locations 150 miles apart, and because of that, we have two homes.)

I have "been there-done that" with Nida several times, and I know it will require me staying here for weeks and maybe months.  That is why I needed my projects. Especially, the Christmas gifts.

That's it for today.  I'll keep you posted.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Beads, Wires and Dowel Rods


I haven't posted since last week, but I have been preparing to.  I've been very busy lately in a good way.  I'm working on gifts for Christmas which MAY or MAY NOT even occur for us.  Some years, our family likes us and some years they don't.  We never know what to expect.  Since it is all about Jesus anyway, we manage to get through it.  Honestly, though, we don't look forward to the holidays.  I haven't seen Jerry's daughter or her kids for 6 years -- Jerry saw her for a few hours one afternoon.  It's heart wrenching all the time, but even more during the holidays.

When our girls were growing up, we ALWAYS had big celebrations for Thanksgiving and Christmas at OUR house, and our parents were ALWAYS included.  I wouldn't have dreamed of not including them.  It was just a "given".  The world has changed so much, and not for the better.

Were my parents perfect?  No!

Was I perfect?  No!

Were our kids perfect?  No!

What does THAT have to do with it?  Christmas is about Jesus.  You come together as a family to show God how much you love HIM by loving each other, whether or not they are perfect or have never screwed up.

OKAY.  I will get off my soap box.  That one is so hard for me to stay off of.  Somehow, I keep jumping back up there every year about this time.


I'm so glad you asked because I made a video for you to SHOW you.  A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say.  It isn't too long.  Check it out:

Aren't you EXCITED!?

I sure am.  I made a new necklace for myself today, and it was so very easy to find all the things I needed.  I grabbed each object needed for my project, brought it to my table and began the new project while watching church on the computer as we always do.

Here is a picture of my "stuff".  Notice the gold beads that look like little cages.  I had to get those white pearls INSIDE the cages.  You can see that they do NOT fit though those bars in the cage.  Yep.  A new skill I had to learn.

The first few were very hard as I flung several up at the ceiling or across the room.  The pliers kept slipping and falling out of my hand.  I didn't know if I would be able to do it or not, but I finally got the hang of it.

 It took me about 5 hours, but it is done, and it is GORGEOUS.  All of the gold is "gold-filled" and quite expensive.  Much cheaper than solid gold, however.

I'm not about to pay for solid gold unless someone out there comes up to me, looks at my necklace and faints.

The pearls aren't real either, AND, they have a hole going through them.

I finished the necklace about 30 minutes ago.  It is REALLY hard to photograph a necklace.  I am wearing a gray tee shirt with large lemon and orange slices across the chest, and the necklace just would not look right on top of it, and I was too pooped to go downstairs and put on a nice top so I could photograph the necklace.

Next best thing?

Lucy, of course.  Here she is with some of my fabric draped over her shoulders modeling my latest creation:

 This is a really clever clasp.

It is a figure "8".  It opens up like a mouth, and you put one side of the necklace in one loop and the other side in the other loop.  This necklace is actually one very long loop.

Sorry the pics aren't that clear.

Not only did I make this necklace, I made another one this week.  It took me a VERY long time to perfect this one to my satisfaction.  It is a combination of "lessons" that I have bought or watched.  I am learning so much, and it is fun.  I LOVE to learn new stuff.

This project is called "captured beads".  It is not at all like the cages with the pearls inside above.  I had to put this all together from scratch.

I really like this one!

I am going to make a top especially to go with it.

The idea was to make jewelry to match my tops.

Now, I'm making tops to match my jewelry.

I am going to use that pretty green lace SOMEHOW on the top because it is so perfect with the green beads in the necklace.

I am still working on organizing all my wires and strings.  We bought 6 different sizes of dowel rods yesterday.  Two of them work, but we haven't figured out how to put them on the wall yet.

Here is what I have, so far.  Not too attractive, but it will be when I figure out what else to do.  Maybe some paint would help.

And the trashcan holding up the spools is lovely, don't you think?

I better go check on my hubby.

He is outside with our boat in the driveway.  He is going to start the motor to see if it remembers how to run.  We hardly ever use it these days since the grand kids all grew up and don't come visit much anymore.  He wanted me to go out on the lake with him today, but I didn't want to.  I wanted to play "jewelry".  I told him if he would help me make jewelry and sew Christmas gifts that I would LOVE to join him in his hobby.  He just laughed and left.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

God's Masterpieces and My Jewelry & Fabric

That's right!  I am God's Masterpiece, and so are you!

That is what Pastor Hagee preached this morning.  It was one of those "Thou Shalt Not Worry" sermons.  I love to hear them, but it is hard to apply.

"Worry" is just "thinking about a solution" in my personal dictionary of definitions.  And I am ALWAYS doing that.

Here are the scripture references Hagee used today:

Matthew 6:25-34 

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ...

Matthew 6:33-34

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Right now, I'm "worried" about whether or not the yard man is going to show up tomorrow -- since he didn't show up Friday -- so I can go back home to my husband.

I'm "worried" about the holidays as I am every year because our family is so shredded.  Jerry's and mine too.  You never know who will be speaking to whom, and who will not be speaking to whom, and who will ban you from their home and/or their children.  It is just NUTS, and so NOT about the real reason for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You know what I think is the NUMBER ONE REASON for all of the family turmoil?  I know, you really don't care, but I'm going to tell you anyway.  I think it is marijuana or "pot".  All of the people in both sides of the family that we have these issues with, impart in this nasty habit.  I truly believe it destroys ambition and willpower and the ability to make right choices.  Alcohol abuse does the same thing, of course.  And now, marijuana usage isn't even illegal anymore, from what I can tell.  Unless you sell it to somebody else, I hear you are allowed to have your own supply.  I can't preach from the "It Is Illegal" soap box anymore.

And HOW ON EARTH did I get off on that subject???

What I was going to tell you is that Hagee said that there will always be someone smarter than you,
someone prettier than you,
someone richer than you, etc.

He talked about people trying to be someone else and becoming a cheap copy of that person instead of the AWESOME ORIGINAL MASTERPIECE that God has made each of us to be.

God made us each UNIQUE.  We aren't somebody else -- we are ourselves, and we need to be the best we can be at being ourselves.

And, of course, we aren't to worry.  We are to trust God to provide all of our needs.  (Philippians 4:19)

This is a gorgeous Fall Sunday afternoon.  I am about to finish my "muslin" jeans from a previously-made SFD pants pattern.  I had to narrow the waist and hips a bit, but if I don't get UP off this chair pretty soon, I will be widening them right back out!

I WAS going to make some bracelets called "Captured Bead" bracelets, but I am having a terrible time getting jump rings and beads to go together, not to mention it takes 30 minutes to make one inch of this bracelet.  Here's a pic of what I made before I decided it was just going to fall apart, and quit:

You can see how several of the jump rings are pulling apart.  That is because the beads are a tiny bit too big, and the wire rings are a tad too small.  I love the look though, so I will try again when I get back home where the rest of my jewelry supplies await me.

And here is another project.  This is a "pattern" I purchased from Craftsy.

I didn't have the same size or shape stone, so mine didn't turn out perfect enough to suit me.

Here is what it was SUPPOSE to look like.
(Pic of green stones with silver wire.)

My stones were ROUND and my wire was gold.  The HARDEST part is to make TWO that look exactly alike.  Easy to make just one.

Here are the ones I made:

One spiral is round, and the other one is oval.

I figure as long as they are hanging on the opposite side of my head, one can't see them close enough to tell, however, if I was looking at them on YOUR head, I could tell.  I'm weird that way though.

I'll try these again soon.

I can only get better, huh?

I've gotta get.  Have to finish my "muslin" jeans, and then find a jacket pattern to go with the real jeans.  I found some real pretty denim with gold blobs here and there all over it.  BEFORE I washed it, there were a bunch of black leather-look blogs here and there as well, but they are all now clogging up my dryer vent.

Hold on....

I'll run and take a picture for you of this denim.

It is SO pretty!

I'll have you know, I did everything but stand on my head to get this picture.

This stuff just does NOT want to be photographed.

What looks like light brown in this fabric is actually shiny gold.

You will have to use your imagination.

I am going to make jeans -- a jacket -- and, of course, jewelry to go with.  I better get started!

This may look good enough to go out with my fancy friends.

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Jewelry for Gifts -- Do You Like To Receive It?

I am still in Edmond with ALL of my jewelry supplies, and some of my sewing supplies.  I have started making Christmas presents for the girls, although the entire time I am making them, I am thinking:

WHAT if they hate this?

WHAT if they don't realize the many, many hours I put into this, and they think it is junk?

WHAT if they SAY they like it so they don't hurt my feelings, but then they throw it away?

I can't remember any jewelry I have received as a gift that I really hated.  Of course, I haven't received much.

I am NOT kidding when I tell you that I have now spent over $5,000 on supplies to make jewelry.  I imagine I COULD sell some pieces in my store, but I don't really want to do that.  In THAT case, I'm not worried that people WON'T like it -- I'm worried people WILL like it, and then I'll have to make more and more and more ....  I don't want to HAVE to make it.  That would spoil all the enjoyment.

Good heavens!  I would have to charge $100 or more for each piece if you count my time making it.  I spent EIGHT hours on one silly cabachon, and since I'm still not happy with it, I will probably spend EIGHT more!

Here, I'll show you.  FIRST, let me show you what a "cabachon" is.  I never heard of one in my life until I started ordering jewelry stuff.

I ordered a COLLECTION of various-colored cabachons.  For some reason, Fire Mountain thinks "various colors" means all GREEN!  I was wearing a blouse that had green in it the other day, so I decided to TRY to make a pendant with one of these green stones.  There is NO HOLE in any of them.

I found a "pattern" on Craftsy from some lady that makes jewelry.  I paid $6 for it.  It was 48 pages long and it was titled "ADVANCED".  I looked at the picture, and it didn't look that advanced to me, so I bought it.

This is what the pendant looks like if you make it totally according to the directions:

I TRIED to make it totally perfect according to the directions
if you noticed,
my cabachons are NOT that shape.

The lady that wrote the directions mentioned that you need to be a mathematical genius if you use some other shape.

GREAT!  As if bending all that wire wasn't hard enough.

I decided the worst that could happen is I could totally screw up the wire, but the cabachon would still be okay.

EIGHT hours later, this is the cabachon pendant I came up with:

Notice how great it matches the green in that blouse I made.  That was actually the ONLY thing I liked about it.

The spirals on the bottom looked pretty good.

Look at the ORIGINAL pendant up above.  Notice the curly cues at the top of the cabachon that hold it in the frame.

I MADE curly cues, but they would not hold this stone in because my stone is a different shape.

Duh!  Guess that is where the math comes in.

I needed 4 instead of two.  I decided to take some wire and just wrap around from here to there and over there and over there.  It made kind of a star shape.  I thought it looked pretty good until I took pics of it.  I could see I had deformed the frame so it stuck out on one side and not the other.  PLUS, the wraps around the bail look HORRIBLE!

This is the BACK.

It looks good enough for a back,
but I certainly would not win any awards.

The cabachon sure wasn't going to fall out!

So today, after I made a pendant for a Christmas gift,
I decided to cut the "star" wires off and try to redo it.

I didn't do much better.

I will probably start over again tomorrow while I'm waiting for the lawn man to bring dirt for my garden.  That's always fun to wait for.

here is take two.

I cut off all the little wires, and I tried again.  This time, I ended up with 2 loops that look like hangy boobs, but I did manage to get a little spiral at the top.

One wire goes over -- then under.

One wire goes under -- then over.

I think that is why the shape is not the same.

I wrapped the bail some more, and it looks a lot better.

That project is still in the works.

It is for me, so I have the rest of my life.

Another pattern I bought turned out really cute.  It is also a pendant, but much easier.

I have made a silver one for my granddaughter,
and a gold one for my daughter.

I think they are darling, but you never know what they will think.  I am going to make myself some.

Here they are:

Need to make earrings to go with, just in case, the recipients actually like them.

I've GOT to get out of this chair, and walk or jump or something!  Too much sitting.  I can feel my butt spreading like warm butter, and it certainly doesn't need any more of that!

Hope you are enjoying FALL.  I love it!  Our brand new Sam's Club opens tomorrow, and I will be there!  Thank God, they don't sell jewelry components there!

Hugs, Joy