Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

today

the view from a neighboring town of the tornado finishing up Cordova, AL

the am tornado hit main street

and a longer view of main street
hurt, tears, fear, pain
disbelief, shock, unknown
neighbors helping, people gathering, townfolks walking miles to see

we drill for years; prepare for the day
but when it comes, what can we say?

oh powerful force, the awe of God
destructive winds, my heart-torn land

the canopy of hanging trees, my daily drive, the sight i'd see
all now gone, blocking roads, collapsed on cars, crushing homes

buildings and jobs we can replace
but not the souls of Cordova's face   

In memory of the nine who died.
In honor of the ones who rebuild...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

reflecting and relaxing

it's that time of year...no pollen, not too hot (so the windows can be open), and the rain is falling in intermittant patterns. and that big swoosh of air you heard yesterday? No, that wasn't the wind. it was me, exhaling in relief, for the last of the Easter costumes were washed/repaired. d.o.n.e. :)

as of yesterday, when people ask me "how's your elbow?" I can now honestly say "It's healing." For the first time since the fall I can use my fingers without varying degrees of pain, I can not only hold a pen, but I can WRITE. It might not be as neat as before, but it is legible and does look somewhat like my handwriting. I can TOTALLY, although still slowly, turn my right hand from palm up to palm down WITHOUT ANY PAIN IN MY WRIST OR ARM!!! :) I'm now typing with two hands again, though my elbow doesn't always feel up to using the shift key still.  I can now somewhat stretch with my arm, though not far or by any means straight. Fixing my hair, cooking, and adjusting clothes after trips to the "necessary" are still difficult, but they are no longer excruciating, frustrating experiences. Most of my outside bruises are gone. In case you haven't figured it out, I am doing the happy dance in my heart.

So what's next? Well, I was able to press the reverse button on my sewing machine with minimal pain yesterday, so I'm thinking that means I should be able to press the button to shift gears in my car by the weekend! :)  And if not, my dear husband and wonderful mom-in-law will get to haul me to the grocery store and other such places tomorrow or tomorrow night.

and the pain is subsiding somewhat in my leg/hip area, so I'm hoping that come Monday I can pick up the phone and cancel the physical therapy appointment.

the frustration is lessening. I really don't mind being stuck at home; it's not being able to do anything (or do anything well) that drives me crazy. but i suppose in some ways the not sleeping at night has been a help there as well, because I've taken a LOT of naps these last few weeks. Sometimes for me that seems to be the best medicine.

Monday, April 25, 2011

where i come from

in front of the al history museum (which i don't recommend visiting...not much there, and nothing like i remember as a child), are two signs. One, telling groups to stay with their guide and off the grass. Two, that they can climb on the huge stone map of Alabama (but warning, it can get hot).  Off the grass, on the signs...kind of fun in a wacky way.  But anyhoo, here's photographs of the area near my  neck of the woods:
yes, al has coal mines, a fact not many people know. my grandfather mined in both al and indiana, and suffered with black lung for many years. i'm not going to start naming others i know, as there's simply too many.  any piece of property sold in walker county, al comes with a note on the deed: Property rights do not include mineral rights. In other words, if the mining company who owns the mining rights decides to mine under your house, you can either accept their offer to buy your house and land and find another place to live, or your house will simply become unsuitable to live in and there's nothing you can do about it. that's just the way it is. my brother has been in the mines to repair machines, and he says it's like an entire city underground. a very small part of me thinks it would be cool to take a tour.

and i have to add birmingham because it's the city most people are familiar with, where we did our christmas shopping growing up, and is only 45 minutes southeast from my home.

and smith lake, which is where i lived until i was in the 3rd grade. it's a man-made lake. when they made the dam to create the lake, they flooded countless waterfalls in the area (i've heard my dad and uncles talk about them). they say that you can dive down 40-80 feet in smith lake and still come up on the tips of the tops of grown pine trees. when a person drowns there, it's often impossible to recover the body if they weren't wearing a life vest.  growing up i always heard the old men say if anyone wanted to dispose of a body and it never be found, they only had to weight it and dump it in smith lake or dump it way out in an abandoned strip pit (from the mines). thankfully walker county has few murders (and most are domestic disputes that happen at home); there was one "disappearance" of a high profile person that everyone believes to be a murder, but no body has ever been found. it was during the search for her that everyone speculated her body would be in one of those two places. that was many, many years ago, and she's still never been located.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

the al capitol

 my dear observant husband noticed the ladder (the handicapped entrance was in the back). and no, i have no concrete answer as to why it's there: repairs? window-washing? lowering the flag?
 mom and bobby at the star
and the place where it happened...still hate it was too cold for us to go during the re-enactment

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

progress

while at the white house of the confederacy, we got to see personal items belonging to the davis family. above is his socks.  mom was telling me that in the old days socks did not have elastic in them, so you tied a string about 2/3 of the way up, then folded your sock top down over the string. makes me thankful for the elastic that comes in our socks today. could you imagine have to pull them up all the time, or running and the strings breaking or coming untied?

and speaking of breaks, i'm never quite sure what to tell people when they ask how my elbow is doing. the not nice smart aleck in me always wants to respond "it's still broke", but i know the ones asking truly care, so I say, "it's slowly healing".  in this past week, i've been able to turn my hand a little past halfway over, can lift my arm (though not straight)  a little below my chin, and the swelling has subsided in my fingers enough that I can type with both hands for a little bit, though I have to sit in a weird position as my arm is still crooked. yesterday was a good day; last night and this morning...not nice at all. i guess one could say my sock string broke.

Monday, April 18, 2011

ummmm.....okay

just when i thought we'd seen it all...we encountered this at an alabama rest area. growing up in al, i knew exactly why it was there...to stop people from creating a parking space.  nc officials would have a fit,  but it doesn't block the handicapped driver from accessing the back of the van and it does stop people from parking in the access lanes.  pretty it's not , but i will give it a thumb's up for being innovative and practical.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

a new sighting

For those of you who are unfamiliar with where I live, the field adjoining our house was sold several years ago to the county board of education. Since the building of schools is nowhere in sight, the field has simply become a weedy mess. And that might account for the new sightings in our yards (and no, I'm not talking about the field mice who came and made themselves a feast in my garden last year).

Last year we saw a few bright flashes of yellow. Today I saw not one, but three in a tree near the house. I pulled out the binoculars so I could get a better view of the bird. Turns out we now have yellow finches.
photo used without permission from this site: http://ecobirder.blogspot.com/2009/07/camera-criters-gold-finch.html
They don't look anywhere near this big in real life, but it was nice to see the little spots of sunshine nevertheless. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

thinking

having to do everything one handed has really made ne think about our military personnel who have lost limbs while in service. i can't imagine the foreverness of the situation. last night my arm was protesting the sling mightily, so i took it off. and almost overdid it. there's just something about no restrictions that makes me want to at least try to use my arm. and then it hurts and swells, and out comes the ice and sling. i keep telling myself: friday is coming and then i'll have a time frame of how much longer this will last. there's just something in my brain that likes checkpoints. in 2 weeks no more swelling. in 3 weeks no more bruises. in 4 weeks i'll be fine (yes, i'm dreaming big here). but can you imagine those checkpoints being : in one month i can button a shirt one-handed in 30 minutes. in 2 months i'll be able to put my foot in a velcro tennis shoe. not at any point can our injured vets think about having their destroyed limb back. it will forever be gone, and their only goals will be survival ones, not return to original way of doing things.

this was certainly not in my plan for this period of my life. but the one who sees everything knew.
he knew family and friends would surround me, pushing,pulling, prodding me on through these last two laps in my spring marathon. he knew i needed to let go of some things, that when my feeble no, i can't add one more thing to my schedule went unheeded of how to make me prune my time absorbers, how  to help me focus on thanksgiving and not organization nor my way of doing things. this is not the refining process i would have chosen, but i must say, it works.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

a group project

my choice in pattern (i love this pattern; my mom said it looked too much like bricks)
rhonda & mary cut it out
i pieced it
denise now has it for machine quilting
yea team!

but the ? remains: can we finish all 6 by june 5 (graduation sunday)?

Monday, April 11, 2011

ready for fri

fri night was really bad
sat was okay
sun was mixed
mon am found the swelling significantly decreased,range of movement greatly increased, and some cautious optimism

could i possibly be rid of my sling by fri when i see the bone doctor?
could i have a miraculously speedey recovery before then and get a report of "no cracked bones found"?
or will i poof back up like a marshmellow tonight?
could i just please have the use of my right fingers back? then i could sew and cook and type and write with both hands.

i am not the outstanding patient that my husband is. i am a wimp. i hate pain. shoot, i just hate discomfort! but i have a lot to be thankful for.

and no, i'm not getting rid of my baby chickens. that won't heal my bones.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

things that make me smile/laugh

  1. yellow tulips
  2. funny poems
  3. my husband's smile
  4. the antics of children
  5. my blue hippo (i'll explain later)
  6. chickens (most of the time)
  7. good food
  8. an organized house
  9. a plan that works
  10. time with family

Friday, April 8, 2011

s l o w d o w n

i thrive on deadlines
i procrastinate very well
i enjoy the adrenaline rush of racing the clock

but sometimes, in spite of my to do list, i'm forced to slow down
it's during those times i'm reminded of what is absolutely essential
i'm startled at how much fluff i have in my life,
at how prideful i can unknowingly be in my self-sufficiency

LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
   it is not for them to direct their steps.

~ Jeremiah 10:23

sometimes i have to be forcibly reminded of that.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

his mercies are new EVERY morning

It's strange how one little event (a step, for example) can turn every plan or thought I have on its head.

This morning I'm thankful for family who change plans on a minute's notice, whether it be accepting company a day early, assisting in building a ramp when sick, or coming over at 5:50am on short notice to help with transfers.

I'm thankful for a very patient, loving, and understanding husband.

I'm thankful for the rain this last week, for otherwise my seasonal allergies would be much worse.

I'm thankful for rest - that God designed our bodies to be re-charged and somewhat self-healing.

I'm thankful for friends who are open and honest with struggles, reminding me to pray, and forcing me to realize my "stress" at this moment is nothing.

I'm thankful for the storm this morning, reminding me that no matter what stress pounds on the outside, He is keeping me safe and warm in His arms.

God's mercies are new every morning, and His Grace is sufficient.