Bailey’s adventure to Mortica Adams’ flower shop and greenhouse

 

Come with me!

Come with me!

Hi, Bailey here, filling in for Mom again today. She is having Writer’s Block, so I thought I would help her out. Come join me for my trip to Mortica’s flower shop.

As they say on “The Price is Right,” here’s the first item up for bids:

Hanging Plant

Hanging Plant

We have a lovely hanging basket of, er, flowers. (The rumor is that while Mom was in surgery and recovery, she was unable to water the plants, but Mortica says they look just fine.)

Next item up for bids:

IMG_4168

Here I am posing with the Black Eyed Susans. I guess Summer is over? Mortica says these look fine, too.

 

Next:

window box

window box

How about a nice window box to brighten up the view from the window? Usually there are petunias hanging in there, but Mortica didn’t plant new ones this year, either.

Next:

planter

planter

I’m not really sure what this is supposed to be. It seems to have large arms that grab everywhere. I’m going to stand back where it’s safe, just in case.

From the Produce Department:

yum

yum

Mortica says the tomatoes look beautiful and will make a nice salad. (I think someone was too busy to pick them.)

 

Thanks for joining me.

Thanks for joining me.

That’s all for now. It was a fun trip to Mortica’s  Flower Shop and Greenhouse.

IMG_4194

I think I’ll take a nap now!

 

A personal note for my readers only

As you know, I am recovering from mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery.

I’ve had bumps in the road, successes, a step forward and two steps back. But yesterday, well yesterday–I haven’t invented a category for it it.

Hey, are you still reading? Good. I’m glad you stopped by to visit me.

I retained a lot of water after my surgery, fifteen pounds in fact, and most of it was in my legs. That’s all gone, and my legs are back to normal.

But my stomach is all puffed out like I am pregnant with twins. Yesterday when I woke up it was so bad that I had to make a special appointment with the doctor.

My doctor then sent me over to the hospital for “interventional radiology” (which I had never heard of). I was told that they could “drain” it.

Anyway, I got to the Radiology Department at 1 pm. I handed my paperwork to a worker,  and she asked me when I had last eaten. “I just had lunch,” I responded.

“Oh, no, you were not supposed to eat in case we have to sedate you.”

“No one told me that!”

“Okay,” she said, leading me to an alcove with a small cot. “Well, put on this hospital gown, here’s the TV remote. Just wait.” She pulled the curtain closed behind her.

I waited quite a while. I called Mr. Porter, and he left work to come over and stay with me.

“I guess they are waiting for me to digest my lunch. How long does that take?”

Mr. Porter rolled his eyes.

A different worker pulled back the curtain and came in. “We might not have to sedate you, we can just use a local anesthetic.” Who woulda thunk?

Finally, after I had sufficiently digested my food and/or they realized it didn’t matter, they whisked me off to the back room, clad only in my hospital gown–and socks.

Dr. Wonderful* came into the room and used the ultrasound machine to determine that yes, there is a lot of fluid trapped in my stomach. He put in a drain. This drain is different from the other aliens, er, drains that I had removed last week. This is a “passive” drain, I guess it works more with gravity to get the fluid out. The other drains worked with suction. So I have to remember to stand up every so often and work with the gravitational forces of the earth.

***Update. I am doing better today. I am remembering the principle of “things get worse before they get better.”

 

* not his real name LOL

Noah’s Raven

ravenAfter the big flood, Noah’s ark rested on the moutains of Ararat. Noah sent out a dove several times to determine if the waters had abated. I’m guessing Noah, Mrs. Noah and family were looking forward to leaving the ark asap. (Yes, I’m sure they were glad that they didn’t perish, but how long can you live in a stinky zoo? It’s got to get to you after a while.)

As I was re-reading the story in Genesis 8 the other day, I noticed that Noah also sent out a raven before he sent out the dove. Honestly, I had never even noticed the raven references. (I thought the raven was all about Edgar Allan Poe.)

Genesis 8:6-7

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

(dried up here is Strong’s H3001, to be ashamed, confused or disappointed, dried up)

So the raven in going back and forth in the background, while we read about the dove:

Genesis 8:8-9

Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

So the raven is flying back and forth, going out and coming back on its own, eating dead and decaying flesh of animals, and probably resting on the roof of the ark. Meanwhile, the dove is being sent out, and when she comes back, Noah carefully puts out his hand for her to land on, and pulls her back to the safety of the ark.

Noah waits seven more days, and sends the dove out again. She (we are told the dove a she) comes back with an olive leaf in her mouth.

v 12 He waited seven more days, and sent the dove out again, which returned not again unto him any more.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t say that he waters are dried up yet. Sure, the waters are receding, but it’s not totally dry yet. So I’m assuming the raven is still flying back and forth to the ark. The dove has moved on, but the raven keeps coming back and forth.

Verse 13 says: And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, on the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up (H2717 - parched, desolate) from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold the face of the ground was dry.

Verse 14: And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, the earth dried. (Finally, H3001 reappears. This, I’m guessing, is when the raven finally leaves.)

Verse 15: And God spoke to Noah saying, “Go forth from the ark.”

So this leaves me more questions than answers. We know ravens eat dead meat, doves eat seeds and leaves. Ravens are dark, doves are usually light. The Holy Spirit is sometimes compared to a dove; a dove represents peace.

Maybe the raven could have come to Noah, and been taken into the ark, but instead decided to do his own thing, and land on the roof? Maybe the raven could have had a relationship with Noah, but didn’t want to be bothered and wanted to be independent?

The dove didn’t come back after the surface of the ground was dry, while the raven hung around until the earth was very dry.

What does all this mean? I don’t know. Any ideas?

 

 

 

Planning Ahead: Creature Comforts (and necessities) For After your Mastectomy and/or Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast-cancer-awarenessHaving a Mastecomy and breast reconstruction surgery is scary. The best defense is to be prepared. I researched and planned the best I could, and bought the items ahead of time.

My reconstruction is called a DIEP Flap. This means that skin and fat are taken from the stomach area, as well as an artery, and shifted up to make a new breast. Since the artery is included in this move, it ensures that the flesh will stay alive and be nourished.

Since October has been dubbed Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am sharing my list of items that helped me, in the hope that it can help someone else.

Here is a list of items that helped me when I came home from the hospital:

  1. Hospital bed or recliner to sleep in. We do not have a recliner. Our insurance would not pay for a hospital bed, so my husband paid for it out-of-pocket. It was well worth the money. I could sleep downstairs, move my headrest up, and move my legs up. (I retained a lot of water in my legs and needed to keep them elevated.) hospital-bed
  2. Nightgowns. Four or five nightgowns which snap or zipper in the front and have pockets for the drains. I cut small holes in the backside of the pockets, and fed the drains through so that they rested in the pocket. In the hospital, the drains were safety-pinned to the front of my gown. Yuck. Not a fashion statement I would like to make. I liked them hidden in the pockets.
  3. Baby wipes and feminine wipes. Four large packages of baby wipes. Since you will not be able to take a shower for a week or longer, baby wipes are great for freshening up.
  4. Paper tape. Five or six rolls of paper tape that does not stick to the skin like hospital tape does; especially for those areas of stitches.
  5. Telfa bandages. These are specially made and do not stick to wounds, so the wound is not re-opened every time you have to change your bandage. Ouch.
  6. Bacitracin ointment. Five or six tubes. This helps fight infection, as well as keeping the bandages from sticking directly to the skin.
  7. Bio-med bandages. I call them “O” rings. These are little rings that go around the site of the tube for the drains to keep it dry.
  8. Windows. These are clear, sticky plastic that go overtop of the bio-med rings to protect the site. Peel and stick.window
  9. Bandages. Lots and lots. All sizes. Really small ones are good for applying ointment or cleanser.
  10. New socks and underwear. Treat yourself.
  11. Extra pillows. I needed extra support under my arm on the “operated” side.
  12. Dandelion Tea. This helps to naturally get rid of the excess water weight that is a side effect of the surgery.  dandelion-tea
  13. Notebooks. I have one for my medicine schedule I keep up on the entertainment center with my meds. Another notebook I place in the bathroom to keep track of the drainage output. Sure, the doctor gave me paper sheets, but the notebook worked better for me. Some people also find it helpful to journal what you are thinking, feeling and experiencing through the recovery.
  14. Pens. Lots of pens.
  15. A table. Or table-height surface to put bandages, tape, etc. Since I had stitches across my belly, I was very sore and could not grab items off the floor, or low to the floor. I kept all my supplies easily accessible.
  16. A small mirror. (Mine is about 8″ x 8″. ) mirrorIf you don’t have anyone 24/7 to change your bandages, you might get into some pretty strange positions to change them yourself. A mirror is handy to find out where to put the bandage.
  17. Laundry baskets. One for clean, one for dirty. I lived in the living room for a month, so my “recovery clothes” are all close by. I needed to avoid going up and down stairs.
  18. Stool softener pills and Prune Juice. The pain meds may back you up a little. Or a lot.prune-juice
  19. Sports bras. After you get the okay from your doctor, you can begin wearing a bra, but what’s needed is that fine line between “support” and “movement.” No underwires.
  20. A Lanyard or “hanger” for drains. lanyard When I you are finally cleared to take a shower, you still have the drains to consider. They need to be supported. My husband took two bungee cords and duct-taped them together. Yes, it looks a little Red-Green, or just redneck, but it worked. You definately don’t want to pull the drains out too soon.

Other things I never though I’d do:

  1. Put a sweater on backwards. I believe they do this in Nursing Homes. At nighttime, if I got cold, I would put the sweater on backwards, (with the buttons in the back, left unbuttoned.) Then, when the inevitable hot flash showed up, I could easily remove it without hurting myself. I experienced the pain of trying to pull myself forward to take off the sweater at 3 am, in a hospital bed, with the back raised and pulling my stitches. Learn from my mistakes. Who sees you anyway?
  2. Ask for help.  Yes, many of us humans have a lot of trouble with this one. I had neighbors who walked my dog, friends who brought us hot meals, a neighbor who vacuumed my floors, and a friend who gave me a ride to the doctor. My sister came up and decluttered my whole downstairs.

 

For me, having most of these items on hand ahead of time was a big help. I couldn’t drive for a month due to the stitches, and the painkillers(!) and I didn’t want to drive Mr. Porter crazy. Of course, he still ran a lot of errands for me.

I am now five weeks past my surgery, and I’m starting to feel better. All my drains have been taken out, and I am doing the home exercises from my doctor for my arm and chest area. I am not supposed to do any heavy lifting for a few more weeks yet.

My doctor says that very soon I will be sent to Physical Therapy to regain the use of my arm and shoulder 100%.

I hope that this information will help someone to plan ahead for a speedy recovery.

 

#BreastCancerAwarenessMonth

#Excerpt

Bailey has good news for you

IMG_2577Hi, Bailey here. I just found out my mom doesn’t need to have Chemo!

She has been sleeping in the living room on a strange looking bed, with some kind of weird noise that makes it go up and down. I don’t mind though, because it’s no much easier for me to wake up Mom in the morning to take me outside, because I don’t have to go all the way upstairs to find her.

Mom had surgery last month, and she wasn’t home for a week. I was glad when she came home.

Mom is in such a good mood today that she gave me extra cheese.

I guess today is a good day.

 

Bailey hit the Jackpot

Cheese

Cheese

I was trying to open the package of shredded Mozzarella cheese to put on my salad, when I noticed that I was holding the bag upside down, the zip-lock had unzipped, and the cheese was pouring onto the floor.

Bailey, meanwhile, began fixing the problem. He didn’t say anything to embarrass me, he just quietly started to clean up the mess. It’s just a coincidence that cheese is his favorite food. He didn’t want to call any attention to my mistake, and was just trying to help me out.

By the time I looked more closely to see what my problem was, Bailey was in the Zone, cleaning up the floor for me.

Wasn’t that nice of Bailey?

 

Goodbye, Uncle Dan

Candle{As is policy, the names have been changed, but the story is real. Well, at least to the best of my recollection.}

Timeline: 1980-something.

Maddy and I were in her car on the way to church one Sunday. “I can’t believe what my boss, Avery did,” Maddy said. “We were in a meeting and he took all my work on the project and presented it as his own. Then he had the nerve to thank Bob for helping him. He didn’t even mention me.”

“That sucks,” I said.

“He makes me so mad. I visualize covering his car in shaving cream and toilet paper, just for spite.”

“Ha! Good one. I’ll help  you,” I answered.

Maddy pulled the car into the church parking lot. We grabbed our bibles and purses, and got out of the car.

She slammed the door.

“I’m so mad. Ugh.”

“Shh. Ok, we have to put on our church face now,” I reminded her. I noticed some other folks getting out of their cars, and forcing their frowns into smiles also; with a little tilt of the head to bring their ears a little closer to get the scoop on what Maddy was on about. Gossip is a tasty morsel.

We walked up the steps to the front door of the church. Uncle Dan greeted us with his hand outstretched. “Good morning, God bless you,” he said, as he shook my hand. “It’s good to see you.”

“Good morning.”

“Good morning,” Maddy blurted out, forcing politeness.

Uncle Dan grabbed her hand firmly yet lovingly, and placed his other hand on top of hers. His soft blue eyes peered directly into her steely blue ones. “We have to forgive, because God forgave us,” he started. “We can’t hold grudges. We have to forgive so God can keep forgiving us. Ask the Lord to help you, and he will. God Bless You. “

Uncle Dan released Maddy’s hands, and turned to meet the next congregant climbing the steps.

Maddy turned to me as we began to walk inside. “That was weird. It was like he was in the car with us. It’s like he can see inside my head.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Sometimes I think he can. God definitely tells him stuff, that’s for sure.”

***

This was just an average Sunday greeting at the church doorway. Uncle Dan knew God. Of this, there was no doubt. He could not read or write, but he was one of the wisest men I’ve ever personally known.

And he was not really my uncle, not by human blood anyway. He was a friend’s uncle, but he was a Spiritual Uncle to all of us.

He routinely walked up to people and gave them the exact words that they needed to hear at the time. It was the pure love of God that worked through him, not tainted by any schemes of man.

***

Timeline: New Year’s Eve 1988.

After church service, Uncle Dan came over to me. It was like he picked me out of the crowd. He grabbed my hand, as was his practice, and said, “The Lord has not forgotten you.”

He stopped talking, and up from my spirit arose, “You’re going to get married.”

I leaned forward to hear if he had anything else to say.

“You have to be patient and wait.”

Wait. We earthlings don’t like waiting. It’s uncomfortable.

He spoke again. “May 1989 be a year that surprises even you.”

Well, that it was. It turned out to be interesting. I left the church, and met a man whom I did marry, and have a son with. [The marriage later fell apart, but I still have my son.]

***

Uncle Dan passed away recently. He will certainly be missed by many Earthlings. But we will see him again in the next world. He was the best example I ever knew of someone who truly lived as a Christian. There was no hypocrisy in him, only love of the Truth. He corrected people’s mistakes, but with love, not criticism. “Speak the Truth in Love.”

So I bid you goodbye, Uncle Dan. Thank you for the things you taught me, the times you said hello when no one else noticed me. Thank  you for helping me believe that God loves me and really does know all the small details of my life.

** UPDATE**

I heard this song in church the Sunday after Uncle Dan passed away. It summed up his life beautifully.

Click Here

**
#AmbassadorExcerpt

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