That Dratted Arthritis

I completely forgot to post yesterday. This is what happens when you get up early in the morning. Your brain goes to bed before you do and you forget stuff.

Today was a chai party day, which meant I felt obligated to finish my painting project. I mean, I wanted to finish it anyway, but I also felt I really had to. I did finish it. My painting skills have deteriorated drastically in the last 34 years, but I decided I can live with this level of imperfection.

When I whined a little about it to Lucy, she told me I can’t help it if I have arthritis, which keeps me from painting as accurately as I once did. It never occurred to me to blame my arthritis, but I’m liking that idea more and more. “Sorry I burned your dinner. I have arthritis.” “I would have been here on time except that I have arthritis.” “I can’t help it if this project didn’t turn out as planned, because I have arthritis.” Finally something positive to do with all that pain!

I will show you photos when I am farther along in the process of transforming the space. I like it so far.

I was planning to write more tonight, but I can’t because I have arthritis.


Today, I made it up at the appointed hour (5:55) but I was not happy about it. Still, I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with the early rising for almost two weeks now. Another month or two and I might actually be used to it.

Most of the morning I moved at about the speed of molasses on a frosty day, but eventually I perked up a bit and then after Jasper got some math done we headed out to the park for our very first park day of the school year. We aren’t going to make it to many park days this year since they are on Thursday and so is Geography class. However, this is an “off” week so we were able to go for at least a few minutes and I could turn in my membership paperwork.

After the park, we stopped to pick up Lucy at her friend Martha’s house and then headed home because we needed to be here before the exterminator arrived. After spending a lot of money and going to a lot of trouble, we still had fleas in the yard, so my husband went ahead and called in a professional. He arrived at the house shortly after we did and treated the back yard while the kids kept the dogs in the front yard.

You may be wondering if it was safe to treat the backyard, since that’s where the beehive is. No worries on that score. The bees are all gone. They “absconded,” which is what you call it when they just all leave. The good news, if there is any, is that fire ants went through the hive and killed all the hive beetles and wax moths, so once Jasper cleans everything up, we can start fresh with new bees in the spring.

After he left, I had to make a Walmart run to get supplies so we could take something to contribute to the snack table at the beekeeping meeting tonight. I bought some crackers to go with my killer cheese spread. I made a big batch and every speck was eaten!

Jasper’s buddy Sam came to the meeting with us. I enjoyed tonight’s meeting more than I enjoy most. Our local honey queen gave a presentation on beekeeping charities. I know! I didn’t know they existed either!

Here is one that works in several African countries:

Bees Abroad

The final charity the queen talked about was one set up by a friend of hers whose family went to Uganda as missionaries last year. She (Willow, the honey queen) got kind of choked up talking about her friend and what a great job she’s doing using beekeeping to help African women who are HIV positive to have a source of income. Here’s a link to her fundraising site:

Beeing Hopeful

So anyway, as Willow finished talking, Dick (the guy who runs the youth scholarship program) got up and went to the front of the room. He called for a show of hands on the spot to see how many in the club would be interested in sponsoring this young lady’s ministry in Uganda as a club. More than half the hands went up, including mine and Jasper’s. I would love to see this program really get off the ground.

Oh, and by the way–the girl who is doing all this is only sixteen years old! Makes me feel downright lazy!

On the drive home, it was actually so cool outside that we had to close the car windows to keep from getting too chilly! Fall may not quite be here yet but it’s now possible to believe it is coming.

A Birthday Breakfast, A Crochet Lesson, Indian Food & Sushi!

First things first. Today is Mercy’s 22nd birthday. Mercy was my smallest baby (only 9 pounds!) and the only one not born in Texas. She was born at home in Zambia. She was walking at nine months and hasn’t stopped since!

Since she no longer lives here, I couldn’t make her breakfast in bed. Instead, I invited her to come here for breakfast. I set up her breakfast on a TV tray in the living room so she could watch an episode of one of her favorite shows while she ate.

9-30-15 Mercy's birthday breakfast

It was a pretty good start to her day, I think.

After Mercy left for school, I drove up to the north side of town to teach my friend Darlene how to crochet. She wants to make some easy crocheted items as Christmas gifts, but did not actually know how to crochet. I was happy to teach her. I had her video me doing some stitches just in case she forgets how when I’m not there! I love people who are willing to just jump in and learn a new skill.

Then we went out for lunch to the Indian/Mediterranean restaurant that we both like. It was so good to get to visit with her.

Shortly after I returned home it was time to take Jasper to piano, and shortly after I brought him back from that, I took Lucy up to spend the night with a friend. On my way home, I stopped at a grocery store and got some sushi, cheese, hummus and crackers to have for supper since Mercy would be eating with us and I wanted to have something special for her. I know it doesn’t sound like a fancy supper, but she loves those things! And there was enough of the fabulous cake from yesterday for everyone to have for dessert. Well, everyone except me, of course! I felt guilty enough about eating sushi because the rice spikes my blood sugar.

Maybe tomorrow I can get back to my painting job!

I Think I Sprained My Brain

I am heaving a huge sigh of relief at the moment. I have spent the last two and a half days doing nothing but go over my manuscript with a critical eye and do everything I can think of to improve it before having to send it out. It is hard, tedious work, and mentally exhausting. However, it feels wonderful to have finished it for the time being. The manuscript has been sent and I have nothing more to do with it while I wait for my fate to be decided.

I vaguely remember Sunday. I made dinner, none of which I could eat. I made peach cobbler, which seemed to go over much better than rice pudding. Yesterday I just edited all day. My paint job in the schoolroom is unfinished. I couldn’t take time out to paint.

Today was mostly more of the same, although did have to run a couple of errands this afternoon. One of the things I did was to take Lucy to Walmart to buy ingredients for a cake she wanted to make. It took all afternoon and evening to make, but it was a masterpiece:

9-29-15 Lucy's fancy cake

It involved two layers of carrot cake, sautéed apple and plum slices, cream cheese icing, and caramel. Some days it really stinks to be a diabetic!

‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

Louisa M. R. Stead

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”


Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!


Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.


I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.


Painting a Wall Instead of Going to a Wedding

Today, despite feeling exhausted and sub-par all day, I did get something done! I cleared everything away from the wall that I wanted to paint, and it now has two coats of paint on it. Mercy and I did it, meaning Mercy did most of it and I did what I could. We still have the door frame to paint, so there are no photos yet.

It was fun having Mercy here for much of the day, though she did have to go to rugby practice this afternoon.

There were two other places I could have been today. One was at the Texarkana Renaissance Faire. It was weird not to even go this year, when last year we had a booth. I was sorry to miss it. The other place that I wish I could have been was in New Mexico at my friend Donita’s wedding. I am so happy for her and wish I could have been there with her on her big day.

This evening Mercy showed us the rest of her China photos. She saw some beautiful places, but I noticed that some of them were very, very crowded. That would make them a lot less enjoyable for me!

Milk Run

Would you believe I had to run a pre-dawn errand today as well? We somehow found ourselves completely out of milk. My husband doesn’t drink milk, but he likes it in his tea, and he is not interested in substitutes, so once again I was out the door by 6:00 to go buy milk. The nearest grocery store opens at 6:00, so when I got there, they were just getting going. I discovered that they cover all the refrigerated cases with insulated blankets at night.

The main accomplishment of the day was going to the post office twice–once to buy a box, and the second time to mail the same box.

I spent the evening re-organizing my binder full of hymns for the autoharp, after chording a hymn for Sunday. I decided to finally put my hymns in the same order they are in the hymnbook, so it will be easier to find them.

At least I don’t have to feel sorry for myself tomorrow morning. I get up early on Saturdays anyway! And I’m pretty proud of myself for hanging in there with the early mornings all week. Maybe next week it will be easier.


Another Caribbean Interlude

Today was another Caribbean day here. It was also an early-rising day. In fact, I got up at 5:55 and was out the door by 6:00 because I needed to pick up some photos at Walgreens so I could use them to make flash cards. Then I worked on some class preparation, made our class dessert, and had breakfast, after which I felt ready to get another night’s sleep! Today was definitely an extra-caffeine day.

Lucy and Haley eventually got up and started work on today’s food, which was Puerto Rican bean stew and fry bread. Meanwhile, I continued to research more stuff about the Caribbean until the very last minute!

The food was good–I’m pretty skilled at picking recipes, even ones for food I know I won’t get to eat. We looked at a lot of gorgeous photos of various Caribbean islands and again tried to figure out a way to make a field trip happen! I even played the Beach Boys’ song “Kokomo” and had the girls listen for how many Caribbean locations are mentioned. We also talked about some history and the current tourism-based economy in the area. I love that all three of my students seem to get into the material and are willing to try the food.

After class I took Jasper and his buddy Sam to the local beekeepers meeting–not the one that’s an hour away, thank goodness! I was so, so tired and sleepy by then and would have preferred to stay home. I ended up being glad I went, just to see Jasper and Sam talking to Gabe (whom Jasper met back in the spring) and his brother and they were all so enthusiastic about bees! Beekeeping needs all the young enthusiasts it can get!



Boy, was it hard to get up at 6:00 this morning. I was glad Lucy had a ride to her classes, but I still had to make sure she got up and got ready. When I went to pick her up, her friend Haley came home with us. The plan is for her to help with the cooking for Geography class tomorrow.

My day was all about geography. This time around I am trying to find more photos of each country so the kids can get some idea of what they look like.

I was happy about fall starting today, but disappointed that Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 90s for the next 10 days.

If I have any hope of making it up early again tomorrow, I’m going to need to get some sleep!